Sunday, August 23, 2015

Free online training program for Minnesota special needs workers

The Arc of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota are making Elsevier Publishing’s online training programs available free of charge to Minnesota residents; the list price for one of these courses is about $300. They are designed to support training special needs professionals.

There are four training programs, each with a university sponsor:

Direct Support (University of Minnesota): designed for direct support professionals (DSPs) and others who support individuals with disabilities.

Employment services (UMass): "designed for professionals who support people with disabilities and other challenges to find employment"

Personal Assistance (UCSF): “personal care assistants, home care providers, and family caregivers"

Recovery and Community Inclusion (Temple): "community mental health practitioners”. I assume this is primarily aimed at persons with substance use disorders, but it may include persons with schizophrenia.

The programs use old technologies such as Flash, Windows Media Player, and QuickTime. They won’t run on iOS devices.

The employment services curriculum is probably of most interest to us, if only to learn the “party line” and jargon. Topics include:

  • Evolution of Employment Services
  • The Employment-Services Professional
  • The Role of the Job Coach Outside the Workplace
  • The First Days of Work and the Employment Support Plan
  • Legal Rights at Work and Self-Advocacy
  • Preparing for Emergencies in the Workplace
  • Developing a Task Analysis
  • Natural Supports, Self-Maintenance, and Fading
  • Why Work? An Overview of Work Incentives
  • Proactive Planning: Staying on Track with Work Incentives
  • Key Incentives for People Receiving Social Security
  • Disability Insurance
  • Key Incentives for People Receiving Supplemental Security Income
  • There’s More to Benefits: Health Care and Other Subsidies
  • The PASS: Helping People with Disability Benefits Create Careers
  • Where Funding Comes From
  • Social Security and Additional Funding Sources
  • Social Security Ticket to Work program
  • Self-Employment
Minnesota residents can request a new learner’s account. Other states may have similar programs, check with your local The Arc office.
PS. The signup process asks users to include the last four digits of a SSN as part of the user id. I think I know why they are doing this, but it’s a singularly bad idea. My last name is unique enough I simply appended the last four digits of my phone number.

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