PAST SELF-DETERMINATION & COMMUNITY INCLUSION INITIATIVES
FULLY INCLUDED VIDEO SERIES (ended 2023)
“Fully Included: Empowering Louisiana’s Disability Community!” is a video series navigating topics such as advocacy, education, employment and more while featuring Council members, agency leaders and YOU – people with developmental disabilities, family members, and community members – who share their stories about navigating everyday life in Louisiana.
SUPPORTED DECISION MAKING: RIGHT TO MAKE CHOICES TRAININGS AND WEBINARS (ended 2023)
In partnership with The Arc of Louisiana, the Council sponsored training opportunities were offered statewide to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their family members to increase their understanding of Supported Decision Making (SDM), also known as the Dustin Gary Act of the 2020 Louisiana legislative session, and other legal options available in Louisiana.
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS – PREVENTING SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION TRAININGS AND WEBINARS (ended 2021)
In partnership with Team Dynamics, the Council sponsored trainings across the state for adult self-advocates and their family members or caregivers to increase their understanding of healthy and unhealthy relationships and the issues that lead to and ways to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
2019 ADVOCACY LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
The Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council hosted its biennial conference: “Navigating the System Across the Lifespan”.
2015 ADVOCACY LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
The Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council hosted its biennial conference: “Creating a Meaningful Life”.
Supported Independent Living Ombudsman Pilot Program
In collaboration with Disability Rights Louisiana (formerly Advocacy Center), the Council supported a pilot ombudsman program for people with developmental disabilities receiving Supported Independent Living (SIL) services in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. The pilot demonstrated effective methods for ensuring that people receiving SIL services have access to an ombudsman that can advocate for participants to receive quality services and address and enjoy all rights and protections indicated by law.
Supported Living Program
This Act 378 state funded program is now administered by the Office of Aging and Adult Services.
Legal Advocacy for Adults
In collaboration with Disability Rights Louisiana, the Council is supporting a project to expand the scope and capacity of volunteer-based programs across the state that provide court-appointed legal representation and advocacy to include appropriate representation for elders and adults with disabilities, eighteen years of age or older, who are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation and as a result require a legal remedy.
The My Choice project provided a new and innovative way to teach people with developmental disabilities about topics of their interest. The Arc of Louisiana developed a training model to provide participants state-wide with increased knowledge and skills in areas related to communicating needs and wants to support staff; understanding and addressing abuse and neglect; recognizing economic abuse; and advocacy.
Home of Your Own Project
The Home of Your Own (HOYO) project in 2009 provided five individuals with developmental disabilities in the Baton Rouge area with the information and tools necessary to pursue home ownership. The Arc of Louisiana also presented the HOYO Project to six local Arcs statewide to train them on how to develop a HOYO project in their areas.
Housing Transition Support
The Council provided supplemental transition funds to assist individuals with developmental disabilities to move from institutions to their own homes in the community in collaboration with the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration (known as My Place Louisiana). My Place Louisiana continues to provide additional supports to individuals with developmental disabilities transitioning with a waiver from institutions to the community. Program participants use the New Opportunities Waiver, Residential Options Waiver or Children’s Choice waiver for basic services and then receive additional supports from My Place Louisiana. For more information about My Place Louisiana go to www.myplacelouisiana.org.
In collaboration with The Arc of Louisiana, the Council developed Transportation Louisiana Transportation and the coordination of it takes the mutual effort of human service agencies, transportation providers, workforce development agencies, the public, and others, to best serve people with the limited resources.
Inclusive Recreation League (ended 2009)
In 2008 and 2009 the Council supported the Jambalaya project to enhance the capacity of parish recreation departments with enrolling and supporting children with disabilities in inclusive leagues. This program was sustained by the Ascension Parish Recreation Department. The program was also provided to the City of Hammond Recreation Department and the City of Mandeville.
Child Care Center Inclusive Training Project
In collaboration with the Department of Children and Family Services and The Arc – Baton Rouge, the Council supported training and technical assistance to child care staff, trainers, technical assistance providers and others to support the inclusion of children with developmental disabilities. Additionally, a stakeholder group was assembled to review and make recommendations to the special needs rate and Quality Start Child Care Rating System. One goal of this project was to have a searchable web-based listing of child care centers meeting the inclusion standards.
Curricula on Developmental Disabilities for Clinicians
To improve clinicians’ understanding of experiences of individuals with significant disabilities and their families, the Council provided support to the LSU Human Development Center to develop curricula for Nurse Practitioner students, Physician Assistant students, and online Continuing Medical Education (CME) units for physicians. The project will also expand Operation House Call to the LSU Medical School in Shreveport.
Curricula on Developmental Disabilities for Dentists and Dental Hygienists
The Council provided support in developing curricula for use within schools for dentists and dental hygienists to increase the awareness and understanding of the needs and methods in treating individuals with developmental disabilities and complex and intensive support needs.
Modules on Continuing Nursing Education (CNEs)
The Council provided support in developing Continuing Nursing Medical Education (CNE) modules to increase the awareness and understanding of the needs and methods in treating individuals with developmental disabilities and complex and intensive support needs.
A statewide Disability Rights Day was held annually at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge for many years ending in 2017. Instead, LaCAN members are encouraged to participate in LaCAN’s Yellow Shirt Days throughout the Legislative Session, held on days when legislators and BESE members are considering issues important to people with developmental disabilities.
PAST EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVES
WORKING TOGETHER: INCLUSIVE EMPLOYMENT WEBINARS (ended 2023)
Working Together is a campaign to create inclusive employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and to provide businesses and employers “how to” strategies for recruiting, hiring and retaining these employees in an inclusive work environment. Inclusive employment webinars were offered virtually statewide to interested employers to better understand the processes and resources that can be used to increase employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
LATEACH (merged with LaCAN in 2016)
LaTEACH (Louisiana Together Educating ALL Children) was a statewide grassroots advocacy network between October 2004 through September 2016 for the purpose of effecting systems change. LaTEACH promoted appropriate, inclusive education for all students. LaTEACH works to make parents, educators, the general public, and state leadership informed and supportive of research-based and effective practices used appropriately for each student.
Inclusive Schools Art Contest
Inclusive Schools Art Contest was sponsored by the Council in collaboration with LaTEACH, the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs, the Louisiana Department of Education and other organizations to promote inclusion. The Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs now sponsors the Inclusive Art Contest.
The Autism Early Behavioral Intervention Project (ended in 2011)
The Autism Early Behavioral Intervention Project was a model program designed to build the capacity of EarlySteps in providing evidence-based interventions for young children with autism. The Autism Project was a joint effort between LSU’s Human Development Center, the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities and the DD Council.
Early Intervention Primary Service Provider Model program
The goal of the Early Intervention Primary Service Provider (PSP) Model program was to improve developmental outcomes of children participating in EarlySteps. The PSP Model was implemented as a demonstration project in Region 2 (Baton Rouge area) to provide knowledge and skill building activities to families and childcare providers to provide interventions based on Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP).
Paid Apprenticeship Model Project
The Council collaborated with its Developmental Disability Network partner, the LSU Health Human Development Center, the state’s University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) on the initial developmental phase of the Paid Apprenticeship Model Project. The project was fully implemented by the HDC the following year to provide apprenticeships to students with developmental disabilities.
Employment Provider Mentoring Program
The Council partnered with the Human Development Center (HDC) on the Employment Provider Mentoring Program. The Program provided a competency-based training and mentoring program for employment support providers in the form of 508 mentoring hours to 27 employment support professionals assisting 113 job seekers with a developmental disabilities.
Employment Outreach Program
The Council’s TV and radio media campaign educates employers, individuals with disabilities, family members and provider agencies about the benefits of having people with developmental disabilities as part of the community-based workforce. To become involved in employing people with disabilities contact your local Louisiana Rehabilitation Services office
The Employment Consortium
The Council partnered with the HDC on the Employment Consortium which facilitated employment trainings to build the capacity of employment provider agencies to support individuals with developmental disabilities in finding community employment. The development and dissemination of a Supported Employment Training curriculum highlighted effective strategies for supporting individuals with complex support needs to identify career aspirations and to obtain and maintain community employment.
Buddies at Work
The Buddies-At-Work project was a statewide public awareness campaign that promoted an understanding of the abilities of people with developmental disabilities in occupational, educational and recreational settings.
An Employment Study researched the current state of employment of persons with significant disabilities in Louisiana, the Council contracted with the Human Development Center to publish this Employment Study.
Competitive Employment Educational Campaign
The Council collaborated with the HDC on the Competitive Employment Educational Campaign provided information on employment to individuals and their family members to emphasize the benefits of competitive employment instead of congregate work settings and dispel fears and reduce barriers of employment for persons with disabilities.