Articles and Events

Governor Edwards Proclaims October “Disability Employment Awareness Month”

Gov. John Bel Edwards proclaimed October as “Disability Employment Awareness Month” in Louisiana. In collaboration with Louisiana Workforce Commission and Families Helping Families, the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs will be traveling the state on an Employment First Tour, beginning October 10 in Lafayette. This is an opportunity for the office to host roundtable discussions regarding the integrated, competitive employment for people with disabilities. See the video message from Louisiana Governor Edwards for National Disability Employment Awareness Month:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OceKZBLC4UM.

“Disability Employment Awareness Month is a great way to emphasize the importance of the contributions of persons with disabilities in moving Louisiana forward,” said Gov. Edwards. “Our businesses and communities can greatly benefit from the integrated, competitive employment of persons with disabilities.” To illustrate the benefits and commitment to having an inclusive work culture, various activities are being held throughout Louisiana.

Employment First Roundtables will be held on the following dates:

  • October 10       8:00am        Lafayette                  Heymann Convention Center, 1373 College Road
  • October 12     12:00pm        Lake Charles            Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive
  • October 13     10:00am        Monroe                    Public Safety Center, 1810 Martin Luther King Jr Drive
  • October 16     12:15pm        New Orleans            Xavier University, 1 Drexel Drive
  • October 20     10:00am        Covington                Northshore Pastoral Center, 4465 Hwy 190 E Service Road
  • October 24     10:00am        Gray                         Terrebonne Parish Library, 4130 W Park Avenue
  • October 27     10:00am        Pineville                   Main Street Community Center, 708 Main Street
  • October 31     12:15pm        Shreveport               Wyndham Garden Inn, 1419 East 70th Street

A calendar for the Diversity Job fairs being held across the state can be found here.  Also, the topic for GOV Talks this month will be Employment First, and it will be held in the Press Room of the 4th floor of Louisiana’s State Capitol on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, at 11 am. To RSVP please email Jolan.Jolivette@la.govFor more information, click here.

Supported Employment: Core Refresher Training and CESP Exam

LSU Human Development Center (HDC) is offering a one-day training:
Supported Employment CORE Refresher Class
Thursday, October 12
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
LSU HDC, 411 South Prieur St, Room #452, New Orleans

This training offers a review of the fundamentals of Supported Employment (covered in the 40 Hour Core Class)
and includes a Certificate for 5.0 Hours of Continuing Education.
It is offered to assist those taking the CESP Exam to held November 8th in Baton Rouge.
To register, see HDC’s Employment Website under 5.0 Hour SE Training Dates

CESP Exam

The Employment Support Professional Certification (CESP) Exam is hosted by Louisiana APSE and Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council (LaDDC):
Wednesday, November 8th
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
East Baton Rouge Parish Library
Main Branch Room 102
7711 Goodwood Boulevard, Baton Rouge

Click Here to Apply for the CESP
Note the CESP Registration Deadline for Baton Rouge is October 24.
The fee to take the exam is $159; however LaDDC will cover $50 of the exam cost for the first 10 applicants. (See Registration Form for details.)

About the CESP: The Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) is the first national certification program for Employment Support Professions.
To learn more about the CESP, watch the CESP Informational Webinar or visit the website Preparing for CESP Exam.

For Employment Support Professionals, CESP certification has the following benefits:

  • Increases your marketing edge with employers and businesses
  • Assures the public and consumers of your commitment to best practices

Validates your commitment to ethical and safety standards

For more information about either the training or the CESP exam, email lstazi@lsuhsc.edu

WHEN:

Nutrition Is for Everyone October 2017

The Louisiana project will have four inclusive Cooking Matters courses underway during the month of October. One course is being hosted by an Arc of Metairie, and Arc staff have been trained to act as instructors. A second course is being hosted by Helping Hands of New Orleans, a home care agency that will teach the nutrition and culinary lessons to their staff and clients side by side. Staff and clients will learn how to not only improve their own nutrition behaviors individually but will learn how to work together to ensure clients are part of the cooking- and nutrition-related decision-making processes in their homes. A third course will be offered in partnership with the LSUHSC Department of Family Medicine and will be taught by trained medical students enrolled in a nutrition elective course. Students will learn how to engage in real-world nutrition counseling with community members, both with and without disabilities. Finally, a fourth class will be offered in partnership with the Louisiana UCEDD’s Pay Check program, a transition program for young adults with disabilities. Pay Check students will enroll in the Cooking Matters classes alongside their peers at the community college they attend.

The Louisiana project also provided Second Harvest Food Bank with informational materials related to disability and food insecurity to be provided to state policymakers at their presentation on debunking myths around food bank use at the end of September. The materials highlighted research that shows that people with disabilities and their families are at greater risk of economic hardship and therefore greater risk for periods of food insecurity. The Louisiana project is also exploring ways to advocate for improved Complete Streets policies in the New Orleans area in order to ensure people with disabilities are able to access health and nutrition-related resources.

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Introduction to Braille Course Offered This Fall 2017

October 19 – December 14
Thursday evenings, 6:00 to 7:30 PM
University of New Orleans, Oliver St. Pe Center/TRAC Building
(Classes will be offered at no cost)

Do you have a family member who is a braille reader or thinking about becoming a braille reader in the future?

  • Are you an educator or para-educator who will be working with a student with a visual disability who may use braille in daily living or educational activities?
  • Or are you someone who has been curious to understand what “those dots” mean on braille signage on elevators, restrooms, and offices?

The Louisiana Deafblind Project at LSU Health-New Orleans Human Development Center in collaboration with the UNO Training, Resource, and Assistive-technology Center (TRAC) is offering an Introduction to Braille course this fall at no cost.

The course is designed to give families and other individuals who are sighted a basic understanding of reading and writing braille to support braille readers in gaining independence and sharing in the joys of reading and writing. Learn how to write brief personal notes, adapt greeting cards, make braille labels for identifying items, understand the use of braille signage in public places, and adapt playing cards and games.

Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at the University of New Orleans in the Oliver St. Pe Center/TRAC Building. (See the Contact Us link at www.uno.edu/trac for a map and directions.) Classes will meet weekly on Thursdays starting October 19 through December 14, 2017 (except for November 23). Additional resources, reference materials, and outside of class practice activities will be available online.

If you are interested in attending but unable to attend these face-to-face classes, note in the “Note” field your interest for attending future face-to-face classes or distance-learning options. For more information, contact: Rose Angelocci at range3@lsuhsc.edu or 504-556-7519.

Space is limited. Click here to register.

Introduction to American Sign Language and Deaf Culture Course Offered This Fall 2017

October 17 – November 9
Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 4:45 to 6:00 PM
LSU Health New Orleans, Human Development Center
(Classes will be offered at no cost)

  • Have you always been curious about American Sign Language?
  • Would you like to learn how to better work with your Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients or patients?

The Louisiana Deafblind Project at LSU Health-New Orleans Human Development Center is offering an Introduction to American Sign Language course this fall at no cost.

You will learn how to introduce yourself, how to ask some basic questions, and receptive skills to understand another person’s introduction. You will also learn how to work effectively with a sign language interpreter, and best practices to become a more culturally competent provider for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4:45 to 6:00 PM at the LSU Human Development Center. Classes starting October 17 through November 9, 2017.

Click here to register.

Registration Open for LASARD Natchitoches Workshop for High School Educators and Family Members

Breaking Barriers and Building Connections: Social Skills for Life

Individuals on the autism spectrum experience social challenges. Developing social interaction skills is a critical need – an important piece of a student’s individual education plan that is crucial to student success in school, at home, and in the community. Teaching and supporting social interaction skills may seem somewhat overwhelming. Where do I begin? What do I teach? How do I teach it? Where do I teach it? This workshop, geared to high school professionals and family members, will provide you with how-tos for evaluating, supporting, and teaching social interaction skills in school, home, and community settings.

This workshop will be held on November 8, 2017 at the Natchitoches Events Center, 750 Second Street, Natchitoches, LA 71457. Registration will be from 8:30 to 9:00, and the workshop will run from 9:00 to 3:00 with a break for lunch. The workshop is free and open to anyone interested until all seats are taken. CEUs will be provided.

 

WHEN: Wednesday, November 08, 2017, 8:30 AM–3:00 PM

WHERE: Natchitoches Events Center, Natchitoches, Louisiana

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Registration Open for LASARD New Orleans Workshop for High School Educators and Family Members

Breaking Barriers and Building Connections: Social Skills for Life

Individuals on the autism spectrum experience social challenges. Developing social interaction skills is a critical need – an important piece of a student’s individual education plan that is crucial to student success in school, at home, and in the community. Teaching and supporting social interaction skills may seem somewhat overwhelming. Where do I begin? What do I teach? How do I teach it? Where do I teach it? This workshop, geared to high school professionals and family members, will provide you with how-tos for evaluating, supporting, and teaching social interaction skills in school, home, and community settings.

This workshop will be held on November 2, 2017 at the LSUHSC Human Development Center, 411 S. Prieur St., New Orleans, LA 70112. Registration will be from 8:30 to 9:00, and the workshop will run from 9:00 to 3:00 with a break for lunch on your own. The workshop is free and open to anyone interested until all seats are taken. CEUs will be provided. Parking information will be sent prior to the event.

WHEN: Thursday, November 02, 2017, 8:30 AM–3:00 PM

WHERE: LSUHSC Human Development Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Connections 2017 held August 25-26

It was a busy summer for the LA Deafblind Project staff and the Collaborative for Students with Unique Communication Needs faculty preparing for the Connections 2017 conference. The Connections conference was held on August 25 & 26 at the LSUHSC Human Development Center. Over 115 participants attended the conference and represented a variety of professional disciplines. The conference not only offered professional learning opportunities, but, also offered time for professionals to hear directly from a panel of students and families regarding their needs and successes. Shanna Mortensen-Dewsnup kicked off the conference and shared a parent’s personal journey of accepting her child’s diagnosis. We also heard from her very successful and talented son, Brendon Sorensen in both the keynote address and on the consumer panel. Barbara Purvis, former lead on early intervention at NCDB, discussed best practices for early intervention for infants and toddlers with multiple disabilities. The Collaborative faculty and expert co-presenters from the field presented on various topics including; implementing Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Auditory Verbal Therapy, genetics of hearing loss, environmental accommodations for children with hearing loss, assistive technology for people with vision impairments, and writing communication plans. ASL interpreters operating in school settings also heard from Denise Crochet and Alice Jo Brown regarding best practices. Thanks to the planning committee, presenters, consumer panelists, exhibitors, and attendees for a successful and informative conference. Links to copies of the PowerPoints, Handouts and Video Recordings of the sessions can be found here.

LASARD Webinar: Self Management Strategies = Increased Positive Behavior

Problem Solving Wheel: What can I do?You are teaching a math lesson. Most of your students are actively engaged and working as instructed…except for one student who is out of her seat, walking around, talking to peers. You find yourself interrupting your lesson again and again to redirect. This is a common scenario in many classrooms. This webinar will define what self-management is, describe the rationale for using it as a proactive strategy for increasing positive behavior and a greater level of independence, and outline a step by step approach for developing an implementation plan.

Help ScaleOn Task Off Task

This webinar is geared toward educators that may be new to teaching students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), family members seeking more information about self-management strategies, or seasoned educators looking to refine their skills.

WHEN: Thursday, September 21, 2017, 2:30–3:30 PM

WHERE: Live online via Adobe Connect

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER