Autism Speaks and the SunTrust Foundation to Host a Free Special Needs Financial Planning Town Hall January 12 in Virginia Beach, VA

A comprehensive and collaborative town hall to help individuals and families plan for the financial well-being of children and adults with special needs. To learn more, visit:

Virginia Beach, VA, January 06, 2019 --( What: In partnership with the SunTrust Foundation, Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, is hosting a free Financial Planning Town Hall in Virginia Beach, VA., on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at 9:20 am. The goal is to help people with disabilities and their families secure their future by bringing them together with financial experts and service providers in a collaborative atmosphere.

The Financial Planning Town Hall will begin with a resource fair complete with representatives from local nonprofit organizations and local service providers for people with autism and other disabilities.

Following refreshments and an introduction to special needs planning by Keynote Speaker Reilly F. Morrison, specialty trust advisor, Private Wealth Management, vice president, SunTrust Bank, financial planning experts will conduct breakout sessions.

Topics include:
· Special Needs Trusts: How to find money to fund a trust and how a trust can protect assets. Speaker – Reilly Morrison.
· Accessing Funding: How to get Medicaid, Social Security and other benefits a child may be entitled to receive. Speaker – Kate Domanski.
· ABLE Accounts: Learn about new tax-preferred savings accounts that can help secure a child’s future. Speaker – Brittany Bullock.
· Guardianship & Conservatorship: Learn how to determine who will make medical and legal decisions for a minor or an adult who cannot do so. Speaker – Brian Boys.

Interviews will be available with experts from SunTrust Bank and Autism Speaks, as well as select families attending the town hall, who can discuss:
· Why they are attending the workshop and how it is helpful.
· The types of financial challenges families with special needs children and adults face.
· What a resource like the Financial Tool Kit means to them and how it helps.
· Strategies to help plan for the financial well-being of children and adults with special needs.

The free town hall is made possible by Autism Speaks and the SunTrust Foundation. Participants will receive an Autism Speaks Special Needs Financial Planning Tool Kit as well as resources from local disability service providers.

When: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019

Where: The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center
4535 Commerce Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Who: Keynote Speaker: Reilly Morrison, Vice President, SunTrust Bank

Resource Fair: Autism Speaks, Inc.
Butterfly Effects
Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughter
Dominion ABA
Eliza Hope Therapy Center
The Hitching Post Educational Center
Hook Law Center
Families of Autistic Children Tidewater
Next Steps Behavioral Centers
Project Lifesaver – Virginia Beach
Virginia Autism Foundation

Session Leaders: Reilly Morrison, SunTrust Bank, Special Needs Trust
Kate Domanski, Autism Speaks Inc., Accessing Funds
Brittany Bullock, ABLEnow, ABLE Accounts
Brian Boys, Atlantic Law, PLC, Guardianship

Why: Almost one in five Americans has a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Family budgets are often strained by related expenses including therapy, assistive technology or special transportation. Although some people with autism have careers that give them financial independence, others need extensive financial support throughout their lives from the government, their extended families or both.

About Autism
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. Most are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences. One in 59 children are on the autism spectrum.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is enhancing lives today and accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow. Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. We empower people with autism and their families with resources, online tools and information covering the life span. To find resources, join a fundraising Walk, or to make a donation, visit

About SunTrust Foundation
The SunTrust Foundation is dedicated to SunTrust Bank’s purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being by engaging organizations to advance financial confidence. Grants and activities focus primarily on financial empowerment, but also include education, health and human services, civic improvement and cultural growth. The SunTrust Foundation supports American Red Cross disaster relief efforts and contributes as a United Way Global Corporate Leader. Established in 2008, the SunTrust Foundation has proudly provided grants totaling more than $140 million throughout the United States.
Autism Speaks
Christina O'Neill