The Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University

Wanted: Your opinions!

September 14, 2016 by JoLynne Lyon


The CPD is seeking input from Utahns with disabilities, the professionals who work with them and their families on four key topics: transition (from early intervention to preschool; preschool to kindergarten; school to post school experiences, etc); health care for people with disabilities; mental health as it relates to disability; and employment.

This discussion will help the center’s staff refine its focus over the coming years, so they can better serve the needs of the community. That’s why your opinion matters. Participants can also enter to win a $100 gift card.

Cyndi Rowland, the CPD’s associate director, is hoping for information from a variety of communities in Utah. “We know that there are some particular issues in rural areas that might be different than in urban areas,” she said.

CPD staff members will also reach out to Spanish-speaking and refugee communities.

In hopes of reaching a broader audience, the CPD allows you to participate online and by a toll-free, call-in focus group. You can fill in the survey and participate in calls for each topic–it’s up to you.

For the online survey:


You can take this anytime from now until Wenesday, Sept. 28. The survey is broken up into the four topics, plus demographics. Each topic takes about five minutes, so depending on how many you choose to address, plus the brief three-minute demographic section, it should take between eight and 23 minutes to complete. The survey is on the CPD website.

The survey is also available in Spanish.


For the statewide call-in focus groups:

While registration is not required, it is encouraged so that moderators know who is participating. You can register, enter to win the $100 gift card, and find more information on the CPD website.  When you call in , you will need this passcode: 7200387#

Two call-in times are provided per day, per topic. Call 1-877-820-7831 at the times below to participate.

  1. Transition: Sept. 26 at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  2. Employment: Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  3. Health care: Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  4. Mental health: Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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.