CDHD Announcements
CDHD Associate Director
We are excited to announce the appointment of Cari Murphy, Ph.D., to the position of CDHD Associate Director. In her new role, Cari will provide leadership, general management, and oversight to CDHD business office functions and business office personnel. She will also direct research and evaluation functions across all CDHD projects. Cari will continue her role as the Project Director of Idaho Training Clearinghouse. 
IdahoSTARS Director of Programs
We are pleased to announce the promotion of Melissa Crist, M.S., to IdahoSTARS Director of Programs. Melissa’s previous role at CDHD was one of three IdahoSTARS Assistant Directors and Clinical Faculty. As the Director of Programs, Melissa will be responsible for overseeing all IdahoSTARS activities in core function areas and the evaluation process of the projects. She will work closely with the CDHD partner organization, Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC), to assure compliance with the annual contract expectations and will lead the Assistant Director team in overseeing programmatic outcomes across core function areas.
Vandal Summer Academy
By Kenzie McDermott

On Sunday, June 17th, 12 students came to the Vandal Summer Academy at the University of Idaho looking forward to a week of learning and fun, with a dash of independence thrown in for an added kick. As the night counselor, I was responsible for the fun, and teaching them ways to be responsible while they were independent. During the day, the students learned about the University of Idaho, accommodations through the university, interview techniques, transition strategies, and how to be successful in college, wherever they end up. During the night I showed them the joys of Moscow and Pullman by taking them out and about for fun activities.

So, yes, basically my job was to have fun while ensuring that all the students were safe… honestly, not a bad gig. But, it was also more than that. You see, no one goes to college purely for school. The community that they find at the university is just, if not more, important as the programs that they can choose from there. It is so important that these students have a knowledge of activities to do with their friends while at the University of Idaho. It was so important that they were able to communicate with and form bonds with people in the same boat as they are.
A Vandal Summer Academy student practicing their interview skills with a volunteer.
Andy Sheef and students reflecting on Vandal Summer Academy in their closing session.
Teaching these students that community and friendship go hand-in-hand with independence and college was an absolute honor. I know that the Vandal Summer Academy helped prepare students for college, and I know that this week allowed them to see the possibilities of a life at college surrounded by peers and fun. 
AAC Camp
The 13 th annual Advancing Adventures in Communicating (AAC) Camp was held June 5-9, 2018 on the Northwest Nazarene University Campus in Nampa, Idaho. AAC Camp is a day camp specializing in increasing the expressive communication abilities and socialization skills of kids, teens, and young adults who use speech generating devices. This year, 26 campers and counselors joined together in camp activities that included arts and crafts, swimming, special events, music, computer literacy, and drama.

The camp was coordinated by St. Luke’s and sponsored by two CDHD projects, Idaho Assistive Technology (AT) Project and SESTA AT, as well as Idaho State University. Counselors included Speech-Language Pathology students from ISU. AT Project staff Nicholas Stallings, Kathy Griffin, and Brenda Janot developed curriculum for the camp and held interactive sessions for the campers.
Conferences and Presentations
SESTA Unlocking the Behavioral Code
By Laura Hannon

During the second week of June, I traveled with the Idaho SESTA team to their summer conferences in Boise and Fort Hall, and joined them again the following week for their conference in Moscow. The conference focused on social and emotional behaviors that educators might encounter in their classrooms.
Spots for both Boise and Fort Hall sold out during registration and over 200 attendees showed up to the conferences at each stop. SESTA team members from the University of Idaho and Boise State University hosted presenters, managed check-in, and provided conference bags.

All three conferences received positive feedback from attendees. I really enjoyed traveling with SESTA and getting to meet the team from BSU. We also spent several nights dining with our keynote, Patrick Friman, the current Vice President of Behavioral Health at Boys Town and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska School of Medicine. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I’m glad I was able to attend.
I dahoSTARS Annual Summit
By Kalli Sorber

The IdahoSTARS Annual Summit is a great time of year for all of our staff to gather to review the past year's events and focus on planning the next year’s project activities. This year, staff traveled to McCall on June 4th and 5th where we engaged in team building activities, Core Functions group discussions, new online system previews, and reviews of our project goals and objectives.

For the past year, IdahoSTARS really focused on professional development, streamlining information, and building efficiency and quality. This upcoming year, we will continue these efforts, while also strengthening our communication, diversifying and expanding our cultural competencies, and as always, working to improve quality in early education and child care settings.

Overall, this year’s summit was informative and interactive, and I truly look forward to our project’s growth in the future.
IdahoSTARS presents in San Diego
Melissa Crist presented at the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRISs) National Meeting on July 17th in San Diego.

The presentation addressed the struggles, successes, and strategies in supporting high-quality inclusion across all settings. Presenters shared their experience on how to embed these policies and practices in QRIS so they become a natural part of continuous quality improvement and a reflection of a quality rating system that promotes equity.
Presenters: Kathy Whaley, ECTA, Ann Kremer, Early CHOICES; Heather Googe, University of South Carolina; Melissa Crist, University of Idaho
AT CORNER
Sunu Band
By Jessilyn Matthias

Bats are known to navigate and hunt via sonar, and some vision-limited or blind individuals use sounds or listen to find their way or avoid obstacles.

The new Sunu Band relies on a variety of sensory inputs, such as touch, echolocation, and vibrations to alert the wearer of obstacles on their path. It fits around the user’s wrist much like a regular watch. The sensitivity of the technology can detect an object 16 feet away from the wearer, and augments other tools that blind users may have, such as white canes or dogs. It is also water resistant (although it should be kept away from water) and has rechargeable batteries.

Sunu Band boasts more sensors than similar products on the market, but also has several unique features. Individuals who are blind or have low vision can be aided by the built-in compass, navigation tools, and place finders and explorers. There is also an edge detector that alerts the user when he or she is getting to close to the edge of a doorway, corner, or other surface.

An online iOS App is available, but is not required for use. The App contains a plethora of features, including an online tutorial, updates, and email access to a Sunu support team that users can turn on or off.

If you value independence with security, the Sunu Band may be exactly what you are looking for. For more information, please go to https://www.sunu.io/index.html . The Sunu band retails for $299.  
AT Presentation to WSU Iraqi Exchange Students
Twenty-three health sciences students participating in the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program visited CDHD on July 27. Janice Carson shared information on University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and the Idaho Assistive Technology Project. Krista Kramer presented information on assistive technology and gave the students the opportunity to explore a variety of devices from IATP’s lending library. 
 
Several of the students have family members with disabilities including autism, Down Syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. Two students are already involved with developing assistive technology labs for people with disabilities in Iraq. The students were very interested in assistive technology for people with autism, especially augmentative communication devices. There were questions about apps that would provide these functions in Arabic, and where to find funding for technology.
 
The students in the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program were chosen from 7,000 applicants to travel to the United States. With support from International Programs at Washington State University, they spent two weeks in Pullman, and will visit Washington, DC on their way back to Iraq. The students had the experience of dorm life during the week, toured WSU Spokane's health science programs, and stayed with host families on the weekends in Pullman, giving them the opportunity to explore the Palouse. 
Busy Box
By Lynsey Fenter

From the creative mind of Nick Stallings, comes the busy box! It’s a great option for students working on fine motor and independent living skills. The box includes plugs, a switch, shoe-tying practice, and a random odds and ends, but with the right imagination someone can create one with lots of different options.

Nick worked with an elementary education student at BSU to build a busy box for her mentor’s classroom. It’s part of the AT Project’s continuing mission to encourage low-cost, ‘do-it-yourself’ assistive technology solutions for students.
For more information on busy boxes and other AT, visit https://idahoat.org/
Community
SARTAC Fellow and CAC Member presents in Alabama
By Jessilyn Matthias

Anyone familiar with disability self-advocacy in Idaho has probably met Shiloh Blackburn or at least heard of her. Shiloh has cerebral palsy and has participated in numerous leadership roles over the years, including being a member of the Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities and serving on numerous of advisory boards. In May 2017, she was given the opportunity to participate in a fellowship sponsored by the Self-Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) and Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) along with five other self-advocates from across the nation.

SARTAC works to support self-advocacy organizations grow in diversity and leadership. These fellowships are a way to prepare motivated self-advocates (individuals who have disabilities) to do advocacy and leadership activities in their communities. Each person selected had one year to complete his or her project and received $5000 for their work. Other fellowship participants hail from New York, Washington D.C., Illinois, Florida, and Kansas.

Shiloh and the other fellows presented their projects at the SABE 2018 Conference held in Birmingham, Alabama June 7-9. The SABE conference is an event organized every other year by the SABE organization. This year featured key-note speakers, workshops, and hour-long break-out sessions on topics that affect individuals who have disabilities.

Shiloh gave her presentation at SABE at one of two breakout sessions, where fellows presented as a panel and explained their project. Other projects addressed transportation, community building, and bonding, as well as enhancing leadership skills. Shiloh’s work provides important information and tips for self-advocates and paves the road for individuals new to the movement to empower themselves and join the fight for disability rights.

With the assistance of staff from the Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD), Shiloh updated several Self-Advocate Leadership Network (SALN) pieces of training by adding captions, adapting text for screen readers, and making them accessible to more people. Training topics range from “Self-Advocacy 101,” to “Taking to Your Legislators.” This series teaches the basics of self-advocacy to individuals just learning about the process. Shiloh also researched the “Money Follows the Person” policy (in Idaho, this policy is called Idaho Home Choice) which involves moving people with developmental disabilities out of institutional settings into the community. Instead, money would be directly given to individuals to make their own services and needs choices.

The training can be found on the Idaho SALN website https://idahocdhd.org/isaln/resources/SALN-training as well as the SARTAC website http://selfadvocacyinfo.org/resource/developing-accessible-online-leadership-trainings-and-resources/ . Shiloh’s presentations are accessible to all people who want to learn more about self-advocacy and their rightful participation in their communities.
Moscow Art Walk
By Mia Giglio

On Friday, June 15 th , the artAbility Project was showcased in the 14 th annual Moscow Art Walk. Opportunities Unlimited Inc. (OUI) opened a new thrift store on Moscow’s Main Street back in 2017, and reached out to the artAbility Project about showcasing our art.

Art Walk is a Moscow tradition where local businesses showcase the hard work of local artists. Two blocks are closed off and businesses from all over the Palouse come, whether it is to showcase artwork or convey a message.

OUI is an organization dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities develop practical skills and find employment. A match made in heaven for artAbility!

Pieces were displayed throughout the thrift shop, each from a workshop series that took place in the 2017-2018 project year. Notecards with prints of the artist's work were offered for sale outside.
artAbility artist's self portraits and other artwork displayed at Moscow Art Walk.
Sitting at the sales table, I was able to connect with many different community members, all of which were happy to hear there was a project like ours in their community. It was a refreshing way to get the word out about artAbility, and an accessible way for the community to learn!

Art Walk was the last place artAbility pieces will be displayed until the 2019 Showcase in April. The experience of Art Walk was a positive one, and we are excited to possibly participate again next year. 
save the date 2018
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