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FYI Newsletter August 25, 2014

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QUICK SCAN
ADA National Network Webinar
Structured Teaching Workshop
Early Childhood Center to Evaluate Indiana’s EEMG Program
Jordan Receives Sensory Integration Certification
Public Policy Advocacy Opportunity Available
Teaching and Learning – “Gen Con 2014”
Library Corner
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UPCOMING

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ADA National Network Webinar

On September 4th, the ADA National Network and the U.S. Access Board will host a question and answer session focusing on the 2010 ADA Accessibility Standard, the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standard, Section 508, Medical Diagnostic Equipment or other Board rulemakings or activities. 

“Open Q & A Session with U.S. Access Board”Free Webinar
Thursday, September 4th   
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. EASTERN
 
It's free, but REGISTRATION is required to participate in the webinar.

This session will feature accessibility and information technology specialists from the Access Board. Accessibility specialists will answer questions that have been submitted in advance during the first half of the session, leaving time in the second half to answer questions in the live session.

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Structured Teaching Workshop

Registration is now open for those interested in attending the Institute’s Indiana Resource Center for Autism’s two-day workshop titled "TEACCH®ing Strategies" on October 28th and 29th, 2014.

The workshop, hosted by Southside Special Services at RISE Learning Center, 5391 Shelby St, Indianapolis, will feature Catherine Davies, IRCA Educational Consultant and Indiana’s only TEACCH® Certified Advanced Consultant. Registration fee is $350.00 per person. Click for more information or to register.

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ACROSS THE COURTYARD

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Early Childhood Center to Evaluate Indiana’s EEMG Program

The Indiana Institute’s Early Childhood Center (ECC) was  awarded the evaluation component of the Early Education Matching Grant Pilot Program (EEMG) funded by the state’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. The Indiana General Assembly established the Early Education Matching Grant Program in 2013, which allows high-quality, early care and education programs to apply for matching funds to serve 4-year-old children from families whose incomes are below federal poverty guidelines.

The Center will collect and analyze data on over 400 children and families that will be served by the 30 EEMG-funded early childhood programs representing 15 counties in Indiana. The data analyses will help to determine the program’s possible impact on children’s learning and development. The evaluation will also look at how the EEMG programs involve families in their child’s early education, the family’s level of engagement, the quality of the early childhood classrooms, and children’s level of readiness for school at the end of the school year. ECC will assemble a group of early childhood professionals who will be responsible for collecting much of the child, family, and program information, including the administration of three child assessment tools.

Three major data collection cycles will be implemented in this year-long project. They include:

Data Collection Cycle One (August – September 2014): Collect initial child assessment data using the three required assessment tools (Indiana Standards Tool for the Alternate Reporting of Kindergarten Readiness (ISTAR-KR), Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), and the Academic Snapshot).

Data Collection Cycle Two (February  – March 2o15): Assess classrooms utilizing the CLASS assessment tool and include an initial assessment of parent/family engagement and involvement. Complete the second assessment of teacher-child interactions using the Emerging Academic Snapshot. This tool captures how children spend their time in a preschool classroom.

Data Collection Cycle Three (May – June 2015): The third and final cycle will include completion of the second and final round of child assessments using the three required assessment tools. Additionally, a second round of data will be collected from family engagement/family involvement surveys from parents and classroom teachers.

For more information, contact Michael Conn-Powers at (812) 855-6508 or e-mail mipower@indiana.edu.

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KUDOS

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Jordan Receives Sensory Integration Certification

Kristi Jordan, Research Associate with the Institute’s Indiana Resource Center for Autism recently completed the requirements to become a Certified Therapist in Sensory Integration, including administering and interpreting the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests. 

Certified Sensory Integration Therapists learn how to apply sensory integration theory and strategies in a variety of settings to individuals with sensory integration differences and to those with related disabilities. Jordan received her certification through the University of Southern California’s (USC) Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and Western Psychological Services (WPS).

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IN INDIANA

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Public Policy Advocacy Opportunity Available

Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission (IPAS) is looking for new Commission and Mental Illness Advisory Council (MIAC) members. Members must have a commitment to promoting the legal and civil rights of people with disabilities, and to the cause of protecting and promoting those individuals’ rights to make their own choices. Persons interested in applying for consideration should contact Karen Pedevilla, Education and Training Director, at 1-800-622-4845, ext. 452, or by e-mailing kpedevilla@ipas.in.gov. Click for more information on both the Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission and Mental Illness Advisory Council.

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A PARENTS PERSPECTIVE

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Teaching and Learning – "Gen Con 2014"

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of spending four days with my two sons at “Gen Con,” the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction and adventure game convention in North America. Held August 14-17 at the Indiana Convention Center, “Gen Con” was host to 56,614 unique visitors who enjoyed an immense exhibit floor, more than 11,000 gaming events, celebrity appearances, anime, film, an art show, a costume contest, and more!

For many people, “Gen Con” is about cosplay – enjoying and/or wearing costumes that represent characters from science fiction and fantasy novels, television and movies, comic books, and video games. For the Ansaldo clan and many others, however, it’s all about the games. One could spend four days in the exhibit hall alone, trying out any of the hundreds of games that are demonstrated and sold. On top of that experience, there is a plethora of ticketed gaming events, which run the gamut from highly competitive tournaments to casual get-togethers.

And game we did! We enjoyed board games, such Damage Report (http://www.bfrgames.com/damagereport/), a 2-6 player cooperative game where players take on the role of a starship crew faced with making split-second decisions to repair their ship. We also enjoyed card games, such as Star Realms (http://starrealms.com/), in which two players duel with starships and space stations. We reenacted the infamous Battle of Hoth using Star Wars Miniatures. And don’t forget that tried-and-true roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons (http://dnd.wizards.com/). In short, we had a ton of fun.

But it’s not just about fun. As a facilitator of school change and teacher professional development – as well as a homeschooling parent – I see the immense educational value of games. The Gates Foundation funded Institute of Play (http://www.instituteofplay.org/) and argues that “the principles of game design – experiences that simulate real world problems, and require dynamic, well-rounded solutions” are central to “the real work of a 21st century education [which] is to spark the passion for lifelong learning that our kids will need to navigate their way to a promising tomorrow.” My 13-year-old son, Diego, agrees:

“I think that you can improve math skills from adding and subtracting life and damage that you deal from attacks. You learn strategy from miniature games, card games, and games in general. You learn sewing and costume making if you choose to cosplay. You learn communication skills from talking to people while you play games, especially roleplaying games. You can learn history from doing historical reenactment in miniature games. You definitely learn how to use your imagination from games in general.”

Finally, as someone who also believes passionately in the idea of inclusion and universal access, gaming at “Gen Con” offers a model for reducing the barriers to learning and fun. We filled our days playing games that were equally challenging and engaging for my kids (ages 10 and 13), myself (age 45), and a gamut of younger and older players from around the world. Game instructions routinely were printed in a number of languages. Audio and images are used to enhance written communication. A myriad of different cultures – from the real world to the fictional – were represented. Sure, there still were winners and losers, but to a large extent, all players were offered a chance to succeed.

In 2015, “Gen Con” will be held from July 30 through August 2. This date change will allow more of Indiana’s public schoolers to attend the convention. As a father and educator, I highly recommend it! Jim Ansaldo is a Research Associate with the Institute’s Center on Education and Lifelong Learning.

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LIBRARY CORNER

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Library Corner

Allison, H. G., & National Autistic Society. (2014). Support for the bereaved and the dying: A guide for managers and staff in services for adults on the autism spectrum. London: National Autistic Society. 


America's Test Kitchen (Firm). (2014). The how can it be gluten free cookbook: Revolutionary techniques, groundbreaking recipes. Brookline, MA: America's Test Kitchen.

Forgan, J. W., & Richey, M. A. (2014). Raising girls with ADHD: Secrets for parenting healthy, happy daughters. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press Inc.

Kumin, L. (2012). Early communication skills for children with Down syndrome: A guide for parents and professionals. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.

Monastra, V. J. (2014). Parenting children with ADHD: 10 lessons that medicine cannot teach. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Winders, P. C. (2014). Gross motor skills for children with Down syndrome: A guide for parents and professionals. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.

These new materials may be borrowed from the Center for Disability Information and Referral (CeDIR) at the Institute. To check out materials, contact the library at 800-437-7924, send us an e-mail at cedir@indiana.edu, or visit us at 1905 North Range Road in Bloomington.

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