Tag: Disability Rights/Advocacy/Policy

Improving Post-School Options and Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities

Each of the new policies and laws are based in research and best practice and will be presented as such.

Key Learning Outcomes

Attendees will learn about new state laws regarding dual enrollment and transition.
Attendees will discover new postsecondary data from the Board of Regents.
Attendees will learn about the university programs for students with intellectual disabilities.

Parent Panel: Lived Experiences Parenting with Disabilities

Individuals with disabilities have long been excluded from parenting literature, due to antiquated beliefs of their universal unfitness to raise children. Recent literature, though, suggests that women with disabilities experience pregnancy at the same rate as women without disabilities (Horner-Johnson et al., 2017). Parents with disabilities also report struggles accessing support services (Mitra et al., 2016). Directing research activity and disability expertise toward strengthening social supports for parents with disabilities was called for to reduce disparities. The Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (ADDPC) has funded three projects to investigate differing topics within the area of parenting with disabilities, focusing on how social workers and home visitors can bridge this gap of support for parents with disabilities.

Horner-Johnson W, Darney B, Kulkarni-Rajasekhara S, Quigley B, Caughey A. Pregnancy among US women: differences by presence, type, and complexity of disability. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016;214(4):529e1-529e9.

Mitra M, Long-Bellil L, Iezzoni L, Smeltzer S, Smith L. Pregnancy among women with physical disabilities: Unmet needs and recommendations on navigating pregnancy. Disabil Health J. 2016;9(3):457-463. doi:10.1016/j.dhjo.2015.12.00

Key Learning Outcomes

1) Understand some of the positive things about being a parent with a disability and the different perspectives being a parent provides
2) Understand how parents with disabilities can parent with appropriate supports
3) Leave with a wider knowledge of the barriers parents with disabilities face

Words Matter: The Language We Use to Describe People and Communities Impact Future Success

There is considerable evidence to support the concept that words and labels we use can have a positive or negative impact on the disability community. Here are a few examples:

Article: The evolution of disability language: Choosing terms to describe disability
Authors: Erin E. Andrews PsyD, ABPP a b, Robyn M. Powell PhD, JD c d, and others

In an article republished on the American Psychological Association, originally published in the Rehabilitation Psychology Journal TOC, the authors report on the impact that language has on outcomes.
Article: #SaytheWord: A disability culture commentary on the erasure of “disability.”
Author: Andrews, Erin E. Forber-Pratt, Anjali J. Mona, Linda R. Lund, Emily M. Pilarski, Carrie R. Balter, Rochelle.

In the book Words Can Change Your Brain, Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist and Mark Robert Waldman, a communications expert report that a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the importance of respectful and accurate language that honors the diversity of the disability community.
2. Discuss examples of outdated terminology and the unintentional negative impact they may have on the disability community.
3. Develop an inclusive and positive communication style that reflects an individual’s dignity and agency based on their preferences.

A2G and SDM in AZ: Understanding Alternatives to Guardianship and the new Supported Decision-Making Law

Disability Rights Arizona (formerly Arizona Center for Disability Law) is a not for profit public interest law firm, dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals with a wide range of physical, mental, psychiatric, sensory and cognitive disabilities, who together with the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council and Native American Disability Law Center created the Legal Options Manual, a guide to advise individuals, families and caregivers about different legal options for adults with a disability who need assistance – all with a goal of preserving as many rights as possible. The Legal Options Manual, the Supported Decision-Making Law in Arizona, and the expertise gained through participation in the Youth Ambassador Program through The Center on  Youth Voice, Youth Choice (CYVYC) are the evidence-base upon which this session is built.

Key Learning Outcomes

Participants will gain an insight into the various Alternatives to Guardianship available in Arizona.
Participants will gain knowledge of the new Supported Decision-Making Law in Arizona.
Participants will gain resources available in Arizona related to Alternatives to Guardianship, including Supported-Decision Making.   

The Choice is Yours – Supported Decision-Making in Arizona

Supported Decision-Making is a tool that allows people with disabilities, including intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD), to retain their decision-making capacity by choosing supporters to help them make choices. A person using SDM selects trusted advisors, such as friends, family members, or professionals to serve as volunteer supporters. These supporters agree to help the person with a disability understand, evaluate, and communicate decisions, giving the person with a disability the tools to make his or her own well-informed choices. This lively, interactive presentation about SDM will explore its fundamental elements and how it can be utilized by Arizonans with disabilities. The discussion will be led by Jon Meyers and Jason Snead of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (ADDPC), which has been a leader in the movement to expand adoption of SDM as an alternative to legal guardianship across the state.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Provide attendees knowledge and skills to help individuals with disabilities gain greater independence.
  • Help attendees understand how Supported Decision-Making works and how it can be applied in the community.
  • Assist family members and caregivers in understanding how they can be SDM supporters.
  • Help professionals understand their roles in expanding SDM’s adoption and utilization.

Nothing About You Without You – Disability Advocacy & Public Policy

Public policy related to disability services is influenced by a range of factors. Among the most important is advocacy and self-advocacy – yet for many people the notion of taking part in advocacy activities is either mysterious, misunderstood, intimidating, or just terrifying. This session will offer a straightforward understanding of advocacy and self-advocacy, explain the difference between advocacy and lobbying, provide examples of how advocates from all walks of life have contributed to significant policy improvements for the disability community, and address the fundamental right and responsibility for advocates to make their voices heard.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will gain a broad understanding of past and present disability advocacy/self-advocacy activities to affect public policy.
  • Participants will expand their knowledge of effective public policy advocacy/self-advocacy methods.
  • Participants will increase their level of comfort and expertise engaging as disability advocates/self-advocates.
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