September 2019

Join Deaf Bayou on Historic Trip to Alabama

Join a historic trip to Tuscumbia & Huntsville, Alabama for the 140th Anniversary of Birthplace of Helen Keller and NASA Space Center. Arranged by the Louisiana Helen Keller DeafBlind Awareness committee.

When: Friday, June 26th, 2020 to Sunday, June 28th, 2020

Cost: Only $30.00 each to reserve a seat for a round-trip 56-passenger chartered coach bus (Limited Space – First Come, First 56 Paid)

Click here for more information on Events/Trip Iternary/Schedules

If interested, please contact Dan Arabie, chair of 2020 LA HKDBA,

FHF Exceptional Times Magazine Features PAY Check Student

Cover of Exceptional Times featuring Victor Castillo

Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans features Victor Castillo on the front page of the September 2019 issue of its monthly magazine Exceptional Times. Victor is currently in HDC’s PAY Check program and as part of the program in collaboration with Louisiana Rehabilitation Services he recently completed a two week immersion class in American Sign Language (ASL) at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. Victor’s progress in the program was being hindered because has a severe hearing impairment but never mastered ASL. As a result, his communication consisted of a mixture of some sign language but mostly gestures. Now Victor is continuing in the PAY Check program and taking classes at Delgado Community College where he wants to pursue a career in the automotive industry. To see the September issue of Exceptional Times, click here:

LASARD Featured in National Autism CARES Newsletter

Classroom full of people at HDC

HDC’s LASARD project was highlighted in the Developments Newsletter. The article describes how LASARD improves outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related disabilities by developing a pool of highly effective educators across the state.  Read the article here:

Developments is a newsletter for Autism CARES legislation grantees, published by AUCD’s Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (ITAC) in partnership with AMCHP’s State Public Health Autism Resource Center (SPHARC). Its purpose is to share news, activities, events, research, and accomplishments across grantee areas – research, training, and state implementation.

To subscribe to the Developments Newsletter, click here:

Click or Treat: Content Needs Accessibility Conference

Join the Louisiana Special School District for a day of Halloween fun and learning on October 30th, 2019!

The 2019 Click or Treat Conference will host a full day of presentation on assistive technologies that support curriculum accessibility for a variety of diverse learners, including those who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing and those who are blind or visually impaired.

HDC’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Program

HDC’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Program has been extended for another five years. EHS-CCP provides free, high quality and comprehensive Early Head Start center-based child development services for more than 200 children from birth to three and their families. HDC works with community childcare agencies to educate children, and support families while also providing training, technical assistance, and resources to partner agencies and their staff. More information about the program can be found at the website for EHS-CCP.

NOEEN City Seats Evaluation

HDC has completed its evaluation study of New Orleans Early Education Network (NOEEN) City Seats Program. The Mayor of New Orleans and the New Orleans City Council allocated $750,00 for the creation of 50 new seats in quality childcare centers across the city. This program, administered by NOEEN and called City Seats, integrates comprehensive services and resources into traditional childcare settings. A summary of the 2018-2019 evaluation can be found here.

Blind Engineer Invents World’s First ‘Smart Cane’

Blind Engineer Invents World’s First ‘Smart Cane’ which uses Google Maps to help blind people navigate. This revolutionary cane called WeWalk was introduced to assist blind people in navigating their surroundings much more efficiently when they are on their own. 

Workbooks Available for Work Incentives Planning

The National Training and Data Center at Virginia Commonwealth University has created two workbooks to help you build your knowledge about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) work incentives and Title II disability benefit work incentives. 

1.    The SSI Workbook ( includes 18 scenario-based activities.  For each activity you will complete an SSI calculation worksheet and answer a few related questions.

2.    The Title II Disability Workbook ( includes 17 scenario-based activities.  For most of these activities, you will complete a Trial Work Period and Extended Period of Eligibility chart and answer a few related questions. 

These activities provide you an opportunity to practice applying work incentives. The answer key for each activity is provided at the end of the workbook. 

2019 LaDDC Conference

Registration is now open for the Council’s biennial conference on Monday, November 18th at the Baton Rouge Marriott: “Navigating the System Across the Lifespan.” This one-day conference will feature:
– Continental breakfast
– A keynote address on creating a meaningful life from author, speaker, parent advocate, and former Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council Chairperson, Katherine Carol.
– Three different topic tracks to follow: Childhood, Adulthood, and/or Supports
– “Lunch and Learn” with a panel of advocates facilitated by keynote speaker Katherine Carol

Click here to register!

Employment First Trainings Added


40-Hour Employment First Core Training

LSU Human Development Center (HDC) in collaboration with Louisiana Association of Persons Supporting Employment First (LA-APSE) has upcoming training classes scheduled in New Orleans, Alexandria, and Baton Rouge!

  • October 22-24, 2019 in New Orleans at LSU HDC 411 South Prieur Street
  • December 10-12, 2019 in Alexandria, LA at TBD
  • January 28-30, 2020 in Baton Rouge at UpLIFTD 1979 Beaumont Avenue

One day 5.0 Hour training classes for Continuing Education are also being offered.

See the LSU HDC Employment Initiatives Website for more information and to register   

Louisiana APSE logo
Louisiana Association of Persons Supporting Employment First