2011-12 IOTI grants funded: Let the training begin!

July 27, 2011 by cpehrson

Nine training grants have been funded for 2011-2012 by the Interagency Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI), an initiative that is intended to improve the lives of people with disabilities by supporting training for consumers and agency personnel.

Three of the IOTI grants were awarded to CPD staff members.

Since 1995, the CPD has coordinated the funding which comes from the Utah State Legislature for training in Utah.  IOTI has funded more than 100 projects conducted by over 30 public and private agencies and organizations through the years.

IOTI training grants funded for this upcoming year include the following:

Guardianship Training- for families with children who have special needs and the professionals and educators who support them to help them understand the process of obtaining guardianship.

ABC’s of Autism (CPD project)-training for families of young children in Utah with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Autism Training-for parents of children with sensory processing problems and providers working with these children.

Justice, Equity, and Access (CPD project)-training for people with disabilities, law enforcement and legal advocates on preventing violence and increasing justice, equity, and access for people with disabilities.

AT Training (CPD project)-for assistive technology specialists at the Centers for Independent Living Centers, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, DSPD staff, and Area Agency on Aging staff.

IDEA Part C/Part B Transition Training-for parents/families of young children with disabilities and developmental delays being served in Early Intervention programs, EI professionals, special educators, administrators, etc.

Provider Education Training-for mental health providers and state agencies who work directly with individuals with severe and persistent mental disabilities/brain disorders.

Family Preservation Training-for families and care givers of people with disabilities to assist them in meeting the stress associated with supporting people with developmental disabilities.

Supported Employment Training-web-based training for community rehabilitation providers, secondary transition teachers, and parents.


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Reminder: Web Accessibility Training in March

February 15, 2011 by cpehrson

WebAIM is holding a two-day Web Accessibility training on March 2-3, 2011 in Logan, Utah for those who want to ensure that their web site is completely accessible.

The training is geared primarily for web developers, however web administrators, content providers, and instructors will also benefit.

This training session will teach everything from basic web accessibility principles to advanced accessibility techniques.  It will cover everything needed to make sure a web site meets legal guidelines and international standards.

Participants should have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of HTML and web development techniques. No prior web accessibility knowledge is required.

Registration is limited to ensure you get individualized attention. Register early on the WebAIM web site.

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CPD Legacy Story: Rena Vanzo

September 22, 2010 by cpehrson

This CPD Legacy Story is from Rena Vanzo, MS, LCGC.  Rena was a student in the 2009-2010 Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevopmental Disabilities Program-Autism Spectrum Disorders (URLEND/ASD) program.

The URLEND program is a multi-state collaborative CPD program that provides training to advanced standing trainees in health care and prepares them to become leaders in the Maternal and Child Health Care field.  The URLEND/ASD program offers additional training in the area of autism.

Rena Vanzo

My name is Rena Vanzo and I am a genetic counselor who works at the University of Utah in the Department of Pediatrics. Genetic counseling is a communication process which deals with the problems associated with the occurrence, or risk of occurrence, of a genetic condition in a family. This process involves helping the individual and family to understand the medical facts, the course of the condition, and the treatment/management options; to understand what other relatives may be at risk; and to make the best possible adjustment and most informed choices regarding the diagnosis. Specifically, I work in the Metabolic Clinic, where we care for children with diagnoses from newborn screening and also in the Pediatric Genetics Clinic, where individuals with medical and/or developmental problems are assessed for the possibility of a genetic condition.

I decided to apply for the URLEND program this year (2009-2010) to familiarize myself with local resources that could best serve my patients and their families. I was certainly able to accomplish that goal. For example, during the training, I learned about a local social skills group for teens with autism or autistic spectrum disorders, the Craniofacial Clinic and its various multidisciplinary providers, and the Newborn Followup Program for premature infants, to name a few. I plan to offer these resources to the families I work with that would benefit from them.  I also know, now, what to tell those families to look forward to and expect if they go to these programs.

While this was my main goal in taking the URLEND training, I had no idea about all of the other valuable experiences that were in store for me.

After completing a year of URLEND, I have no doubt improved in my abilities as a genetic counselor. Throughout the year I was introduced to many tools that can improve patient satisfaction, and ideally patient quality of life. For instance, one clinic uses a patient questionnaire to address sensitive topics like insurance coverage and depression for parents, and teasing/bullying for teenagers. I plan to use these questionnaires to help bridge the gap from avoiding these topics to bringing them into the light so families can get assistance, as needed.

I also became aware of very important issues that exist in our healthcare system, such as disparities for those with disabilities, which need to be recognized and corrected. Additionally, ideas such as person-first language and family-centered care while appreciating patient individuality and autonomy were focus points, which reinforces themes that underlie the principles of genetic counseling.

Another important activity that came through URLEND was providing a presentation on Genetics and Prenatal Care at the South Main Clinic, which primarily serves Spanish-speaking families. This presentation really turned into a discussion with about 10-12 women who have children with a genetic condition. This gave me a unique, invaluable opportunity to learn what information my patients seek most during their appointments with a genetics professional, and, perhaps most importantly, the areas and topics about which they need to be reassured.

I was also involved in the Autism Enhancement portion of URLEND, which allowed me to become comfortable and knowledgeable discussing the complexities of autism and answering parent’s questions. I was also personally able to educate my fellow URLEND trainees on a rare cause of autism.  My goal has been to spread the word about this particular cause of autism (called cerebral creatine deficiency syndromes) as patients are followed, managed, and to a large extent, treated in the Metabolic Clinic. I am currently working on a publication with the hopes of spreading awareness for this treatable condition. All in all, I am more confident to capable of taking on tasks (such as publication!) that were unbelievably intimidating before my experience with URLEND.

These are just a few of the varied and incredible experiences that I have gained over the past year in URLEND. It is a fantastic multidisciplinary program, and I would recommend this to any healthcare professional who works with children and families with disabilities, whether that professional is new or practiced in their career.

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CPD project aids eBay accessibility efforts

September 15, 2010 by admin

By Jared Smith, Associate Director of WebAIM

As part of eBay’s accessibility initiative, WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind), a project at the Center for Persons with Disabilities, has provided customized web accessibility training to eBay staff. WebAIM’s involvement in eBay’s company-wide accessibility training program has resulted in a more accessible buying and selling experience, thus enhancing the e-commerce opportunities for people with disabilities.

Read more about it on the WebAIM blog.

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Supporting families through training

September 8, 2010 by cpehrson

The Allies with Families is a nonprofit organization that offers practical support and resources for parents and their children with emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs. Allies provides critical resources, advocacy and training for the benefit and wellness of  children and their families.

Through an IOTI funded grant, Allies with Families is offering a free educational training series called From Hope to Recovery for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with mental health needs.

This six-week program covers issues such as:  The impact of mental illness on the family, sibling support, crisis planning, school services, communication and wellness strategies give real-life, practical tools and resources to help children and families, and more…

Along with the training series for families, Allies is offering Sibshops, workshops for brothers and sisters (ages 7-13) of a child with mental health challenges and other special needs. Sibshops support siblings and helps them to deal with the impact of having a child with special needs in their family.

For more information about these trainings, go to the Allies with Families website.

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