Articles and Events

Nutrition Is For Everyone April 2018

Nutrition is for Everyone Louisiana (NIFE LA) project wrapped up its 8-week pilot program with Special Olympics Louisiana (SOLA) this month called the Unified Fitness Club. Each week, athletes and their families participated in a 30-mintue physical activity session and a 30-minute interactive nutrition lesson developed by the NIFE LA team. Nutrition lessons are currently being compiled into a user-friendly instructor’s manual that will be disseminated to SOLA organizations across the state. Read more…


Genetic Testing for Acadian/Cajun Families with Hearing Loss


The Louisiana Deafblind Project for Children and Youth in collaboration with the Department of Genetics, LSU School of Medicine and the Calcasieu Parish School System Special Education Department, will be providing free genetic testing in Lake Charles, Wednesday  April 11th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Approximately 40% of the students identified with deafblindness in Louisiana’s schools results from hereditary syndromes/disorders with Usher Syndrome occurring in Louisiana at a rate six times greater than elsewhere in the United States. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend.

Click here for more information.

WHEN: Saturday, April 07, 2018, 3:00–5:00 PM

WHERE: CPSB Elementary Department of Special Services, 1015 6th Avenue, Lake Charles, LA 70601

Small Victories and Hard Work Lead to PAY Check Student SUCCESS!

Jordan began his first semester with the PAY Check program in January 2018. Prior to enrolling in our pilot, Jordan was receiving instruction in a self-contained classroom with four to ten other students. When he arrived at Delgado Community College in January, he was intimidated by the Delgado workload. This was the first time Jordan had done work outside of class.

Jordan has put in the effort to step outside his comfort zone and his hard work is paying off.  Currently, Jordan is thriving in a fully-inclusive program and taking college level classes. On his most recent midterm he received a 94% and his GPA is now 3.14!  Jordan is proud of his progress and the Pay Check Specialists are all very proud to see Jordan’s growth in just a few short months.


Governor John Bel Edwards Signed State as Model Employer Executive Order

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed an Executive Order this Monday creating  the State as a Model Employer Taskforce, which will develop policies and strategies to improve within state government the rate of hiring, recruitment and retention of Louisianans with disabilities.

The State as a Model Employer Task Force will have the following duties:

  • Develop policies, strategies and services designed to achieve the seven percent employment target.
  • Establish a five-year plan with annual goals that will enable the state workforce to reach parity with the percentage of working age people with disabilities in Louisiana.
  • Provide guidance and other support to agencies and institutions of higher education of higher education on recruitment, retention, accommodation and accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Click here to read the governor’s executive order.

Over the past year the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs have held workgroups, roundtables, and other events in collaboration with diverse and varied stakeholders about Employment First, which is an initiative of stakeholders designed to address barriers to employment and improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Due to those efforts, in collaboration with diverse and varied stakeholders, Louisiana has been selected to receive Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) as a Vision Quest (VQ) State for the 2018 fiscal year under the United States Department of Labor’s, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP). This technical assistance will further the efforts to increase competitive, integrated employment outcomes for all individuals with disabilities.

Also, in the Governor’s Office, they know employing people with disabilities is great for businesses, communities, and Louisiana. If you are a person with a disability, they want to hear your story about where you work and what you do. There are so many positive employment stories which need to be shared, and we would like to publicly highlight our hard working citizens and their employers. Please go to the following link and complete the form with your information and story:

Louisiana State Parks Now Hiring Persons with Disabilities


The Louisiana Office of State Parks is currently hiring throughout Louisiana.


  • 82 seasonal openings available
  • Custodian, Groundskeeper and Front Desk
  • Personnel positions
  • Schedule: 24 hours/week throughout the summer
  • Salary: $8.50/hour

Applications are available at each state park location.

HOW TO APPLY:  For a full listing of state park locations, please visit

For more information about Louisiana Rehabilitation Services,

visit http://Louisiana Workforce Commission

March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month

The goal for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2018 is to create awareness about developmental disabilities, teach the importance of inclusion within every aspect of life, and to share the stories of individuals with a disability to show that a successful life is possible.

How to Participate:

  • Share stories, photos, and videos that expand the conversation of inclusion and disability on your social media channels using #DDawareness18
  • Search social media for #DDawareness18 and like, comment on, share, and retweet the posts from others
  • Use this schedule to help guide the topic of your posts:
    • March 1-9 (Week 1): See Me as your Classmate (share Education stories)
    • March 10-16 (Week 2): See Me as your Coworker (share Employment stories)
    • March 17-23 (Week 3): See Me as your Neighbor (share Community Living stories)
    • March 24-30 (Week 4): See Me as your Friend (share any kind of story)
  • See this resource guide for additional information and some suggestions of posts that you can share from campaign participants.
  • Additional information, including graphics; social media links for AUCD, NACDD, and NDRN; informational webinar archives; and DD Awareness Proclamations from several states are posted online at

LEND 2018-19 Applications Now Available!

We are delighted to inform you that applications are now OPEN for graduate students, family members of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD), self-advocates with ASD and other NDD, and practicing professionals to apply for LA Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training program. The LA LEND is a one-year 300+ hours interdisciplinary training program that incorporates both classroom teaching and learning by experience. It encourages people from many backgrounds to learn to work together. This is a leadership program that prepares future leaders to support and work with children with disabilities (with a focus on autism) and their families.  

For the application, please see attached. EXTENDED Due Date: Completed applications are due by April 13, 2018. If you have any additional questions about the LA LEND, you may contact Brittney Wright Peters, Training Coordinator, at

All Means All: Building Inclusive Practices in Schools


What are the post-school outcomes for students with ASD and related disabilities who were included in general education classes compared to those who were educated in self-contained settings?  This basic to intermediate level workgroup will review the research that addresses this question and share indicators of inclusive schools. Strategies will be discussed to increase inclusive practices for students with ASD and related disabilities. Participants will evaluate their own schools and determine a plan to improve access to the general education for all students.

This webinar is geared toward new and seasoned educators and family members seeking more information on the benefits of building inclusive practices in schools.


WHEN: Thursday, March 08, 2018, 2:30–3:30 PM

WHERE: Live online via Adobe Connect


Introduction to American Sign Language and Deaf Culture Course Offered This Spring 2018

March 7 – May 2
Wednesday evenings, 4:45 to 5:45 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 spring 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 Wednesday evenings from 4:45 to 5:45 PM at the LSU Human Development Center. Classes will meet weekly on Wednesdays starting March 7 through May 2, 2018.


WHEN: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 to Wednesday, May 02, 2018, 11:59 PM

WHERE: LSUHSC Human Development Center, 411 S Prieur St, New Orleans, LA 70112


Upcoming Webinar on Ticket to Work: Choosing the Service Provider That’s Right for You

On Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at 3 p.m. ET, join us for the national Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar, “Ticket to Work: Choosing the Service Provider That’s Right for You.”

WISE webinars are a great first step for people who have a disability and are ready and able to benefit from the social and financial rewards of employment, so share this event with Social Security disability beneficiaries and encourage them to attend. 

During the webinar, we’ll discuss:

  • Ticket to Work and Work Incentives;
  • The different types of service providers that are available; and
  • How to learn more and choose a service provider that’s right for you and your work goals. 

Register online today or call 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).