Track: Innovative Practices in Disability Disciplines

PATHS: Providing Accessible Training and Home Support for Parents with Intellectual Disabilities in Arizona

PATHS intends to improve access to high quality parenting support for Arizona parents with intellectual disabilities. Using a participatory approach, PATHS collaborates with and interviews home visitors and supervisors of evidence-based home visiting programs (EBHV) funded through MIECHV in the state of Arizona. This project explores the challenges and successes encountered by home visitors, aiming to highlight effective strategies and identify areas for improvement. This will lead to the development of supplemental and training materials. There is a limited research base in this area. More research is needed in order to support this population. This session will illustrate the need for more research and support for parents with intellectual disabilities as well as present PATHS supplemental materials and trainings for home home visitors in Arizona.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain an understanding of the general disparities found in research and practice of supporting parents with intellectual disabilities
2. Participants will learn about the PATHS project, its history, and its role in helping evidenced-based home visiting programs (EBHV) meet the needs of parents with intellectual disabilities. The future of PATHS will also be discussed.
3. Participants will be introduced to the supplemental and training materials created by PATHS to support EBHV programs meeting the needs of parents with ID.

Including a Co-Teacher with an Intellectual Disability in a University Class: Meet Justice and John

John is a full-time staff at IHD and has been teaching for 15 years. Justice is a 20 year old high school student participating in a community transition program. Together, they co-teach DIS 201: Introduction to Disability Studies at Northern Arizona University. In this presentation, John and Justice talk about how they got started co-teaching, how they structure their class, how they involve Justice in the class and what lessons and modification they have made to make the co-teaching work better for themselves and their students.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will be encouraged to think outside-the-box in what kinds of jobs people with intellectual disabilities can do during work transition programs and beyond.
2. Participants will learn specific strategies on how to co-teach with someone with an intellectual disability in a university setting.
3. Participants will understand that including a co-teacher with an intellectual disability helps the teacher with ID learn valuable work and leadership skills while also helping to enrich the classroom and give the students direct access to the lived disability experience.

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.

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.

Life Support and Skill for Success

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

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

The University of Arizona Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities works with transition students, ages 14-22, to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services (PreETS). Through the partnership with Arizona’s state Vocational Rehabilitation services, the UCEDD continues to develop innovative practices towards community inclusion, develop and maintain employment opportunities through an Employment First lens, and share the importance of work-based learning experiences with the community to support underserved youth. Join us as we discuss the ways we are helping to shift expectations when it comes to students working in the community, learn from specific examples of students that we have worked with, the accommodations that were implemented at the worksites, and the job aids that were created to ensure that the students were successful.

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.

Analysis of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Transition-age Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Arizona

This presentation will describe the results of the report Analysis of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Transition-Age Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Arizona that was written for the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council by the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston. This presentation will detail how the report was created including the methodology, discuss the interviews held with Arizona VR stakeholders, and present the findings regarding what is working well and what can be improved in Arizona’s VR system as well as highlight strategies for better serving Arizona’s transition-aged youth with IDD and strengthening VR’s relationships with other state service systems. Strategies to increase overall VR participation as well as cultural competence will also be discussed.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will understand the methodology behind the report and how the authors came to their conclusions.
2. Participants will learn about both the current strengths and weaknesses of Arizona’s VR system in serving transition-aged youth.
3. Participants will learn about effective strategies to better help Arizona VR serve transition-aged youth, including youth from culturally diverse backgrounds, that they can promote in their communities.

Division of Developmental Disabilities Initiatives : PBS Training, AAC Trainings, New Resources, New Member Advisory

DDD’s Office of Individual & Family Affairs will present new initiatives and trainings the state has implemented to provide supports to parents, providers, First Responders, stakeholders and anyone in the I/DD community. Topics that will be covered include; New Positive Behavioral Support Training, AAC Training for First Responders and DDD Group Homes statewide, newly created electronic resources and quick reference guides on a variety of topics , the creation of our new Member Advisory Council, and volunteer opportunities.

Key Learning Outcomes

-Education about the new Positive Behavioral Support Training.
-Efforts made by DDD to educate and inform First Responders about AAC and to provide information about converting their existing technology to support AAC users.
– Provide information about the new Member Advisory Council and additional supports provided by DDD

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.

Developing the Self in a Community through Poetry and AI

Individuals with Intellectual disabilities often live without having control within their lives. Using AI technologies allow individuals with ID the opportunity to create a world where they have a voice within a community. One example of this use of AI is Friday Poets group, where adults with ID convene around the ideas of creativity, mutual respect, inclusion, and an appreciation for diverse perspectives.

Within the context of creative expression, AI provides a platform where any participant has the ability to present themself however they choose. This sense of empowerment allows individuals with ID to enter an equitable space with peers of any ability. It is our expectation that this new sense of empowerment will be reflected across a variety of environments for adults with ID.

Key Learning Outcomes

1) Participants in this presentation will learn skills to integrate artificial intelligence into their practice.
2) Participants in this presentation will learn about different artificial intelligence tools that will support individuals in developing language, descriptive skills, and images that are representative of their ideas.
3) Participants in this presentation will have the opportunity to see how artificial intelligence tools were used with individuals to create poetry and visualizations of that poetry to enhance their individual expression, connections to one another, and to a greater community.

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