Program 2020-12-02T16:26:14-07:00

Institute for Human Development Virtual Mini Conference July 20-21, 2020

Conference Overview

Virtual Mini Conference Program

The IHD Evidence for Success Mini Conference features 16 diverse sessions selected from this summer’s in-person conference which was cancelled due to COVID-19.  Sessions focus on Assistive Technology and / or on Innovative Practices in Disability Disciplines. Topics covered include Employment and Transition, Education (K-12), AAC, American Indian Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS), Community Living and more!

There are four 75 minute sessions each day, with 2 concurrent session options per time slot. All conference sessions will be delivered live using the Zoom meetings virtual format.  Participants will need to sign up for one of the concurrent session options per time slot. Links will be provided after registration is complete.

Participants can earn up to 5 CE credit hours each day – 10 CE credit hours for the entire mini-conference. Northern Arizona University and Arizona Department of Education CEU certificates will be provided to participants. CRCs are available.

Listed below are the concurrent sessions for each time slot.  Click on the plus sign (+) to read the session description.
All sessions are listed in Arizona Time (currently Pacific Time / GMT -7).

Monday, July 20, 2020

9:00-10:15 am

How would you feel if you lost your right to make everyday life decisions like where to go, who to spend time with, and what to do?  That’s what can happen when people are ordered into guardianship.  This presentation will introduce you to Supported Decision-Making, an alternative to guardianship that can empower people with disabilities to make their own decisions, maximize their independence, and lead their best lives.  Participants will learn what is going on at the national level as well as a specific supported decision-making initiative in Arizona.

Many students struggle with academic tasks in the core areas of reading and writing.  Assistive technology can help our students overcome barriers by increasing their access to the curriculum and help them be more successful and independent in the classroom.  The selection of assistive technology to support students in the curriculum can sometimes be a daunting task for an IEP team.  In this training, participants will learn about a variety of tools and strategies to help support their students in the areas of reading and writing.  Many of the tools are free or low cost and easily accessible in a variety of settings.  There will be demonstrations and plenty of opportunities for questions.  Information will be given on how to acquire these tools and where to go for support when needed.

10:30-11:45 am

There is so much more to AAC than core words and “I want”.  The purpose of communication is human connection.  We want our students to share new information so we can learn new things about them.  Authentic communication can happen through story telling.  Real or imagined, storytelling is a way for a child to use a variety of vocabulary words with many different language functions, all while holding the attention of a communication partner.  Come see how this is set up for AAC users with direct touch, eye gaze and switch access.  Watch video on how it can be altered for preschool, elementary and secondary students.  Meet your language goals around asking and answering questions, giving opinions, commenting, expressing feelings, acceptance/rejection, and creating novel messages.  Reading and writing goals can also be meet through this implementation strategy.  Once upon a time…there was a whole new way to look at AAC.

This session looks at the use of assistive technology in both classrooms and workplaces.  Too often, there is a sense of dread in how assistive technology will fit into these locations as well as how they can be implemented.  Workplace managers, therapists, and educators face an overwhelming sense of lack of knowledge when it comes to what devices will be most appropriate.  Both classrooms and the workplace also face the issue of generalized views of technology as a “Fix-all” solution.  We will look at the most relevant categories of assistive technology like AAC, Accessibility, Reading, Sensory Needs, and Vision in these environments as well as the devices which are most often recommended for specific individuals.  Research and anecdotal case studies will be reviewed to provide a foundation from which the participants can then begin to build greater accessibility.  Various types of assistive technology will be part of a hands-on demonstration in order to give participants a pragmatic understanding of how the devices can best be used.  There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution available to our individuals.  The major purpose of this session is to create an awareness and an deeper understanding of what is available and what is already working.  Myths and facts surrounding assistive technology will also be addressed as a way of strengthening the knowledge base of those having to make decisions to assistive technology implementation.

1:00-2:15 pm

The presentation focuses on how Workability/UCPSA provides a sequence of services, following a member’s progress from beginning to end such as identifying career interests, learning how to work in a job, navigating adulthood, understanding soft skills, embracing self – advocacy, exploring leadership opportunities, and being independent.  This includes evidence based employment curricula, exploring and integrating internships and entrepreneurship practices, collaborating and connecting with transition specialists in high school settings, building relationships with community programs, conducting outreach to potential employers, customizing employment, and sharing success stories and videos of WorkAbility members.

What knowledge/skills will participants gain from the session?
• Describe how to connect and collaborate with high schools providing seamless transitions and supports to youth learning about employment, such as Pre-Employment Transition Services (PRE-ETS) and Transition to Employment (TTE)
• Describe how to provide “hands on” opportunities for transition age youth that are similar to real work experiences, such as internships and entrepreneurships. Mock interviews and informational interviews
• Identify how WorkAbility VR and DDD contracts and services
• Identify how to build non – traditional community relationships that may open the door to future employment opportunities for transition age youth and adults with developmental disabilities
• Identify key elements to successful retention – what worked? How did we get there?
• Inspire ideas by sharing success stories of WorkAbility members during their employment journey

Many bright students struggle academically because of weak executive functions – the mental processes required to manage oneself and one’s resources to achieve goals.  These include the ability to get started, stay focused, organize, plan, manage time, recall information, multitask, and self-regulate.  Lacking such productivity skills, students may be mischaracterized as lazy, unmotivated, or not working to potential.

This updated version of the popular workshop will provide an overview of how technology, when coupled with thoughtful strategies, can support students with executive functioning deficits and help them build important life-long skills in different executive function domains:

• Focus (direct and sustain attention, manage distractions)
• Organization (materials, information, and ideas)
• Working Memory (manipulate mental information, retrieve from memory)
• Planning and Prioritizing (set goals, develop plans, balance priorities)
• Activation and Persistence (get started, sustain effort through completion)
• Metacognition (monitoring and analyzing one’s actions and thinking)
• Cognitive Flexibility (change perspective, adapt approach to fit circumstances)
• Self-Regulation (control impulses and emotions, respond appropriately)

2:30-3:45 pm

This presentation will focus on the subject of employment development. White Otter Goggles, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist at Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Pocatello, Idaho Area, along with Ramona Medicine Horse, SBVR Director at Shoshone-Bannock Tribes at Fort Hall, Idaho will share their experience developing employment opportunities in rural settings, as well as engaging the state and holding a collaborative job fair.

This session dives deep into how to teach choice making skills to students, covering both theory and practice. We begin with an overview of the skill of choice making, including the components that go into it and important factors to successfully promote these skills.

We then outline a detailed, step-by-step roadmap of how to progressively develop choice making skills by breaking it down into small, achievable steps. The roadmap begins with very early cause and effect responses and progresses all the way to making complex choices from multiple on-screen, abstract options.

As we follow this progression, we consider how to implement appropriate practice opportunities at each stage, considering a variety of methods to cover a wide range of individual needs based on both physical and cognitive skills. We discuss an assortment of Assistive Technology devices and ways that they can be employed to make and communicate choices. The devices include: real world items; picture cards; switch communicators; environmental control units (using switches, iPads, and eye gaze); adapted toys (using switches, iPads, and eye gaze); AAC devices; fixed content, accessible software; and personalizable framework software. This section covers a range of both physical and cognitive ability levels; individual need and level of ability will determine which device is best for the user and how it can best be used to meet different goals. This section considers how different devices can be used in different ways to best meet individualized communication needs and abilities.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

9:00-10:15 am

Did you realize that accommodations in K-12 education is different than what students receive once they graduate? Do you know why? Are you or the young adults you work with prepared to seek accommodations after graduation? If you answered no to any of these questions, join me to learn more about the differences in accommodation rights after high school. You will learn about how accommodations change once the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is no longer involved. Individuals with disabilities do not lose their rights after high school, but what they have access to, might. Life after IDEA still has protections through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Learn some of the differences between IDEA and ADA.

AT programs experience the most benefit when administrators work closely with AT leaders to make change. For example, AT Leaders can help administrators understand the AT program by sharing data about the placement of students who use AT and the purpose for their AT use; discussing goals and activities of administrators and AT leaderes with the intention of identifying specific ways that they can support each other in leading AT services in the district; helping identify places within the educational system where collaboration with other departments or other parts of the agency may be needed. With a focus on activities to improve leadership, management, supervision, program development, and advocacy, we will discuss ideas and strategies to improve communication and collaboration between administrators and AT leaders. Our overall goal is the improvement of AT services through sharing of ideas and responsibilities. Participants will be encouraged to share their own ideas and experiences of successful collaboration between administrators and AT leaders.

10:30-11:45 am

Clinical and practical assessment considerations will be discussed across access methods, along with implications for teaching and common adjustments to increase effectiveness in access and overall communication. The relationship between motor actions and language learning is reviewed in context with how someone with physical or multiple disabilities becomes an effective, proficient communicator with AAC technology.

Unsure how to support your students with high-incidence disabilities in understanding and prioritizing their post-secondary AT needs? This session will review two major topics and discuss how they overlap; AT and transition planning. The steps to the transition planning process will be reviewed, and the definition of AT will be shared. Discover strategies that will prepare you for the challenge of both identifying appropriate AT for the post-secondary environments and how the transition planning process can support the student in learning how to use the AT tool. Hypothetical examples of AT will be presented, and connections will be made to the various post-secondary environments (employment, education/training, and independent living).

The inclusion of AT on an IEP is oftentimes left for students with low-incidence disabilities; however, this session will share the details of a study that reveals the importance of also considering AT for students with high-incidence disabilities. The conversation may challenge your philosophy about AT but will nonetheless empower you to further develop your professional practices. To complement this conversation, we will be sharing and reviewing several resources that will support you in implementing the strategies provided (including but not limited to AzTAP Lending Library and ADE AT Short Term Library). As the topic of resources arises we will also explain how Vocational Rehabilitation could potentially supplement a PEA’s efforts and responsibilities as they pertain to supporting the student in identifying and acquiring AT for the post-secondary environments. Presenters will also elaborate on support available through ADE and its AT Specialist team, including training options and the various formats in which technical assistance could be provided. Join us in this interactive workshop to learn where assistive technology and transition planning intersect and increase your knowledge regarding available resources that could support the transition.

1:00-2:15 pm

In December 2018, a traumatic incident occurred in which a woman with intellectual disabilities who had been raped by a staff member, gave birth to a baby at Hacienda HealthCare. Since then, a whirlwind of activities have transpired to better protect Arizona’s population of vulnerable adults from sexual abuse and exploitation. What have we learned since then to better empower and serve survivors in our state – and to prevent such incidents from happening in the first place? How can the systems of disability services, victim and family assistance, victim service providers, criminal justice, and medical care improve to handle this type of abuse?  What efforts are currently underway? This session’s attendees will hear from leaders of Arizona’s Sexual Violence & I/DD Response Collaborative. They will discuss how the state’s sexual abuse system and community-based programs currently operates for victims with disabilities, possible solutions to improve the system and support survivor wellbeing, understanding the importance of healthy relationships education for people with I/DD, and hearing different perspectives from stakeholders passionate about ending sexual violence in Arizona.

Individuals with disabilities struggle with the thought of returning to work. Many do not realize that benefits do not end; actually, they just shift. There are numerous work incentives that can assist individuals achieve financial wellness and independent living. This presentation breaks the barriers to employment by discussing the untapped resources that can support your decision to take that first step. It will include much needed information regarding Social Security rules, Social Security benefits, healthcare, and employment. We will provide information on how you can gain free access a Community Work Incentives Coordinator that will work with you one-on one to ensure that you are taking advantage of all the resources that are available without compromising your health benefits.

2:30-3:45 pm

This session will present information on Tempe’s BEST – Building Employment Supports and Training. The presentation will detail how Tempe is changing municipal culture in the workforce through Developmental Disabilities (DD) cultural and linguistic competency training and hiring to:
•Modify recruitment practices and policies to increase employment outreach to employee individuals with DD;
•Change hiring procedures and policies to direct and increase employment opportunities;
•Share the Tempe’s BEST Program model and experience to influence other municipalities and businesses to adopt inclusive hiring practices.
Tempe’s BEST’s main goal is to increase employment for workers with Developmental Disabilities (DD).

Participants will be able to:
•Learn the conceptual framework and implementation of Cultural and Linguistic Competency as it applies in a municipal employment setting.
•Understand the barriers to employment and various strategies used to overcome them in a municipal environment.
•Receive information on the Tempe Employee Disability Culture Survey, and how the data has been used.
•Explore the strategies that helped Tempe’s BEST municipal model succeed.
•Understand the value and engagement that community partners lend to hiring success.

I will start my presentation off by showing some respected search engines where people can utilize various filters to identify apps that have been found successful in working with students with disabilities on various domains. These search engines are not only time saving, but also provide feedback and reviews from other professionals in the field as to their effectiveness. In my presentation I will go through a list of apps and cloud technology, demonstrating how they work and providing context with real-life examples of how I have seen them in action. Many students with disabilities benefit from the utilization of technology to enhance instruction, reinforce instruction, or be the platform of instruction. Everyone will walk away with apps or cloud technology that they can utilize to support their student across of variety of domains.
The apps and cloud technology explored will show how to support curriculum adaptations, social skills training, behavioral needs, and organizational skills. Often students require “more or different” in order to be successful. Many of these resources will do just that, provide something more and different to support the curriculum. Many will also be time-saving. Often teachers are having to create the differentiated instruction that they will be using for students. There will be many sites that already have created resources for teachers to use.
At the end of the presentation, the participants will have a list of resources to access to support curriculum adaptations, social skills training, behavioral needs, and organizational skills. I will demonstrate the use of many of them and share stories of successful implementation.