The Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University

Family Faces of Disability photo album wants you!

November 2, 2012 by Sue Reeves

Help the National Council on Disability (NCD) bring its new report, “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children,” to life by submitting a photograph of your family to NCD’s new “Family Faces of Disability” photo album, to be shared on the NCD Facebook page.

With the “Family Faces of Disability” photo album, NCD is seeking photos that capture your family’s day-to-day life as a way to personalize the issues faced by parents with disabilities in the United States. For accessibility reasons, all photographs submitted to NCD’s “Family Faces of Disability” photo album MUST include a written description of what is happening in the photo. NCD retains the right to remove any photo or its accompanying description without warning, if either is deemed inappropriate.

By submitting your photograph, you grant permission to the National Council on Disability to display these photographs on NCD’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages, or future print publications.

Please send your photos and descriptions to:

View submissions to NCD’s “Family Faces of Disability” photo album on Facebook here.

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Indian Children’s Program

January 10, 2011 by JoLynne Lyon

Landscape of the desert west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, taken in the Indian Children's Program service area.

The Indian Children’s Program (ICP) has provided services to children with disabilities since 1990. It is designed to build and strengthen the capacity of the family and community to more effectively support the needs of children with disabilities.

The Center for Persons with Disabilities works with a consortium to provide consultation and technical assistance. It serves children, families, and agencies on the Navajo, Hopi, and multi Pueblo reservations in the four corners area.

The ICP model features the following characteristics:

A baby in traditional clothes and a Calvin Klein shirt plays on a blanket

Services are determined by the child’s need – where necessary, ICP interdisciplinary teams provide diagnostic assessments. Primary emphasis is on follow-up services rather than diagnosis and evaluation.

Community-based Services – parents and families choose where they want their child to be  served and where they want to receive services.

Follow-up services – follow-up focuses on providing resources and supports to build  the capacity of the family including advocacy information, individual service plans, technical assistance, and cross agency referrals.

Cultural relevance – services are culturally  appropriate and respect the dignity of the  individual, the family, and their culture.

Filling gaps in existing services–ICP services are selected to fill gaps in the existing service system and address individual needs.

Evolution of Program Focus
During its twenty year history, the Indian Children’s Program has refined its approach and the way services are provided to meet the evolving needs of individuals, families, and communities.

The shifts in focus have gone from providing maintenance and care to independence; from providing services to support; from running government-operated programs to using private providers and encouraging self advocacy; from trying to change the individual to modifying the environment. The services are to be initiated and managed by the family, and the goal is to foster independence and choice.

Photo of a Native American family. The baby is in a cradle board.

Note: This is the eighth in a series of blog posts summarizing presentations made by CPD staff members in late October and early November. They attended the 2010 conference for the Association of University Centers on Developmental Disabilities. Those of you who can stop by our building can check out the research posters in the hallway leading to the CPD’s southwest door.

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New Year, new title, new day program supervisor for CPD’s adult program

January 6, 2011 by JoLynne Lyon

Day program supervisor Dauri Bastian, right, works with BRASC participant Heidi Hill last year.

The Bear River Activity and Skill Center is now the Developmental Skills Laboratory, or DSL. Program Coordinator Drake Rasmussen said the change reflects the DSL’s relationship with Utah State University.

The DSL program is designed to support adults with relatively severe disabilities by training and maintaining the skills necessary for their greatest independence. In addition, it provides participants with activities that encourage their inclusion into the community.

Its name change underscores the program’s role as a place for research and real world experience. Students in both speech and music therapy come regularly to work with DSL participants and receive training in a real environment. The DSL is also the setting for graduate-level behavioral research.

In addition to the name change, the DSL welcomes its new day program supervisor. Dauri Bastian has worked at BRASC for three years and will now replace Suzanne Wiser.

“” I want to help each individual participant reach his or her full potential by creating a warm and inviting environment,” said Bastian. She plans to focus on social relationships and learning activities.

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Putting the autism puzzle together

December 17, 2010 by JoLynne Lyon

The ASSERT classroom provides direct services to children with ASD--and it has more potential clients than it can serve.

This month, Utah State University experts in the autism field shared ideas on studying autism, working with the families of people who have autism spectrum disorder, and preparing them for life after high school.

Those at the autism summit work on different angles of the Autism Spectrum Disorder puzzle. Some provide direct services, others train leaders and self advocates, still others conduct research on the best treatments, offer technical assistance to communities or investigate the genetics of ASD. They represented the Center for Persons with Disabilities and three departments within USU’s College of Education and Human Services.

Still, some common themes emerged. Direct service providers within the college often have many more potential clients than they can handle. Adults with autism—and many other disabilities—often struggle to transition to adult life,  find work and live independently.

Those who attended the summit also discussed challenges specific to their own fields. Among their concerns:

• Although genetic research in autism is a very active field–and many research groups claim they have autism-gene associations–only a small percentage of autism cases can firmly be associated with genes, said the CPD’s Dr. Anthony Torres.

• Trainees in the field who finish their college education are likely to enter a real world where resources are scant, especially when it comes to serving adults with disabilities. It makes educating future leaders difficult, said CPD Director Bryce Fifield. Should faculty members train students to follow advanced methods and practices that are not available in the real world, or educate them for the reality they will face when they graduate?

• Insurance companies balk at funding autism treatments in a field where evidence-based, successful approaches are just emerging.

Their conclusion: A more comprehensive approach between the many disciplines that work with ASD could help resolve these issues. The leaders within the College of Education agreed to share information across disciplines and departments to move toward that goal.

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Cache Valley families connect on Facebook

July 12, 2010 by cpehrson

Do you know about the free adaptive swimming program at the Logan Aquatic Center? You would if you were a fan of the Cache Valley Families with Disabilities Facebook page.

Are you looking for a special needs bike trailer?  How about a finding a support group for Cache Valley families who have children with disabilities?  Would you like to network with other families who are going through similar experiences as you are?

You can find all of this and more on the newest Cache Valley Facebook page called Cache Valley Families with Disabilities.

In partnership with the local Family to Family network, the Coordinated Family Support:  A Medical Home for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CFS), a CPD program, has tapped into this social networking for local families to use.

Through Facebook, these families can find out about local activities and events that are planned for children with disabilities, adaptive equipment resources, other online disability resources, and just communicate with each other about daily issues and concerns.

Take a look at this new Facebook  page and you will become an instant fan as you interact with others who are traveling the same road as you are.

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