Main Menu Page Content Employment Support Technologies for Independence & Control Community & Organizational Development Personal Planning Wholistic Practices Inclusive Educational & Transition Supports Event Planning & Coordination Non-Profit Incubator Program News and Events Donate Now

While we are small in numbers, Networks is large in its voice, impact, and reputation. We at Networks are dedicated to the vision that communities are for all people. Our mission is to help everyone build more tolerant, respectful, and inclusive communities by offering seven areas of expertise to individuals, small groups, and organizations.

To request Technical Assistance, complete a Training and Technical Assistance Request Form, email Jessica Stover, or call 1-866-683-3651.

Jim receiving his paycheck Jim Gemmel working on a database at Flyers Skate Zone

Employment Support

The very roots of Networks are based on a belief that 'work' is a right and a possibility for all people. This belief has given birth to many activities and projects including training, transition and career development, creative assessment of individual situations, organizational development, collaborative and innovative services, and large scale systemic planning to further the belief and availability of employment for all! A natural extension of our belief that employment is possible for everyone, is our involvement in both local and national Employment First initiatives. Employment First is defined by ODEP as “a concept to facilitate the full inclusion of people with the most significant disabilities in the workplace and community. Under the Employment First approach, community-based, integrated employment is the first option for employment services for youth and adults with significant disabilities”.

What We Can Offer

  • Both small and large group training in current supported employment trends and practical strategies.
  • Direct technical assistance to improve specific employment outcomes.
  • Individually tailored discovery to assist in finding a person's strengths, passions, and skills necessary for employment.
  • Assistance to employment provider agencies to develop personalized job development strategies, individualized employment support, and Community Action Teams.
  • Assistance to employers looking to diversify their workforce.
  • Direct assistance to employers and job seekers around accommodations, job modifications / adaptations, workplace technology, and support strategies for more effective, efficient, and independent work.
  • Assistance to students and others in transition from school to adult life or other life changes through Career Planning.
  • Training and counseling around social security benefits.

Current Projects & Activities

  • Northumberland Employment Project.
  • Coordination of the Philadelphia Employment 1st Initiative, as well as representation on steering committee workgroups.
  • Coordination of employment related demonstration projects.
  • Coordination of an annual statewide Employment Supports Symposium
  • Transition Planning Project.
  • Assistance to revitalize the Philadelphia Transition Coordinating Council.
  • Representation on the PA APSE Board and ongoing support to revitalize the state chapter.
  • Career Planning Workshops.
  • Demonstrations of how Assistive Technology can be used to support employment.
  • Facilitation of the “Bring Your Legislator to Work” initiative.

How You Can Get Involved

  • Share your inclusive employment stories.
  • Offer employment opportunities that can be shared with job seekers.
  • Provide information on grant opportunities, loans and other resources for starting a business.
  • Get involved in the Philadelphia Employment 1st initiative!
  • Become an employer/business owner willing to partner and provide short term internships or work trials as a means of skills and interest assessment in real work employment settings for job seekers.
  • Become a Business Leader in and advisor to the Employment 1st initiative.

Networks' Employment Advisory Committee

  • John Butterworth, PhD
  • Michael Callahan
  • Diane Cashman
  • Julie Christensen, PhD
  • Cesilee Coulson
  • Randy Dicks
  • Nancy Jo Geise
  • Rob Hoffman
  • Ruth Landsman
  • Rie Kennedy Lizotte
  • David Mank, PhD
  • Ann O’Bryan
  • Laura Owens, PhD
  • Genni Sasnett
  • Kathy Sykes
Technologies for
Independence & Control
Photo of Alina at a Communication Mentors' Course session Photo of individuals using AT Photo of an individual using AT Photo of an individual using AT Photo from the Communication Mentors' Course Photo from the Communication Mentors' Course Photo of Beth providing communication support Steve's first time using a Link

Technologies for Independence & Control

Assisting people and their teams to really listen and hear someone’s “native” voice; aiding people in finding low to high technology to express themselves even more effectively; evaluating accessibility of a location; exploring innovative and easy ways to be more independent in life whether at home, work, school, or play… These are just SOME of the ways Networks for Training and Development, Inc. can be of service and support to you!

What We Can Offer

  • Group training and demonstration in today's trends and options in AT.
  • Direct consultation with people who currently use some AT or who could benefit from some form of AT to explore systems, technology, and support strategies for more independence.
  • Opportunities for people with limited or unrecognized functional communication methods to explore possible systems and strategies of AT to be more fully expressive.
  • Individualized training regarding specific issues and uses of AT.
  • Assistance to schools, businesses, and other organizations on how to adapt their environments to enable the fuller participation of everyone.
  • Mentorship, collaborations, and partnerships to expand the knowledge and expertise of others in AT.
  • Website accessibility as well as computer adaptation and accommodations.

Current Projects & Activities

  • The Communication Mentors' Course™.
  • Support to and coordination of The Communication Mentors' Network.
  • AT Exploration opportunities in our Valley Forge office and as requested.
  • Trainings and informational sessions regarding AT as requested.
  • Continued reading and learnings to stay current on trends, information, and research in the field of AT.
  • Ongoing TA (technical assistance) follow-up to people and their teams regarding AT as requested.


Communication Mentors' Course Agenda (PDF) (WORD) (TXT)

Communication Mentors' Course Booklet (PDF) (WORD) (TXT)

Communication Mentors' Network Brochure (PDF) (TXT)

Helpful Links

How You Can Get Involved

We're looking for:

  • Stories about the journey of the use of Assistive Technology (AT) in your
    life or in the lives of others.
  • Increased collaborations with groups and people using or interested in AT.
  • Collaborations with technology groups and manufacturers to increase
    the level of awareness regarding accessibility and usability by a
    large audience.
  • Collaborations with AT groups & organizations.
  • Referrals from all people who are in need of help and assistance with AT.
  • Increased collaborations and contacts with people and groups who
    are in need of finding out or wanting to do more with AT.
  • Connections with people who use AT in their lives to assist in
    presentations, information sharing, ...and more!
  • Contributions to replenish our AT library as well as contributions
    to enable reaching out & assisting those in need of help with AT.

Networks' Assistive Technology Advisory Committee

  • Pat Amos
  • Gerry Anderson Arango, EdD
  • Beth Barol, PhD
  • Donna Bouclier
  • Jim Conroy, PhD
  • Liz DeVett
  • Suzanne Erb
  • Judith Gran, Esq
  • Matt Gromis
  • Anne Kalinoski
  • Moya Kinnealey, PhD, OTR/L
  • Tracy Lapreziosa, OTR/L
  • Martha Leary, MA, CCC-SLP
  • Rosa McAllister, MEd, RM, LMT
  • Beth McKeown
  • Joe Murphy, CESP
  • Shauna Roman
  • Ruth Seigfried
  • Jennifer Seybert, CAS
  • Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, PhD
  • Jessica Stover, ATP
  • Tammy Thompson-Cooke, MS, CCC-SLP
Community &
Organizational Development
Photo from the Employment Steering Committee retreat Photo from the Employment Steering Committee retreat Photo from How to Be a Trainer Photo from How to Be a Trainer Photo from Camp Leadership Photo from Organizational Leadership and Change Photo of Rosa working on a PATH Photo from a leadership training Communication Mentors' Strategic Planning

Community & Organizational Development

From our early beginnings in 1992, we have held firm to the ideal that a business could be both humanistic in all its dealings and still deliver quality products and services. Now many years later, Networks continues to grow in a fiscally sound and yet ethically conscious manner, demonstrating to others that this idea can and does work.

Ours is a blend of business savvy & giving back to the world.

Networks is a 501(c)3 Charitable non-profit organization but we actively study, practice, and disseminate information to others on current trends from our ’business world’ colleagues as well as from the ‘not for profit world’. While we are best known for our primary activities assisting people with disabilities to live inclusive and fulfilling lives, we have also become recognized for our somewhat different approach to organizational structure and infrastructure, management practices, and day-to-day operations. These core beliefs and foundations in promoting inclusive communities have helped us create together a vibrant and viable enterprise with true expertise to assist other organizations, groups, and businesses.

Current Projects & Activities

  • Training (small and large group instruction)
    • Supervisory Development.
    • Innovative Management Practices.
    • Professional Development.
    • Team Development and Facilitation.
    • Developing a Mentoring Program.
    • Importance of Quality Improvement.
    • Methods of Strategic Planning.
    • Organizational & Leadership Development.
    • Creating Diverse & Welcoming Communities.
    • Mission-Based Leadership.
  • Consultation (direct assistance)
    • Retreat Facilitation.
    • Program Development/Evaluation.
    • Grantwriting & Development.
    • Strategic Planning.
    • Human Resources Assistance.
    • Systems Planning & Policy Review.
    • Collaborative Projects Design.
    • Participatory Management Assistance.
    • In-House Mentoring / “Rent-a-Staff”.

How You Can Get Involved

We're looking for:

  • State-of-the-art, Accessible, Fun & High Tech Training Space.
  • Retreat Space, especially in "fun" locations.
  • Collaborations with other Learning Organizations.
Photo from Jeff's Personal Planning session Pasha celebrates planning her future Photo from Lena's Personal Planning session Photo from a Personal Planning session

Personal Planning

The founders and principle staff of Networks were instrumental in the use and growth of Person Centered Planning throughout Pennsylvania in the late 1980's, assisting people with disabilities for the first time in history to decide for themselves their services and their futures, and re-aligned our service system like nothing before. Since that time, Networks has increased our experience in providing planning facilitation and support to many individuals of all ages and situations.  We have offered many training programs to groups of many sizes, organizations, and locales.  And we have added more general life coaching to our available services in this area, helping us to expand and become more helpful to a larger number of people to think about and plan for next steps in their life.

Networks is often asked to help with Personal Planning during times of transition and major change that we all experience in our lives… graduating from school, seeking and/or shifting employment activities, moving, and generally exploring new directions in our lives.  It might also be suggested or requested during times of dissatisfaction or issue because others are at a loss with how to help further and sometimes because it's just time to really listen to our inner voice rather than continue on a path of relying on professional or other judgments.

What We Can Offer

  • Assist others through Life Coaching and Personal Planning to consider possible options and make changes in their lives. Examples of those who might benefit include: Young children with various medical issues and their families to plan for and coordinate help and belonging; students, their teachers, and peers to plan for more inclusive academic and social experiences in school and community; students transitioning from school to adult and/or work life; adults who seek life changes in work, leisure, home and/or community life; seniors making decisions about their health, living conditions, and active participation in community life.
  • Assist people to decide what supports they need to live more fully and pursue their dreams, advertise for these supports, hire, train, and supervise them.
  • Offer both large group and team training in the history, styles/formats, and use of Personal Planning.
  • Mentor or co-facilitate with others Personal Planning and Life Coaching to increase their awareness of tools and improve skills and confidence.
  • Assist organizations, government offices, or other large systems to develop and utilize Personal Planning as a method to change policies, procedures, and practices to reflect a more customer-driven system.

Current Projects & Activities

  • Individual Personal Coaching Services.
  • Team Development and Facilitation.
  • Person Centered Trainers' Training.
  • The Art of Community Connection Training.
  • Dreamcatching: Finding Your Own Personal Future Training.
  • A Person Centered Planning Training Curriculum available for purchase.
  • Career Planning Workshops.
  • Transition Planning Workshops.

How You Can Get Involved

Donate to the Nancy Cordon Trust (described below) to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities during times of transition to meet immediate needs.

The Nancy Cordon Trust was created to honor the memory of Nancy Lynne Cordon who died in June of 2005. Nancy had many friends and was a cherished member of her church and home community. Those who knew Nancy described her as sweet, loving and impish. To continue those qualities in the lives of others, the Trust was established to enhance opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and help them to be part of their community by helping them, and those who love them, over some hard times. Funds from the Trust have been used to purchase washing machines, assist with paying rent, buy clothes and food, assist with payment to an integrated camp experience and many many other situations that have challenged people because they were 'down on their luck.'

If you are interested in making a contribution to the Nancy Cordon Trust, please make your check payable to "The Nancy Cordon Trust" and send to Networks for Training and Development, Inc., 1220 Valley Forge Rd., PO Box 206, Valley Forge, PA 19481. Contributions are tax deductable.


Photo of a bodywork session Photo of a bodywork session Photo of a bodywork session in Maui Photo of a bodywork session Photo of a bodywork session Photo of a bodywork session in Maui Photo of Mitchell's bodywork session Photo of a Wholistic Practices exhibit table Photo of a Wholistic Practices exhibit table Ola mai iloko mai (Health comes from within). Photo of Mitchell's bodywork session

Wholistic Practices

Today, many of us are taking more active control of our health…. through choices in diet, exercise, lifestyle, and spiritual practices. Various "alternative treatments" abound for us to choose from, which many of us add in to our personal wellness practices.

Unfortunately, there are many people who may benefit from these alternative treatments and yet are unable to take advantage of them (or feel they are unable). The sick, elderly, those in lower socio-economic groups, and those with disabilities are strikingly less likely to be utilizing these healthful practices. In other words, those who may need help most in finding relaxing and healthful treatments may have the least access to it.

What We Can Offer

  • Regular "Bodywork Clinics" where practitioners can share & swap their skills with one another, & where others may come to receive services all for a small donation.
  • Wellness classes & discussions for both practitioners & the general public in topics regarding specific modalities of bodywork as well as ways to incorporate more healthful practices in all of our lives.
  • Outreach events to groups in need such as hospice groups, people with longterm illnesses, seniors citizens, people with disabilities, & more.
  • A connected network of practitioners interested in helping others & gifted in healthful practices.

Current Projects & Activities

  • The Lokahi Guild
  • Providing education, information, and direct treatment sessions for individuals, their supporters, and care givers.
  • Hosting regular Community Bodywork Clinics and healthful living classes.
  • Assisting some people privately for body and energy work.
  • Participating in presentations, conferences, and expos.
  • Marketing and advertising of activities and events.


"Evaluating a program of wholistic practices for people with intellectual and mental disabilities in community homes" (Conroy, Nowell, Jaskolka) (PDF)

A View From the Table (PDF)

Finding Another Way through Alternative Practices: A Demonstration Project (PDF) (WORD) (TXT)

Finding Another Way through Alternative Practices: A Demonstration Project Final Report (PDF) (WORD) (TXT)

Wholistic Practices Brochure (PDF) (WORD)

Wholistic Practices Flyer (PDF) (WORD) (TXT)

Helpful Links

How You Can Get Involved

We're looking for:

  • Connections with more body & energy work practitioners, massage therapists, & others interested in partnering with us to provide more services, classes, & assistance to people.
  • Increased collaborations with groups interested in receiving our services.
  • Various locations where we can provide our services.
  • Connections with people in need of our services.

Gift certificates can be purchased for a specific person or as a general donation for someone who might not be able to afford an individual session! Visit our Donate page or contact Jessica Stover for more information!

Networks' Wholistic Practices Advisory Committee

  • Ramenta Cottrell
  • Judy Dotzman
  • Helen Falguera
  • Ginny Focht-New, PhD
  • Carol Frangicetto
  • Patricia Graves, BSN,RN-BC,CDDN
  • Andrea Hill
  • Susannah Joyce
  • Anne Kalinoski
  • Mary MacAvoy
  • Amy Nemirow, PhD
  • Denise Taylor Patterson
  • Jeff Petraco, RN
  • David Pitonyak, PhD
  • Holly Rizzo
  • Shauna Roman
  • Laura Schoenen
  • Joyce Simons
  • Jessica Stover
  • Kathy Sykes
  • Frank Tieri
  • Linda Tieri
  • Linda Weibrecht
  • Jennifer Williams
Inclusive Educational &
Transition Supports
Photo from the 2010 Transition Planning Project Aamir Aaron Alina Angel Arthur Kaliq Lior

Inclusive Educational & Transition Supports

Networks is dedicated to promoting inclusive communities beginning with our youngest community members. Over the years we have worked in partnership with children, their families, and schools to develop individualized strategies and supports that promote inclusive environments and enrich the educational experiences of all. Whether it is educating teachers at universities, assisting individual students, helping schools examine their approaches, facilitating Transition Planning workshops, or helping develop home-based curricular programs... we are here to help!

When I Grow Up:

It's important that all children grow up with aspirations and dreams. Asking your kids what they want to be when they grow up is a good way to get them thinking about their futures. Start the conversation early and expand on what they think is possible. ALL kids!

If you are unable to view YouTube videos, this link will provide the video in another format. (Be advised that you may experience a longer wait time while the video loads.)

What We Can Offer

  • Team Based Transition Planning Supports - Utilizing the Person Centered Planning approach we will support the student and their team in working towards their goals for the future. Whether it is employment or post secondary education we can help. Understanding how Social Security work incentives enable you to work in the community is a key component of transition planning. Individualized benefits counseling is available as well.
  • Tutoring and Enrichment - We realize that education is invaluable and that is why our tutoring and enrichment services are customized to meet each individual's unique learning style and learning needs. We work with students, parents/caregivers, and schools to create unique tutoring/enrichment experiences that build upon a students current skills and progress them forward. Our staff is dedicated to making the most out of each opportunity and experience that we have with an individual. These services are offered in the student's home, at school, or in the community.
  • Education Planning - Our professional staff can assist students, families, and school employees in making the most out of each student's education. We can assist in the development of educational plans for use in school, at home, and in the community. Our goal in working with any student, family, or school is to maximize the learning potential and learning opportunities for all students.
  • Training - Our staff can provide training to meet the needs of individual students, their families, support people, as well as school staff with both small and large group instruction. Our staff has experience both inside and outside of the classroom and has a unique perspective and skill set that will allow them to create a training to meet the specific needs of an individual or group. Such training topics may include but are not limited to: transition planning, inclusive education, benefits counseling and adapting curriculum to meet individual students needs.

Current Projects & Activities

  • Individualized educational tutoring and enrichment programs.
  • Individualized educational planning.
  • Transition Planning Projects.
  • Family outreach and education on the IEP and student's rights.
  • IEP workshops.

How You Can Get Involved

  • Share stories of success from a student perspective, parent perspective and teacher perspective. Your stories are powerful gifts to all of those touched by transition from school to work.
  • Offer short term internships to be shared with students that are looking to explore different fields of work.
  • Provide grant opportunities to fund post secondary education for students with disabilities.
  • Get involved in the Employment 1st Philadelphia Transition Work Group.
  • Provide an apprenticeship in a trade.
  • Start the "what do you want to be when you grow up" conversation at a much younger age and continue to ask as your child grows up.
Event Planning &
Photo from the 2010 stakeholder meeting Photo from the 2010 Employment Supports Symposium Photo from an event at the National Constitution Center Photo from a MIG focus group Photo from a MIG focus group Photo from the 2008 Communication Mentors' Conclave Photo from the 2008 Communication Mentors' Conclave Photo from the 2008 Communication Mentors' Conclave Photo of a Lonesome Doves Retreat

Event Planning & Coordination

Since 1992 the Networks staff members have established credibility and expertise in the planning and coordination of various conferences and training events. We work in partnership with you to identify your goals and objectives for your event, and assist in strategizing the best means of achieving those outcomes.

Training activities may include, but are not limited to, corporate celebrations, training events, conferences, and annual events. Organizational Development activities may include organizational retreats, board meetings, and facilitation of meetings or organizational planning. When planning your next event, look to establishing a partnership with us.

What We Can Offer

  • Coordination of guest speaker arrangements.
  • Customized marketing materials (brochures, flyers, event home page).
  • Capability of providing customized email invitations.
  • Online registration and payment.
  • Coordination of catering/location logistics.
  • Point person for event coordination/communication.
  • Onsite presence the day(s) of your event.
  • Evaluation/feedback, and more.

Current Projects & Activities

  • Employment 1st Philadelphia Strategic Planning.
  • Employment 1st PA! Symposium.

How You Can Get Involved

The Event Planning & Coordination would greatly appreciate donations of these items and services, or funding that would help us acquire them!

It is necessary to develop and maintain the necessary equipment to provide quality distance learning options for our customers. Equipment currently needed includes:

  • Quality Sound System: $5000
  • Video Conferencing System (Blackboard Collaborate): $3500/year
  • Yamaha Conference Microphone and Speaker System (for small to medium size rooms): $1100

It is our commitment to provide accessible learning options for everyone who participates in our training events. In order to accomplish this, it is necessary to provide certain accommodations. Your donations can help to provide these services for our events:

  • Sign Language Interpretation: $500 - $1000/day (depends on # of interpreters needed)
  • Braille Services: up to $1000 (for one day of conference materials)
  • Closed Captioning: up to $2000/day (includes transcription services)

We also have some general technology items needed to help with the development and planning of events, including:

  • Updated Registration System: $8000/year
  • Online Backup and File Sharing through LiveDrive: $2000/year
Incubator Program
Image of Networks' Four Corners of Service: Inclusive Communities, Quality Training, Technical Assistance, and Practice The Got Mike! Fund logo

Non-Profit Incubator Program

Over the years, Networks has assisted many groups and organizations to develop further, organize, strategize, and explore incorporation.  Typically, we have done this under our Organizational and Community Development service area.  Some groups we have continued to support in various ways over many years as they grew and changed.  And a few groups and individuals have requested that we “house” them or help them more officially to exist by providing needed administrative functions, insurances, and allowing them to access our skills, services, and non-profit status.  Some have requested this knowing they wished to eventually spring off into a non-profit themselves and so were looking for our help to make that happen over time.  Interestingly, this is exactly how Networks started, as an “incubated” project in collaboration with Horizon House (and the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health).

What We Can Offer

  • 501(c)3 fiscal sponsorship -- i.e. act as fiscal sponsor and take complete responsibility for the receipt of income and the expenditure of funds for member program.  Income, donated or earned, is thus received tax-free to the program and donations to the program (made through Networks) are tax-deductible to the donor, in accord with federal tax law.
  • Inclusion in Networks’ annual audit.
  • Assistance with applying for 501(c)3 status and development of full non-profit status.
  • Board development, training, and assistance.
  • Fund management and tracking.
  • Payroll services.
  • Overall advisement and guidance.
  • Administrative and infrastructure support.
  • Cell phone service.
  • Access to topical workshops and other skill-building opportunities.
  • Guidance in seeking grants and funding.
  • Business, program management, and marketing consultation.
  • Collaborations, connections, and possible programmatic partnerships.
  • Office supplies, Information management support, and accessible web development.
  • Health, dental, life, and other benefits if the program has employees.

Current Projects & Activities

  • The Nancy Cordon Trust. The Nancy Cordon Trust was created to honor the memory of Nancy Lynne Cordon. The Trust was established to enhance opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and help them to be part of their community by helping them, and those who love them, over some hard times. Funds from the Trust have been used to purchase washing machines, assist with paying rent, buy clothes and food, assist with payment to an integrated camp experience and many many other situations that have challenged people because they were 'down on their luck.'
    You can donate to The Nancy Cordon Trust online via PayPal:
  • The Got Mike! Fund. The Got Mike! Fund was created to continue the legacy of Dr. Michael McAllister, co-founder of Networks. The Fund provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to live full and prosperous lives, and provides educational development opportunities to those whose leadership and commitment toward integrated employment is outstanding, passionate, and furthers the inclusion of all people in the world of work.
    You can donate to The Got Mike! Fund online via PayPal:
  • Las Aguas Fund. Las Aguas Fund is the idea of Shoshanna Marks to assist the yoga and cultural communities in Cuba.  Shoshanna lives in the San Francisco, CA area and runs Cuba Wellness Adventures, which provides yoga and arts related retreats in Cuba.  Her dream has been to also form a non-profit organization that could assist in cultural exchanges, continuing education, building more inclusive communities, and “seva” yoga (i.e. of service / volunteer work) between foreigners and Cubans. “Las Aguas Fund” refers to the Waters, or the spiritual waters that flow amongst us all.
    You can donate to Las Aguas Fund online via PayPal:

How You Can Get Involved

Donations can be made to any of the groups participating in our Non-Profit Incubator Program by clicking the links above, or by visiting our Donate Now page.

Groups interested in participating in our Non-Profit Incubator Program must meet certain criteria.  These include:

  • A Governing Board of at least three (3) individuals committed to the program other than the Program Director, who are not all family members.
  • An overall mission statement that clearly shows a focus on assisting and bettering others, education, and being of service to the local community.
  • A match to Networks’ organizational mission.
  • A clear connection to non-profit work.
  • A plan that shows a description of programming and preliminary goals and objectives for the coming year.
  • A realistic budget for the next year.
  • A concrete, realistic fund development strategy or plan for attaining funding for the program.

Groups interested in joining this program should contact Rosa McAllister, Networks’ Organizational Advisor, to introduce their project and learn more about what Networks might provide.