Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Magic Paintbrush Project ™?

The Magic Paintbrush Project is a family and caregiver engagement program for individuals of all ages with special needs. Our programs provide facilitated workshops for thousands of individuals, infants through geriatric, diagnosed with a developmental disability (e.g. autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, cognitive delay.)

The Magic Paintbrush Project provides unique programs that are designed to meet the needs and goals of the individual and their family and caregivers (e.g. socialization, movement, communication, advocacy and self-determination). The programs enhance the ability to support the special needs individual, providing them with a responsive approach to facing their challenges while focusing on their unique abilities and effectively working towards diagnostic goals.

The workshops use creative materials and patent pending methods to effectively support special needs individuals and their caregivers, while supporting the community’s inclusion and involvement in the process.

How Can You Participate?

Appointments are limited to special needs individuals, their caregivers, family and friends. We welcome additional friends and family members with advance notice.

Appointments are available for agencies and integrated classrooms.

Eligible families can “Self Refer” to our program. We also accept referrals from Medicaid Service Coordinators, School District Personnel, or service agency staff. Eligible individuals can demonstrate a need based on having an IFSP, ISP, IEP, Care Plan or 504 Designation in place.

We are open by appointment 7 days a week. Each appointment request is reviewed carefully to determine eligibility and appropriateness.

How Do I Schedule A Workshop?

Call us to schedule an appointment (607) 729-5059

How Much Does It Cost? (Southern Tier)

Our workshop is funded by grants, sponsorships, and donations. We ask each family to financially participate to support the costs of their session when possible. There is funding support available when needed.

Participation is NOT dependent on the eligible family’s ability to financially participate in their session costs.

Typically, we do have a suggested donation per session to cover the cost of the materials and supplies between $20 and $30 per family. Depending on eligibility, some sessions do have fees. Our office will be happy to answer your questions about the costs and support options.

Funding supports and resources for our Southern Tier location are restricted to the special need individual and their immediate family. Additional family members or friends are welcomed and will be asked to support their attendance in the amount of $20 per person or $30 for the family (residing at the same address).

CANCELLATION POLICY

Should you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, we respectfully ask that you do so atleast 24 hours in advance by calling (607) 729-5059. Due to increasing costs associated with cancellations, there is a $25 fee for appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice or no-shows.

Where Do You Go?

Our Southern Tier workshop is located at the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, New York. You can find our entrance on the OUTSIDE of the mall, located between Ruby Tuesday’s and Macy’s.

Other locations are:

What You Can Expect?

The Magic Paintbrush Project’s purpose is to provide facilitated workshops which inspire special needs families to focus on their ability and be creative when facing their challenges. Each session is designed to complement your family’s needs and goals. Knowing what your goals are will help us meet them, so please come prepared to get engaged. We will ask that EVERYONE in attendance be involved.

You should plan on approximately 1 hour for your appointment. Let us know if you will need extra transition time. A change of clothes is recommended, and we do have dressing rooms here at the workshop.

What are the workshop hours?

The Southern Tier Workshop is located at the Oakdale Mall. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 AM – 2 PM. Sessions are available by appointment only, 7 days a week. Our other locations are open as events are scheduled. We cannot provide walk in workshops or programs.

What happens to the art created in these workshops?

Participants are able to keep their creations, or they may choose to share them in our gallery.

As pieces are donated to us, they are available for sale. The proceeds are used to purchase materials for the workshops for the direct benefit of the participants.

See our Gallery for more information.

I’d like to help, how do I find out more about what’s needed?

Visit our How you can support us page.

How can I help to extend the reach of The Magic Paintbrush Project to other communities?

We are available for speaking engagements and other informational events. Please contact us for our updated brochures and current information.

What do you mean by Life Is… Washable?

Families and caregivers are taught to be proactive. We clean up the messes before they happen, often choosing not to participate in all of life’s benefits because of the potential for a “mess”. There are times when life’s messes are sources of frustration and completely inconvenient. Making messes is not normally a part of the plan.

The Magic Paintbrush Project helps families and caregivers embrace the challenges of special needs. We make messes, big bright and beautiful messes, and the outcome is a celebration of the ability of the family to adapt and create new opportunities. We teach that it’s not about cleaning up or avoiding life’s challenges because of the potential, instead we support that the potential is in the mess itself.

Using paints, and other creative art materials, we encourage families to engage. And the resulting artwork is a reflection of their “journey to the mess and back” providing a touchstone for future success.

Although we say that “Life Is… Washable!” we always remind folks that clothes are not stain resistant. We hope that The Magic Paintbrush Project leaves a lasting impression in the hearts of all who come to see the abilities of our families.

How was The Magic Paintbrush Project started?

In 2003, our founder began looking for creative ways to help her daughters, who were both diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. Using creative materials provided an effective way to work on the prescribed interventions, building bridges between the children’s therapeutic needs and the needs of the family.

In December of 2005, interest was shown in the art and how it was created; a decision was made to establish a workshop to respond to the interest. Through a cooperative effort with two local nonprofit organizations, The Magic Paintbrush Project was created. This effort culminated in a special event in October of 2006. This effort served hundreds of special needs individuals and their family members. Due to ongoing demand, The Project was formally established as a program with Binghamton Imaginink, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in November of 2006. The Magic Paintbrush Project was not meant to be a long term or large scale effort, however, as demand for services grew, The Project grew into an independently sustainable program serving thousands of participants.

In response to the continued growth and demand for workshops, Life Is Washable, Inc. was created in October of 2008, to provide The Project’s workshops and services. Life Is Washable, Inc. through its program The Magic Paintbrush Project, has the distinction of being the only known family engagement program of this type in the United States. The program design and curriculum are patent pending and protected by copyright and trademark registrations. Life Is Washable, Inc. owns the intellectual property including the licensing, patent, trademark, and copyright protections as granted under the United States Trademark and Patent Office.

In June of 2009, Life Is Washable, Inc. was granted its non-profit status as a 501(c) (3) corporation and it has taken on all current and future programming relating to “The Project.” In the spring of 2009, Life is Washable, Inc granted its first licensed expansion to Sullivan County ARC, increasing availability so individuals outside of the Southern Tier of New York can benefit from this program. Other areas in New York are also requesting expansion. The program now actively serves a geographic area that has an identified developmentally disabled population in excess of 7,500 individuals.