The Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University

Dr. Matthew Wappett, CPD director candidate

August 25, 2016 by Kelly Smith

The CPD is in the process of hiring a new director, and three candidates are interviewing. Below is a presentation by Dr. Matthew Wappett to staff members and other interested personnel  who are invited to provide feedback to the hiring committee.  Evaluations and comments should address the strengths and weaknesses of this applicant based on personal interaction, review of the applicant’s vitae, and this presentation. The feedback survey can be accessed here.

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Shauna Crane appointed as TAESE Associate Director

August 11, 2016 by Kelly Smith

Shauna Crane


The Center for Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education (TAESE) announces the appointment of Shauna Crane as its new Associate Director. Crane has been part of the organization for over 30 years and brings a wealth of experience and skills to the position.

Crane began her career at the Center for Persons with Disabilities in September 1985. She was a staff member at the Mountain Plains Regional Resource Center (MPRRC), an Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education project that provided technical assistance in special education to 11 State Education Agencies in that region. During that time, she served in library services, information services, program coordination, and technical assistance.

Crane then became the program coordinator for the entire Regional Resource Center Program and has most recently served as a program coordinator for two OSEP Centers, the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR) and the Center for the Integration of IDEA Data (CIID), work she will continue following her Associate Director appointment. Crane also provides other technical assistance for a variety of TAESE projects.

TAESE is the Technical Assistance division of the CPD. The main focus and purpose of  TAESE is to provide technical assistance in special education and to build the capacity of State Departments of Education, school districts, and charter schools to better serve infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.





Food extravaganza helps picky eaters explore

July 14, 2016 by Kelly Smith

Therapist Amy Henningsen works with a child at the picnic

Special picnics for  picky eaters are just one of the fun community activities being held in July by Up to 3 to help accommodate varying summer schedules for families. According to Amy Henningsen, occupational therapist, the picnics are a fun way to encourage food exploration.

“We work on progressing in textures, from moist to dry, from smooth to rough, and we work on what kids will put on their plate or ways they will handle food. For instance, will they hold something by their mouth, will they try to blow a bugle, and then maybe they will move on to eating it,” said Henningsen.

The food extravaganza is all about engaging the children in a variety of behaviors focused on food. Activities like washing their hands, loading plates, or passing food  and utensils to others help children learn, and the activities can be a lot of fun. Finger-painting with pudding, building trains and rainbows with food, and bringing food near the nose to simulate whiskers or clown noses are just a few of the fun activities to help kids progress.

“There are a lot of steps to eating, 28 specific steps actually. Often, parents are really concerned about their kids and they are a lot further along than they think. Will they sit at the table? Will they tolerate food on their plate? Will they touch the food? It’s all part of learning,” said Henningsen. Read more about strategies to help children in food exploration and feeding development here.

The mission of the Up to 3 Early Intervention Program is to promote the development of children, under the age of 3, who have any type of disability or developmental delay and to provide services to children and families living in Cache, Box Elder, and Rich Counties. Other community activities for Up to 3 families in July include splash pad play, adaptive aquatics, miniature golf, Duck Day at Logan Canyon, and a fire station tour.

Child at the picnic Child at the picnic Child at the picnic

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Disability visibility is important this election year

July 5, 2016 by Kelly Smith

Americans with disabilities are the largest minority group in the nation. This election year, they want their voices heard and their questions answered.

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Watch the CPD demolition in one minute!

June 30, 2016 by Kelly Smith

Thanks to the talents of CPD staff member Jared Smith, you can watch the entire demolition of the CPD in one minute. One second of video is 45 minutes in real time. At :13 and :26, you can see the moon streak across the sky.