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Natalie Bennett, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Unique Collaborations: How an academic library became a partner in providing programs for developmentally.

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Presentation on theme: "Natalie Bennett, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Unique Collaborations: How an academic library became a partner in providing programs for developmentally."— Presentation transcript:

1 Natalie Bennett, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Unique Collaborations: How an academic library became a partner in providing programs for developmentally disabled adults.

2 C.A.T.S. Career Awareness through Technology Skills development

3 Forming a Deeper Relationship with the Department of Education ❖ Other programs catered to disabled adults on campus ❖ ed head of those programs ❖ Meetings ❖ Eventually was asked to partner with a program for the following semester

4 A little background… ❖ NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) vision includes: “Supporting individuals with disabilities to fully participate in their communities through employment.” -OPWDD, 2014 ❖ Passed the New York Plan to Increase Competitive Employment Opportunities for People with Developmental Disabilities ❖ Push for fewer vocational training centers ❖ Funding cuts

5 Why should an academic institution be involved? ❖ Excellent service learning opportunity for students involved in curriculum building ❖ Opportunity for faculty research ❖ To serve the community “Niagara seeks to inspire its students to serve all members of society, especially the poor and oppressed in local communities and in the larger world” -Niagara University Mission Statement

6 Choosing an Agency ❖ Used existing relationship ❖ Asst. Dean of External Relations Patti Wrobel, was on the board for Niagara CP ❖ Dept. of Education reached out, and Niagara CP was on board

7 Cerebral Palsy Facts ❖ What is Cerebral Palsy? ❖ Neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination ❖ Associated with numerous brain conditions (epilepsy, etc) ❖ Can often coincide with a dual diagnosis of another Developmental Disability such as: ❖ Down’s syndrome (or other genetic or chromosomal conditions) ❖ Intellectual disabilities ❖ Autism Spectrum disorders ❖ Physical disabilities (blindness, deafness) -National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke

8 Logistics ❖ It was agreed that all participants should sign a image release form as part of the program (no issues) ❖ Parking- had to be requested ahead of time in the lot closest to the building ❖ Asked for participants, ended up with 15! ❖ Looked at the library computer lab for a good opening for weekly 2 hour meeting. ❖ Were we going to buy lunches? Who’s paying for this?

9 Creating the Curriculum ❖ Graduate Assistant Kim Groff from the Department of Education, became my partner in crime ❖ Talented instructional designer, had already worked with that population ❖ Took her existing curriculum and my added technology goals ❖ Broke down a typical session

10 Career Awareness Goals ❖ Increase career awareness and soft skills in order to: ❖ Give individuals a better sense of different careers ❖ Review important soft skills to increase job readiness ❖ Get practical experience in resume writing Specific Learning Objectives Participants will: Discover jobs Set career goals Expectations in the work place How to complete Job Applications Write a resume Acting as a Team Player Good Communication Skills Positive Attitude Time Management How and when to shake hands

11 Career awareness learning tools Example of an exercise completed by participants.

12 Technology Instruction Goals Overarching outcomes: ❖ Give individuals more skills to apply to the workforce ❖ Empower individuals to be capable of finding and using information safely from the internet Specific Learning Objectives: Participants will: Learn the parts of a computer Broaden understanding and use of Microsoft office (mainly Word) Enhance typing skills Increase understanding of special keys Increase awareness of Internet Safety Internet basics Understand Be able to type their Resumes

13 Technology Learning Exercises ❖ In each session, individuals completed some form of learning exercise to gauge increase of technology skills

14 Data Entry practice ❖ Once participants mastered the parts of a computer and opening Microsoft Word, they practiced Data Entry skills each week. ❖ See example 

15 Participants enjoying a Microsoft Word demo using LanSchool

16 Data entry practice!

17 Keyboard training (above) Teaching how to X-Out (right)

18 Problems and Unforeseen Adjustments ❖ Issues with ADA Compliance in the library computer lab ❖ Some behavioral issues ❖ Time- things taking longer than anticipated ❖ Teaching group to login to the computers was problematic & time consuming ❖ One participant had issues with holding keys down too long- there is a preference change for this!

19 Attendance ❖ Nearly 100% attendance. Only missed sessions were from illness, pre-planned vacations, and weather ❖ Individuals commitment to come each week was used as one point of assessment

20 Feedback “In all my 25 years with NCP it is definitely one of the best things that the NCP individuals have been involved with.” Kim Kiely, NCP Directory of Vocational Services

21 References ❖ NINDS Cerebral Palsy Information Page. (2014, July 21). Cerebral Palsy Information Page: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Retrieved October 10, 2014, from alsy.htm ❖ NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. (n.d.). Employment for People with Disabilities. Retrieved October 10, 2014, from ent_for_people_with_disabilities ❖ Our Mission. (n.d.). Niagara University Mission Statement. Retrieved October 10, 2014, from mission-statement/


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