Our Services

Introduction

ProgramOverviewAbilities Network/Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region, an affiliate of the Epilepsy Foundation of America, provides educational/referral information, advocacy, and support to people with epilepsy and their families. Our epilepsy education includes programs for school students, teachers and nurses, camps, employers, public and private organizations, police officers, medical professionals, and the community at large. Increasing awareness of epilepsy and seizures promotes a safer, more accepting environment for those living with this condition. In an effort to combat the stigma that surrounds people affected by seizures, we offer a variety of educational programs. Our programs are designed to cover a wide range of topics on epilepsy that the general public may not understand.

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Scholarship

Thanks to the generous support of the Ira Rosenzwog Family, the Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region has provided scholarships to more than 60 college students over the past 28 years.  If you are a student who has epilepsy, please consider applying for this scholarship.  The application deadline is April 5, 2017. Click Here for the requirements. Click Here for the application.

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Wontrop at 410-828-7700 extension 1246 or at mwontrop@abilitiesnetwork.org

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Epilepsy Education

  • Seniors & Seizures is a one-hour long training designed for Adult Day Center staff to recognize seizure activity and provide appropriate seizure first aid. The training is intended to identify the differences between seniors with other diagnosis’ (Alzheimer’s & Dementia) and epilepsy.
  • Law Enforcement: Epilepsy and Seizure Response for Law Enforcement is a 45-minute presentation that aims to train law enforcement on seizure recognition, correct response to seizures, and awareness of the unique needs of people with epilepsy who might be taken into police custody.
  • Epilepsy Seizure Recognition and First Aid Training provides general information about epilepsy so that the participant will acquire an understanding of the nature of seizures and epilepsy. After completing the training, participants will have the skills to recognize the four most common types of seizures and provide proper first aid for someone having a seizure. This training can be modified to accommodate nearly any time frame 30 minutes to two hours. The trainer will modify the training for specific audiences, such as staff working individuals with disabilities, employees who work with the public and community groups. Monthly trainings are held at Abilities Network headquarters.
  • Epilepsy Symposium is a full-day symposium targeted to medical professionals who work with individuals that have epilepsy is held on a biennial basis. Experts in the field of epilepsy provide valuable information to increase the quality of care provided by the attendees. Accreditation for continuing education credits is secured for these programs. Our 2014 Symposium will be held on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, at the Sheraton Columbia Towne Center Hotel.

To schedule an epilepsy education training, contact Director of Epilepsy Services Mary Wontrop at mwontrop@abilitiesnetwork.org.

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School Education Programs

EpilepsyTalk_CroppedSeizure Man is the Epilepsy Foundation’s super hero used to educate students in kindergarten through 2nd grade. The epilepsy educator will use the seizure man literature in an interactive format to help students understand epilepsy and gain knowledge of proper seizure first aid. This presentation is used to help the students remove fear and create acceptance of people with seizures.

  • Take Charge is an epilepsy awareness program targeting teenagers in middle and high school. It’s designed to take place in one class period. This is an effort to educate teens, dispel myths and reduce the perceived stigma associated with epilepsy.
  • Kids on the Block is a program geared for students grades 3-5 to understand and accept those individuals with disabilities. This education puppet presentation teaches the student understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities. The star puppet, Brian McDaniel, is a 12-year-old boy who has epilepsy. Scripts with lively dialogue and situations involving Brian and his other puppet friends explain epilepsy and proper seizure first aid.
  • School Nurse Training: Managing Students with Seizures is a three-hour long training is designed to provide resources and supplementary materials that will assist the school nurse with better managing and supporting students with seizures and epilepsy. The training will also prepare the school nurse to educate their school personnel about epilepsy. Click here to take the online training.
  • School Personnel is a one-hour long training program that teaches seizure recognition and first aid. The training provides essential information for anyone working with students with epilepsy in a social and academic atmosphere.

To schedule a school education program, contact Director of Epilepsy Services Mary Wontrop at mwontrop@abilitiesnetwork.org.

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Support Groups

Epilepsy Group Shot_croppedWe offer support group meetings for individuals and their families living with epilepsy. These meetings provide emotional support, information and comradeship. Our support groups enable people to realize that they are not alone in coping with epilepsy and that there are others who deal effectively with seizures.

 

 

  • Towson support group meets at Abilities Network’s headquarters the third Tuesday of every other month.
  • Columbia support group meets every other month. For more information regarding the Towson and Columbia support groups, contact Mary Wontrop at 410.828.7700 ext. 1246 or mwontrop@abilitiesnetwork.org
  • Charles County support group meets at Charlotte Hall Library. For further information regarding the Charles County support group, contact Mary Wontrop at 410.828.7700 ext. 1246 or mwontrop@abilitiesnetwork.org  
  • Teen Epilepsy Empowerment Now (T.E.E.N.) is a social and educational group for teenagers with seizures. This group meets on a quarterly basis at different locations throughout Central Maryland. Some of the activities they have already participated in include bowling, picnic and hiking.  The teens have an opportunity to have fun while connecting with other teens that have epilepsy. For more information, contact Mary Wontrop at 410.828.7700 ext. 1246 or mwontrop@abilitiesnetwork.org
  • Parent Group is a Yahoo! Group that provides the opportunity for parents of children with epilepsy to connect with each other, share questions, resources and information. Friends and families of people with epilepsy as well as individuals with epilepsy are invited to participate. Upcoming events and new resources available to families of children with epilepsy are posted in this group. Click here to join.

Click here to view our calendar with upcoming support groups.

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Advocacy

Epilepsy AdvocacyWe participate in the National Epilepsy Foundation’s centerpiece advocacy initiative Teens Speak Up! and the Public Policy Institute. Every year the National Epilepsy Foundation brings together over 150 advocates, including affiliate staff, parents, children, doctors and volunteers from across the nation. Through this initiative, we are able to strengthen our advocacy network, share updates on the state of epilepsy research & funding as well as give our families an opportunity to speak with Congress and share their stories of living with epilepsy.

Teens Speak Up! is a program that provides an opportunity for teens with epilepsy and their parents to visit the nation’s capital, receive advocacy training, meet with their legislators, and tell their personal stories. Teens Speak Up! is part of the Public Policy Institute. Teens from across the country are nominated by local affiliates and selected by the National Epilepsy Foundation to participate in the program. After receiving training at KSU, each teen is asked to turn that training into action by advocating for themselves on an ongoing basis. For information on how to become a teen advocate, please contact Director of Epilepsy Services Mary Wontrop at mwontrop@abilitiesnetwork.org.

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Contact Us

For more information on our Epilepsy Services program, contact us via e-mail or call 410-828-7700.

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