Voices from the Field: Interview with Ann Sam

Ann Sam

 

ED: How did you begin your career in early childhood?

During my undergraduate work, I completed an internship at the University of North Carolina’s TEACCH Autism Program. From this experience, I knew I wanted to work with individuals with autism. I began my career as an inclusive preschool and kindergarten public school teacher. As a teacher, I was unaware of many specific interventions or resources used to support the social, language, and behavioral skills of students with autism. Fueled by my desire to support students with autism in classrooms, as well as the teachers serving those students, I began my doctoral program in 2008 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I was fortunate to be funded through an Office of Special Education Program leadership grant: Interdisciplinary Preparation in Teaching, Research, and Service focused on Young Children with Autism and Their Families. When I graduated, I accepted a postdoctoral research position at 3C Institute, a small business that focuses on research and development. After completing my postdoctoral work, I returned to the University of North Carolina as a Research Scientist at Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute. At FPG, my work focuses on supporting the use of evidence-based practices for children with autism using a variety of professional development approaches including coaching and interactive, online modules.

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OSEP Releases Fast Facts on Asian, Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Asian Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Asian Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities

By the Office of Special Education Program

OSEP is excited to release two new Fast Facts that take a closer look at our IDEA 618 data on race and ethnicity.

For our Asian Children with Disabilities and Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities Fast Facts we present data from the data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 including that collected through child count, educational environments, discipline and exiting data collections. 

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Oregon Commission for the Blind Client Retires After 43-Year Career

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Oregon Commission for the Blind

After 43 years, Carl Belnap retired in August 2020, from his position at A-dec (Austin Dental Equipment Company), a Newberg, Oregon, manufacturer of dental office equipment.

Carl began his job at A-dec in May 1977. Blind since birth, Carl began as a client of Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB) in 1973. As a high school Junior, Carl attended OCB’s Portland Training Center for the Blind, a summer job training program. After high school, he attended the Oregon Rehabilitation Center for Development at the Oregon School for the Blind for several months, receiving vocational counseling and training. Carl also attended Clackamas Community College for additional training in the machine shop.

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What’s Your Vision?

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

What's Your Vision PSA

By David D’Arcangelo, Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind


As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) launched a new campaign emphasizing the importance of ensuring all Massachusetts residents, including those who are blind or visually impaired, have the opportunity to put their skills and talents to work, for the benefit of themselves and the Commonwealth’s employers and economy.

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Learning to Earn

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Kevin Urban

From Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation

Kevin Urban has strong math and foreign language skills, earned several college credits while still in high school, and loves creating visual art. Through his participation in Nebraska VR Pre-Employment Transition Services, he also learned a lot more about himself. He learned how to speak up for himself, knows he is not a fan of chaos or change, and says he is a hands-on and visual learner.

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Pathways to Partnerships — South Carolina

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

 

ABLE logo

 

SCVRD logo

 

SCDOE logo

South Carolina — Partnerships Making A Difference

By Kimberly Tissott, ABLE SC


How can partnerships advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities?

In the July 30 webinar, The Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) brought together vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, centers for independent living (CILs), and special education from four states: Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and South Carolina to discuss successful partnerships and to describe how their partnerships and collaboration are advancing competitive integrated employment for students, youth, and young adults with disabilities.

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Federal Partnerships Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

logo: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)logo: National Employment Team (NET)

By Kathy West-Evans, Director of Business Relations, CSAVR


VR and the IRS: A Partnership that Produces Positive Returns

To fulfill its workforce needs across multiple states, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) partners with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (CSAVR) National Employment Team (NET), and the relationship is producing positive returns for the agency and candidates with disabilities alike. 

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Impact Stories — Way2Work Maryland

Throughout June, we will celebrate the graduating high school class of 2020. This third blog in the series highlights two students from Maryland’s Way2Work program. Stay tuned as the graduates featured in this blog will also be part of the VR 100 webinar series in August.  


Congratulations graduates! A spotlight on Way2Work Maryland participants

Way2Work logo


Way2Work Maryland is a partnership between the University of Maryland’s Center for Transition and Career Innovation and the Division of Rehabilitation Services through the Maryland State Department of Education. It is a project designed to improve the academic and career success of students with disabilities in Maryland through work-based learning experiences. The project serves students with either an Individualized Education Program or a 504 Plan who will complete high school with a diploma or certificate.

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Impact Stories — Project SEARCH

Throughout June we will celebrate the graduating class of 2020.
This second blog in the series highlights three students who participated in the District of Columbia public schools’ Project SEARCH program.


Congratulations graduates! A spotlight on DC’s Project SEARCH participants

Project SEARCH logo

By Sah Brown, Principal, Eastern High School; and Aimeé Cepeda, Ed.D., Principal, River Terrace Education Campus, DC Public Schools

Project SEARCH is a one-year “school-to-work” transition program designed to prepare DCPS adult students with intellectual and other developmental disabilities for competitive employment. Project SEARCH interns receive daily instruction in employability skills and gain hands-on work experiences by rotating among three 10-week unique paid internships at a one of four Hilton Worldwide host site locations. The goal for each student is competitive, integrated employment by the end of the experience.

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Impact Stories — Unified Schools/Special Olympics

Throughout June, OSERS will celebrate the graduating high school class of 2020.
This first blog in the series highlights three students who participated in the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program.


Congratulations Graduates! A Spotlight on Participants of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools

logo - Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools

By Andrea Cahn, Project Director & Vice President for Unified Champion Schools

The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change. With sports as the foundation, the three-component model offers a unique combination of effective activities that equip young people with tools and training to create sports, classroom and school climates of acceptance. These are school climates where students with disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in, and feel a part of, all activities, opportunities and functions.


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