Continuing Education and Training
These courses are conducted through collaboration between the Center for Disabilities and the USD School of Education. This program offers the following courses to graduate-level students across disciplines:
SPED 735: Survey of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This course introduces students to the history, characteristics, and theory associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Topics include characteristics, early indicators, definitions and diagnosis, etiology and research, neurodiversity, learning, inclusion, alternative interventions, person and family-centered care, and teaming.
SPED 736: Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This course introduces students to the primary areas of assessment that must be considered for an individual with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Interdisciplinary approaches and a differential diagnostic process is provided.
SPED 737: Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This course introduces students to the primary areas that must be considered and focused on when planning educational programs for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Topics include functional and spontaneous communication, social communication and social skills, play/leisure, development of cognitive skills, strategies for dealing with challenging or problem behaviors, functional academic skills, and transitioning to adult-based services.
This program is a graduate-level certification track in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This program was established to provide a pathway for graduate students and master’s level professionals to obtain Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification. This program was designed and administered by the Center for Disabilities in collaboration with the USD School of Health Science Department of Public Health and Health Sciences and LifeScape, a children’s hospital, special school, and community support provider agency organization that serves children and adults with disabilities. Professionals certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide ABA services. ABA is an evidence-based practice that focuses on assessing the environmental influences on behavior, assessment-based intervention, and data-driven decision making. ABA has been used to address the behavioral needs of individuals in multiple areas, including general and special education, organizational management and safety, gerontology, and many more. ABA is best known as being the leading evidence-based treatment approach for autism and other developmental disabilities. The seven-course sequence totaling 21 credits meets the Verification Course Sequence (VCS) standards as set by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).
Become a leader in an educational or behavioral health settings where behavior analysts support individuals of all ages and are key interdisciplinary members that work alongside educators or other related health providers.
To learn more and/or to apply, click here.
Each year, the Center for Disabilities, in collaboration with the South Dakota Department of Education and Black Hills Special Services, conducts the Summer Autism Institute. This event provides intensive, didactic, and experiential training for educational professionals in structured teaching and visual support strategies. Participants gain experience with structured teaching and visual supports, and the understanding of the symptoms and learning styles of individuals with autism and the use of visual supports to provide meaning, promote independence and capitalize on the individual’s strengths. The TEACCH® Autism Program offers a Practitioner Certification via didactic training paired with a unique demonstration model designed to meet the learning and applied training needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, their families, and professionals. Participants learn strategies to engage school-aged clients in intervention services as well as antecedent-based behavior management strategies using structured teaching principles. A minimum of 50 professionals participate annually in the event.
This four-day course provides a theoretical foundation as well as hands-on opportunities to assess and teach individuals with ASD in a classroom setting. We focus on understanding learning styles and teaching strategies that capitalize on learning strengths. An emphasis is placed on learning the Structured TEACCH principles (Teaching, Expanding, Appreciating, Collaborating, Cooperating, and Holistic). These approaches promote skill development in the areas of:
- Social and leisure
- Relaxation and coping strategies
In partnership with the National Center on DeafBlindness (NCDB), the Center for Disabilities offers a four-course series for three credits each to professionals across the nation. This one-of-a-kind program provides unique and evidence-based training, education, and best-practice classroom strategies for students with dual sensory loss and high-intensity support needs. Courses offered include: An Introduction to DeafBlindness; DeafBlindness and Communication Strategies; DeafBlindness and Assessment and Instructional Planning; and Life Planning for Success: DeafBlind Strategies.
It can be difficult to find training, education and best practice classroom strategies for students who have dual sensory loss and high intensity support needs. This online professional development courses for teachers and related service providers are being offered. There will be options for continuing education hours and three graduate credits per course. Coursework will include content from the online modules made available from the National Center on DeafBlindness (Open Hands, Open Access), which have been modified to ensure alignment with CEC competencies for educators, resulting in some new content and assignments.
Each course consists of a 14-week semester, approximately three of online work per week and synchronous online meetings. Although the information is geared toward DeafBlindness, much of what is learned can be applied to students with severe disabilities/complex needs. This training is available for both in-state and out-of-state participants.
For additional information regarding course content and registration, check us out on Eventbrite.
Course 1: An Introduction to DeafBlindnessThis first course will provide foundational knowledge of deafblindness and the impact of hearing and vision loss on learning and communication, as well as key evidence-based instructional strategies for supporting those with deafblindness. This course includes content from the following NCDB Open Hands, Open Access Modules: Overview of DeafBlindness, The Sensory System, the Brain and Learning, Building Trusted Relationships, Touch for Connection and Learning, Maximizing Vision and Hearing, The Role of the Intervener and Intervener Strategies.
Course 2: DeafBlindness: Communication StrategiesThe key principle of this course is that all students communicate. This course includes content from the following NCDB Open Hands, Open Access Modules: Touch for Connection and Communication, Understanding Communication Principles, Emergent Communication, Progressing from Non-symbolic to Symbolic Communication & Complex Language, Introduction to Sign Language & Braille, Concept Development and Responsive Environments and Calendars. Here you will learn about the importance of touch in communicating with individuals with deafblindness and how to progress from non-symbolic to symbolic communication
Course 3: DeafBlindness: Assessment and Instructional PlanningThe course includes an overview of assessment strategies, assessment instruments, and the development of specific and measurable IEP goals based on authentic assessment data. In addition, the course includes content from the following NCDB Open Hands, Open Access Modules: Availability for Learning, Routines for Participation and Learning, Behavior and Environmental Supports, and Introduction to Orientation and Mobility.
Course 4: Life Planning for Success: DeafBlind Strategies
The course provides an overview of curricular options and instructional strategies to promote student success in school and beyond, and to ensure that all students successfully transition from school to adulthood. The course includes content from the following NCDB Open Hands, Open Access Modules: Transition to Adulthood and Community Living, Self-Determination, Social Skills and Peer Relationships, Sexuality and Collaborative Teaming and Family Partnerships. The course focuses on fully integrating the module content above to prepare students who are deafblind to be actively engaged in communities of their choice.
While these courses are not required to be completed sequentially, it will be beneficial to have foundational knowledge in the content areas included in each of the courses prior to enrolling in courses 2 & 3 (some exceptions may apply).
Who should join us?
- Any certified educators serving students birth through 21. Families are also welcome to join
Amy.Scepaniak@usd.edu DeafBlind Program Coordinator
Brandy.Sebera@usd.edu DeafBlind Program Specialist
These courses were established through collaboration between the Center for Disabilities and the USD School of Health Sciences and is offered to students from any school or program across the university. Center for Disabilities faculty teach the following courses:
HSC 285: History and Introduction to Disability
This course provides an overview of the field of disability including historical and legislative foundations, service delivery system roles and practices, and contemporary issues impacting individuals and their families. Different disability characteristics and implications for the provision of supports and services aimed at education, employment, independent living, and quality of life outcomes are covered, and a variety of classroom and community-based learning experiences are offered.
HSC 340: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Person-Centered Care
This course examines interprofessional teamwork which characterizes relationships between professions when providing services and supports to individuals with disabilities and their families. Levels of cooperation, coordination, and collaboration among the professions working across various agencies and facilities are provided, along with community-based learning opportunities discussed.
The RISE-UP Program provides opportunities for enhanced public health leadership training in maternal and child health, focusing on social determinants of health, elimination of health disparities, and developmental disabilities. Grant funding for this program was awarded to Kennedy Krieger Institute by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a national consortium of institutions and universities that provides undergraduate scholars with three public health leadership experiences: (1) clinical, (2) research, and (3) community engagement and advocacy. The purpose of this program is to enhance the pursuit of careers in research, public health, and the field of maternal and child health for college students from underrepresented populations. This program was developed in partnership with several UCEDDs including the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Center for Disabilities, and the University of California, Davis (UC-Davis) MIND Institute. The Kennedy-Krieger Institute, SD LEND, and UC-Davis centers are responsible for the recruitment of students and providing summer training experiences. Each year, a minimum of 10 students participate in the Center for Disabilities site, and are placed across health, educational, clinical, research, public policy/advocacy, and community-based organizations in South Dakota. The Center for Disabilities serves as the primary recruitment site for Native American students; however, participants in the program may come from any underserved population.
Training takes place at one of three locations:
- Kennedy Krieger Institute, with assistance from Johns Hopkins University
- University of Southern California, with assistance from California State University Los Angeles and the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles
- The University of South Dakota, with assistance from the Sanford School of Medicine
- Clinical/Community: Students rotate through clinical experiences provided by maternal and child health disciplines. Students will gain experience in providing community-based healthcare and community support systems for under-served groups.
- Leadership and Policy: Students work with industry professionals to create and evaluate health care and disability legislation, regulations and practice guidelines.
- Research: Students work with research mentors on public health, prevention, treatment and epidemiological studies. Students receive training in community-based participatory research, which engages under-served communities.
Our program allows students to select one or more of the three training tracks that best meet their needs. They will work with experts and meet other students with similar career interests. They will also:
- Attend a week-long public health orientation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Attend a comprehensive orientation at Kennedy Krieger
- Receive an American Public Health Association membership
- Present health and research information to colleagues and mentors
- Participate in distance learning seminars offered throughout the year
Program participants will receive a paid stipend, including transportation and housing.
- More than 90 percent of RISE-UP students who graduated from college or graduate school are working, seeking employment or continuing their education in public health
- 89 percent of abstracts submitted to national meetings were accepted. RISE-UP is a collaboration of Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.