Louisiana School for the Deaf and Special School District Outreach Services

Louisiana School for the Deaf Outreach and Early Childhood eagle logo

The Louisiana School for the Deaf and Special School District Outreach team provides FREE support for staff and families working with Deaf and hard of hearing children. They will come to you (virtually or in-person) and help you maximize your district, school, and classroom settings for access to your students. See the attachment for services provided. Fill out the intake form to set up a time or contact statewide outreach director of Deaf education, Dr. Natalie Delgado, for immediate questions and needs at ndelgado@lsdvi.org.

HDC Spotlight: Carmel Polk, MS, CESP

As a Transition Specialist, Carmel Polk helps PAY Check participants transition to life after high school by teaching them community and work-related skills that are crucial for independent life. PAY Check’s mission to nurture young people’s abilities for full community participation is what attracted Carmel to the position.

It is important that we ensure students have the tools and skills to live independently in society. We want young people to be the best version of themselves in every capacity.

– Carmel Polk, MS, CESP
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NDEAM Poster Now Available

In their latest weekly newsletter, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) released the official poster for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) 2021. NDEAM is held each October to commemorate the contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. This year’s theme is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” and is available for download in English and Spanish. The poster conveys the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs (GODA) Annual Conference

Governor's Office of Disability Affairs 2021 Conference Flyer

The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs (GODA) will host its annual conference virtually via Zoom during the week of July 26 – 29, 2021.  This year’s conference will span four (4) days, and will feature breakout sessions pertaining to accessibility, education, employment, healthcare, voting, emergency preparedness, self-determination, leadership, advocacy, interactions with law enforcement, and more. Several representatives from HDC will be presenting at the conference including Stuart Simon and Sue Killam. Click Here for the conference schedule and links to the presenters’ bios and websites. The GODA Conference is presented free of charge and is open to the public.

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U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee Defends Support System

people doing swim race

The 26-year-old DeafBlind swimmer and six-time Paralympic medalist Becca Meyers withdrew from Team USA on Tuesday because she was denied the opportunity to bring a personal care assistant with her to Tokyo during the pandemic. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic committee said that Meyers was restricted from bringing her mother with her by the Japanese government and Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.

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HDC’s West South Central Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WSC WIPA) Project

The Social Security Administration (SSA) awarded the Human Development Center (HDC) another five-year grant to operate a Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project. This new grant expands HDC’s service area to include 33 Louisiana parishes and 21 Texas counties, which are colored purple in the map below.

Map of 21 Texas counties and 33 Louisiana parishes served by WSC WIPA.
The purple counties/parishes indicate WSC WIPA’s service area.
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Competitive, Integrated Employment Funding and Flexibilities Fact Sheet

A new fact sheet, “Recent Funding Opportunities to Expand Access to Competitive, Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities,” from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) highlights new funding and flexibilities for increasing access to Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) for youth and adults with disabilities. These new funding opportunities and flexibilities are provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) and Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 (FCAA), as well as through the work of multiple federal agencies.

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Louisiana LEND in the news: 2020 LEND graduate Sara Lass leads initiative to support infant development

Sara Lass uses toy monkey to play with baby in Children’s Hospital Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

The capstone project for 2020 LEND graduate, Sara Lass, BSN, RN, is featured in Children Hospital New Orleans’ Nursing Annual Report. Lass addresses developmental delays in patients at Children’s Hospital Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) through her project “Supporting Infant Development in the CICU After Congenital Heart Repair: A Nursing-Led Initiative.”

“Development is delayed in most patients due to their hospitalization,” said Lass, who recognized a limited use of supportive modalities and equipment for care in these infants. “All high risk patients are referred to the early developmental intervention program Early Steps upon discharge. However, it was noted that valuable opportunities necessary to address development in the ICU and cardiac step-down setting were not being utilized.”

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F2FC 7 Registration Open

F2FC Relationships Community

From Carol Darrah, M.S., Georgia Sensory Assistance Project:

Family 2 Family Communities (F2FC) phase 7 registration is now open!  F2FC brings together families of individuals with deaf-blindness to connect, share information and resources, and offer support to one another.  Groups meet in Zoom once per month during Sept to May.  There are 10 groups available for English-speaking families and one for Spanish-speaking families.  We also have a group just for grandparents and other extended family members.  I have attached various file formats of all flyers here and also posted them in Basecamp.

We also have a new, public-facing F2FC Facebook page, and I’m hoping that will be an easy way to spread to spread the word about F2FC.  Flyers are also posted there.  

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LADBP Celebrates DeafBlind Awareness Week

The Louisiana DeafBlind Project for Children and Youth (LADBP) is featured in Helen Keller National Center’s 2021 DeafBlind Awareness video campaign.

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