Location: Yucca

Part 3 – TVR Process: Assessment and Eligibility

One of the foundational pieces of the vocational rehabilitation process is vocational assessment. Assessment of applicants to Tribal VR programs is the first step and the most vital link to all successful rehabilitation activities. Tribal VR counselors are assessing applicants and participants throughout the VR process, but there are two distinct phases of assessment. The first phase is focuses on determination of eligibility and the second phase focuses on developing the IPE. The Rehabilitation Act, Sec. 102(a)(6) and 34 CFR 371.1 defines how an applicant is determined eligible for TVR services. Section 102 of the Rehabilitation Act as Amended provide the regulations for eligibility and ineligibility for all individuals who apply to your Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program (TVR). In addition to section 102, TVR’S must follow (34 CFR 371) American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) for eligibility.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the components of assessment with an emphasis on the comprehensive assessment.
2. Identify how to connect assessment to eligibility in the TVR process.
3. Identify the 6 criteria for determining eligibility in a TVR program.

Part 2 – TVR Process: Outreach to Application

Outreach, Referral, Orientation and Intake are a proactive, intentional effort to connect American Indian VR Services (AIVRS) goals and practices to the efforts of other organizations, groups, and individuals. Through outreach, AIVRS project staff help individuals and groups learn about accessing TVR services and begin the application process.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will learn how to promote awareness and understanding of AIVRS Program Services.
2. Participants will learn the importance of establishing a strong referral process.
3. Participants will learn the steps required of orientation and intake that lead to completion of an application for TVR services.

Part 4 – TVR Process: IPE Development and Service Provision

The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) development and the provision of services can be found in Section 102 of the Rehab Act as well as 34 CFR 361.45 and 34 CFR 361.46 (State Regulations that discuss the IPE and the provision of services). The 361 regulations mostly duplicate what’s already stated in the Rehab Act. In addition to listing details regarding the IPE and the VR services that can be provided in the IPE, the Rehab Act and the regulations also list the mandatory components of the IPE.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the mandatory components of the IPE and the TVR services that can be provided in an IPE .
2. Identify the needed VR services that can be included in an IPE.
3. Create a draft IPE based on a consumer’s case scenario.

Powered Mobility in the Classroom

Research shows that those who used powered mobility devices showed improvements in cognitive skills, including attention, problem-solving, and spatial awareness. Research also shows that powered mobility use was associated with improvements in language skills in young children with mobility impairments. Studies also show that children who used powered mobility devices were more likely to participate in mainstream educational settings, which provided them with increased exposure to language stimulation.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to use a kill switch to keep all students and adults in the classroom safe.
  • Understand how to toggle from attendant control and student control to use the power chair throughout the entire school day.
  • Provided integrated activities so language, mobility, literacy and AAC skills are being addressed through powered mobility.

Autism, Behavior, Communication: Made as Simple as ABC

Do you work with children with autism who struggle to communicate? Have you tried AAC and feel it is not working? We must consider the characteristics of autism and the research-based strategies for utilizing AAC. When we put these together we can be more successful. When we look at the characteristics of autism and think about repetitive actions, whether verbally or behaviorally, we need to understand how that looks when using AAC. We must remember that the purpose of the communication device is to communicate rather than demonstrate knowledge. That means each person gets to say what they want, when they want to, while maintaining agency over their body. That means others don’t force their hand to touch a button and they don’t use another person’s hand to touch buttons. It is their voice and their body. (Donaldson et al, 2023). That results in independent communication. How do we get to independent communication? Let’s look at Autism, Behavior and Communication and clarify the process of implementing AAC with this population. Join this class to accurately define what communication looks like using AAC, what changes you can make to increase functional use of the device, and what IEP goals reflect this.

Key Learning Outcomes

Participants will identify 3 strategies to use when a person with autism displays stimming behavior while using an AAC device.
Participants will identify 3 characteristics of autism that can impact the use of AAC and how to address each one.
Participants will learn 5 (SMART) components of an IEP goal required to measure increased functional communication using AAC.

Part 1 – TVR Process: Relationship Building and Cultural Significance

TVR agencies are authorized to provide services by section 121 of the Rehab Act and 34 CFR part 371. Section 103 of the Rehab Act is where the description of Culturally Specific services can be found. Culturally Specific services (also known as “Traditional Services”) are any services for a participant that reflect the cultural background of the participant being served that are necessary for their successful employment. Culturally specific services reflect a key difference between State VR and Tribal VR programs. Tribal VR programs operate with cultural understanding and values that are a foundation for employment success and they offer a greater understanding of the local, cultural, and familial needs of American Indian and Alaska Native participants.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Promote awareness and understanding of part 1 of the AIVRS VR process and program services.
2. Recognize the need for relationship building and cultural significance in TVR.
3. Create a draft culturally appropriate model for their unique TVR program and identify how this model connects to the TVR process.

Switch It Up: Creative Solutions for Play!

Play is a huge part of a child’s development and all children deserve the opportunity to engage in play regardless of their motor abilities! By providing simple solutions to assistive technology that any caregiver/therapist/parent can implement, a child with a complex motor condition can access activities with greater independence. Play-based switch adapted activities also provide another opportunity for learning and engaging in their environment. It is important to empower our children with diverse needs and using assistive technology is an incredible way to do so. From practice in our own practice we have seen the impact of implementing engaging activities with switches and the incredible outcomes that come from adapted play.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will understand what a switch is and how to place it.
2. Participants will be able to identify different types of switches as well as other switch adapted equipment.
3. Participants will be able to identify at least 10 fun ways to incorporate switches into their classroom/therapy/home!

Unleash Your Creativity: Book-Related Strategies to Support AAC and Literacy

We will target one activity for each research based area of emergent literacy, showing a book, and a strategy to support emergent learners. Examples include:
• Shared Writing
• Shared Reading
• Phonological Awareness
• Alphabet Knowledge
• Writing with the Alphabet
• independent Reading

Following each of our quick examples, we will challenge participants to extend this by:
• Choosing a Different Book For The Same Strategy: For example, they will apply CROWD in the CAR to a new book
• Proposing Light or High Tech Modifications for the Strategy: For example, they might share how they would adapt the activity for students with CVI, hearing impairment, or motor impairments.
• Developing Adaptations to Make the Activity Age-Respectful: While this often means choosing a different book, sometimes students can use a book intended for younger students and complete an activity that is very age-respectful, such as writing a review of I’m Not Just a Scribble for a classroom of younger students, or for their own younger siblings or cousins.

This approach is align with adult learning strategy research and is the most effect way to create real professional growth

Key Learning Outcomes

As a result of this presentation participants will be able to:

1. Compare books to select those that lend themselves to specific research based literacy instruction AND enhance motivation.
2. Apply literacy instruction ideas to a wide variety of books for students of all ages – including age respectful books for older students who are emergent readers.
3. Customize the activities demonstrated by the presenters to meet the needs of their own unique students

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