The Center on Disabilities and Human Development
June 2017                                                                             Monthly  Newsletter
June was a busy month for CDHD! Projects coordinated conferences and staff presented and supported partner events. All CDHD projects have been busy wrapping up end of year reporting and we look forward to sharing our Annual Report in the next couple of months.
Partnerships at Work
Idaho's Developmental Disabilities (DD) Network - Disability Rights Idaho
By Ryan Locke
Disability Rights Idaho (DRI) is a designated Protection and Advocacy Organization (P&A) for the state of Idaho. Every state and territory in the United States is required by federal law to have a protection and advocacy system. DRI is a private nonprofit organization, founded in 1977, funded by federal grants and provides free legal and advocacy services to people with disabilities to help protect their rights. DRI is the third member of the Idaho DD Network, along with the Idaho DD Council and the CDHD. DRI collaborates with the other organizations on various projects.

DRI employs both attorneys and non-attorney advocates.  Attorneys do the legal work at DRI, they provide legal representation, participate on committees and task forces, and  legal consultation to DRI's non-attorney advocates, as well as to private attorneys. They also provide legal advice to our advocates on different issues, and provide legal analysis for different public policy issues.

DRI’s non-attorney advocates conduct investigations into abuse or neglect in facilities in cooperation with our attorneys, monitor different facilities, provide advocacy, usually by providing technical assistance or meeting with different agencies on a client's behalf, and also participate on different committees and task forces.

Dina Flores-Brewer, Advocacy Director, said that while DRI tries to resolve problems in the least adversarial way possible, sometimes legal involvement is necessary to help people with disabilities protect their rights. Brewer said that this year, DRI’s attorneys have gone to court to help people with disabilities remove an abusive guardian, challenged a Medicaid denial of mental health services for a child, and challenged a denial by a state agency of DRI's right to obtain records.  Last year, DRI took the Idaho Department of Corrections to court to enforce a deaf inmate's rights to a video phone and equal communication with the outside world.

One project the organization is working on right now is part of the DD Council’s five-year plan and a DD Network collaborative goal. DRI is working to address disparities in services for Spanish-speaking people here in Idaho with developmental disabilities. Idaho was selected to participate in this pilot project by a federal agency, the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD). This project was covered in detail in the CDHD Insider May issue.

To find out more about specific issues, visit executive director, James Baugh's blog. Additional information about DRI projects and current issues in the state is available on the DRI Facebook page.
Advancing Adventures in Communicating Camp (AAC) Success
By Nicholas Stallings
This year marked the 12th annual AAC Camp: Advancing Adventures in Communicating, an event hosted by St. Luke’s, Idaho State University, Northwest Nazarene University, the Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP), and Tobii Dynavox. Thirty campers and counselors joined together to have loads of fun doing art projects, drama, playing computer games, and swimming while also working on building communication abilities and socialization skills. Counselors included Speech-Language Pathology students from ISU and campers came from cities as far away as Tacoma, Washington. The 5-day camp took place on the NNU campus in Nampa, Idaho and was coordinated by St. Luke’s SLP Anne Kuhlmeier and ISU professor Dr. Jeanne Johnson. Additional support from IATP staff, ISU Assistant Professors, and volunteer Jr. Counselors helped make the week a success.

Visit St. Luke's to find additional information as well as contact information for Anne Kuhlmeier. IATP staff are also willing to answer any questions you may have!

Medicaid Matters In Idaho
Idaho Falls Medicaid Matters In Idaho Rally participants
Pictured (above): Idaho Falls Medicaid Matters participants.
The Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities, a CDHD DD Network partner, works with people with disabilities, advocates and families in Idaho.

The Council sponsored two Medicaid Matters In Idaho rallies this month. Rallies were held in Idaho Falls, attended by over 150 people, and in Twin Falls with over 100 present. Each of these rallies included meetings with state staffers from Senator Crapo and Rep. Simpson's offices about the impact of Medicaid services for people with disabilities and the concerns over the proposed legislation, particularly Medicaid per capita caps.

Visit  Medicaid Matters In Idaho for additional information and upcoming events.
Twin Falls rally participants outside of Senator Crapo's office.
Pictured (above): Twin Falls rally participants outside of Senator Crapo's office.
Trainings and Presentations
Idaho Assistive Technology Project
Brenda Janot, Program Library Coordinator, presented to 260 participants at the Caregiver Assistance Conference on May 18th in Twin Falls.

Her presentation, AT Devices, Apps, & Services to Assist Caregivers, delivered information about devices to assist with various disabilities and daily living activities. Her presentation offered low-tech and high tech AT device solutions, and caregiving apps for tablets and smartphones. Information on IATP services including: Idaho.at4all Lending Library, Equipment Exchange Program and Alternative Finance Program was also provided. 
Brenda Janot presenting in Twin Falls.
CDHD Summer Institute 2017

The Center on Disabilities and Human Development Summer Institute was held on June 12-13, in Boise. Over 50 teachers, professionals and parents attended to learn from Dr. Brenda Fossett from Capilano University. Dr. Fossett presented a two-day workshop that covered functional assessment and positive behavior support for students with complex communication needs. 
Idaho SESTA Summer Conference

The Learning by Design: UDL Conference was held throughout June in Boise, Pocatello and Coeur d'Alene. Over 500 teachers and professionals attended the two-day presentations and breakout sessions. Highlights included the featured keynotes, Drew Dudley, Dr. Aleksandra Hollingshead and Dan Learner. View conference information and materials at
Melissa Crist with IdahoSTARS presented at the Idaho SESTA Summer Conference. Her presentation,  Creating an Inclusive Classroom Where Every Child Learns, provided a shared definition of early childhood inclusion and highlighted the benefits of caring for and teaching young children in high quality inclusive classrooms. The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework was examined as a tool for increasing access for young children of all abilities to the environment and curriculum. Participants reflected on their current practices, and developed actions plans for meeting the needs of each child in their classroom.  

Several IdahoSTARS staff presented at the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (ID AEYC) Professional Development Institute in May. 
Melissa Crist presented a session on Child Care and Early Intervention Partnerships,

Darcie Wickard, an IdahoSTARS Child Care Health Consultant, presented on Quality Infant and Toddler Environments, Jana Huffaker, an IdahoSTARS Quality Child Care Consultant, presented on Brain-Based Leadership, and Paige Tracy presented on Challenging Behaviors.

AT Corner
Finding Businesses "On the Path" to Full Accessibility
By Jessilyn Matthias 
Mobility issues affect most of us at some point in our lives. For some people who use wheelchairs or crutches regularly, finding access to buildings and other places in his or her community may be a daunting, if not impossible, task.

Blue Path is a nonprofit organization that may have a solution. Blue Path is a searchable website that features accessible businesses and places in the user’s community. Simply type in your city and the kind of service you’re looking for. Pre-listed business options include gas stations, restaurants, and health and medical services.

“Pathfinders” can go to different places around his or her area and report accessibility findings to the Blue Path website. Business proprietors may also list themselves as an accessible establishment. Measurements are based on American with Disabilities Act standards for wheelchair and accessibility guidelines. Patrons can measure features in the building such as entrances, doorways, paths around tables, and restrooms. Blue yardsticks with pre-marked dimensions are available through the Disability Action Center in Moscow, Idaho, and other DAC’s in surrounding areas.

The goal of the Blue Path project is not to chastise businesses, but rather to bring awareness that people with disabilities are a huge demographic that businesses may miss out on if they lack accessibility.

Interns from the CDHD, MacKenzie McDermott, Mia Giglio, and Lura Potter, used the blue yard sticks to measure several Moscow, Idaho businesses including Bucer’s Coffee House, Cowgirl Chocolates, and Safari Pearl. Interestingly, Safari Pearl, a costume and novelty store, was the most diverse-user friendly.

For more information, please visit and become your own Pathfinder!
Until next time!

Fine Arts Grant Awarded
Mia Giglio was awarded a $3,000 UI Student Art Fees Grant! The grant was written to support the artAbility project for the upcoming year. ArtAbilty is a student led project that brings together community artists, adults with disabilities, and UI student volunteers. Workshops are held throughout the year and the session ends with an annual showcase to display the work of each artist.
Save the date
CDHD News and Upcoming Events
Vandal Summer Academy - July 9-14, Moscow

2017-2018 Idaho SESTA Training Calendar

August 2017 

The CDHD Insider is a newsletter for CDHD staff, partners, and community. It is a tool used by the Center to keep everyone informed on the day to day work that is being performed and things to look forward to in the near future. 

Be sure to check out the CDHD Facebook  page to stay updated on upcoming events at CDHD.