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DIS 200 Communication, Collaboration and Quality of Life for Persons with Disabilities

Course Description: Participants will learn the importance of collaboration among human service Providers, health care and mental health personnel, therapists, parents, schools and community-based organizations in meeting the needs of persons with disabilities in the community. Participants will learn to work as members of person-centered interdisciplinary team to design and implement programs and services that facilitate increasing autonomy, self-direction and independent living for individuals with varied physical, cognitive and emotional challenges.

4 credits

DIS 202 AT-PACE: Assistive Technology for Participation, Accommodations, Communication, and Empowerment

Course Description: Essential skills for effectively trained staff within the human services field fall generally within both content knowledge and an empathic understanding of the individual's needs. This overall awareness enables trained staff to more effectively support their clientele. Successful selection, implementation, and integration of valuable assistive technologies are premised on this foundation. Before staff can be expected to adequately serve the technological support needs of individuals, they must understand how an individual may benefit from and interact with such tools in their daily lives. This course begins with empathy training sessions and historical/cultural lectures so that students may nurture a foundation of understanding. Subsequently, students will explore medical and legal models for utilized for defining disabilities. Environmental design factors are then explored for their role in the occurrence and amplification of obstacles for individuals with disabilities. Finally, extensive investigation into Assistive Technologies serves as the core of the course, examining the value of such tools for helping people compensate or ameliorate the challenges they face in their daily lives. Course highlights: • Weekly guided empathy training sessions which expose students to alternative insights • Classroom opportunities for reflection/discussion of ideas/materials presented • Interactive lectures on current research and methods regarding all topics • Ongoing guest speakers: Working AT professionals and users of assistive technologies • Weekly exams to insure effective retention of material covered; • Google+ postings by students f(Jr generating professional dialogue and information sharing Class visits to locations where assistive technologies are employed or could be implemented

4 credits

DIS 205 Working with Mental Health Providers in the Community

Course Description: This course provides a comprehensive overview of the mental health issues people with disabilities encounter throughout their life. Students will be exposed to the process of identification, diagnosis, treatment of mental health disorders, prevention, access to services and resources by mental health providers. Students will learn how to help families and caregivers explore ways in which they can promote positive mental health in individuals with disabilities. Students will learn to provide families and caregivers with support and direction on how to access resources and services that will help enhance emotional wellbeing and full inclusion. Students will participate in fieldwork experience that will provide hands-on learning opportunities in an organization supporting people with disabilities.

4 credits

DIS 210 Positive Behavior Approaches and Inclusion Support Addressing Behavioral Challenges

Course Description: This course will provide a definition of the evolving practice of positive approaches and a comprehensive review of the effective strategies of behavior to utilize when working with people with behavioral challenges. Emphasis will be placed on proactive techniques, alternatives to aversive methods and effective approaches for both individuals and groups in a variety of settings. Students will learn to conduct a functional assessment of behavior and will learn how the information is used to develop a behavior support plan. Behavior modification, maintenance of positive behavior and how direct service personnel assist with the transference of new behavior to other environments will be explored. The principles of positive reinforcement and the interpretation of reinforcement schedules will be examined.

4 credits