October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Endorsed by the US Department of Labor (DOL), the purpose of NDEAM is to help educate individuals about disability employment issues and to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
This premise falls in line with the tools we are developing at Cognitopia.
Cognitopia offers an integrated self-determination software platform helping to improve independence with person-centered ePortfolios and IEP self-direction, goal tracking and progress sharing, and a library of task analyzed routine activities using text, images, and video modeling.
As part of our ongoing research and development, we’re in year two of an ongoing partnership with two inclusive, two-year, non-degree postsecondary education certificate programs for students with developmental/intellectual disabilities:
- University of Nevada Reno: P2I (Path to Independence) https://www.unr.edu/nced/projects/nced_p2i
- University of Nevada Las Vegas: Project F.O.C.U.S. (Forming Occupational and Community Understanding for Success): http://unlvcoe.org/focus/
P2I and Project F.O.C.U.S. are two of 260 PSE programs listed on ThinkCollege.net. Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability and is a key sponsor of the annual State of the Art Conference (SOTA) at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY.
Tom Keating, CEO and Founder of Cognitopia, co-presented with program directors from the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities and the University of Nevada work experience sites at SOTA last week to discuss how these sites are using the Cognitopia platform to foster more effective college transition as self-advocates supported by their peers, mentors, and education coaches.
Program research shows students with intellectual/developmental disabilities who attend inclusive postsecondary education programs, like P2I and Project F.O.C.U.S:
- Are 26% more likely to be employed;
- Are employed in more non-traditional jobs (instead of fast food and janitorial);
- Make 73% more in weekly wages;
- Successfully live independently more often than those who do not attend.
Keating added, “The SOTA conference was a great opportunity for us to share our tools for self-determination directly with the many individuals with cognitive disabilities, parents, transition and college teachers, and self-directed support facilitators who attended. We initiated several great partnerships through our presentation and demonstration station and we look forward to playing a vital continuing role in developing technology to support inclusive education and customized employment.”
For more information on NDEAM 2018: visit the official US DOL Website: https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/
Create your own Cognitopia account here: https://www.cognitopia.com/signup
Julie Henning has been with Cognitopia since 2015. In that time, she has been involved in customer support, training, marketing, documentation, social media, and data collection. Some of her favorite projects have been mentoring our videographer intern, Nate, and weekly classroom testing and curriculum development for the many students in the 4J Connections Transition program. She works closely with Eugene-based SLLEA (Smart Living, Learning & Earning with Autism) to integrate Cognitopia’s self-management tools into the organization and structure design input and support platform implementation. Professionally, Julie has over twenty years’ experience working in engineering, technology, software development, and journalism; a path made possible with two degrees in Technical Communication: a BS from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and a MS from Colorado State University. A single mom of three high schoolers (grades 9, 10, and 11), Julie has introduced Cognitopia to terms such as “sick” and “yeet,” while overseeing the office coffee consumption. In her free time, she enjoys playing recreational soccer, improv comedy, and traveling.