Location: Room 106

High Leverage Practices & Literacy for Students with Complex Needs

What is “functional literacy?” If we look at where we want students with complex needs to be by adulthood, what skills do we need to focus on in Kindergarten? How about all the years in between? Students with complex needs will use literacy to learn about their world, to entertain themselves and to direct their care. This session addresses High Leverage Practices in instruction including #11 Identifying learning goals, #12 Systematically designing instruction, #13 Adapting curriculum, #15 Scaffolding supports, and #16 Using explicit instruction. A focus on backwards planning for literacy from graduation to Kindergarten will be addressed.

Key Learning Outcomes

1) Identify and prioritize long and short term literacy goals.

2) Recognize the need to make strategic decisions about content coverage.

3) Explore strategies to make instruction explicit.

Educational Rights of Students with Special needs under the IDEA and 504

Provide general information regarding the education rights of students with special needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 on graduation requirements and transition services.

Key Learning Outcomes

1) Acquire knowledge of federal and state legal requirements regarding transition and graduation of students with disabilities
2) Acquire knowledge of dispute resolution options for students with disabilities
3) Learn where to find and how to use self-advocacy resources relating to these topics

Presentation Materials

Modifying Online Interactive Tools to Get More of Our Students Engaged

Teachers have been exposed to many educational learning activities and games, however many times they are difficult to access for students who are not reading and writing independently. Students with disabilities benefit from the opportunities these tools provide, but teachers must have the knowledge to tailor them to meet the needs of their students. This presentation will provide an overview of popular tools and demonstrate how the activities can be created so that students are provided with the support they need to enjoy participating.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will have an understanding of popular educational technology tools known to increase student engagement (such as Kahoot, Pear Deck, Google Slides, and EdPuzzle).
2. Participants will understand how to utilize these educational technology tools with students who are not reading and writing independently.
3. Participants will be able to access resources to create learning activities for the students they serve.

Who is An AT Specialist?  What is an AT Specialist? …

As assistive technology (AT) evolved, so did the role of the AT Specialist. Due to the depth and breadth of expertise in AT, it became essential that universities, colleges, and public schools create positions for AT Specialists. It was essential that academic programs build capacity to meet all AT needs, allowing the AT Specialist’s expertise to be utilized when their unique skill set was needed.  This presentation’s main goal is to explore methods to boost capacity throughout the academic setting by assisting staff to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to solve access problems independently.  Identifying training needs and resources, and encouraging mentorship, including practice opportunities, will promote learning. The AT Specialist can solve more than individual problems by establishing a culture of training and

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Learn how to empower educators, support staff, and parents to use AT proactively.

2. Learn how to research an AT or accessibility tool to meet a learning need.

3. Understand how to build capacity and collaboration, knowing when to call on the AT Specialist.

Finds Their Way: Communities for Native Youth Transition

In collaboration with tribal, state, and community partners, the Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities (the Sonoran Center) has created Finds Their Way: Communities for Native Youth Transition. The project addresses unique needs and challenges experienced by Native American youth with disabilities by utilizing a multifaceted and indigenous approach. The goal is to increase access for Native students with disabilities to skill development, knowledge, services, and supports to participate in long-term competitive integrated employment careers. In it’s second program year, Finds Their Way staff discuss the building of a landscape analysis, best practices, and continuing/future efforts for upcoming years.

Key Learning Outcomes

During time at the presentation, attendees will:

1) Discover benefits of a Cross Cultural Tribal Community Collaborative approach to addressing transition outcomes for Native Youth.
2) Understand the importance of a Native American-led transition to employment framework for Tribal youth responsive to culture that focuses on improving education, post-secondary, and employment outcomes; and
3) Establish a basis for creating similar project activities in individual service areas that can be effective, seamless, and sustainable transition approaches for Native American youth with disabilities at the state and local levels.

Building Self-Employment Capacity within State and American Indian Voc. Rehab. Programs

Self-employment is an important employment option for people with disabilities. VR agencies, however, close fewer cases than expected when compared to national self-employment rates among people with disabilities.  This presentation will highlight research about some reasons for low rates of self-employment closures within VR, and then shift towards showcasing two free and comprehensive online resources meant to overcome some of these barriers. The VR Self-Employment Guide (www.vrselfemploymentguide.org) was developed for VR programs and the Tribal VR Self-employment Toolkit (www.tvrselfemployment.org) was developed for American Indian/Alaska Native VR programs.  Both resources include 8 chapters and multiple worksheets to assess consumer readiness, business feasibility, and business planning. Participants will receive a tour of the VR Self-Employment Guide and consider how it might support their work with consumers.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Attendees will identify barriers to self-employment within their own programs.

2. Attendees will become acquainted with two free online resources to assist consumers in self-employment exploration and business planning.

3. Attendees will learn how to conduct consumer readiness and business feasibility exercises to help consumers evaluate if self-employment is a good choice for them.

Setting the Bar High in College: A Student Panel

Individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities may decide to attend college for many reasons. However, abundant research has shown these individuals are frequently not given the level of support needed for college transition. Students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities do earn meaningful college credentials when given enough support, which can lead to integrated career opportunities. “Setting the bar high”, or supporting the development of organizational, time management, and goal setting skills, can greatly improve outcomes for these college students. Attendees of this presentation will hear the voices of college students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who attend college in Northern Arizona. Students will share their insights regarding success in higher education and describe how “setting the bar high” has enabled them to reach their goals.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will understand the SIP-C program, its mission, its distinct zones across Northern Arizona, and the support services provided to students in each zone.
2. Participants will recognize the unique experiences of students with I/DD navigating college transition, including the barriers they face and their personal successes, to increase awareness and visibility of disability voices in higher education institutions
3. Participants will identify the benefits of post-secondary transition for students with I/DD, specifically in their development of self-advocacy, self-determination, autonomy, and independent living skills

Presentation Materials

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