Welcome to the LSU Human Development Center

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Who Are We?

The Human Development Center (HDC) was established in 1974 and became a University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Education, Research and Service (UCEDD) in 1984. HDC is a member of AUCD , a national network of 67 UCEDD programs.

The Mission of the Human Development Center (HDC) is to provide leadership and innovation in interdisciplinary education, community service, research, and to disseminate information to strengthen and increase the capacity of local communities to support and include individuals with [developmental] disabilities and their families in all aspects of life in the community.

Association of University Centers on Disabilities, AUCD, News and Updates
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LSU Health Sciences Center Human Development Center

1900 Gravier Room 1035
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
(504) 556-7585
Fax:(504) 556-7574

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People with disabilities talk about the importance of Disability Employment Awareness

Click here to watch Katherine's video
Click here to watch Ashley's video
Click here to watch Troy's video

More Details Released on the New System of Supports Planned for People with DD

Do you or a family member receive supports through the waiver to assist you in living at home and accessing your community? Are you or a family member on the waiting list for waiver services? Does your child receive early intervention services through EarlySteps? If any of the above applies to you, it is important to be informed of the changes that are coming to the system of supports available to people with developmental disabilities.Click here to read the full article

Employment: the Cornerstone of Full Community Participation

Among working-age adults, most of us would likely agree that employment is a critically important part of our lives. Employment gives us a sense of purpose that comes with contributing to something bigger, offers a sense of pride in accomplishment, and for many of us, it is an important part of our identity. Working provides opportunities for social interaction, chances to learn and grow, and exposure to new people and new places. And, of course, it provides income through a paycheck.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to find and enjoy meaningful work. This includes older adults and people with disabilities. When everyone – including people who experience the most difficult barriers to employment -- has the chance to contribute, we all benefit Click here to read the full article

Upcoming Training & Events

ABA Strategies in the Classroom Part 1: Prompting

The principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) are frequently mentioned when referring to educating students with ASD. One of the key components of ABA is prompting, which refers to a specific level of help given to students to assist them in performing a skill. Participants in this workgroup will learn the different levels of prompting, explore how to determine the appropriate prompting level, and discuss how to decrease prompt dependence.

October 28, 2014 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.


ABA Strategies in the Classroom Part 2: Reinforcement

In addition to prompting, reinforcement is another important component of ABA to incorporate in instruction when teaching new skills. Participants will learn how to assess reinforcers, explore schedules of reinforcers, and examine when to change reinforcers.

November 4, 2014 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.


Writing and Implementing Performance-Based IEPs in a Common Core World (and More)

This presentation will address “establishing minimum performance requirements,” link CCSS to CBM's singe rich task, and support the use of a few, scientifically-sound basic skills indicators as the basis for writing IEP goals and powerful progress monitoring practices. Additionally, this workshop presentation will show how CBM's single rich tasks can be used for seamless, basic skills assessments in a multi-tier RtI model for universal screening and frequent progress monitoring, and operationalizing identification of specific learning disabilities (SLD).

November 14, 2014 | Time: 9AM – 12PM

Supported Employment 40 Hour CORE Training Certificate

Alexandria - September 9, 11, 20, and October 1

15 hour Supported Employment Trainings Statewide:

Managing SE Programs
Job Developer Clinic
SSA Benefits and Work Incentives
Assessment Clinic


Join people with disabilities, state officials, advocates and employers at a press conference to kick off National Disability Employment Awareness Month in Louisiana.

Click here for more information

Waiver Recipients Now Eligible for Bayou Health

On July 1st the state expanded eligibility for Bayou Health to allow people on the New Opportunities Waiver (NOW), Community Choices Waiver (CCW), Supports Waiver, and Children’s Choice Waiver, to enroll if they choose. Recipients who have both Medicare and Medicaid cannot enroll.

Bayou Health is Louisiana’s Medicaid health services program for primary and acute health care. It is different from traditional Medicaid in that health plans are managed by private companies. Bayou Health enrollees choose one of five health plans to receive services:

  • Amerigroup
  • Community Health
  • AmeriHealth
  • Louisiana Healthcare Connections
  • United Healthcare

What are some of the benefits of enrolling in Bayou Health?

  • Additional health services such as doctor visits. The traditional Medicaid program caps doctor visits for adults at 12 per year.
  • Rewards for successfully meeting certain outcomes such as getting regular checkups

What are some of the risks of enrolling in Bayou Health?

  • Doctors, hospitals and other providers in Bayou Health may be different from those in traditional Medicaid. If you want to keep your doctors, it’s important to first confirm that they are all enrolled in the plan you want to join.
  • Each health plan covers different prescription drugs and has different prior authorization procedures. Contact Bayou Health to verify drug coverage and prior authorization procedures for the plan you want to join.

It’s important to note that at any time after joining Bayou Health, waiver recipients can return to traditional Medicaid if they are not satisfied with their new plan.
Eligible individuals should have received a packet of information from Bayou Health including this letter. Individuals are encouraged to thoroughly read the information provided and contact Bayou Health with any questions or concerns.

Deadline for Partners applicants is approaching

The Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council needs your help. The deadline to apply for the 2015 class of Partners in Policymaking is Tuesday, September 30th. We need help recruiting applicants as there will not be a Partners class next year unless the required minimum number of applications are received by this deadline. Please forward this email to individuals with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities and encourage them to apply for this wonderful opportunity.

Participants attend one weekend training session in Baton Rouge each month from January through June. Individual sessions are devoted to specific topics presented by nationally-known experts. Sessions begin Friday at 12:00 PM and conclude on Saturday at 3:00 PM. Attendance at all sessions is mandatory. Participants are expected to complete assignments between sessions and one major assignment in order to graduate in June. Lodging and meals are provided. Respite care and attendant services are reimbursed for participants who qualify.

To apply for the 2015 Partners in Policymaking class Click HERE or contact the Council at 1-800-450-8108. To be considered for the next Partners class, completed applications must be received via e-mail or fax or postmarked no later than September 30, 2014. Final selection of participants will be made by November 15, 2014. The next session begins January 2015. Specific dates and topics and more information about the Partners’ program can be found at www.laddc.org. Robbie Gray at 800-450-8108 or robbie.gray@la.gov Contact if you have any questions.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) signed into law

On July 22, 2014, President Barak Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the first legislative reform in 15 years of the public workforce system. WIOA supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 through the year 2020. This Act takes effect on July 1, 2015, unless otherwise noted. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will issue further guidance on the timeframes for implementation of these changes and proposed regulations reflecting the changes in WIOA soon after enactment. In his comments, the President stated that WIOA "will help workers, including workers with disabilities, access employment, education, job-driven training, and support services that give them the chance to advance their careers and secure the good jobs of the future."

Here is a bulleted summary of what this 300-pages of legislation means for Employment First:
Read more: http://www.doleta.gov/wioa/

Governor Bobby Jindal Announces Appointments to the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council

BATON ROUGE - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced appointments to the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council. These appointments to the Louisiana Rehabilitation Council

Sue Killam, of New Orleans, Employment Initiatives Coordinator at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – Human Development Center. Ms. Killam will be appointed to serve as a representative of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty representing themselves, as required by executive order. Other appointees include, Nanetta Magness, of Shreveport, Director of the Low Vision Rehabilitation Center for the Louisiana Association for the Blind and Nicole Walker, of Baton Rouge, Assistant Executive Director of UPLIFTD, a non-profit vocational rehabilitation organization. Click Here to read more

Autism CARES Act Passes Senate

The bipartisan, bicameral bill reauthorizes the Combating Autism Act of 2006 as amended by the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011 for five years. Since its enactment, the law has impacted thousands of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families and has significant implications for future generations. Had Congress not reauthorized the law before September 30, activities authorized under the law would have expired due to a hard sunset. The House and Senate worked together on a compromise bill that makes a few improvements to the current law. Read More

Report Faults Seattle Schools For 'Lack Of Urgency' In Serving Most Vulnerable Students

Seattle Public Schools' efforts to educate students with disabilities of all sorts are "in need of urgent, substantial and significant improvement," according to a scathing report released Tuesday, faulting district staff from the administrative offices all the way down to individual schools.
The Report itself was commissioned by the district office's special education team as part of an effort to correct, as the authors call it, "an obvious and chronic lack... of urgency" around special education — and to bring Seattle Public Schools back in the good graces of both state officials and of federal law. This study and the report that resulted were supported through a contract from ACCELIFY. A team of experts including Dr. Robert Pasternak of ACCELIFY and HDC faculty members, Drs. Alan Coulter and Jane Nell Luster and the staff of HDC’s Teams Intervening Early to Reach all Students (TIERS) delivered the report this week and are hoping to be part of the system change effort that will be required to remedy many of the issues identified in the report. To read the entire article click here.

LASARD Workgroup Development Survey 2014-2015

What topics would you like to have offered from our online workgroup series this school year? Please take our survey and let us know! We want to hear from you!Complete our survey

Excellent ADA Anniversary Video from President Obama

Saturday marked the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) -- a landmark law that transformed American society for people with disabilities. It provided for full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for those of us living with disabilities, and also provided Americans with disabilities with legal remedies to safeguard all of those rights. Click here Watch the President’s ADA anniversary message

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services will open Order of Selection groups 2 and 3 effective July 1, 2014

To read letter from LRS Director, Mark Martin View Letter

Louisiana will change the way it refers to people with disabilities

Louisiana has changed the way people with disabilities are referred to in existing laws thanks to a bill signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal Monday (June 23). The Louisiana Legislature also voted unanimously for the proposal, which will go into effect immediately. The massive 259-page bill swaps out language like "handicapped" and "disabled person" for the phrase "person with a disability" in several state statutes. Under the legislation, a person would no longer "become disabled", but would rather "acquire a disability", according to state law. References to mental retardation, an term that many people find insulting, would also be taken off the books completely.

Read More

More than 21 million US adults 18-64 years of age have a disability. These are adults with serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs; hearing; seeing; or concentrating, remembering, or making decisions. Most adults with disabilities are able to participate in physical activity, yet nearly half of them get no aerobic physical activity. Physical activity benefits all adults, whether or not they have a disability, by reducing their risk of serious chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. Only 44% of adults with disabilities who visited a doctor in the past year were told by a doctor to get physical activity. Yet adults with disabilities were 82% more likely to be physically active if their doctor recommended it.

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