Equity, Equality, and Inclusion

In her recent novel, “small great things,” author Jodi Picoult addressed the difference between equality and equity. As one of the author’s character explained it: “Equality is treating everyone the same. But equity is taking differences into account, so everyone has a chance to succeed.” She goes on to say that the former seems fair,… Read more

Bullying Prevention: Teaching Our Youth To Embrace Their Differences

October was anti-bullying month, so naturally we at DirectCourse thought this would be a good time to talk about this issue, and how it may affect people with disabilities. Research suggests that children with physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities are more likely to be bullied than their peers. According to a study conducted… Read more

There’s No Love Like a Dogs Love

  There’s no love like a dogs love. As man’s best friend, dogs have that unique gift to make you feel loved and cherished. They also, as researchers say, have that distinctive ability to lower stress levels, which can be extremely beneficial especially when it comes to children on the autism spectrum as well as… Read more

Category: I/DD

The 26th Anniversary of the ADA: Progress and Lingering Obstacles

Last month marked the 26th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by President H.W. Bush in 1990. A law that ensured that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else; giving civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the… Read more

More than a wheelchair; Emojis to better represent people with disablilties

Every day, billions of emojis are sent back and forth on social media applications and have come to play a quite significant role in the world of text communication. There has been quite a bit of initiative to make emojis more diverse, to depict people with different skin tones and same sex couples and so on; however,… Read more

Why Hiring Those on the Spectrum is Good for Your Company

According to Disability Scoop, an estimated 50,000 students with autism graduate from high school each year, entering into the scary realm of adulthood. However, now that they are adults and no longer children, they enter into a world where they may not have access to the support systems they were given in childhood. Thus, more… Read more

Category: Employment, I/DD

Admin Corner – Nov/Dec 2015

NEW Courses Now Available! We have released two new courses, one in College of Employment Services and the other in College of Recovery and Community Inclusion. Customers of the applicable content areas will automatically receive the new content, and free demo’s of the content are available to anyone interested (contact us here for details). College… Read more

Admin Corner – Sept/Oct 2015

Upcoming Therap Conferences Therap Services, LLC. is a web-based service organization that provides an integrated solution for documentation, reporting and communication needs of agencies providing support to people with developmental disabilities. We will be leading sessions about Improving Implementation, Meeting Compliance and Regulations, Using the Therap Bridge, and more at these upcoming Therap conferences. We… Read more

Arc of Minnesota Provides DirectCourse Training to Families for Free

This past February, The Arc of Minnesota partnered with the University of Minnesota and DirectCourse to make four online curricula available to Minnesota families and people with disabilities absolutely free. The Arc of Minnesota is a private, non-profit statewide voluntary organization that provides advocacy work and education that will further the efforts of inclusion and integration for people… Read more

“The First One” NADSP Conference A Resounding Success

This past May, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) held its first Annual Meeting & Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Titled “The First One”, in anticipation of many such conferences for years to come, this inaugural conference, which was held in conjunction with the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), provided an… Read more

Category: I/DD

Google Impact Challenge Seeks to Make Technology More Accessible for Everyone

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, over one billion people on Earth have some form of disability. If you have a disability, know or work with someone with a disability, the reality you face every day is one of limited accessibility and opportunity. And sometimes, barriers for people with disabilities exist simply due… Read more

DSP of the Year Uses Technology to Improve Lives

In this age of smartphones, tablets, and apps that can help a person do virtually everything, direct support professionals (DSPs) are also discovering that modern technology is helping them better serve people with disabilities. One DSP, Alex Andrews, of Imagine! of Lafayette, Colorado, who, in his fifteen years with the organization, has created various applications,… Read more

Category: I/DD

DirectCourse Webinar Examines Direct Service Workforce Core Competencies

As the need for direct service workers (DSW) increases nationwide, ensuring that they provide quality support is of paramount importance. However, for DSWs, pay has stagnated and turnover is high, often resulting in a lack of quality care. Because of this and other issues, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies (CMS) sponsored the creation… Read more

Category: I/DD

Minnesota Utilizes College of Direct Support for Statewide DSP Training

Last year, the State of Minnesota entered a contract with DirectCourse to make the College of Direct Support curriculum available to all county, tribal and Department of Human Services staff for training purposes. In doing so, the State has also made this valuable training tool available to providers as well—organizations who serve less than ten… Read more

Category: I/DD

New Crosswalks, CDS featured in NASDDDS Newsletter, and more!

March/April 2015 Connections Admin Corner The College of Direct Support was featured in the January 2015 issue of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) Newsletter for exciting findings from the UMN Research and Training Center on Community Living  – click here to view! The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) funded… Read more

CMS Regulatory Requirements for Home and Community Based Settings

DirectCourse Crosswalks to the HCBS Regulatory Requirements: College of Direct Support College of Personal Assistance and Caregiving   The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is engaged in an ongoing effort to improve quality management expectations for providers of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). As part of this effort they have released new… Read more

Category: I/DD

2014 Year in Review

As we start the New Year, the DirectCourse team has been reflecting upon a successful 2014, surrounded by friends, old and new. We invite you to share in our reflection – check out this video we made! Happy New Year!

Forthcoming Webinar Examines Direct Service Workforce Core Competencies

Register Today! Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies (CMS) sponsored the creation of the Road Map for Core Competencies for the Direct Service Workforce (DSW), which is to be implemented through the National Direct Service Workforce Resource Center. Created in partnership with dozens of stakeholder organizations, the Road Map is intended to foster… Read more

Category: I/DD

New Jersey Utilizes CDS for Pre-Service Medical Training

As internet technology improves day-by-day, federal and state agencies are beginning to embrace online learning to streamline and improve training. This past July, the State of New Jersey decided to allow agencies to utilize the DirectCourse/College of Direct Support (CDS) online medication curriculum as a part of meeting their pre-service medication training requirements for direct… Read more

Category: I/DD

Elsevier’s PolicyNavigator Streamlines Training

This July, Elsevier launched PolicyNavigator, an efficient and flexible management tool that pairs perfectly with Elsevier Performance Manager – the platform on which most DirectCourse users access their content.  PolicyNavigator can further productivity by making it easier for organizations to train and communicate with employees. With PolicyNavigator, documents of all kinds are available instantly. Too… Read more

Admin. Corner: New courses, sunset courses, and an exclusive webinar with Nancy Thaler!

Did you miss our webinar with Nancy Thaler?  Don’t worry – we recorded it. Check it out here: “Future Needs of Caregivers in the Home” with Nancy Thaler, Executive Director of NASDDDS In case you missed it – we’ve added several new courses this year!  Click on the titles below to learn more about each one.… Read more

2014 Moving Mountains Award Recognizes Excellence in the Direct Support Workplace

Since 2002, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals and the Research & Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota have been bestowing the Moving Mountains Award on outstanding organizations that utilize “best practice in direct support staff workforce development that results in improved outcomes for the people being supported.” This year’s… Read more

Category: I/DD

Community Living Fast Becoming a Reality for Medicaid Subscribers

This past January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a press release detailing important news for seniors and people with disabilities. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that guarantees that people utilizing Medicaid’s home and community-based service programs are given full access to community living,… Read more

Category: I/DD

New DirectCourse Webinar Focuses on Future Needs of Caregivers in the Home

DirectCourse is proud to present the recording of its latest webinar, Future Needs of Caregivers in the Home, presented by Nancy Thaler, Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDS). According to recent studies noted in the webinar, almost 40% of all adult Americans are caring for someone disabled… Read more

New Jersey Career Path for DSPs Showing Signs of Success

In 2009, the New Jersey Direct Support Professional Workforce Development Coalition created the New Jersey Career Path for DSP’s, in order to help increase the skills of direct support professionals (DSPs) and provide opportunities for them to earn more money. The Career Path is a voluntary training program for DSPs, utilizing various educational and professional… Read more

Category: I/DD

New DirectCourse Video!

Thank you to all participants in the making of our new video, which is now posted on our website: www.directcourseonline.com Ben Woodworth, Director of Training, Iowa Association of Community Providers Megan Hartwig, Technical Assistance Specialist, Iowa Association of Community Providers Judith Dotzman, Executive Director, SPIN Lucy Corker, Director, Professional Development, SPIN Erica Lowry, Direct Support Professional, SPIN Taryn Garvin, Direct Support Professional, SPIN… Read more

After 12 Years, CDS is a Proven Success in Pennsylvania

For over a dozen years, Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has been providing self-advocates, families and direct support staff with access to the DirectCourse/College of Direct Support (CDS) curriculum. Eager to implement a tool that would train DSPs across the state, ODP found CDS’s flexibility, affordability, and content the perfect… Read more

Category: I/DD

New! DirectCourse Admin. Training

We are proud to announce that Elsevier’s Customer Support Team is providing training directed to clients using DirectCourse products on a bi-monthly basis, as of this April! Please check your inbox for a list of upcoming sessions that we’ve designed to ensure you are getting the most from our learning management system delivering the content… Read more

DirectCourse – Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions – we have answers! Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive, as well as our responses. How are your curricula developed? Will your curriculum help me meet my state standards? Do I receive a certificate upon completion of each lesson? I want to incorporate my current training… Read more

Moving Mountains Award Nominations Are Due by the End of February!

Large or small, organizations that help improve workforce outcomes for direct support professionals (DSPs) and their employers are being sought for possible nomination for the 2014 Moving Mountains Award. The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and the Research and Training Center (RTC) at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration have been… Read more

Category: I/DD

CDS Congratulates DSP of the Year

Each year, the National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD) bestows its Direct Support Professional (DSP) Award for Excellence on an individual “whose dedication, advocacy, compassion, competence, person-centered approaches and collaboration results in improved quality of life, health, and wellness, and/or opportunities for person(s) with intellectual disabilities or mental health needs.” This year, April El,… Read more

Category: I/DD

Research Shows Benefits of Training Include Decreased Turnover Among DSPs

At a recent Leadership Summit sponsored by the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), researchers from the Institute of Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Minnesota presented their findings from a five-year study to evaluate the effectiveness of comprehensive competency based training intervention that utilized the DirectCourse/College of Direct Support (CDS). The… Read more

Category: I/DD

Social Security/SSI Benefits To Increase in 2014

Thanks to cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase in 2014. COLA is engaged when inflation rises, to help cover the rise in the cost-of-living. Beginning in January, benefits will rise just over 1.5% over last year’s benefits. According to an article in DisabilityScoop.com, an online magazine dedicated to… Read more

Category: I/DD

New Savings Calculator Helps Set Training Budget

Whether the economy’s soaring or times are tough, organizations are always seeking ways to cut costs and stretch their budgets whenever, and wherever, possible. With this in mind, DirectCourse has created a “Savings Calculator”, designed to allow potential clients of any of the DirectCourse curricula to determine how much money they will save using our… Read more

Professional Development May Help Increase Pay

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary for home health aides, or direct support professionals (DSPs), meaning those workers who provide support to people with physical and mental disabilities and older adults, is just $21,800 a year. To put this into perspective, if a DSP were the sole breadwinner for a… Read more

Category: I/DD

UCP Agreement Brings CDS Nationwide

Elsevier and the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) have reached an agreement to offer the DirectCourse/College of Direct Support (CDS) online education and training to the network’s nearly 100 affiliates. The UCP network supports nearly 200,000 individuals with cerebral palsy and a spectrum of developmental disabilities , and has hundreds of employees across the United States,… Read more

Category: I/DD

Disability Studies programs offered at CUNY SPS

The City University of New York (CUNY) and its School of Professional Studies (SPS) have a long-standing history of providing direct support workers with the skills and knowledge to improve the lives of people with disabilities. For over 20 years, they have continued the great strides that John F. Kennedy. Jr. made in the field… Read more

Category: I/DD

CDS Curriculum Grows to Meet New Standards Established by CMS

This February the National Council on Disabilities (NCD) issued a report, CMS Managed Care NCD Recommendations, examining the increased financial burden that state governments face when addressing managed care for people with disabilities and Medicaid’s response to such challenges. Citing a number of factors, including state managerial capacity, performance measurement, and the challenges of utilizing… Read more

Category: I/DD

Join Today! DirectCourse’s Social Media Sites Launches

Elsevier, a global leader in medical and health information, continues to find ways to make its DirectCourse online curriculum even more accessible to its learning community. We have successfully launched a Facebook page and Twitter account for both the DirectCourse College of Direct Support (CDS) and the College of Employment Services (CES) online curricula.

Category: Employment, I/DD

The Evolution and Vision of the New DirectCourse Curricula

DirectCourse…online curricula for life in community A decade ago the College of Direct Support (CDS) online curriculum was a vision fast becoming reality. Its founder Bill Tapp, DirectCourse Vice President, was working with MC Strategies and the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center (RTC) on Community Living to develop an online curriculum to train… Read more

Brew in the Holidays with DirectCourse’s New Website and Branding & Enter to Win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card

The newly designed DirectCourse website, that embraces new branding, was released November 2011. The website that is optimized for organize web searches enables existing and prospective customers and visitors to experience a user-friendly design, easy navigation, and engaging tools that initiate lead generated marketing programs and promotions. Most important, the website houses compelling content centered… Read more

Elsevier Introduces DirectCourse, an Expanded Suite of Online Curricula to Train Professionals Who Support People with Intellectual, Developmental and Physical Disabilities

ATLANTA, November 30, 2011 — DirectCourse is anchored by the renowned College of Direct Support (CDS), plus the addition of the College of Employment Services. Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today introduced DirectCourse, an expanded suite of online curricula to train professionals who support people with intellectual,… Read more

Category: Employment, I/DD

Partner Profiles: Apple Patch

If the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location, then the three most important factors in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities must be inclusion, inclusion, inclusion. Apple Patch strives to provide the array of support services needed to help each individual be included and personally succeed in all aspects… Read more

Category: I/DD

Elsevier to Unveil its New DirectCourse Curriculum at AFP: College of Employment Services

The College of Employment Services (CES), Elsevier’s second online training curriculum in its new DirectCourse overbrand developed by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at University of Massachusetts Boston, will be unveiled during the Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) Summit 2.0. AFP will be hosted at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel outside of Washington, D.C.… Read more

Category: Employment, I/DD

Partner Profile: Emory Valley

The Emory Valley Center (EVC) began using the College of Direct Support (CDS) online learning in 2008 and our staff, unaccustomed to computer-based training, responded quite well! How well? EVC staff members who once dreaded training now request classes from the CDS. The CDS has made a tremedous difference in how EVC staff view training.… Read more

Category: I/DD

Partner Profile: Orange AHRC

Though it will never be enough, I like the fact that as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) I am a part of opening more doors for the people we serve,” said Leigh Schulz, a DSP for Orange AHRC in Newburgh, N.Y., a suburban area 50 miles north of Manhattan. Read the rest of this Partner… Read more

Category: I/DD

Partner Profile: AbilityFirst

AbilityFirst’s partnership with the College of Direct Support (CDS) has had a positive impact on our organization, an impact that can be seen and felt when someone walks into any AbilityFirst facility. The children and adults with special needs who we support are realizing their full potential through AbilityFirst programs in a nurturing and creative… Read more

Category: I/DD

Partner Profile: New Horizons Resources

New Horizons Resources, Inc. (NHR) is a not-for-profit agency providing supports to children and adults with developmental disabilities in the Hudson Valley Region of New York State. Our mission is to support people to have fulfilling lives within their local communities by establishing a home, belonging, self determination, productivity and life- long learning. Read the… Read more

Category: I/DD

Nominations for 2012 Moving Mountains Awards Being Accepted Until Nov. 30th

Nominations are now being accepted for the prestigious 2012 Moving Mountains Awards that recognize and honor organizations using best practices in direct support staff workforce development. The deadline for nominations is November 30, 2011. These annual awards are sponsored by the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and the Research and Training Center (RTC)… Read more

Category: I/DD

Partner Profile: OHI in Maine CEO Says, “CDS Curriculum Revolutionized Training”

The partnership between OHI in Maine and Elsevier/College of Direct Support (CDS) began in March 2010. Bonnie-Jean Brooks, the founder and CEO of this 33-year-old agency says, “CDS completely changed the culture and approach to training its 260 Direct Support Professionals that support approximately 600 people.” “There is no question that CDS has revolutionized training… Read more

Category: I/DD

NEW Film for Thought Course Breaking Shells: Art and Steve

The University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center of Community Living, authors of the College Of Direct Support curriculum and Elsevier are pleased to announce the release of a new Film for Thought course, Breaking Shells: Art and Steve. This course is now available for Learning Administrators to incorporate into the learner’s lesson plan by… Read more

Category: I/DD

Introducing the New DirectCourse Overbrand: Includes CDS & Evolving Online Curricula in the Disabilities Field

Elsevier’s product line of online training curricula under the brand of DirectCourse will officially launch in November, along with the introduction of its second curriculum – the College of Employment Services (CES). Both will be rolled out during the Alliance for Full Participation Conference Nov. 17-19 in Washington, D.C. DirectCourse is an expanding lineup of… Read more

The Admin Corner

Elsevier Performance Manager: Featuring Content Elsevier Performance Manager: Core Development is an online education and performance management solution that offers administrators, such as you, tools needed to better manage, develop and communicate with your staff. Administrators, use Elsevier Performance Manager daily to perform tasks such as adding learners, viewing learner transcripts, assigning training, and reviewing… Read more

Category: I/DD

The DSP Chronicles 2011 ANCOR DSP of the Year: Gina Bartlow “Learn What Makes Us the Same”

Written by Tom King Her powerful words quickly convey why Gina Bartlow is the 2011 ANCOR Direct Support Professional (DSP) of the Year. “I am an ordinary person doing an important job.” “The DSP job description always seems to include something like ‘and other necessary duties not otherwise listed’ because there is no way one… Read more

Category: I/DD

Major Ohio Provider Koinonia Homes Signs 3-Year Contract to Use CDS Curriculum and Elsevier Performance Manager Tools

Koinonia Homes Inc., (Koinonia) has signed a three-year contract with Elsevier/College of Direct Support (CDS) to use the College of Direct Support online curriculum and Elsevier’s Performance Manager for staff training and development. Koinonia is the largest private provider of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout all of Cuyahoga County, OH. Koinonia’s… Read more

Category: I/DD

Passing the Torch

Dr. K. Charlie Lakin, for 22 years the Director of the Institute on Community Integration’s Research and Training Center (RTC) on Community Living at the University of Minnesota and a driving force in the creation and development of the College of Direct Support (CDS) curriculum, is the new Director of the National Institute on Disability… Read more

Category: I/DD