Tag: Transition

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

Over the past decade, a significant expansion has occurred in national programs offering post-secondary options for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD). However, few of these programs exhibit full inclusivity and possess empirical evidence supporting their efficacy. According to Alqazlan et al. (2019), individuals with I/DD who access opportunities and support within inclusive post-secondary education (PSE) settings are poised for meaningful employment, community integration, social acceptance, and independent living (Miller et al., 2018). Additionally, peer supports, including peer mentoring, have demonstrated effectiveness in fostering positive academic, social, employment, and mental health outcomes (Wilt and Morningstar, 2020). Nevertheless, data suggests minimal opportunities and supports in Arizona to facilitate these outcomes effectively (Cawthorne, 2016; Milem et al., 2016). The Supporting Inclusive Practices in College (SIP-C) program provides comprehensive support to students with I/DD across Northern Arizona’s expansive territory. A SIP-C participant will share their firsthand experience navigating college with a learning disability, illustrating how academic and natural supports contributed to their success and positive collegiate experience.

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.

Braiding Possibilities for Indigenous Transition Youth Programs

The Native Center for Disabilities utilizes a braided Indigenous strength-based Decolonizing Disability approach of relationality, resilience, and respect with Indigenous methods of translating knowledge (e.g., storytelling) focused on cultural protective factors, in which the belonging aspect of being part of a culture and its traditions results in specific protective factors for those that belong, such as emotional wellbeing and resiliency in the face of negative outcomes. In addition to our Indigenous practice-based evidence, we utilized the following western-based evidence-based practices. Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, which views youth development ecosystems within the context of the system of relationships that form their environment. Broffenbrenner, who helped establish the federal Head Start program, defines complex layers of environment, including family and community environments and larger societal contexts, each having an effect on a youth’s development. Kohler’s Taxonomy (1996; Test, Fowler, et al. 2009) framework for planning, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive secondary transition programs with five areas of transition implementation: student-focused planning, student development, interagency collaboration, family involvement, and program structures. Students in programs are offered opportunities in work experience, self-care and independent living skills, and transition planning and support, based on the evidence linking specific in-school activities to positive post-school outcomes.

Key Learning Outcomes

1.Participants will identify 3 Indigenous practice-based programs for Native youth transition programs.
2. Participants will describe how Indigenous practice-based evidence is utilized to create inclusive and culturally responsive transition programs.
3. Participants will document how to braid diverse funding streams and partnerships to develop Native youth transition programs.

Building a Community to Support Students for Work-based Learning Success

From our preliminary stages to our continuous implementation of this program, the Sonoran UCEDD in partnership with Vocational Rehabilitation has successfully increased the number of student participants, community engagement and family awareness and support. Our internal model for technical support through job coach training holds a high level of understanding on an individual basis. As our job coach training is in continuous collaboration and communication with the student, staff and employer. The conscious efforts to implement any necessary supports while working on the job help to increase the student’s independence, sense of self and overall awareness. With the development and sustainability of our employment partnerships, our programs involvement has also increased the benefit of cultural awareness, community engagement and student expectations for competitive integrated employment. Communities within the urban and rural populations we serve are now given the opportunity to build back into their own communities for future hire.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Awareness and understanding that these services do not end with us-rather they are continued through the help of our employers, students, schools, and family supporters.
2. Increased awareness and knowledge regarding the importance of building and maintaining relationships with employers and the community as well as educating others on the benefits of Work-Based Learning opportunities.
3. Shifting the lens with a First Employment outlook.
4. Increased knowledge base of skills and tools utilized throughout the process and development of a work based learning program and their experiences.

Evergreen Academy Preschool Training Program

Our training program has yielded significant success in guiding adults with disabilities towards fulfilling careers as preschool and child care workers within the community. Given Arizona’s status as a child care desert, characterized by a burgeoning birth rate and a shortage of child care workers, our program addresses a critical need while empowering individuals with disabilities.
Anecdotal evidence from our trainees underscores the program’s impact. Participants, many of whom have previously held service jobs, express a profound sense of fulfillment in their roles within the preschool environment. This shift in sentiment speaks volumes about the efficacy of our training in providing meaningful employment opportunities that align with individuals’ passions and capabilities.

The program serves as a replicable model for supporting adults with disabilities who aspire to pursue careers in child care. As trainees progress through the program, many are actively working towards securing community employment with the assistance of vocational rehabilitation services or Individual Supported Employment (ISE) programs.

Our evidence-based approach demonstrates the tangible success of our training program in facilitating the integration of individuals with disabilities into the workforce, thereby addressing critical societal needs and fostering personal fulfillment.

Key Learning Outcomes

Anticipated learning outcomes are as follows
1) Participants will gain an understanding of the program works to support both the trainees and the families we serve.
2) The presentation will help participants to understand the the possibilities of growth and success for adults with developmental disabilities in a child care training program.
3) Participants will leave with the knowledge of how the program was created and how it is replicable in different and diverse contexts. Our goal is to help new programs in different cities create more careers for differently abled adults that are based in human-to-human interactions.

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.

Life Support and Skill for Success

Proposal summary:
This presentation summarizes the key points Vocational Rehabilitation recommend to youth/students transitioning from High school who are deciding their future career goal and would like to attend higher education classes, the requirements students need to be enrolled in college classes. It also explains what are the two different regulations that are cover under IDEA for Public education vs. ADE that regulates higher education institutions. We will cover how to choose the right path or training they need to reach their career goal with the guidance of a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor. Please join us and learn more about the secret to success !!

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Introduction of what is VR
2. Knowledge of process in VR/Transition services
3. Determining a career goal

Road to Independence: AT in Transition Planning for Students with Complex Support Needs

We will be referring to SETT and HAAT models for AT. In addition, we will clearly discuss the Quality Indicators of Assistive Technology Services (QIAT): Quality Indicators to Support Transition Planning matrices. We will also connect how these apply to indicator 13 and student transition planning in the IEP.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will demonstrate an understanding of transition planning and how AT can be included.
2. After attending the session, participants will be able to apply AT to areas in transition planning.
3. Participants will use resources provided to increase their knowledge in adding AT to transition plans.

Technology for All: Learn How Alexa Is Helping Self-Advocates Gain Independence

For the last year, I have been training people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to use technology. People are using Alexa and Siri and Google to remind them of doctor’s and other appointments, listen to music, setting up calendars, using the maps to find and get to places, doing grocery lists, reading their email and text messages and even feeling less lonely through interaction with Alexa and Siri.

There are a lot of recent research articles and task force reports on how states are implementing enabling technology to greatly benefit people in Waiver programs. I am working with Tennessee training people and with Georgia studying their current initiatives.

Some of the recent journal articles are:
Chadwick, 2023. “I would be lost without it but it’s not the same,” experiences of adults with intellectual disabilities of using information & communication technology during the COVID‐19 global pandemic. British Journal of Learning Disabilities. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/bld.12522

Donehower, 2022. Using Wireless Technology to Support Social Connectedness in Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Focus Group Study.

Tanis, 7/2021. Anchor Report: Advancing Technology Access for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Perspectives from Intellectual and Developmental Disability Service Providers Across the Nation.

Key Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn how to :
1. use Alexa for Zoom, and operating home devices like lights, temperature.
2. get help with reading, set calendars, and reminders.
3. make calls to friends and family over Alexa.

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