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IDD

Elsevier | DirectCourse |
Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota

Documentary Film Screening: “Of the Community” 

This film follows the lives of eight individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their journey to becoming of their community, not just in it. It also warns service providers of unconscious institutional mindsets that can threaten good service intentions. Attendees can expect to…

  • Gain a refreshed and energized perspective on the meaning of true community inclusion.
  • See how an elevated role-perception amongst direct support professionals is a key driver to making dreams a reality for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families!

This screening will be held on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 from 1:00 pm–1:45 pm ET.

Click here to register.


DirectCourse online learning is a partnership between the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration and Elsevier to further community living and integrated employment supports for people across disabilities.

Connect with Olivia Sullivan on LinkedIn and stay up-to-date on resources to help you advance your mission!

Register for upcoming webinars on DirectCourse’s new and improved Events page!

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

The Art of Supervision in IDD: Live Q&A With Dennis Reid, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Supervisors play a critical role in engaging and retaining DSPs. Their ability to seamlessly shift from providing encouragement and recognition to feedback and accountability is an art form that separates great supervisors and leaders from the rest.

How can you be a better a supervisor and leader?

On Thursday, August 26, 2021 at 2:00 pm ET, Dennis Reid, Ph.D., BCBA-D will join Relias to answer your questions on being a great leader, mentor, and supporter for your DSP staff. He’ll answer questions live and provide insights on why supervision is so important in the IDD field.

Submit your question for Dennis and register for the live Q&A session here.

A Review of PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH 2021 – PAHAN – 569 – 4-30 – UPD UPDATE: Work Restrictions for Healthcare Personnel with Exposure to COVID-19

Friday, August 6, 2021
9:30 am–10:30 am

COVID-19 infection rates are projected to increase in Pennsylvania due to a number of factors. There is concern that this increase in infections will exacerbate the already straining staffing capacity of long-term care facilities. To ensure that we are prepared to support some of the most vulnerable populations, Holly Simpson from the Pennsylvania Department of Health will present a review of the information contained in PA HAN 569. This review will include topics such as defining a “high-risk” exposure for healthcare personnel (HCP), how and when work exclusion for HCP should occur, testing strategies for HCP, and criteria for reducing work exclusion for HCP to mitigate staffing shortages.

Register here.

This morning, Barbara Merrill, Chief Executive Officer for the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), issued the following statement regarding the prioritization of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the distribution of forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines. Merrill’s statement comes just hours after a promising announcement from Moderna about its plans to seek approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its vaccine and one day before the anticipated publication of vaccine allocation recommendations from ACIP, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Having spent much of 2020 waiting for good news about a COVID-19 vaccine, ANCOR is incredibly optimistic about several recent positive developments from vaccine developers such as Pfizer, Moderna, and others. These developments suggest that we could be within 10 days of the FDA approving at least one highly effective COVID-19 vaccine.

“With FDA approval on the horizon, states will soon begin implementing the vaccine distribution frameworks that they have spent the past several months developing. We believe that across the board, these frameworks rightly identify several high-priority groups who ought to be vaccinated as soon as possible given the risks that they face if they contract COVID-19. These groups include frontline health care workers, people living in long-term care facilities, and people over the age of 65. Missing from most states’ lists of priority groups, however, are people with IDD.

“For months, ANCOR has advocated that people with IDD be explicitly included in the top priority tier to receive the vaccine because mounting research shows particularly significant risks facing this group. Data recently collected from eight states in partnership with ANCOR’s state association members found that people with IDD were twice as likely as members of the general population to die from COVID-19 despite being no likelier to contract the virus. Meanwhile, an analysis of insurance claims data conducted by Fair Health found that people with ‘developmental disorders’ were among the likeliest to die from COVID-19 while another study in the United Kingdom found that people with Down syndrome were 10 times likelier to die from COVID-19 compared to members of the general population.

“Furthermore, ANCOR firmly believes that direct support professionals (DSPs)—those on the frontlines who are keeping people with IDD safe during the pandemic—must be prioritized in states’ vaccine distribution plans. DSPs are critical to supporting people with IDD in doing everything from activities of daily living to taking precautions to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. Because they often work in people’s homes and in situations where social distancing is not possible, prioritizing DSPs to receive the vaccine will be a critical step in keeping the people they support safe and healthy.

“Given the expedited timeline on which forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines will be approved by the FDA and allocated according to states’ distribution frameworks, it is absolutely imperative for states that have yet to identify people with IDD as a top-tier priority to do so prior to December 10—the date on which the FDA is expected to approve the first COVID-19 vaccine for distribution. It is also crucial that ACIP, through its formal vaccine allocation recommendations, clearly signals to states the need to prioritize people with IDD in the allocation of any FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine.

“Federal and state governments should be applauded for the important work they’ve done in response to the record speed at which vaccine developers have created a highly effective antidote to this deadly virus. However, the reality is that the work is far from over. ANCOR stands as a ready and eager partner to these lawmakers as we all work to ensure the fastest possible recovery from a global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the lives of far too many Americans.”