Workshops & Events
- Behavior and Suspensions: A Parent’s Guide to Manifestation Determination Review (MDR): Before a school can suspend any student, the school must follow certain rules (due process). "Manifestation Determination Review" is a process to determine if a student’s disability was or was not a factor in the behavioral problem. Participants will learn the process of long and short term suspensions and MDR.
- Functional Behavior Assessments: Does a child’s behavior create problems in the classroom or at home? What can be done? Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) are part of the special education process which looks at specific student behaviors and what the child is trying to communicate. Participants will learn about the FBA process, behavior plans and goals that can be built into a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
- Individualized Education Program: Every child receiving special education services has an Individualized Education Program (IEP). What is it? Who writes it? What does individualized mean? In this workshop participants will learn about the parts of an IEP, receive tips and tools to become more involved in the planning process.
- Parent Member Training: This New York State Education Department (NYSED) training is intended to provide Parent Members who sit on the Committees on Preschool and School Age Special Education (CPSE/CSE) with an understanding of their role, requirements and the special education process. Participants will learn techniques and strategies to fulfill the Parent Member role in a meeting.
- Understanding Special Education: What is special education and where do you start? Participants will learn the steps in the special education process and learn what to expect at meetings of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) (Preschool - CPSE). Families will learn to be an active part of the process and walk away with resources for the future.
Specific to Buffalo Public Schools
- The Special Education Process and the BPS Parent Guide: What is special education and where do you start? Utilizing the BPS Parent’s Guide participants will learn the steps in the special education process at BPS and learn what to expect at meetings of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) (Preschool - CPSE). Families will learn to be an active part of the process and walk away with resources for the future.
- BPS Parent Member Refresher: This training is intended to provide Buffalo Public Schools Parent Members who sit on the Committees on Preschool and School Age Special Education (CPSE/CSE) with an understanding of their role, requirements and the special education process. Participants will strengthen their techniques and strategies to fulfill the Parent Member role in a BPS meeting utilizing the Buffalo Public School Special Education and Committee on Special Education Process Parent Guide.
Transition to Adulthood
- It’s My Life – Self Determination: Would you like your child/student with a disability to be in charge of their future and feel confident to talk about themselves? Self-determined individuals know what they want and use their self-advocacy skills to get it. Participants will learn how individuals with disabilities set goals for themselves and advocate for their needs.
- Letting Go-Looking at the Emotional Side of Transition: Independence, success, safety are some of the concerns families of children with disabilities face when that child becomes a teenager. Participants will receive strategies and build skills to help with the natural emotions that occur while encouraging growth and independence. (Geared toward parents and family members)
- Pathways to Graduation: What does it mean to get a Regents diploma? A local diploma? An IEP diploma? A SACC? What can you do? What can you not do? How much effort does it take? Can your child do the work? This workshop explores the options, and outlines the updates to NYS regulations.
- Preparing for High School: Now what? Do you attend school planning meetings for your middle school child/student? Beginning at age 15, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is required to provide a section for the student’s future called a transition plan. Participants will develop an understanding of graduation requirements and the transition process by focusing on identifying the student’s interests, strengths and needs for all areas of life.
- Self Directed Services: In these workshop individuals families and caregivers will learn what OPWDD funded self-directed services are and how they work. Participants develop a basic understanding of creating an initial service plan for the individual with a developmental disability; identify what their responsibilities will be and who they will be working with during this process. Learn what terms like employer and budget authority, and roles like start-up broker, support broker, and more will play in Self-Directed Services.
- Transition for Families: (NEW State-Vetted Training) the goals of this training are to ensure that parents, family members and students can work with their CSE to assess their child's strengths, interests, and needs; establish measurable goals for life after High School; and identify appropriate transition services and coordinated activities.
- Transition to Adulthood: What happens after high school for students with disabilities? What questions should you ask and whom do you ask? When should families start thinking about and planning for adult life? In this workshop participants will understand the special education system’s responsibilities regarding all areas of living…”Live, Learn, Work and Play.” An introduction to community based services will be provided.
- Your Mama Doesn’t Work Here: Teens and young adults… What do you need to be successful at work? This workshop will teach participants to identify future goals, make a plan to meet your goals and learn the skills you need to get and keep a job. (Geared towards individuals with disabilities)
- Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADHD/ADD): What is ADHD/ADD? Participants will increase their knowledge of the signs, characteristics and treatment methods. Strategies for success will be discussed.
- Autism Spectrum Disorders-ASD (various topics): CASE-Collaboration for Autism Support and Education provides a variety of specialized workshops to help families and professionals better understand ASD and the behaviors and characteristics associated with ASD. CASE offers workshop topics that are meaningful and relevant to both families and providers. FOR ALL TOPICS SEE PAGE 6
- Sensory Processing Disorder: Does your child/student seem unsteady, uncoordinated and sensitive to sounds and touch? Is a challenging behavior a choice or a simple reaction to what is happening around him/her? Participants will gain an understanding of how the senses work and ways to improve their functions.
Behavior Workshop Descriptions
- Bullying and Students with Disabilities: How do students with disabilities cope with bullying? Participants will learn advocacy skills and how supports and services can be built into an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to promote social growth.
- Holiday Behavior and Anxiety: Holidays can be challenging for everyone. Especially for some individuals with disabilities and their families. This workshop will give you strategies to help reduce stress and anxiety, and help make your Holidays more enjoyable.
- Observing and Communicating Behaviors: Do you recognize the behaviors that could be effecting your child's development? Do you know how to document these behaviors and effectively communicate them to educational professionals? This workshop will give you the tools to document your child’s behavior, know who to share these observations with, and how to communicate them effectively. As a bonus, you will also walk away with resources to develop skills to manage stress in the home.
- Sexuality…Having the Conversation: Participants will understand the importance of early and ongoing discussion about sexuality and appropriate social behaviors for individuals with disabilities. Tips will be provided to encourage a more comfortable conversation.
- The Nurtured Heart Approach: Have you tried everything you know and don’t know where to turn? The Nurtured Heart Approach is a powerful tool that will transform a difficult child and build you up as a family member or professional. Participants will walk away with strategies and tools to increase success in all areas of life!
- What to do About Challenging Behavior in the Home and Community: Parenting is a full time job with many daily challenges. As parents we teach are children what is the right thing to do and what they should not do. The purpose of this workshop is to help parents recognize the early signs of conflict and implement strategies that can manage the conflict in a proactive way and prevent the conflict from turning into a full blown storm.
- Navigating Community Based Services: Are there services out there in addition to school services for a child or adult with disabilities? Yes! Participants will gain an understanding of eligibility and the admission process. Walk away with information about available supports and services.
- Introduction to Mental Health: Participants will be introduced to what mental health is and examples of types of mental illness, the causes, treatments, and the various services available in school, at home and in the community.
- Overview of Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities: What is a developmental disability? Participants will gain an understanding of eligibility and the admission process to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) system. Walk away with information about available supports and services and updates about what’s new in this dynamic system.
- Benefits for Person with DD in NYS: Learn about benefits available for persons with developmental disabilities in New York State. This workshop focuses on SSI, SSD, Medicaid and Medicare, as well as general information regarding Special Needs Trusts.
- Medicaid Service Coordination Training: The Western New York Institute provides competency-based trainings to Medicaid Service Coordinators (MSC) and their Supervisors in the WNY area. Trainings are designed to enhance skills through interactive sessions and hands-on workshops. MSCs are provided the tools necessary to become effective service coordinators to the individuals and families they serve. FOR ALL TOPICS SEE PAGE 7
Helpful for Everyone
- The Paper Chase…Organizing all your stuff!: Where did you put that paper? It’s here somewhere!!! Participants will learn which papers or documents to keep, organizing tips and understand how having the right paper at your fingertips can lead to a successful education plan.
- Effective Communication: Helping Families and Professionals Work Together: Participants will learn how to improve communication skills to effectively work with parents and family members of children with disabilities. This workshop will help participants learn to promote collaborative relationships with the goal of improved student achievement or services. (Geared toward professionals)
- Effective Communication: Helping Families and Professionals Work Together: Participants will learn how to improve communication skills to effectively work with professionals who work with children who have a learning challenge or a disability. This workshop will help participants learn how to work together and help their child be successful. (Geared toward parents)
- Guardianship, Wills and Trusts: Does your child need a guardian? When do you begin the process? Why do you need a will? How do you protect your child’s future services? An overview of who needs a guardian and the different types will be provided. Participants will learn about trusts for a child with special needs and have an understanding of the various processes.
- Life of an Incident: This workshop is for parents of children/adults who have developmental disabilities and are receiving services through the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Participants will learn about the type of events that occur during the provision of a service and or supported living that are considered “incidents.” Participants will gain a better understanding of why and how incidents are documented and your rights.
- Person Centered Planning: What do people with disabilities need to think about now for their future? Participants will walk away with the beginning steps to a plan for their future.
- Preparing for a Meeting: Parents and individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in various meetings with professionals throughout a school year including the annual Committee on Special Education. Participants will walk away with tips on how to be prepared organized and learn how to be a powerful advocate.
- Response to Intervention (RTI): Really Terrific Instruction! Participants will gain a better understanding of the process, parent role and how RTI can make a positive difference in a student’s educational experience.
- Section 504: Why do I Need to Know About it? Participants will learn about 504 plans, eligibility and understand the possible supports available under the plan.
- Skills for Effective Parent Advocacy: Parents and caregivers of children with special needs will walk away with improved advocacy skills needed to effectively speak up for their child’s needs.
- Telling Your Story: Participants will learn how to use the power of a personal story to help improve services and supports for individuals with special needs and their families. This workshop will help people become "system change agents" and understand the power of their story.
- Como estar Preparado para una Reunión: Padres e individuos con discapacidades tienen la oportunidad de participar en varias reuniones con profesionales durante el año escolar incluyendo la reunión anual del Comité de Educación Especial. Participantes aprenderán como estar preparados, organizados y como ser un fuerte defensor.
- Comprender la Educación Especial: ¿Que es la educación especial y donde puedo comenzar? Este taller le enseñara los pasos del proceso de Educación Especial y que esperar en una reunión del Comité de Educación Especial (CSE Y CPSE). Familias aprenderán como estar activamente involucrado en el proceso y también recibirán recursos e información necesarios para el futuro.
- Comunicación Efectiva: Los participantes aprenderán como mejorar sus habilidades de comunicación y tener una buena relación con los profesionales que trabajan con sus hijos que tienen dificultades de aprendizaje o con discapacidades. Este taller les ayudara a aprender cómo trabajar juntos para que el niño pueda triunfar. (Dirigido para padres)
- Construyendo su Carpeta: Teniendo todos los papeles necesarios inmediatamente disponibles es la mejor manera de abogar por su hijo con necesidades especiales. Este taller le enseña a los participantes qué papeles guardar, como y porque esto podría ayudarle a recibir los servicios necesarios para su hijo.
- Corazón Nutrido: Enfoque para Comportamientos Difíciles: ¿Ha intentado todo lo posible y ahora no sabe qué hacer? El Enfoque del Corazón Nutrido es una técnica poderosa que transformara su niño con comportamientos difíciles y servirá como una fuente de desarrollo para los miembros de la familia o como profesional. ¡Los participantes aprenderán estrategias y técnicas para aumentar éxito en todas las áreas de la vida!
- El Acoso Escolar y Estudiantes con Discapacidades: ¿Cómo pueden los estudiantes con discapacidades lidiar con el acoso escolar? Los participantes aprenderán habilidades para abogar y como los apoyos y servicios pueden formar parte del Programa de Educación Individualizado (PEI) para promover el desarrollo social.
- Habilidades para que los Padres Aboguen Efectivamente: Padres y personas relacionadas con el cuidado de niños con necesidades especiales obtendrán las habilidades para abogar efectivamente por las necesidades de sus hijos.
- Programa de Educación Individualizada: Todos los niños que reciben Educación Especial tienen un Programa de Educación Individualizado (PEI). ¿Qué es un PEI? ¿Quién lo crea? ¿Qué significa individualizado? En este taller usted aprenderá sobre las partes del PEI, y recibirá consejos y herramientas para estar más involucrado en la planificación educativa de su hijo.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
- All About Autism- a workshop for Parents, Families, and Friends: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). What does that mean? Participants in this workshop will learn about supports and services available through school, doctors and other community resources and walk away with the information necessary to take the next steps toward success.
- ASD: An Overview: In this workshop participants will learn about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and will discuss how and why Autism Spectrum Disorders are diagnosed and by whom. The workshop will also cover learning styles, recent research and ways to promote success at home, school and in the community.
- ASD: Could There Be Something Else? Participants in this workshop will gain information about additional diagnoses that can also provide challenges for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
- ASD: Improve Challenging Behavior: In this workshop participants will learn strategies for understanding and improving the behavioral challenges of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in their homes and community settings. Walk away with tips to make a positive change.
- ASD: Improving Social Challenges: Participants will learn about the social challenges for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and will discover strategies to use at home, school and within the community.
- ASD: Ways to Communicate: In this workshop participants will learn about communication disorders related to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and treatment strategies to improve communication skills in children with ASD.
- So Many Treatment Options, How do you choose? “We chase a lot of rainbows” as a parent of child with Autism. The treatments, options, rumors, and promises can keep your head spinning. Participants will gain tools to better assess their situation and environment, and to evaluate various treatment options and gain information to help them to find appropriate supports and services.
- Supporting Siblings of Individuals with ASD: In this workshop, families will learn about challenges that can occur when a member is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Participants will learn how siblings can work together within the family to promote understanding and encourage social skills.
Western New York Institute- Medicaid Service Coordination Training
- Appreciating Differences: Each of us has a unique reaction to differences in others. Learn how to better understand your own personal response to individuals with developmental disabilities. Gain a better understanding of the impact disabilities may have on an individual, and his or her family. Develop strategies to emphasize abilities over disabilities.
- Advanced PCP: This is a hands-on approach to working with some of the basic tools and maps of Person Centered Planning. We will be reviewing best practices and learn how to set up environments to successfully work with individuals to develop their personal Plans. Participants will learn how to create Person Centered planning maps and how to develop and assist the individuals' Circles of Support.
- Benefits for Person with DD in NYS: Learn about benefits available for persons with developmental disabilities in New York State. This workshop focuses on SSI, SSD, Medicaid and Medicare, as well as general information regarding Special Needs Trusts.
- Community Supports and Resources: Learn about the range of services available to individuals with developmental disabilities, who qualifies for which service, and how you can access those services. This workshop will provide an overview of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) eligibility requirements. Understand how various service systems can work together to help an individual achieve his or her personal goals.
- Cultural Competence: What is Cultural Competence? This OPWDD's approved curriculum will provide Medicaid Service Coordinators and Habilitation providers with an understanding of cultural competence as it relates to working with the individuals they serve. MSC’s will gain knowledge on why cultural competence is important to the provision of services, strategies on how to become more culturally competent and how to put it into practice.
- Effective Communication Strategies: This workshop provides a basic understanding of the elements of effective communication. Participants will learn about barriers that interfere with effective communication and strategies to overcome those barriers. Walk away with tools to establish and maintain collaboration among families, schools and service providers.
- Eligibility for OPWDD Services: Who is Eligible for OPWDD Services? The Eligibility review process is the gateway to services offered through the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities in New York State (OPWDD) This workshop will review the criteria for eligibility, the information and reports that are required, and the process that is used to determine an individual’s eligibility for services.
- Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver: This course is an introduction to the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver. This includes a discussion of the ISE, history and overview of the waiver, the waiver services and the Service Coordinator's responsibilities. MSCs will receive 3 CEU credits
- Informed Choice: Service Coordinators play a critical role in helping individuals with developmental disabilities make informed choices about services. In this workshop participants will learn how to help individuals make the best decisions based upon all available information.
- Individualized Service Plan: OPWDD’s approved curriculum for MSC’s- learn how to develop and implement and effective Individualized Service Plan. MSCs will receive 6 CEU credits
- ISP Facilitation Training: One of the most important roles of the Service Coordinator is developing a comprehensive and effective Service Plan for each individual served. This training will focus on techniques to help Service Coordinators prepare for and facilitate effective ISP meetings, including how to engage individuals in their own meetings, and how to get answers to important questions.
- Managing Change: All the changes happening within OPWDD make for an uncertain future for our service system and the future role of MSC's. How do we provide quality services today when we don't know what our jobs will be like tomorrow? This workshop will help you learn how to manage change effectively for yourself and the individuals you serve."
- Monthly Notes: Participants will learn the reasons why MSC Monthly notes are so important while also learning the minimum standards for quality and billing. This workshop will answer frequently asked questions and provide tips and examples of high quality MSC monthly notes. This workshop is for MSCs who are just learning the minimum standards as well as those who want to write more effective, high quality notes.
- MSC CORE: NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) mandated training for new Service Coordinators. This training must be completed within six (6) months of employment as an MSC. The Participants Manual is available on the NYS OPWDD website and must be brought to the training. (Fee: $60.00)
- Overview of Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities: What is a developmental disability? Participants will gain an understanding of eligibility and the admission process to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) system. Walk away with information about available supports and services.
- Overview of Special Education: Learn about special education laws and regulations and the special education process. Gain an understanding of the role of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) and the elements of an effective transition plan. This workshop will give you strategies to assist students and parents obtain the educational services the child needs.
- Roles of the Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC): What is a Medicaid Service Coordinator? What do they do? Gain a better understanding of the MSC’s responsibilities. Learn about their role in coordinating services and connecting with resources.
- Technical Skills: Gain an understanding of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Quality Assurance (QA) regulations that set the standards for Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) services. Learn how the Individualized Service Plan (ISP) and MSC paperwork requirements relate to those standards, and come away with strategies to “make it easier”!
- Time Management: In this training participants will gain insights on managing their time, writing goals, setting and resetting priorities, handling interruptions, developing better organization habits, and more.
- Valued Outcomes: This program will provide Medicaid Service Coordinators and Habilitation providers with an understanding of valued outcomes and their importance in an individual’s ISP and coordinated services. Group discussion and activities will include an opportunity for questions, writing actual outcomes for individuals and applying outcomes to habilitation plans. Staff that is responsible for writing residential and day habilitation plans is strongly encouraged to attend.
- Working with Individuals and Families: Become skilled in understanding the roles that parents of children with disabilities have to take on. Understand the impact of your own beliefs while working with and supervising staff who works with individuals and families. Identify skills for building rapport with the people you serve. Gain an understanding of family perspectives, diversity, cultural competency, key points of poverty and the dynamics of stress.
Medicaid Service Coordinator Supervision Specific
- Audit Readiness: Provides an overview of essential requirements of Medicaid Service Coordination, information on audit standards used in OPWDD’s Bureau of Fiscal Audit Medicaid Billing & Claiming reviews.
- Improving Employee Performance: Do you have employees you wish performed better? Do a few of your employees seem to take up a lot of your time? In this workshop we will share a variety of tools to help you improve employee performance.
- Overview of Supervision: This workshop will examine the three primary roles of the Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) Supervisor: Administrator, Supervisor and Manager. Learn how to better supervise, support and assist a multigenerational workforce.
- The Right Supervision for the Right Person at the Right Time: Learn how to get the most from each of your Medicaid Service Coordinators (MSCs) and assist them to become the most effective and efficient workers they can be. This workshop will help you identify the different learning and working styles of your staff and provide strategies to tailor your supervision to the approach that will work best for each one.
- Tricks of the Trade: Find out why you cannot get your job done! Learn how to improve your problem-solving skills, increase your efficiency, and lead more productive meetings. Identify techniques for prioritizing multiple tasks and delegating effectively.
- Working with People, Time and Ourselves: Working with various teams and on different projects can be challenging. Learn techniques to be better organized and manage your time more effectively. Develop strategies to end conflict on a team and move toward effective problem-solving.