September 2017

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.

 

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.

Connections 2017 held August 25-26

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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.

LASARD Project hosts partner school workshop in New Orleans

HDC employee Chris Champagne leads a breakout session

HDC employee Chris Champagne leads a breakout session

LASARD hosted a workshop for their partner districts and schools in the southern part of Louisiana on Friday, September 8th.  Over 60 educators and family members attended from East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, Tangipahoa Parish Schools, St. Tammany Parish Schools, Plaquemines Parish Schools, Algiers Charters, FirstLine Schools, and Collegiate Academies.  The focus of the day was on preventative behavior strategies for students with ASD.  Attendees participated in small group jigsaw sessions, demonstrations of strategies, and breakout sessions focusing on data collection.  The teams also participated in BYOP (Bring Your Own Problem) sessions in which teams presented a challenging problem and other team members brainstormed ideas to solve the problem. Participants noted they enjoyed being able to share with other teams from across the state.

Lions Cubs Learn ASL and Braille

Braille Class

The Louisiana Deafblind Project in conjunction with the Kenner and Harahan Lions Clubs offered ASL and Braille classes to Lions Cub members and their parents over eight weeks this summer. Sign language interpreter, Nicky Gillies, introduced the participants to basic sign language. Project staff, Rose Angelocci, along with Kenneth Lacho from UNO TRAC provided opportunities for participants to explore vision loss, braille, and technology used by people who are blind or visually impaired. We thank the Cubs and their parents for their participation and interest in connecting with People with disabilities in their community.

LA Deafblind Project Exhibits at Lions Health Fair

Rose and Michael at Booth

Rose and Michael at Booth

On Saturday, August 19, the Lions Eye Foundation sponsored a health fair at Lakeside Shopping Center. Attendees were given free vision screenings and information by local service providers including the Louisiana Deafblind Project. We were happy to have the Lions Cubs who participated in our summer ASL and Braille classes visit our booth. Even the Lions’ mascot also showed his support for the fair.

LA Partners in Policymaking Needs Your Help

Please read this URGENT plea from Sandee Winchell, Executive Director of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, one of HDC’s partners in advocacy. Originally it was a standalone e-mail message. You can perform the action of forwarding this e-mail by copying and pasting the text of the message.

Dear Friends of the DD Council,

Please help us recruit applicants for the 2018 Class of Partners in Policymaking.  The deadline to apply for the 2018 class is Saturday, September 30, 2017 and this deadline will not be extended.  Please forward this email to individuals with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities and encourage them to apply for this national leadership training program.

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.  Lodging and meals are provided and travel is reimbursed.  Respite and attendant services are also reimbursed for participants who qualify.

To apply for the 2018 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 email, fax or mail no later than September 30, 2017.  The next session begins January 2018.  Specific dates and topics and more information about the Partners’ program can be found HERE.  Contact Rodney Anthony at 800-450-8108 or Rodney.Anthony@la.gov if you have any questions.