Tag: Neurodiversity/Autism

Inclusive Pathways: Enhancing Higher Education for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities have the desire to attend college for a variety of reasons. The passage of the Higher Education Act (2008) created funding that enabled the development of Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability (TPSID) that now exist across 319 colleges nationwide. Students in these programs have the opportunity to enroll in traditional college courses for credit and earn a degree/ professional certificate. This presentation will give an overview of the Supporting Inclusive Practices in College (SIP-C) TPSID program located at Northern Arizona University. A recent graduate of the Early Childhood Education program and SIP-C student at NAU will also share their college experience and explain how supports from SIP-C made college more accessible.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the significance of inclusive higher education for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including its impact on employment, community integration, and independent living.

2. Explore effective peer support strategies, such as peer mentoring, in fostering positive outcomes for students with disabilities in post-secondary education.

3. Gain insights into the challenges and opportunities of inclusive practices in higher education, focusing on the SIP-C program in Northern Arizona and its role in supporting student success.

Flirting Beyond Barriers: Cultivating Romantic Relationships within the IDD Community

While sexuality is a key component of human development, people with intellectual disabilities are often excluded from formal and informal conversations around romantic and sexual relationships. This research provides a space for adults with IDD to share their perceptions, experiences, and desires with interpersonal relationships. To disrupt harmful assumptions about people with IDD and sexuality, researchers will share recorded interviews asking individuals with IDD to share their experiences and expectations around romantic relationships. Sharing the lived experiences of adults with IDD will provide an opportunity for them to voice their desires, thus encouraging the inclusion of people with disabilities in conversations concerning sexuality.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain an accurate understanding of the attitudes, experiences, and desires of individuals with IDD centering around relationships: Video-recorded interviews will provide an opportunity for the voices of individuals with IDD to be heard. These first-hand narratives will offer participants a new perspective of sexuality development among individuals with IDD. Participants will further their understanding of the nature of sexuality development and disrupt negative societal stereotypes.
2. Participants will be encouraged to include individuals with IDD in discussions concerning sexuality development: Adults with IDD are commonly excluded from conversations around sexual and romantic relationships. Amplifying the voices of adults with IDD will cultivate healthy environments for discussions regarding sexuality development. Accurate depictions of lived experiences among adults with IDD will encourage inclusion in formal and informal conversations concerning sexual and romantic relationships.
3. Participants will learn to disrupt harmful assumptions around human development for individuals with IDD: Participants will be encouraged to de-stigmatize societal beliefs that people with IDD are asexual or incapable of participating in a romantic relationship. Recognizing adults with IDD as sexual beings will create an environment for healthy sexuality development.

SOS: Socially Optimizing Situations (Autism)

This session will provide you with the tools necessary to support and increase social skills when working with people with autism. Social interactions can be difficult for students with autism. Some students may not see the function of communication, others might avoid it due to sensory overload, and even others might want to socially interact but may not know how to. We will discuss how to work with all of those concerns when teaching social skills. We will view many practical strategies, cloud-based tech, and some apps to enhance your ability to teach social skills. I will present visual support ideas, use of videos, role-playing, and technology use. This will be a jam-packed fun session!

Key Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to describe the various social deficits that many with autism might experience.
Participants will be able to list a minimum of 3 ways to use visuals to support social situations for a student with autism.
Participants will be able to describe a way to use video modeling to teach social skills.

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