2024 CIF Webinar Series

Check out the recordings from Center for Independent Futures 2024 series of free webinars. With experts from the fields of disability services, governmental benefits, and financial planning, we want to share this important information with you and your loved ones.

Webinar #1


with Suzanne Aaron of the ARC of Illinois.  Suzanne is an Information and Outreach Specialist for the Illinois Life Span program for Northern Illinois. She has worked and volunteered in the areas of disability advocacy and family support since 2008. She and her husband are the proud parents of a young adult with I/DD and Autism. Her passion is helping families access and understand services that are available to them so they are empowered to build an included and meaningful life with their loved one with disabilities. She is a 2018 graduate of Illinois Partners in Policymaking and has navigated disability services in the states of Illinois, Ohio and Indiana.

Learn about SSI and SSDI, the federal benefits administered by the Social Security Administration.  You’ll learn about eligibility requirements, the application process, and the difference between these two programs. 

View the recording here. 


Webinar #2

Integrating Taxes into your Overall Plan

with Mary Anne Ehlert of Protected Tomorrows. Mary Anne Ehlert is a financial professional and sister to an individual with disabilities. She is a highly regarded specialist working with families of individuals with disabilities and serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Special Olympics of Illinois. She speaks at conferences nationally and locally on planning for families with special needs. She recently completed her book entitled The Gift I Was Given.

View the recording here. 


Webinar #3

ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts

with Michael C. Walther II of Oak Wealth Advisors.  Mike assists families in their efforts to provide their loved ones with special needs with the financial resources and other supports necessary to live their lives to their fullest potential.

Oak Wealth Advisors understands the challenges that your family is facing because we are also living with those same challenges. We have been educating and empowering families with special needs members by providing them with specific planning strategies that will make their lives, and the life of their loved one better. With decades of personal and professional experience on the topics of special needs planning and financial planning,  we can help your family sleep better at night, have more fun in your lives and increase the amount of money that you have available.

Oak Wealth Advisors won the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors 2023 Excellence in DEI Award for our work with people with disabilities. Mike Walther was chosen by Investment News for their 2023 inaugural list of Hot 100 advisors redefining success in the financial services industry.

View the recording here. 



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