January 2024

Utah Disability Today

The official newsletter of the Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice
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IDRPP Administers $5.4M Pilot Program with Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

An interactive website will connect Colorado parents and youth to local supports and service providers, thanks to a contract with IDRPP Research and Training Division Director Tim Riesen and Brian Phillips of USU's Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling department. They will develop a website providing interactive tools, videos, and resources, in addition to linking them with services.

They will work with several partners on a plan for improving employment among youth with disabilities. Colorado school exit data suggests that only 31 percent of former autistic students, 20 percent of former students with intellectual and multiple disabilities (ID/MD), and 14 percent of former students with other disabilities obtained competitive, integrated employment after leaving school.

Both IDRPP and the Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling department are located in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.

a group of people with and without disabilities stands with arms around each other

Supported Decision-Making, Explained

Guest blogger Kirsten Barraclough walks readers through supported decision-making for people with disabilities. "Most people practice supported decision-making to some extent, whether they have a disability or not," she says. "People often get advice from friends, family, and sometimes strangers, as part of making various decisions. And part of decision-making is the possibility of making mistakes and learning from them."

Read Kirsten's full blog post on our website. You can also read IDRPP's position statement on supported decision-making in our policy section.

Claira's mom smiles down at her

Videos Highlight the Impact of Early Intervention

"Physical therapy was our first service," said Shelby Stanger in an interview about her experience with Up to 3 at IDRPP. "A lot of kids with arthogryposis, ... [their parents] see, OK, this leg is wrong, or this arm is wrong. And they immediately think to go to surgery to fix it." Instead, she said, early intervention used physical therapy to help her daughter gain mobility and work with her developing body for lasting improvement.

Watch Claira's Video

The Anderson Family didn't know they needed early intervention. They just knew their little boy had a rough start in life, with hospitalizations and the need for healing. In this video, they tell how specialists helped Easton progress and start to catch up with his peers.

Watch Easton's Video
crowd at the LCPD reception

News from around the Institute for Disability

The Institute for Disability and our amazing partners just wrapped up this year's Disability Advocacy Week. Thanks so much to the Utah Parent Center, the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council, the Utah Statewide Independent Living Council, the Disability Law Center, and the IDRPP, who all contributed some great content to this event! You can catch session recordings in our archives.

Thanks also to the Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities for hosting a packed reception, and to all those who invited their legislators to attend. It was great seeing you all in the crowd! You can view photos of the event on Instagram and Instagram Installment #2.

IDRPP has added several new briefs on a policy issues, including the Special Education Modifications Bill (HB 347), the need for early intervention in people's lives, the need for investment in early intervention, and supported decision-making.

We congratulate our National Resource Center for Paraeducators, Related Service Providers, and Interveners (NRCP) for a successful virtual conference, reaching 300 paraeducators in 16 states.

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Decreasing Classroom Disruption and Improving Social Skills for Students with Autism

Saturday Mornings with NRCP

February 10th

More Information on the NRCP website


Suicide Risk and Prevention in Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


February 12th

Find out more & register on the ECHO website

Substance Awareness

Time to Act ECHO

February 14th

Find out more & register on the ECHO website

ACES and Counter ACES

Time to Act ECHO

February 21st

Find out more & register on the ECHO website


Visit the "Work With Us" section on our website.


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