The Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University

Trainees assist in parent-directed consultations

September 2, 2015 by Sue Reeves

Image of Barb Fiechtl

Barb Fiechtl

A clinical activity in the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) program allows trainees to interact with the families they are learning to serve. URLEND is an interdisciplinary post-graduate training program at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities.

“We’re trying to bring together a real interdisciplinary activity for the students,” said coordinator Barb Fiechtl, a URLEND core faculty member. “A lot of times, all they get to do is observe.”

Parent-directed consultations allow trainees to apply the knowledge and experience they’ve gained to help families of children with special health care needs.

“We’ve been doing this for 10 years,” Fiechtl said. “The first few parents were URLEND trainees themselves. We have them write a list of concerns—‘I need a ramp,’ or ‘what am I going to do about this,’ or ‘my child has no friends.’ Then we send the list of concerns out to all the trainees, who volunteer to be on the committee. The committee compiles lists of follow-up information that is needed to address the concerns. The committee has five days to research the concerns and check in with core faculty.”

The parent meeting lasts 1 1/2 to 2 hours, and occurs in a distance format with one facilitator, the parents and committee members, who present the results of their research. After the meeting, a report containing all of the information is sent to the parents.

“Since this is meant to encourage interdisciplinary cooperation, we ask for feedback from the trainees: ‘what did you learn that’s outside of your profession?’” Fiechtl said. “The trainees really like it, and the parents think it’s really valuable.”



Exchange students visit Up to 3

August 31, 2015 by Sue Reeves

Image of two students next to CPD sign.

Two occupational therapy students from South Korea spent a month with the Up to 3 program recently. They are Ha-eun Kim (Rosie, at left) and Eun Ji (Helen, at right).

Two occupational therapy students from a university in South Korea spent a month with the Up to 3 Early Intervention program at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities. The students have gone on client home visits with Up to 3 service coordinators, speech therapists, physical therapists and occupational therapists.

Ha-eun Kim (also known as Rosie) said, “This has been a very important experience to me in Up to 3.”

Almost all early intervention services in Korea are performed in a hospital setting, she said.

“There are no home visiting programs in South Korea, so I want to do that when I get back.”

She said as an occupational therapist, it would be up to her to put a team in place.

“I have to find the teacher and I have to connect with others by e-mail,” she said. “There is no place like Up to 3 to meet. It is awesome here. The core team is very good—the speech therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist and the service coordinator all work together.

Eun Ji (also known as Helen), said, “Before I came here, I didn’t know the difference between a hospital setting and a community setting. This was my first time to see home visits. Now I’m interested in community settings and home visiting.”

This was the first trip to Utah, and the United States, for both students, and they agreed on more than the concept of home visits: “Utah is beautiful, and I would like to visit again.”

AIDD unveils new rules

August 27, 2015 by Sue Reeves

AIDD_logoThe Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), the Federal agency responsible for implementation and administration of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act), has announced new rules, which went into effect on August 26, 2014. The DD Act was first passed in 1995, with the rules published in 1997.

The rules affect the Protection & Advocacy agencies, the state Developmental Disability councils and the University Centers on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs). In Utah, the P&A is the Disability Law Center and the UCEDD is Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities.

Under the new rules, the P&As were granted no new authority, but statutes were clarified that give broader access to all records and defines when consent is or is not required.

The new rules strengthen the independence of DD Councils from the states and ensures non-interference from the states. The rules also limit demonstration projects to only five years. Capacity building has been expanded from the UCEDDs to include all AIDD grantees.

The new rules clarify that each UCEDD is a free-standing entity that is a part of or associated with a university. AIDD funds can only be used by the UCEDD, not any other part of the university.


Mental health resource directory available

August 25, 2015 by Sue Reeves

Image of resource guide cover.

A free mental health resource guide is available from the Bear River Health Department and the CPD.

Mental health is a sensitive discussion topic that is frequently avoided, but a new resource may help.

A 32-page mental health resource directory is now available from the Bear River Health Department. The directory lists mental health services, crisis services, residential treatment options, support groups, hotlines and other services available in Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties, including Utah State University.

According to Jeanie Peck, the directory was the end result of an Interagency Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI) suicide-prevention grant. Peck is the grant project’s coordinator at USU’s Center for Persons with Disabilities.

“It (the grant) evolved into more than it was originally going to be,” Peck said. A suicide prevention coalition was started in January 2015, with help from Up to 3’s Layne Coyle, Emily Pugsley from BRHD and Amanda Davis from Box Elder county.

For more information, or to receive a free copy of the resource guide, contact Peck at (435) 797-2619.

See you later, alligator!

August 21, 2015 by Kelly Smith

The CPD says good-bye to Heidi Hill as she move to Phoenix, Arizona, with her parents and her cat. Heidi has been a long-time member of the Developmental Skills Laboratory family. She loves a good party and enjoyed a lively send-off from the DSL crew.

Additionally, Heidi has been a guest writer on the CPD blog since 2010, writing a monthly column that details the fun activities at the DSL. We will all miss her happy face and great wit. We hope she loves her new home!