Location: Room 107

Project Update: Elevating Refugee Perspectives about Access to Disability Services in Arizona

There is significant linguistic and cultural diversity within the population of refugees with disabilities in Arizona. In this panel discussion, we will identify the specific challenges in service access for refugees with disabilities in our state. Panel members are collaborating with the Sonoran Center in the project titled, Elevating Refugee Perspectives about Access to Disability Services in Arizona.

Key Learning Outcomes

Attendees at this session will be able to:

1. Identify 3 barriers to disability service provision for refugees with disabilities in Arizona
2. Describe resources available for refugees with disabilities in Arizona
3. Use the information and resources provided to create linkages for refugees with disabilities.

Presentation Materials

AAC Implementation Playground

Given the advancements in and increased access to technology, a wide variety of AAC solutions are available. Although hardware and software are ever changing, the need for quality therapeutic support remains constant. Speaking is the major mode of expression in a typical classroom. Students use speech to answer questions, to ask questions, to share information, to socially interact with peers. Many literacy skills are learned and evaluated through verbal modalities. The language learning activities within a classroom, as well as the routine opportunities to interact, are the most natural conditions for a student who uses an AAC system/device to learn. The challenge for the educational team is how to integrate classroom activities so that the student is able to learn academic skills, participate in conversational

Key Learning Outcomes

1) Learn to use Chat Editor to create a variety of visual supports for Word Power
2) Use PASS software to create manual communication boards
3) Will modify three games from the new AAC Language Lab to use with students on different language levels and language systems
4) Learn to use new AI technologies ChatGPT and DALL-E to enhance your therapy sessions

Potential second session with Access Playground
1) Learn to use and adjust eye tracking settings to participate in a therapy activity
2) Learn to use and adjust head tracking settings to
3) Learn to use assistive touch is iOS to adjust alternative access settings for a user

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Public Policy and Disability Advocacy

Public policy related to disability services is influenced by a range of factors. Among the most important is the role of advocacy and self-advocacy – yet for many people the notion of taking part in advocacy activities is either mysterious, misunderstood, intimidating, or downright terrifying. This session will offer a straightforward understanding of advocacy and self-advocacy, explain the difference between advocating and lobbying, provide examples of how advocates from all walks of life have contributed to significant policy improvements for the disability community, and address the fundamental right and responsibility for advocates to make their voices heard.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain a broad understanding of past and present public policy advocacy/self-advocacy focused on individuals with disabilities.
2. Participants will expand their knowledge of a range of effective public policy advocacy/self-advocacy methods.
3. Participants will increase their level of comfort and expertise in acting as disability policy advocates/self-advocates in the future.

Presentation Materials

Neurodiversity 101: How to Get Started on Your Neurodiversity Journey

For those who are new to the Neurodiversity movement, there can be a lot that feels unfamiliar and different from what many of us were taught in our professional training. This course aims to provide a framework of the movement, basic concepts to understand, and questions to reflect on to prompt meaningful change into our work as therapists. The work of being a neurodivergence affirming therapist cannot be accomplished in a single course; it is a life-long commitment. This session will challenge participants to reflect on their perceptions of disability, and their roles in supporting the Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent populations we serve. Participants will leave with foundational knowledge, and questions to guide themselves to learn more about this important and critical human rights movement.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will be able to define and apply vocabulary terms relevant to the neurodiversity movement.
2. Participants will identify the guiding principles of the neurodiversity movement.
3. Participants will identify characteristics of neurodiversity affirming therapy and goals.

Special Considerations for Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities

Adolescence is a challenging time for many youth and those with developmental disabilities face even greater challenges. Sexual maturation, decision making, risk mitigation, substance use experimentation and growing independence may test the youth and their parents. Anticipatory guidance for parenting youth will be emphasized in addition to preventive efforts to encourage improved decision making and prevention of harmful behaviors. Youth with developmental disabilities may have issues of impulse control, self esteem and sexual curiosity similar to their peers. However, peer pressure can place them at higher risk for exploitation and substance use disorders. This program will address adolescent sexuality (Dr Copeland) and substance use issues (Dr Dekker) concentrating on positive interventions and signs of risk. Parental anticipatory guidance and progressive independence to improve decision making and development of adult activities with responsible and safer outcomes will be discussed.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will understand, describe, demonstrate an understanding of adolescent development and it relation to sexual decision making and substance use exposure

2. Participants will understand, describe, demonstrate cognizance of ongoing communication in adolescence and physical and emotional maturation in youth with developmental disabilities.

Presentation Materials

ADES/RSA and AHCCCS Interagency Service Agreement (ISA) Overview

In this presentation, Vocational Rehabilitation Behavioral Health Coordinator and Employment Administrator with the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) , will present The Interagency Service Agreement between the Arizona Department of Economic Security (“ADES”) and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (“AHCCCS”). Presenters will discuss the history and purpose of the Agreement. Presenters will also discuss the guiding philosophy for the ISA to include best practices in supported employment. The audience will learn how social determinants of health impact employment and mental health as well as the benefits of employment on mental health.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. History and Purpose of the ISA
2. Collaboration between DES/RSA and AHCCCS
3. Best Practices in Supported Employment
4. Benefits of employment on Mental Health

Presentation Materials

Best Practices to Supporting Individuals with IDD in Achieving Competitive Employment: The VR-DDD Partnership

We invite you to attend a collaborative presentation with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). This presentation will discuss the importance of work for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), along with the valuable collaborative services (such as supported employment) that we know are effective tools in helping people with IDD in successfully achieving competitive employment. We will provide information on both agencies, including topics such as: how to refer to/request services, eligibility requirements, the important steps to participate in services, and what kinds of services might be available. This session is appropriate for families, educators, service providers, agency staff and anyone else who wants to learn how to support people with IDD with achieving employment.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will learn how to access VR and DDD services, and how each system works.
2. Participants will learn how VR and DDD collaborate to best support mutual participants in achieving competitive employment.
3. Participants will learn about important services from both agencies which support people with IDD in achieving and maintaining competitive employment.

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