January 2021 Meeting Agenda

DUE TO COVID-19 WE WILL BE HOLDING THE MEETING ENTIRELY ON THE ZOOM PLATFORM

 Please note that the ZOOM meeting link will be the same for the entire 2020-21 school year.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://aiu3.zoom.us/j/99112011232

Meeting ID: 991 1201 1232

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Meeting ID: 991 1201 1232
Find your local number: https://aiu3.zoom.us/u/ab29Syg5SL

Document: 

Special Education Scholarship Availability, Resources for Veterans

Robert Morris

In this issue:

  • Thank you! Special Education Conference Success
  • Did you know about the Trees Scholarship?  
  • Supporting Students With Intensive Needs 
  • Resources for Educators and Families 

Special Education Conference Success!

Though we weren't able to come together physically, on Monday, October 12, more than 200 educators from across Pennsylvania gathered on-line to participate in RMU's inaugural special education conference, presented by the Education Department and the department's Trees Network. Sessions included presentations on engaging parents and students virtually, trauma informed care, equity in special education and much more. Participating educators were able to earn continuing education credit. Save the date for our next conference, Monday, October 11, 2021! 
 

Trees Scholarship Students  

Did you know the Trees Network provides scholarships to first-year students studying special education at Robert Morris University? Trees scholarship students provide services to families and participate in experiential learning opportunities. 

This semester's students have worked with assistive technology, creating visual schedules and communication boards for local students, helped produce the first annual Trees Network special education conference and so much more!

The RMU Trees Network Student Scholarship is a highly competitive $5,000/year scholarship available to full-time freshmen students pursuing special education teacher certification. Scholars will dedicate 10 hours a week per semester to the Trees Network.

This scholarship is renewable for up to four years provided the student maintains a 3.25 GPA, maintains full-time status, and demonstrates satisfactory performance to the RMU Trees Network.

Interested applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • achieved a high school cumulative GPA greater than 3.50
  • demonstrate a strong desire to work with students with intellectual disabilities and their families
  • been accepted to RMU and placed a deposit
  • not a recipient of any other half or full scholarship (i.e. honors, WLMP, or athletic)

Applications are due by February 15th. For information on the Trees Scholarship or other education programs, contact Dr. Vicki Donne. 

Supporting Students With Intensive Needs 

During Spring 2020, educators quickly adapted to providing interventions and collecting data virtually despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents were critical partners in supporting opportunities for students with intensive needs to practice and receive feedback and sharing what was working and when changes are needed. During Fall 2020, educators are providing virtual, in-person, and hybrid intervention with an ongoing need to engage with and support parents and families. While the context and environment may have changed, the focus on providing high-quality interventions with validated practices, monitoring student progress, and adapting and intensifying supports based on student data continues to be applicable across virtual, in-person, or hybrid models.

Click on the header to find resources from the National Center for Intensive Intervention organized by topic area. Many of these resources were developed by educators participating in a community of practice in spring 2020. They include example lessons, implementation videos, tip sheets, and data collection strategies.  ​

Robert Morris University salutes our veterans. For ADA-related information relevant to those who have served, click here. 
 

Resources for Educators & Families 

 

OSEP Guidance for Early Intervention 
RMU Trees Network Resource Database
Post-Secondary Transition Planning Guide  
Building Engagement With Distance Learning
PAttan: Family Resources for Complex Learners
Protecting Student Privacy and Advancing Digital Equity
 

Copyright © 2020 Robert Morris University Dept of Education, All rights reserved.
 

October 2020 Meeting Agenda

DUE TO COVID-19 WE WILL BE HOLDING THE MEETING ENTIRELY ON THE ZOOM PLATFORM

 Please note that the ZOOM meeting link will be the same for the entire 2020-21 school year.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://aiu3.zoom.us/j/99112011232

Meeting ID: 991 1201 1232

One tap mobile
+19292056099,,99112011232# US (New York)
+13017158592,,99112011232# US (Germantown)

Dial by your location
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 991 1201 1232
Find your local number: https://aiu3.zoom.us/u/ab29Syg5SL

Document: 

PaTTAN Training Announcement - Person Driven Planning for Life after High School - Meeting the Needs of All

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education is pleased to announce the following training opportunity

Person Driven Planning for Life after High School – Meeting the Needs of All
Youth engagement in transition planning is critical to ensuring that students have a voice in the development of their IEP and take an active role in their career development and post-secondary goal planning process. Person Driven Planning (PDP) grew out of a commitment to inclusion as a social goal. Intentionally designed as an inclusive process, PDP is an attempt to ensure that individuals take charge of their plans. This webinar series will explore Person Driven Planning, tools for engaging in the practice, the importance of benefits counseling in the plan development, and promising practices in Pennsylvania.

Why Person Driven Planning? Not About Us Without Us
October 27, 2020 (2:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
Person Driven Planning is based on ensuring that individuals with disabilities not only have a voice in, but also take charge of their own transition planning. During this webinar, components of Person Driven Planning will be discussed. Conversations about why it is so critical to implement for students with disabilities of transition age will also be shared.

Tools for Person Driven Planning
December 15, 2020 (2:00 PM - 3:00 PM)
There are many different tools that can be used in Person Driven Planning. This webinar will review several different tools for IEP teams to consider, including: Life Course Tools; Making Action Plans (MAPS); Planning for Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH); and Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education, and Work (ReNEW). Each tool will be described by a person trained in its use. Presenters will share their experiences and field questions from participants.

Benefits Counseling – Key to the Plan
February 16, 2021 (2:00 PM - 3:00 PM)
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers disability benefits for more than 8.5 million people. Depending on the type of benefits, payments may go to qualifying family members of the disabled person. Webinar participants will learn about the social security eligibility factors, basic information on how to apply for social security, and the information and documents needed to complete the application. Although the SSA offices are currently closed to the public, questions can be answered by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting our site www.ssa.gov.

Empowering Youth in PA - Resources for Self-Determination and Self-Advocacy
April 20, 2021 (2:00 PM - 3:00 PM)
Self-determination and self-advocacy are more than just buzz words; they are critical to post-school success. During this webinar evidenced-based practices and resources for youth, families, and stakeholders to increase youth-centered practices through the introduction of the Transition Discoveries Youth Development Toolkit.

REGISTRATION
Please register online by visiting the PaTTAN website at www.pattan.net.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar, including the Zoom link.

No continuing education credit (Act 48) will be offered. Certificates of Attendance will be available 30 days after each event.

CONTACT INFORMATION
For questions regarding registration, contact:
PaTTAN Pittsburgh – Paula Quinn, pquinn@pattanpgh.net, 412-826-6880

For questions regarding content, contact:
PaTTAN Pittsburgh – Hillary Mangis, hmangis@pattanpgh.net, 412-826-6878

September 2020 Meeting Agenda

DUE TO COVID-19 WE WILL BE HOLDING THE MEETING ENTIRELY ON THE ZOOM PLATFORM

 Please note that the ZOOM meeting link will be the same for the entire 2020-21 school year.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://aiu3.zoom.us/j/99112011232

Meeting ID: 991 1201 1232

One tap mobile
+19292056099,,99112011232# US (New York)
+13017158592,,99112011232# US (Germantown)

Dial by your location
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 991 1201 1232
Find your local number: https://aiu3.zoom.us/u/ab29Syg5SL

Document: 

Institute on Disabilities Newsletter - Summer 2020

From Temple University Institute on Disabilities.

NEWSLETTER

The Institute on Disabilities
at Temple University

Issue 1
Summer 2020

Hello…and Welcome!

Welcome to the first quarterly newsletter for the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, College of Education. Our goal is to keep our friends and colleagues up to date with what is happening at the Institute and pass on any important information for and about people with disabilities, their families and those who support them.

We hope that you enjoy the newsletter.

Sign up to join our contact list and let us know what you’d like to read about in future. Click on this link to our form.

Institute Adapts During COVID-19

Continuing and Improving its Work for and with People with Disabilities

Beginning on March 17, 2020 the Institute began to conduct all work remotely, in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our existing programs adapted, and in response to needs, we introduced new programs and provided important resources.

Here are some highlights:

  • The Institute created and maintained a list of resources focusing on sites for guidance, information, assistance and personal well-being.
  • TechOWL - Technology for Our Whole Lives, the Assistive Technology program of the Institute, launched a new program called Connect With Tech which collects used devices such as iPads, tablets and smart phones, and ships to Pennsylvanians with disabilities who use them for communication, especially during quarantine. Read more about Connect With Tech.
  • 7th Annual Disability and Change Symposium – Combating Implicit Bias: Employment This annual event is a one-day, interdisciplinary conference focusing on cultural equity and disability. Originally scheduled as an in-person event for March, we had to re-envision and transform it into an online mini-course, available at any time. To date, more than 5000 people have accessed the course modules. Read more on the Disability and Change Symposium webpage.

A complete story about how the Institute responded to the COVID-19 crisis is available on the news section of our website: Institute Adapts during COVID-19

Institute Names Interim Executive Director

On March 7, 2020, Sally Gould-Taylor, PhD began her tenure as Interim Executive Director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, College of Education. Having served as both the Associate Director of the Institute and as its Director of Research and Evaluation, Dr. Gould-Taylor is uniquely qualified to guide the Institute into a new era.
 
During the transition, Sally is working closely with the Dean and Deputy Dean of the College of Education on all decisions concerning the Institute's operations and is leading the Institute through this important change.
Sally holds a PhD in Urban Education with a focus on Anthropology of Education. Her work builds from community driven Participatory Action Research in diverse fields of human services, disability and education. Additionally, she has taught at Temple University for ten years.
"I am looking forward to working with the Institute's dedicated staff, and our University and community partners, to sustain the extraordinary work we have accomplished over the past four decades," Sally said. "We will continue to build on our shared vision where ALL people are respected and lead self-determined lives."

Sally’s predecessor, Celia S. Feinstein, announced in September 2019 that she would be stepping down as Executive Director, but remaining at the Institute to manage several key projects. (Read Celia’s announcement)

Policy Spotlight

Hospital “no visitor” policies cannot discriminate against people with disabilities

Pennsylvania policy  

On April 27, 2020, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, issued a revised, statewide hospital visitor policy. As a member of the PA Coalition for Inclusive Community, the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, joined other Pennsylvania disability organizations to raise concerns about this policy because:

  • A person with an intellectual disability or significant communication need has a right to participate in decision making and communication about their care. This right must not be restricted simply because a person needs assistance from a support professional or family member, and;
  • Individuals and families needing care should not have to “hospital shop” in order to find a Pennsylvania hospital that will grant access to a support person in these situations. 

The April 27 policy left the decision as to whether a support person will be allowed to the discretion of the medical staff. Pennsylvanians with disabilities and families argued this remained inadequate for several reasons:

  • The right to cognitive, communication or other support because of a disability is protected by various anti-discrimination laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act and, in many cases, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Under these statutes, access to support is a reasonable accommodation;
  • In most instances, the medical staff charged with deciding if a support person is necessary in the hospital have no previous experience with the person and the impact of their disability.
  • Medical staff may lack any experience with disability at all.

On May 23, 2020, the PA statewide visitor policy was revised to include a statement to ensure compliance with state and federal laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a result, Pennsylvanians with disabilities may bring a support person into the hospital if needed. 

What is the current policy in Pennsylvania?

Read about the current policy on this PA Department of Health webpage: Guidance on Hospitals' Responses To COVID-19

Federal policy

On June 9, 2020, the Federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services announced a resolution on hospital visitor policies. This Resolution was a response to a federal complaint filed by the Center for Public Representation alleging that strict “no visitor” policies discriminate against people with disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

What are some key points of the Resolution?

  • People with disabilities must be allowed a support professional or family member to accompany them in the hospital as a reasonable accommodation.
  • Hospitals must take steps to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission to support professionals or family support who need to enter the hospital with a person with a disability to ensure equal access to healthcare and/or effective communication. 

Where can I learn more?

You can read the full text of the press release and Resolution here: Federal Civil Rights Resolution Makes Clear Hospital Visitor Policies Nationwide Must Accommodate Patients with Disabilities During COVID-19 Pandemic
 

New Initiatives:
Communicating and Collecting

COVID-19 Vocabulary Board 

Early on during the quarantine, the TechOWL team created a core vocabulary board with icons added in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Vocabulary boards are generally used by people who are unable to communicate in a traditional manner. The board can be used to communicate health issues, food needs, fears and wants. It is available for download online, and a limited number of printed and laminated ones are available. Learn more: COVID-19 vocabulary board.

Story Collecting and Disseminating

Collecting and disseminating stories of people with disabilities and their families is always important, but during the COVID-19 crisis, it is essential. We need to understand the impact that this crisis has on people with disabilities to how to best manage through future events.

  • The Institute's Media Arts & Culture (MAC) program was awarded a short-term grant by the Independence Public Media Foundation to collect stories about living with disability in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. The Institute will assemble a cohort of community partners who can elicit stories from people who represent the intersectionality of the disability community. The stories will live on the Institute's website and excerpts will be shared on social media. Independence Public Media will also share the stories with media outlets across the region in an effort to increase awareness and support advocacy efforts.
  • The Institute is partnering with Short Edition to collect stories from people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During this time of social distancing, the strategy of the story collection had to change. Writing professionals will work with people with disabilities to compose narratives, poems and even drawings. The stories will be added to, and dispensed by, a story kiosk in center city Philadelphia. The story kiosk has been adapted to accommodate touchless interaction and will be moved throughout the city in the coming months.
  • The Institute’s Person Directed Services (PDS) project has collected stories about using PDS—how users feel about it; success stories, challenges, etc. Stories, photos and videos are on the Institute website and are actively shared on social media.  Find the stories on our website: Person Directed Services: Stories
  • Finally, the Institute created a unique social media campaign – #SaluteYourSupports – that provides an opportunity for people with disabilities to recognize their support professionals who continue to be active partners even through a quarantine. These Support Service Professionals, Direct Support Professionals and Personal Care Attendants work to ensure that people with disabilities successfully accomplish the tasks of daily life.

Western Corner

The Institute’s mission extends across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and as such, we maintain a satellite office in Pittsburgh. As Western Coordinator, Guy Caruso, PhD, manages all activities in the region, in addition to his work with Pennsylvania's ODP Independent Monitoring for Quality Program.

In his role as an advocate and teacher, Guy has taken an active role in the ADA 30th Year Planning Group, hosted by the Pittsburgh-based FISA Foundation. This group has worked with the Pittsburgh Port Authority to facilitate the wrapping of two city buses with the ADA logo in recognition of the anniversary. In addition, Guy is a part of the Western PA Disability History and Action Consortium and will lead a panel discussion as part of the Disability Pride Virtual PA 2020, a 30-day recognition of the 30th anniversary of the ADA passing.

“Learning from Our History: Living Beyond the Wall of the Institution” will address three films, two of which Guy and the Institute played a major role in producing.

“From Wrongs to Rights,” which explores Western Pennsylvania advocacy that exposed issues in the Commonwealth’s institutions and “Valuing Lives: Wolf Wolfensberger and the Principle of Normalization” which profiles the academic who influenced disability policy and practice through his development of normalization and social role validation.

CONTACT US
Email: IOD@temple.edu                    Tel: 215-204-1356

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
College of Education
1755 N. 13th Street  Student Center 411S
Philadelphia, PA 19122   








Capitol Insider: Your Action Needed!

From The Arc:

The Arc's Public Policy  |  Action Center  |  Donate

It's Time for the Senate to Act!

#WeAreEssential:

Tell Congress to Include the Disability Community in COVID-19 Relief Bills

TAKE ACTION NOW


Major Events Ahead

Senate Action Needed on Developing A Fourth Coronavirus Package

The Senate must act to pass legislation that includes the critical needs of people with disabilities, their families, and the direct support professional (DSP) workforce in a new coronavirus package. In May, the House passed its fourth coronavirus package, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R.6800), with a vote of 208-199. The Senate will begin negotiations on their fourth coronavirus package when it returns from recess on July 20.

The Arc's priorities for the fourth package include:

  • Increased federal funding for home and community based services (HCBS) under Medicaid
  • Increased access to personal protective equipment (PPE) for DSPs
  • Expanded eligibility for economic impact payments to adult dependents and another round of payments
  • Paid leave eligibility for family caregivers of adults with disabilities, including siblings and grandparents

See The Arc’s July 7 update here. We urge you to contact your Senators here.


Major Recent Events

House Subcommittee Approves FY 2021 L-HHS-Ed Funding Bill

On July 7, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS-ED) approved its funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2021. Most of The Arc’s priority programs received level funding or small increases. Programs receiving significant increases include Lifespan Respite Care Act (63.7%), State Grants to Remove Barriers to Voting (13.4%), and Special Olympics Education Programs (24.5%). Funding levels for The Arc’s priority programs can be found here. The full committee will mark up the bill on July 13.

House Subcommittee Approves FY 2021 T-HUD Funding Bill

On July 8, the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, Urban Development, and Related Agencies approved its funding bill for FY 2021. The bill includes $227 million for Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities, $310 million for Section 811 mainstream vouchers, and an increase in funding for several other affordable housing priorities. Additionally, the bill would prevent some discriminatory actions that would hurt access to affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities and other protected categories. A summary of the bill can be found here. The full committee will mark up the bill on July 14.


Announcements

Report Shows Most States Are Not Meeting IDEA Obligations

The U.S. Department of Education found that only 21 states deserved the “meets requirements” designation with regard to Part B for the 2018-2019 school year. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia were placed into the “needs assistance” category. Two states were placed in the “needs intervention” category. The findings come from an annual mandatory assessment of state compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The ratings are based on how well states meet their obligations to serve students with disabilities ages 3 to 21.

GAO Releases Report of School Shootings

On July 9, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “Characteristics of School Shootings." As mentioned in the report, the Commission on School Safety recommended rescission of the Education Department’s “Rethink School Discipline” guidance. The report found no empirical research examining the relationship between school discipline and school shootings.

Week of July 13 Is National Disability Voter Registration Week

This week is National Disability Voter Registration Week. The Arc has developed resources in plain language and Spanish including a disability voter guide and other resources. Learn more about exercising your right to vote at https://thearc.org/vote/ and https://www.aapd.com/advocacy/voting/.


The Arc

For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.

The Arc of the United States

1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20006





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