September is National Deaf Awareness Month
At OCALI, we are grateful to be part of a community of people who are just as committed to inspiring change and promoting access for people with disabilities as we are. It’s what fuels our team and the work that we do every day.
As we celebrate Deaf Awareness Month in September, the Outreach Center for Deafness and Blindness at OCALI is proud to share several free resources, including:
- Promoting Access for People Who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Blind, or Visually Impaired, a free, self-paced training module designed to build confidence and comfort for anyone communicating or connecting with people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. Explore a collection of introductory information, evidence-based strategies, and scenarios at home, school, and in the community.
- MedEd Connections Resource Guide for Deaf/Hard of Hearing, designed to help families build their understanding and connect important medical and education information.
- Communications Planning Guide for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, a tool that can help facilitate meaningful discussions between teams of educational support staff, students, and families.
Throughout September, we encourage you to explore these free resources. By sharing them, you may help others understand how they can better promote access in their schools, workplaces, and communities.
- There are over 300 signed languages? September 23 is International Day of Sign Languages. Celebrate by learning to sign your name in American Sign Language.
- High-quality captioning provides access and information to over 30 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing, including young readers and individuals who are learning English as a second language? Be sure to use captions, and make sure they’re accurate.
- Something as simple as taking turns can improve access? Whether you are working face-to-face or virtually, setting up rules for how and when people communicate makes things easier for everyone.
As we continue to watch the COVID-19 pandemic evolve across the world, one thing we know for sure—the 2020-2021 school year will look different—for students, families, teachers, and administrators. Depending on the district, some, most, or even all instruction will be delivered online.
As an organization committed to promoting access and inspiring change for people with disabilities, OCALI and the Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children are partnering to support educators, education professionals, families, and others during this pandemic and in a new, remote learning environment with the creation of—InspirED Virtual Learning Series.
Our vision for this virtual learning series is to fill a need and help educators, administrators, and families find the information and resources they need to support learning and successful outcomes for their students or children during a very unique time of learning.
Initially, the learning series will consist of 15 Zoomcast sessions or recorded, facilitated conversations that are approximately 30 minutes each. Over time, additional sessions will be added to the library. All content will focus on increasing successful engagement of diverse learners in a remote/virtual instructional environment, linking users with appropriate resources and tools. Learners will have the ability to earn a professional development certificate by completing a survey at the end of each learning session.
The series will kick off with three Zoomcast sessions hosted by OCALI and Ohio Department of Education staff:
- September 24: Accessible Educational Materials (AEM): An All-Access Pass to Success
- September 29: Welcome to Homeroom! Tips for Creating a Learning Environment at Home
- October 1: Supporting Positive Behavior at School and at Home: Strategies to Reduce Interfering Behaviors, Part I
What’s New at OCALI
Virtual Assistive Technology (AT) Vendor Fair: September 29
Assistive technology (AT) are tools and supports that provide access to the curriculum and aspects of everyday life for individuals with disabilities. The AT Conference and Vendor Fair’s mission is to build capacity in the regions by providing learning opportunities about the latest assistive technology to provide access to the curriculum for individuals with disabilities. Join us for a one-day virtual event where 20+ vendors will share a variety of virtual sessions showcasing state-of-the-art assistive technology and remote learning options. Experience 1:1 vendor consultations and explore from the comfort of home. Learn more and register.
New & Updated AIM Modules
New: Motor Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Learn about the body systems which work together to give us motor contact and about typical motor development. This module also highlights some of the most common motor differences we see in individuals with autism.
Updated: Assessment for Identification
Quality assessment is the key to accurate diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. Assessment is also a foundation of a strong intervention plan. This is no quality evaluation without trained and experienced team members. Learn more in this newly updated module.
The Journey: A Free Webinar Series
To support County Boards of Developmental Disabilities in helping youth with complex needs and their families navigate the journey to and from school to adult life, the Lifespan Transitions Center at OCALI has created a free webinar series, called The Journey, designed to support topics, such as:
- Creating structure,
- Improving self-determination,
- Planning for transition, and
- Supporting literacy.
The webinars highlight different websites, videos, printable documents, and other resources. Additional webinars are planned for the following:
- September 28, 2:30-3:00 PM: Moving Toward Self-Reliance: Technology and Practice
- October 26, 2:30-3:00 PM: Transition Assessment and Transition Planning for Youth with Lifelong Needs
- November 30, 2:30-3:00 PM: Self-Determination and Youth with Complex Support Needs
OCALICON Award Nominations Due September 30
There’s still time to submit your nominations for the Margaret Burley Family Impact and Kathe Shelby Leadership Awards! Do you know someone who has done extraordinary work to support and improve outcomes for people with autism, sensory disabilities, and/or low-incidence disabilities? Don’t let them go unnoticed! Nominations are due by September 30, and can be completed online. Learn more.
Webinar: Multi-system Youth with Autism — Ohio’s System Change Efforts
Friday, September 25, 2020, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT
Youth and young adults with autism frequently experience co-occurring mental and behavioral health conditions, and are increasingly served by multiple systems in Ohio. These youth are more likely to visit an emergency department for psychiatric reasons, have more outpatient and inpatient hospital visits, primary care and psychiatric visits, health care claims, and higher health care costs than youth with other disabilities, and are at greater risk of suicide.
In this month’s webinar, the Interagency Work Group on Autism (IWGA) is joined by parent, Mark Butler, and members of the DeWine administration. Panelists include:
- LeeAnne Cornyn, Director of Children’s Initiatives, Office of the Governor
- Sarah LaTourette, Executive Director, Ohio Family and Children First
- Maureen Corcoran, Director, Ohio Department of Medicaid
Join us Friday, September 25 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM to hear about the challenges faced by Ohio’s families and efforts to make change. Register now.
Resources & Reminders from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD)
DSP Recognition Week is September 13-19. We are encouraging families to share short videos showing their appreciation for their DSPs. They can tag DODD on social media or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Transformation Summit Day 2 is September 22. Learn more and register.
Trusting the Team Process: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people with developmental disabilities and their teams have been challenged to make adjustments to the routines, services, and supports that help people live and thrive in their homes and communities. In recent weeks, those discussions have become more complex as people balance the increasing opportunities as Ohio reopens with ongoing risks of COVID-19. DODD has guidance for Trusting the Team Process in making these decisions.