Track: Innovative Practices in Disability Disciplines

DISCAPAZ: Amplifying Disability Experiences in Borderlands through Storytelling

The DISCAPAZ project centers the voices and narratives of people living with disabilities and their families living along the US-Mexico border. Using artistic and creative expression, DISCAPAZ documents, analyzes and shares stories of lived experience, highlighting the unique strengths and resilience of individuals, families and communities in the sister cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora. Multimedia inclusive arts practice is used to help individuals share their experiences in their own way through person-centered scrapbooking and digital storytelling. We will highlight participant stories, which provide an opportunity to better understand community challenges, needs and assets. This session will share our approach to community engagement and lessons learned in implementing culturally and linguistically responsive and inclusive arts-based programming and research.

Key Learning Outcomes

Attendees at this session will be able to
1. Describe some of the challenges, needs and strengths of living with disability in the Arizona-Sonora border region.
2. Describe approaches for authentically engaging with diverse communities as it intersects with disability.
3. Identify inclusive practices to engage individuals with disabilities in multimedia storytelling.

Improving Student Outcomes Through Work-Based Learning!

Research shows that when high school youth get the opportunity to participate in work-based learning experiences, they are more successful vocationally after they exit school. In this session, the Sonoran Center will share information about their Pre-ETS partnership with Arizona Vocational Rehabilitation, which focuses on developing community-based, work-based learning experiences for students, with an emphasis on those in underserved areas. Our model focuses on implementing many of the Predictors of Post School Success and Employment First practices, as a method of improving student outcomes. Our model emphasizes community work experiences, interagency collaboration and increasing parent involvement to raise expectations. We will share how we are promoting community engagement and collaboration with outside agencies, to ensure a smooth and seamless transition after exiting school.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will learn about various Predictors of Post-School success, that lead to improved outcomes.
2. Participants will learn the strategies the Sonoran Center utilizes to promote interagency collaboration for students, while they are in school.
3. Participants will learn some of the strategies utilized by Sonoran Center staff to support students during their work experience.

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.

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

Customized Employment & Discovery (Pt 2): The Journey of Discovery & How It Can Be Used to Achieve Dreams/ Ambitions

This is part 2 a two part series on Customized Employment and Discovery presented by leadership staff from Marc Gold & Associates, widely recognized for their leadership in the field. Session 2 will build off of Session 1 however participants can still opt to only attend one of the two sessions.

Part 2: The Journey of Discovery: How It Can Be Used to Achieve Dreams and Ambitions
In Part 2 participants will take a deeper dive into the principles and activities of Discovery. Presenters will provide examples of how we can look into the daily life of an individual and translate possibilities to move to employment that meets their personal goals.

Whether attending as a counselor, administrator, parent, or other role, the information and impact stories will increase your understanding of and relatability to the valuable concepts of Customized Employment and Discovery.this as a two part series on Customized Employment and Discovery.

Session 2 will build off of Session 1 however participants can still opt to only attend one of the two sessions.

Part 2: The Journey of Discovery: How It Can Be Used to Achieve Dreams and Ambitions
In Part 2 we take a deeper dive into the principles and activities of Discovery. Presenters will provide examples of how we can look into the daily life of an individual and translate possibilities to move to employment that meets their personal goals.

Whether attending as a counselor, administrator, parent, or other role, the information and impact stories will increase your understanding of and relatability to the valuable concepts of Customized Employment and Discovery.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Increased knowledge of the Elements of Customized Employment and Discovery
2. Increased understanding of the distinction between Customized Employment and the traditional Labor Market focus for job development.
3. Understand how using the Discovery perspective increases identification of employment opportunities that are consistent with the goals and ambitions of the job seeker.
4. Build skills by practicing using the Discovery approach to translate from daily routine to employment possibilities.

Presentation Materials

Letting Go of Misconceptions about Blindness to Develop Enriching, Inclusive, and Competitive Employment Opportunities

Bridging the gap between talented, capable blind job seekers and employers seeking a dynamic workforce. Preparing students to thrive in a competitive fully integrated work environment through non-visual skills training and confidence building. Taking the fear out of hiring blind employees through proven practical solutions and relationship building. Educating the community on the value and contributions that employees have when they are esteemed for what they can accomplish rather than what they can see.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Separating Fact from Fiction. The actual cost of not hiring blind people.
2. Supporting a self-determined career path that embraces unlimited possibilities. Job selection based on skills, aptitude, and interests.
3. Creating positive relationships with employers. Adding value to a team and professional network through a fully integrated workplace.

Achieving Post Secondary Success Through Pre-ETS

Secondary transition planning can offer students with disabilities opportunities to increase their likelihood of postsecondary success. One great way to accomplish this is by incorporating Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) as part of a student’s transition plan. Pre-ETS are specific career exploration and job readiness services that help students with disabilities prepare for future employment. The Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration (AZRSA) Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program offers Pre-ETS to students with disabilities statewide. This presentation will include an overview of Pre-ETS and discuss how you can support your students with disabilities in accessing these services to promote student achievement and success.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain an understanding of Pre-ETS and how students with disabilities will benefit from these services.
2. Participants will gain an understanding of how to access Pre-ETS services.
3. Participants will gain an understanding of how to use Pre-ETS to enhance transition planning and services for students with disabilities

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.

Customized Employment & Discovery (Pt 1): Introduction

This is part 1 a two part series on Customized Employment and Discovery presented by leadership staff from Marc Gold & Associates, widely recognized for their leadership in the field. Session 2 will build off of Session 1 however participants can still opt to only attend one of the two sessions.

Part 1: Introduction to Customized Employment and Discovery
In Part 1 the presenters will provide attendees with information on the foundational concepts and Essential Elements of Customized Employment and Discovery, and the distinction with traditional services.

Whether attending as a counselor, administrator, parent, or other role, the information and impact stories will increase your understanding of and relatability to the valuable concepts of Customized Employment and Discovery.this as a two part series on Customized Employment and Discovery.

Session 2 will build off of Session 1 however participants can still opt to only attend one of the two sessions.

Part 1: Introduction to Customized Employment and Discovery
In Part 1 we will provide attendees with information on the foundational concepts and Essential Elements of Customized Employment and Discovery, and the distinction with traditional services.

Whether attending as a counselor, administrator, parent, or other role, the information and impact stories will increase your understanding of and relatability to the valuable concepts of Customized Employment and Discovery.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Increased knowledge of the Elements of Customized Employment and Discovery
2. Increased understanding of the distinction between Customized Employment and the traditional Labor Market focus for job development.
3. Understand how using the Discovery perspective increases identification of employment opportunities that are consistent with the goals and ambitions of the job seeker.
4. Build skills by practicing using the Discovery approach to translate from daily routine to employment possibilities.

Presentation Materials

Sexual Violence: Increasing Awareness Through Understanding Lived Experiences

Sexual violence includes unwanted, non-consensual behaviors and language that can happen repeatedly to the same victim. It is not openly discussed, under reported, and rarely prosecuted. The “Untold Stories” research project interviewed survivors, family members, and professionals with extensive experience in the disability field. The objectives of the two-year research project were to understand the lived experiences of survivors, identify the short- and long-term impact of sexual violence on victims and families, explore how state systems address this issue, and make recommendations about risk-reduction strategies. The data can be used to increase awareness and understanding of what NPR called “the hidden epidemic.” Intended recipients for this presentation include self-advocates, employment specialists, researchers, teachers, direct support providers, legal and law enforcement staff, system administrators, and counselors/therapists.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the broad and severe impact of sexual violence on survivors and families.

2. Identify sexual violence risk reduction strategies.

3. Discuss attitudes that impede addressing the epidemic of sexual violence.

Presentation Materials

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