The Office of Special Needs, part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, has launched an online tool specifically designed for military Families in the Exceptional Family Member Program.Exceptional Family members are military Family members diagnosed with special educational or medical needs, explained Karen M. Terry, a program analyst with the Office of Special Needs.The online tool, called EFMP & Me, was 18 months in the making, she said, and its design was based on feedback gathered from EFMP Family members, service providers and leaders from the services. Categories of special concern and useful information were identified, and multiple checklists within each category were built, Terry said."A user can choose a category such as permanent change of station, child care, education, accessibility issues, housing, deployments or medical, and from there will be able to personalize the displayed checklists to their situation or concern," she said.The feedback was also useful in designing the online tool to be more user friendly, she added.The free online too can be accessed from the Military OneSource website through mobile devices or computers, she said."The ability to use the online tool from a cellphone is especially convenient," Terry said, because it "gives people the information when they need it, how they need it, and wherever they need it."Kim Joiner, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and Family policy, which heads Military OneSource, said, "The Department of Defense is committed to supporting our Families with special needs, and EFMP & Me is an important enhancement to the Exceptional Family Member Program."Military OneSource is a DOD-funded program that encompasses both a call center and website providing comprehensive information, support and resources on every aspect of military life, not just EFMP, Terry said, adding that all services are available at no cost.Each year, Military OneSource connects thousands of service members and their Families to resources to help them live their best military life, she said.Service members and the immediate Family members of active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, irrespective of activation status, are eligible to use Military OneSource, as are survivors and DOD expeditionary civilians. Veterans and their immediate Family members are eligible for Military OneSource up to 365 days post-separation or retirement.Related FamiliesMilitary Worldwide Soldier and Family ResourcesArmy working improvements for Exceptional Family Member