“Arizona nonprofit First Place AZ released a new report on the state of housing for adults with autism or other intellectual or developmental disabilities.”
- Housing affordability is a significant topic. However, for some, there are other factors besides cost that factor into housing access.
- They reached out to adults with autism or other intellectual or developmental disabilities as well as their families then gave them an opportunity to share what they identified as their needs and preferences.
- Respondents wanted more inclusive housing, housing that included both people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those without, and safety was a high concern.
Also important: things like better lighting and a constant presence on-site to provide support can help people with these types of disabilities more comfortable.
“Promoting Internet Safety and Healthy Relationships: Adapting Digital Citizenship Lessons for Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities”
Through a review of literature and curricula and discussions with experts and youth with IDD, the PREP-PYP team identified internet safety—with a focus on healthy online relationships—as a gap in the existing materials available for youth with IDD.
The feedback from experts and youth with IDD also guided the adaptations made to the Digital Citizenship lessons, which included revising all individual or paired activities to be group discussions, updating terminology for easier comprehension, and adding flexibility in the timing of lesson delivery.
During the implementation pilot, facilitators described the adapted lesson plans as thorough, straightforward, and easy to follow and thought the lessons introduced youth to relevant internet safety concepts they need to have safe and healthy relationships online. They found youth actively engaged in the lessons and enjoyed the content.
Facilitators noted that the lessons might not be suitable for all youth with IDD because the content might be too challenging for students with the lowest functioning. For example, some youth struggled with concepts that the lessons did not explicitly show or state. However, using comprehension checks of key concepts throughout the lesson helped overcome this challenge.
The youth had an overall positive response to the lessons. They liked the inclusion of videos and scenarios and enjoyed the discussions of key concepts throughout those activities, such as how to tell if an online relationship is risky. The information in the lessons was new for some youth, but others had heard similar information before.
The differences in understanding the lesson content contributed to several youth suggesting that the lessons are more useful for adolescents who have not previously had education on internet safety or healthy online relationships. However, many youth reported that the lessons were good reminders, even for youth previously exposed to the content.
Some of the youth stated that the internet safety lessons will change their online behavior. Youth who did not think it would change their behavior said this was because they already know how to stay safe, or they talk with a parent or trusted adult when situations arise.
“Texas State to launch program for students with intellectual, developmental disabilities”
Texas State University plans to launch a four-year inclusive postsecondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the fall.
The program, known as Bobcat RISE, is a residential college experience that will help young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities make the transition to independent living and employment, according to a university announcement. IDDs include severe, chronic conditions that are caused by mental or physical impairments, according to Texas Health and Human Services.
“We’ve reached a powerful moment in which Bobcat RISE is moving from a dream to a lived reality, and that is inspiring for all of us,” said Michael O’Malley, the dean of Texas State’s College of Education, where the program will be housed. “Creating this opportunity for youth with IDD to be fully part of our four-year college experience resonates with the College of Education’s core commitment to expanding access and success for all learners.”