Tag: Disability Rights/Advocacy/Policy

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

Although transition plans are rooted in federal law, state policy can supplement and support efforts. Arizona has made great strides expanding opportunities for students with disabilities and the tools schools can use to help them reach their full potential. This session will discuss new policies in Arizona and across the country to improve post school outcomes for students with disabilities.

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

Historically, individuals with disabilities have seldom been subjects of research activity intended to establish foundations of parenting support. However, recent literature suggests that they experience pregnancy at the same rate as those without disabilities. These individuals experience parenting struggles the same as others do, additional to any issues resulting from their disability or its intersection with raising children. A panel of four parents will discuss their experiences raising children and navigating parenthood while having a disability as well as provide their perspective on the benefits of three new parenting programs and the most pertinent issues that need to be addressed. This panel will amplify voices of the disability community, something crucial to uncovering the most prominent issues in the lives of parents with disabilities.

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

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

Join Youth Ambassadors from the Arizona Community of Practice on Alternatives to Guardianship State Team and Disability Rights Arizona as they share valuable and current information on Alternatives to Guardianship (A2G) in Arizona, including an overview of and resources which support Arizona’s new Supported Decision-Making (SDM) law. This session will feature.

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.

Engaging Parents in the IEP Process

This session is for professionals to help them understand the family perspective. Raising Special Kids staff will lead an interactive discussion with audience members to share ideas on how to increase collaboration with parents at IEP meetings. A parent panelist will share their child’s story and journey through school. That parent will also discuss strategies and methods that were used to engage them as an active member of their child’s IEP team.

Key Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn strategies they can use to engage parents in the IEP Process.

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

Contrary to the rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” much harm can come from the misuse of language. Social media has made it possible to connect to a vast network of disability focused communities each having their own common language that is ever evolving. Keeping up with the changes may seem daunting however, the potential impact makes it worth investigating. Together, we will dive into some familiar words and their meanings in the disability community that have evolved to ensure that our language continues to yield a positive impact on the lives we interact with as professionals.

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.

Dismantling Ableism in AT … and Beyond!

This presentation will define ableism and provide practical strategies for dismantling ableism within both the realm of assistive technology (AT) and broader societal contexts. The pervasive presence of ableism in society significantly affects the daily lives of the disability community. Thus, proactive efforts from professionals are essential to cultivate an inclusive and equitable society. By closely examining systemic barriers, this presentation seeks to empower attendees with actionable methods to effectively counter ableist approaches. Together, we can collectively work towards ensuring that disabled individuals have the opportunity to fully participate and achieve their goals.

Key Learning Outcomes

  1. Attendees will be able to define Ableism.
  2. Attendees will be able to Identify and analyze systemic barriers contributing to ableism within both assistive technology (AT) and broader societal contexts.
  3. Attendees will be able to describe specific strategies to counter ableism in AT and broader societal contexts.

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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