Our Course eCatalog

DirectCourse is trusted training built on the latest industry-leading research. In our eCatalog, you can find all of our courses and the curriculum we use to keep your staff and your organization at their best.

We work to continuously update and refresh our courses, and have recently added some new content that is not reflected in the eCatalog below.

Please click here to view the most recent catalog.

Select Courses

DirectCourse - College of Direct Support

  • Civil Rights and Advocacy
    • 4 lessons; 4.4 contact hours This course was developed to help you understand your role in supporting individuals with disabilities as they stand up for their rights. You will learn what it takes to be an effective advocate for and with the people you support. You will learn about the challenges faced when individuals with disabilities try to exercise their rights. Finally, you will learn what strategies can be used to overcome these challenges.
    • Lesson 1: Your Role in Effective Advocacy
      • In this lesson you will learn about your role as an advocate. This includes advocating on behalf of those you support. It also means assisting individuals to advocate for themselves. You will increase your knowledge, improve your skills, and create positive change for those you support. This lesson will help you understand the skills, characteristics, and attitudes needed for effective advocacy. Finally, this lesson will help you understand how important professional boundaries are in supporting the advocacy process.
    • Lesson 2: History of the Disability Rights Movement
      • In this lesson you will learn about the major rights movements that have occurred in our society. This lesson includes information about the issues faced in the disability rights movement. You will learn about some of the successful strategies used. You will learn about the different stages of the disability rights movement. It will also help you to explore how your actions and beliefs affect the rights of those you support.
    • Lesson 3: Disability Rights and Legislation
      • This lesson is about your role as a direct support professional in ensuring the civil rights of the people you support. You will learn about the role of laws, regulations, and courts in protecting civil rights. Major court cases and laws will be covered. This includes the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
    • Lesson 4: Challenges and Strategies for Exercising Civil Rights
      • This lesson is about the challenges an individual with a disability can face when he or she tries to exercise his or her rights. You will learn about how personal factors can impact a person’s ability to exercise her or his rights. This lesson will help you identify these factors. It will provide a deeper understanding of how outside factors interfere with a person’s ability to exercise his or her rights. Finally, this lesson will provide ideas and strategies to help you and the person you support overcome these challenges.
  • Community Inclusion
    • 4 lessons; 4.0 contact hours This course helps DSPs understand their roles in supporting the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in the communities in which they live and work. It provides an overview of inclusion and why it is important, and the learner is given strategies for enhancing inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities.
    • Lesson 1: The DSP Role in Community Inclusion
      • Many people with support needs spend a significant portion of their lives segregated from others in their communities. While things have improved in the last several years, full inclusion for many people is still not achieved. This lesson describes inclusion. It helps the learner understand why integration is critical but is not enough. It reviews the benefits and structure of social roles. Direct support professional roles will need to change in order to achieve more inclusive communities. This lesson briefly reviews some of these changes.
    • Lesson 2: Matching Community Resources with Individual Interests
      • Inclusion is more likely when people are connected to community through their interests. This lesson helps the learner identify people's interests and strengths. Learners are guided in how to discriminate between activities that are likely to lead to inclusion and those that are not. They are provided with information on how to overcome barriers to inclusion.
    • Lesson 3: Community Bridge-Building and Networking
      • Community Bridge Building is a set of methods for helping the community develop capacity to support people with diverse needs. At the same time, the needs of the individual are being met through enhanced connections to others. This lesson covers strategies such as volunteering, frequenting, joining, and networking.
    • Lesson 4: Natural Supports
      • Natural support is a way of describing a natural state of interdependence that is expected in families, neighborhoods, and communities. Some people have been isolated from others. Some have even been separated from families. In these cases, natural supports can be absent. Helping people connect to natural supports helps them experience better lives. It helps them rely less on expensive and segregated special services. It provides richer family lives and communities for all of us. This lesson describes natural supports. It demonstrated how to implement strategies that help people create lives in which natural supports are present.
  • Cultural Competence
    • 7 lessons; 6.2 contact hours This course is an overview of cultural competence and its importance in daily support to people with disabilities. The learner is helped to understand the key components of cultural competence including: valuing diversity; recognizing one’s own culture and the culture of others; and having the resources and ability to adjust one’s behavior to meet the needs of the situation. Learners are asked to reflect on their capacities in these areas at different points during the course. The learner is given many opportunities to learn more about their own culture and reflect on the similarities and differences with other cultures.
    • Lesson 1: What is Cultural Competence?
      • This lesson explains why cultural competence is critical to quality direct support work. The lesson defines terms used in this course including culture, race, ethnicity, diversity, cultural competence, and affiliation. The learner is introduced to five important elements of and a continuum of cultural competence. Through a series of reflections, the learner begins to identify his or her own culture.
    • Lesson 2: Understanding Your Own Culture
      • This lesson helps the learner develop an awareness of his or her own culture through a series of reflections. The learner answers questions about his or her own background. Then, she or he compares these responses to those of people from various backgrounds.

    • Lesson 3: The Culture of Support Services
      • This lesson defines terms used in this course including cultural capital, institutional bias, macro culture and micro culture. Some key values and views that are part of the macro culture of the United States and the service system are reviewed. Learners explore differences in definitions and responses to disability based on culture as well as how cultural competence applies to the cycle of supports. Learners also learn about ways that best practices can be applied without cultural competence.
    • Lesson 4: The Cultural Competence Continuum
      • This lesson explores the six stages of cultural competence in-depth. Each stage is explained and examples are given. The learner identifies where examples fall along the continuum. We also ask the learner to reflect on his or her own level of Cultural Competence.
    • Lesson 5: Cross-Cultural Communication
      • This lesson describes the purpose and methods of communication. Cultural differences in communication patterns are reviewed. Learners will learn strategies for improving cross-cultural communication.
    • Lesson 6: Cultural Competence in Daily Support
      • This lesson helps learners understand how to apply cultural competence throughout the cycle of support services. Learners will explore strategies and methods for adapting or revising assessments and common formats for gathering information from people receiving supports. Ideas for learning more about the norms of specific cultures are explored.
    • Lesson 7: Direct Support Professional Roles in Culturally Competent Organizations
      • This lesson is helpful for the direct support professional who is part of an organization that is seeking to become more culturally competent. The importance of organizational competence is reviewed. The lesson includes ways that the five elements of cultural competence apply to organizations. The learner explores positive ways for direct support professionals to assess the level and support the development of cultural competence within their organization.
  • Direct Support Professionalism
    • 5 lessons; 3.4 contact hours This course introduces the learner to the importance and benefits of a professional orientation to the DSP role and to the history and status of the professionalism movement. The national movement to professionalize direct support is described. The reasons why professionalism is important, progress that has been made in creating a profession and how DSPs can become part of the professionalism movement are included. An ethical code for DSPs is reviewed along with ways of applying these ethical guidelines in daily practice.
    • Lesson 1: Becoming a Direct Support Professional
      • This lesson introduces the learner to the vocation of direct support. It does this by clarifying what direct support professionals do, who they work with, and what settings they work in. The lesson will also address professionalism, first generically then in the context of direct support. It will also discuss the numerous roles direct support professionals play in supporting people. There will also be a brief discussion about how these roles have changed over time.
    • Lesson 2: Contemporary Best Practices
      • There are many characteristics of being a direct support professional. In this lesson, we explore the contemporary best practices. Specifically, this lesson will address best practice approaches to supporting people with disabilities with suggestions on how to integrate them into your practice. Finally, the lesson also identifies ways the direct support professional can expand his or her knowledge of best practices.
    • Lesson 3: Applying Ethics in Everyday Work
      • In providing supports, it is the direct support professional's responsibility to be ethical. In this lesson, we define ethics and explore why ethical practice is important. The lesson also presents the direct support professionals' Code of Ethics. Finally, this lesson provides an overview of common characteristics of ethical dilemmas. It also provides a framework to resolve them.
    • Lesson 4: Practicing Confidentiality
      • This lesson will review the importance for the direct support professional (DSP) to protect confidentiality. The lesson will begin by introducing the learner to confidentiality. It will then describe methods and strategies the DSP can use to ensure confidentiality. Finally, the lesson will describe the consenting procedures and describe common ways confidentiality is breached.
    • Lesson 5: Working with Your Strengths and Interests
      • In this lesson, you will focus on identifying your strengths and interests, discovering ways to use your strengths to support persons with developmental disabilities, and reflecting and developing personal and professional development plans.
  • Emergency Preparedness
    • 4 lessons; 5.0 contact hours The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the tragedy wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 were shocking. These horrific events have sharpened awareness of the need to prepare for emergencies of many types. Direct support professionals need to understand how to prepare for and respond to both large and small emergencies. You also need to know how to recover from these types of events.. It will help you to be informed about the many types of emergencies you could encounter. It will help you identify actions you should take. This course will help you to understand the important role you play in supporting people with disabilities during these times. You will learn about the similarities and differences between pandemics and other emergencies.
    • Lesson 1: What is Emergency Preparedness?
      • This lesson provides learners with definitions for the three areas of emergency preparedness. These areas are preparing, responding, and recovering. The lesson describes the role that each area plays in emergency planning. It highlights the importance of updating emergency plans. This means reevaluating plans based on current information. It is important that plans include best practices for safety. It is expected that learners will apply this information in the support setting. Direct support professionals play a key role in emergency preparedness. They minimize risks of emergencies.
    • Lesson 2: The Role of the Direct Support Professional in Emergency Preparedness
      • The lesson will help you understand the essential components of emergency plans. You will learn the importance of reviewing these plans regularly. The lesson also outlines how to create an emergency kit. You will learn what goes into one for your work setting. You will also learn to create a kit that meets the needs of those you support. Finally, this lesson will help you understand some of the critical steps you need to take immediately following an emergency. You will also learn what to do in the days and weeks that follow an emergency. Knowing this information will better prepare you to handle an emergency when and if it arises.
    • Lesson 3: Defining Disasters and Emergencies
      • This lesson helps learners understand various types of emergencies and disasters that can occur. It provides information on common types of emergencies. The lesson also describes disasters that are rarely encountered. It outlines skills that direct support professionals can use to be prepared for these issues. Learners also review action steps to take in response to emergencies and disasters. This lesson gives the learner an opportunity to explore his or her responsibility in emergency preparedness. This learning promotes the safety of the person she or he supports.
    • Lesson 4: Pandemics
      • This lesson focuses on the definition of pandemics. It explains the similarities and differences between this and other types of emergencies. The lesson discusses precautions you should take. It also describes appropriate actions necessary during pandemics. This information is critical in providing safety for the individual you support.
  • Employment Supports for People with Disabilities
    • 4 lessons; 2.9 contact hours This course reviews employment and employment supports for people with disabilities. It will help you understand the variety of supports available, the importance of identifying and using the preferences of a job seeker, and learning the steps in finding a job.
    • Lesson 1: Introduction to Employment Supports
      • This lesson is an introduction to employment services and supports for people with disabilities. It will help you understand the cultural value of work in the United States and how people with disabilities fit into this framework. The lesson covers the various funding options available to people with disabilities to access vocational supports. The history of vocational services and a description of the various program types are examined. The various vocational service terms are defined, as well as the roles of Direct Support Professionals and other key stakeholders.
    • Lesson 2: Identifying Individual Employment Preferences, Interests, Strengths, and Support Needs
      • This lesson will focus on important factors to keep in mind when providing vocational supports to an individual. This lesson will also cover the importance of identifying an individual's vocational strengths and challenges and how they may influence an individual's need for support. Vocational assessments will be reviewed, especially how the results can be analyzed and used.
    • Lesson 3: Job Opportunities and Job Searching
      • This lesson reviews how to research job markets and industries to expand an individual’s job search. It discusses ways to contact employers about job leads as well as tools that can aid in the job search process. This lesson also explains ways to increase a job seeker’s participation in his or her job search. Lastly, employer incentives are reviewed.
    • Lesson 4: Applying, Interviewing, and Making Accommodations
      • This lesson reviews ways the direct support professional can assist an individual through the application and interview process. It also touches on ways to educate an employer about supported employment services. Lastly, the lesson discusses ways to negotiate employment and develop accommodations.
  • Everyone Can Communicate
    • 5 lessons; 6.7 contact hours It is important for you, as a Direct Support Professional, to develop and apply skills in understanding, respecting, and supporting people who have communication problems in order to be effective. This course is designed to help you improve your skills in providing communication supports. You will learn about a variety of communication methods. These include speech, gestures and sign, communication boards, devices that "talk", or other forms of sending and receiving information.
    • Lesson 2: How People Communicate
      • We all communicate in many different ways about different things and for different reasons. This lesson provides information and exercises to help the learner gain an understanding of all the different ways we all communicate. The learner becomes a good observer of non-speech communication - both typical and individualized. The learner is encouraged to explore myths and biases about non-speech communication. Learning to use naturally-occurring gestures is an important outcome of this lesson.
    • Lesson 3: The Role of the Direct Support Professional as a Communication Partner
      • Direct Support Professionals (DSP) are important communication partners. This lesson recognizes and acknowledges the importance of the DSP as influencing social communication, choices offered, and self-determination. It also looks at how the DSP currently encourages participation, provides opportunities for choice and control, and facilitates community participation.
    • Lesson 4: Strategies to Enhance Communication
      • There are many things you can do as a direct support professional to enhance communication. This lesson introduces effective strategies. It also helps you apply them. Approaches such as modeling, waiting, and contingent responding will increase your ability to communicate with the people you support. This in turn will help you support the empowerment, participation, and self-advocacy of those you support.
    • Lesson 5: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
      • Augmentative and alternative communications (AAC) approaches are effective ways to enhance or augment spoken language. In this lesson you will be introduced to the range and scope of aided and unaided AAC approaches. Your role in AAC selection and implementation of an AAC approach will be introduced. Myths regarding AAC and the development of speech will be addressed.
    • Lesson 1: What is Communication and Why is it Important?
      • In this lesson you will learn about the basics of communication. You will learn why communication is so important in everyone’s life. You will be introduced to the process and components of communication. The lesson will help you understand the difference between speech, language and communication. You will learn about the different components of communication. The lesson will help you recognize communication barriers and breakdowns that affect understanding. You will learn some of the strategies that help facilitate communication. It will also provide information about the Communication Bill of Rights, and much more.
  • Functional Assessment
    • 4 lessons; 5.7 contact hours Functional assessment is a tool that helps you learn more about people. It is useful for finding answers to the question of why a person engages in disruptive or harmful behaviors. Often direct support professionals (DSPs) are asked to participate in the process of functional assessment. This course is an overview of functional assessment. DSPs will find it helpful to understand the purpose of functional assessment. It is helpful to be familiar with the way these assessments are completed.
    • Lesson 1: Comprehensive Assessment and the Role of the Direct Support Professional
      • Comprehensive assessment is the process of pulling together information from a number of sources in order to have a better understanding of a person. The lesson will help direct support professionals use and participate in various assessments. You will learn about the different types of assessments. You will see how assessments done by other professionals can provide information. You will learn about your role as a direct support professional in the assessment process. You will learn how comprehensive assessment is linked to the functional assessment process.
    • Lesson 2: Strategies for Gathering and Organizing Functional Assessment Information
      • This lesson describes and defines the functional assessment (FA) process (sometimes called functional behavioral assessment.) Important terms in FA and its overall purpose are reviewed. DSP roles in the process are reviewed. Methods of collecting information are explained. The learner will be prepared to participate in data gathering activities. Ethical considerations in the FA process are included.
    • Lesson 3: Understanding Behavior and Participating in the Functional Assessment Process
      • As a direct support professional you may work with people who engage in behavior that makes reaching their personal goals difficult. The behavior may interfere with their ability to work, succeed at school, make friends, or take care of themselves. It may cause the person to harm him or herself. It may cause them to harm others. When people experience these types of challenging behavior, they often need assistance from direct support professionals and others. They may need assistance in finding other ways of communicating their needs. They may need to find other ways to meet their needs. It is important for you to understand what a person's behavior is trying to tell you. When you can't, it's time to initiate the functional assessment process. This lesson gives you an overview of principles and concepts of behavior. It will also review roles for direct support professionals in functional assessment.
    • Lesson 4: Using Functional Assessments and Behavior Support Plans
      • The purpose of completing a functional assessment is to create a plan that is likely to help people use more acceptable behaviors to get needs met. In this lesson you will have a chance to read and interact with functional assessments. You will also review and work with some behavior support plans. You learned a lot about functional assessments throughout this course, now you will have a chance to practice using what you learned.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
    • 3 lessons; 1.1 contact hours This course is an overview of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the most current changes to important rules of HIPAA. The course provides information regarding what is protected health information (PHI) under HIPAA. It also supports direct support professionals in understanding their role in protecting it. They will also learn what to do if there is a breach of PHI.
    • Lesson 1: Introduction to HIPAA
      • This lesson provides a brief overview of the current Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It introduces basic terms associated with HIPAA. It describes the important role that direct support professionals (DSPs) play in protecting information. It helps them recognize protected health information (PHI). This lesson also introduces four rules essential to HIPAA. These rules are explored more fully in other lessons.
    • Lesson 2: The Privacy Rule and Security Rule
      • This lesson provides a brief overview of the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. It discusses how these rules impact the work of DSPs. This lesson also provides the learner with important ways to protect the health information of the people they support.
    • Lesson 3: The Breach Notification Rule and Enforcement Rule
      • This lesson provides a brief overview of the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule and the HIPAA Enforcement Rule and discusses how these rules impact the work of DSPs. This lesson also provides with a final review of keeping PHI safe.
  • Hiring Great Direct Support Professionals
    • 7 lessons; 2.8 contact hours Participant-direct services promotes decision-making and independence in supports provided to individuals with disabilities or mental illness and elders, as well as the family members who support them, to hire, dismiss, supervise and train direct support professionals (DSPs). This course provides techniques to recruit, interview, train, and retain DSPs to individuals and/or their family members who employ them.  DSPs are referred to by several names, such as personal are attendants (PCAs), homemaker aides, home health aides, direct support workers, and care workers. However, this course references DSPs who provide direct support services.
    • Lesson 1: Introducing the Hiring Process
      • Participant-directed services give you a unique opportunity to hire and train your own direct support professionals. This lesson will help you understand three important steps in the hiring process. These steps include finding, choosing, and keeping great direct support professionals.
    • Lesson 2: Looking for the Right Direct Support Professional
      • Finding a great direct support professional is important. It can help you to meet your needs and goals in life. This lesson will help you look at your needs. It will help you identify the things to look for in the direct support professionals you want to hire. Most people have a definition of what makes a great direct support professional. This lesson will help you understand what makes a great direct support professional in your own life.
    • Lesson 3: Where to Find Great Direct Support Professionals
      • This lesson will help you locate sources where you can find the direct support professionals you need. You will learn how to use inside recruitment sources like family and friends. It briefly covers outside sources as well. You will also learn a little bit about how recruitment bonuses are used to help find direct support professionals.
    • Lesson 4: Creating Your Real Story
      • This lesson introduces a tool called Your Real Story. This is also referred to as a realistic job preview. This tool can help you decide who is right for the job. You will learn what information you should add to your story so that a person you might hire can get a good idea of what it is like to work for you. You will also have an opportunity to create a real story of your own from a special template in this lesson.
    • Lesson 5: The Art of Interviewing
      • This lesson is about teaching direct support professional how to do the job you hired him or her to do. It offers tips, hints, and strategies you can use to make sure the person knows what to do to support you. You will also learn about adult learners and how they learn best. This will help you to help each person you hire to be successful on the job.
    • Lesson 6: Teaching Direct Support Professionals the Job
      • This lesson is about teaching direct support professionals to do the job. It offers tips, hints and strategies you can use to make sure they know what to do to support you. You will also learn a little about who adult learners are and how they learn best. This will help you help them to be successful on the job.
    • Lesson 7: Strategies for Keeping Great Direct Support Professionals
      • Sometimes providing support to someone can be stressful. Direct support professionals (DSPs) can burnout and leave the job. This lesson is about strategies and techniques that help you keep direct support professionals for a long time. You will learn how to help DSPs avoid stress and burnout. You will also learn about different ways to show appreciation for a job well done.
  • Home and Community Living
    • 5 lessons; 5.4 contact hours It is important for you, as a Direct Support Professional, to develop and apply skills in understanding, respecting, and supporting people who have communication problems in order to be effective. This course is designed to help you improve your skills in providing communication supports. You will learn about a variety of communication methods. These include speech, gestures and sign, communication boards, devices that "talk", or other forms of sending and receiving information.
    • Lesson 2: Comfortable Living
      • People want to be comfortable at home. Direct support professionals (DSPs) play a role in people's comfort. Many people that need support may not be able to fully interact with the environment. They need DSPs to complete many basic chores.  Some basic information regarding key areas of comfortable living are reviewed in this lesson. Decorating and organizing spaces to meet people's needs are included. The lesson also covers care of pets and plants.
    • Lesson 3: Home Maintenance & Upkeep
      • Homes require care beyond cleaning to stay in good shape. Direct support professionals may be asked to help with minor maintenance. They may often help with common upkeep. This includes things like seasonal tasks that protect the home. This lesson will provide information about common maintenance activities and describe why they are important. Information about maintaining an energy-efficient home, as well as how to care for lawns and gardens is included. The lesson also addresses ways to prevent or get rid of pests in the home. Finally, it reviews information regarding the proper ways to dispose of recycling and garbage including hazardous waste.
    • Lesson 4: Maintaining a Clean Home
      • For many direct support professionals, helping people keep a clean home is a central duty. Knowing how to clean properly can mean a number of things. Proper cleaning means that you ensure cleaning is done frequently enough, cleaning in ways that reduce the chance of spreading disease, and helping maintain a comfortable home for people. Cleaning is a component of keeping home furnishings in good shape and needs to be done in ways that respect people's preferences. It also means being careful of any sensitivities people may have toward cleaning products. Cleaning schedules are reviewed as a way to ensure tasks are completed.
    • Lesson 5: Supporting Home Living: The DSP Role
      • Many of us need assistance to live in our own homes and communities. This lesson reviews the role of the direct support professional in helping people to maintain a comfortable, clean, and safe home. Learners will explore how providing home living support can differ. It can depend on the needs of the person being supported. It can also depend on the type of living situation. Home living covers many different topics, from cooking to yard maintenance to pet care. Learners will also explore why it is important to be a good neighbor and how to be supportive of the neighborhood. The effect of rules, regulation, laws and policy on home living is addressed. This lesson provides an overview of all areas. Specific details are covered in other lessons.
    • Lesson 1: Clothing Care and Laundry
      • Assisting with clothing and doing laundry are two tasks that direct support professionals often complete. Just like cooking and cleaning, these frequent household chores keep a household functioning. Clothing care tasks require dexterity, strength, and planning. For this reason, people with disabilities may need extra assistance to complete these tasks. This lesson will help you understand the basics of clothing care and laundry.
  • Implementing Participant-Directed Supports
    • 9 lessons; 2.6 contact hours Most courses in the College of Direct Support provide training based on the roles and responsibilities of direct support professionals. However, this course provides training to individuals who receive supports. It is written in the context of a person who makes decisions about his or her own supports. It also applies to a family member or ally who may be delegated to direct supports for an individual. This course contains nine lessons. Lesson one is focused on understanding participant-directed supports. Lesson two provides an overview of the basic steps to implement participant-directed supports. The other seven lessons contain an in-depth explanation of each step outlined in lesson two about how to achieve and continue participant-directed supports successfully. After completing this course learners will be able to accurately describe participant-directed supports. Learners will also be able to describe and explain the essential steps needed for successful participant-directed supports.
    • Lesson 1: Understanding Participant-Directed Supports
      • This lesson provides information about how to work with a case manager. A case manager can assess your need for self-directed supports. You will learn about state rules and regulations that affect access to self-directed supports. You will learn about government based support to a person with a disability. This includes self-directed support options through Medicaid and Medicare. You will learn about how different agencies determine eligibility for services. You will also learn about reassessment if you are found not to be eligible for services.

    • Lesson 2: Steps to Implementing Participant-Directed Supports
      • This lesson provides information about how to put participant-directed supports into action. It presents basic information on this step-by-step process. It explains how to begin the process. It also offers ideas on how to continue in the process successfully.

    • Lesson 3: Implementing Step 1: Assessment
      • In this lesson you will learn about the assessment process in participant-directed supports. You will learn about state rules and regulations that affect access to these supports. You will learn about government assistance to a person with support needs. You will learn about eligibility for services. You will also learn about the right to appeal if you are found not to be eligible for services.

    • Lesson 4: Implementing Step 2: Identify Resources
      • In this lesson you will learn about personal assets. This can include your gifts and talents. It can also include your life experiences. You will learn how to identify who is in your personal networks. You will learn about what supports and items may be paid for through participant-directed services. You will also learn about the role of a support broker.

    • Lesson 5: Implementing Step 3: Design the Plan
      • This lesson will cover the basics of how to design your plan for participant-directed services. It will include how to identify goals. It will cover how to use goals from your person-centered planning process. It will cover how to use support methods from step two of this process for identifying resources. It will address how to put supports and services into action. It will also cover how to gather and use input from your support team.

    • Lesson 6: Implementing Step 4: Broker the Agreement
      • This lesson will focus on how to balance needed supports within your participant-directed services budget. It will help you to learn how a spending plan is developed. This will include the frequency, quality, and length of time for supports. You will learn about who provides supports. You will also learn how to identify your preferences and which of your support needs are most important.
    • Lesson 7: Implementing Step 5: Organize Supports
      • This lesson will go into more depth about how to organize and coordinate the supports you need. It will address how to make sure supports meet your everyday needs. It will also go into detail about the role of the support broker. This includes the support broker’s role as a liaison between the person and financial management services.

    • Lesson 8: Implementing Step 6: Implement Supports
      • This lesson will address flexibility in using your supports. Participant-directed services can be used in a way that best fits your current situation. It will address what it means for you to have creativity and choice your over supports. It will cover how to use self-determination and person-centered planning to direct and manage your supports. It will also address your responsibility to oversee your supports and their delivery. This includes how you use your funding within state guidelines. It includes using the supports in your plan. It also includes making a report to your support team if problems occur.

    • Lesson 9: Implementing Step 7: Evaluate
      • This lesson will cover evaluation of your services and supports. It will cover whether supports and services are adequate. It will cover how to know if these are helping you to meet your goals. It will cover what to do if goals are not being met. It will cover equity with regard to supports and services. It will also cover evaluating the efficiency of services and supports.
  • Individual Rights and Choice
    • 4 lessons; 3.6 contact hours In this course, the learner gains knowledge of the rights of individuals with disabilities including a brief overview of relevant laws and their historical roots. It teaches how to balance the right to take risks with the right to be protected from harm, and provides valuable skills in facilitating choice-making by the individuals to whom DSPs provide support. It is recommended that the learner complete the course on Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults and Children along with this course to better understand rights. While this course discusses many federal laws that concern the rights of individuals with disabilities, state and local communities also have laws that pertain to rights. Learners are encouraged to contact their state or local government representatives and their supervisor to find out about local laws. Agencies are encouraged to use the tailoring options of the CDS to identify state and local laws and information that DSPs should know.
    • Lesson 1: Overview of Individual Rights
      • This lesson will teach about the many aspects of individual rights. It will cover what a right is; definitions of important terms in understanding rights identify where rights come from, and what rights people with disabilities who receive services have.
    • Lesson 2: Restrictions of Individual Rights
      • In this lesson you will learn about how to identify when rights are being restricted. Sometimes certain rights are legally restricted due to a change in the legal status of the person being served. This occurs when the person has been legally determined incompetent to make independent choices. Other times rights are unnecessarily restricted by people in support roles. You will also begin to understand the challenge of balancing risks with rights.
    • Lesson 3: Overcoming A Past of Barriers, a Future of Risks, Choices, and Solutions
      • This lesson describes important historical events in which violations of rights for individuals with disabilities were common. The importance of knowing the history of rights restrictions and barriers for people with disabilities so that history does not repeat itself. It identifies common barriers to individuals being able to express their rights and reviews important pieces of federal legislation and related national events that identify certain rights for people with disabilities.
    • Lesson 4: Your Role in Supporting Expression of Rights and Facilitating Choice
      • As a Direct Support Professional, you have many opportunities to facilitate choice making and to support individuals in expressing their rights. This lesson will teach you valuable knowledge to help you fulfill your crucial roles in the lives of people with disabilities.
  • Introduction to Developmental Disabilities
    • 5 lessons; 5.5 contact hours This course provides the learner with a background in the history, language, and basic concepts of services for persons with developmental disabilities. In this course the learner reviews the ideas and learns the vocabulary that is important to working within the field of developmental disabilities. This information makes the learner more effective in communicating with others and in understanding the system in which developmental disabilities services are provided.
    • Lesson 1: A Brief History of Developmental Disabilities
      • This lesson provides an overview of the treatment of people with disabilities in the last 2000 years. You will learn that up until the most recent years, people with developmental disabilities as a group have been treated very poorly. You will understand why recent changes are so important and why the quality of life people experience today needs to be protected and further developed.
    • Lesson 2: The Language and Ideas of Best Practices
      • You will hear a lot of words that are used differently when you work supporting people with developmental disabilities. Many of these terms are used to reflect the best we know about how to help people have rich fulfilling lives today and tomorrow. This lesson will define "best practices," and give you an overview of what are today’s “best practices,” and why they are important.
    • Lesson 3: Terminology and Classification in Developmental Disabilities
      • Classifications are commonly used to help professionals quickly and precisely share information and to ensure that the right people are receiving the right services. They can also be used to label and dehumanize. This lesson will help you understand some common classification systems and when and where these terms should be or should not be used. The definition of developmental disability and intellectual disabilities are in this course.
    • Lesson 4: The Causes of Developmental Disabilities
      • There are many causes of developmental disabilities and many conditions related to developmental disabilities. This lesson explains the two most common reasons why people experience developmental disabilities, genetics and environmental causes. It helps DSPs understand when and why it may be important to know a person’s conditions. Lastly it provides practice in using the Internet to research and learn about disabilities.
    • Lesson 5: Services for People with Developmental Disabilities
      • Many people with developmental disabilities receive regular services like everyone else as well as specialized services. This course explains what specialized and generic services are. There is also an overview of the types of specialized services currently available. Information regarding how services are paid for and anticipated changes in the service system as person-centered policy and funding become more common is included.
  • Introduction to Medication Support
    • 6 lessons; 7.5 contact hours This course is an introduction to supporting people in effectively and safely managing their medications. The course includes information on: working with prescribing health care professionals; proper storage and administration of medications; monitoring for problems reactions to medications; and communication and documentation. The course must meet the needs of multiple and at times conflicting needs of different learners caused by differences in regional laws and the needs of the persons being supported. It has been developed with some unique tools and structures to help the learner with this. This course has been developed with 2 mini-lessons that are highly focused on one set of skills and can be completed more quickly than the full lessons. Learners should take these only as they apply to their needs.
    • Lesson 1: An Overview of Direct Support Roles in Medication Support
      • This lesson describes why medications supports are important and possible consequences when medications are not taken properly. The lesson reviews possible roles for direct support professionals, the roles of others and good general habits in medication support.
    • Lesson 2: Medication Basics
      • This lesson describes different types of medications. It describes why people take them. It describes what medication errors are. The lesson reviews health and medication histories and how to complete them. Methods of identifying and tracking problems with medications are taught. It reviews how to avoid errors when taking medications away from home.
    • Lesson 3: Working with Medications
      • This lesson provides an overview of working with medications. Learners practice reading medication labels for both prescription and nonprescription medications. They review the five steps that indicate a medication has been taken properly and practice identifying errors. They learn proper hand-washing and hygiene techniques to follow before working with medications. The lesson also reviews storage and destruction of medications.
    • Lesson 4: Administration of Medications and Treatments
      • This lesson reviews methods for correctly administering medications through five common routes (mouth, eyes, ears, nose, and skin). Methods for preventing errors during administration such as the “triple check” of the label are described. In addition, methods for helping people understand their medications are shared. Information is provided on what to do when people will not take their medications or use them in ways that are not intended.
    • Lesson 5: Follow-up, Communication, and Documentation
      • This lesson reviews the importance of good communication and follow-up. It shows medication-related situations that require communication. Special tools are provided to help learners understand how to get the information from their employers regarding rules about giving medications. The learner reviews and uses a Medication Administration Record and reflects on potential abuse, neglect, and exploitation situations.
    • Lesson 6: Using Medication References and Resources
      • This lesson helps the learner understand why a person may want to check a reference regarding a drug or medication. The lesson describes several different medication resources. Learners are encouraged to reflect on the benefits of and drawbacks to using common references and sources. They are asked to demonstrate the ability to use a reference when necessary.
  • Introduction to Mental Health and Mental Illnesses
    • 6 lessons; 8.2 contact hours
    • Lesson 1: Overview of Mental Health and the Role of the DSP
      • The introductory lesson provides the learner with basic background information on mental illness. It includes causes and the importance of timely and accurate diagnosis. The lesson also provides information on how to take an active role in the in the mental health system while working as a DSP.
    • Lesson 2: Overview of Common Mental Illnesses, Treatment and Service Options
      • This lesson provides history and context for mental illness. Past and future treatments of individuals living with mental illness will be covered. Learners will gain more in depth information on signs and symptoms of various mental illnesses. They will learn about a range of different treatment options and how to access them.
    • Lesson 3: Psychotropic Medications-Uses and Issues?
      • Many individuals living with mental illness take medications as part of their treatment. This lesson provides information about psychotropic medications and how they are used to treat mental illness. It includes a review of common medications. It includes how to monitor for complications that can occur from medication. This lesson also addresses support strategies for medication refusal.
    • Lesson 4: Supporting People with Mental Health Conditions in the Community
      • This lesson reviews the various professionals who work in the mental health field. It also includes information about the formal and informal plans people use to guide support. Information on trauma-informed care and recovery is included. A piece of the lesson is devoted to preventing and managing caregiver burnout.
    • Lesson 5: DSP Support Strategies
      • This lesson provides the DSP specific strategies they can use in daily support. These skills such as active listening and validation can facilitate and building respectful relationships with those they support. The lesson also includes information on positive behavior support, healthy boundaries, and dealing with crisis situations.
    • Lesson 6: System Issues and Solutions in Mental Health
      • This lesson covers system issues that present challenges for individuals living with mental illness, DSPs, families, communities, and professionals. Challenges such as finding holistic assessment, creating person-centered supports, using culturally sensitive interaction, and integrating physical and mental health supports are discussed. The importance of advocacy and continuous improvement are woven throughout the lesson.
  • Maltreatment: Prevention and Response
    • 19 lessons; 7.6 contact hours Maltreatment of vulnerable adults and children happens every day. Estimates are that more than a million children and adults are maltreated in the US each year. Direct support professionals (DSPs) have an opportunity to help prevent maltreatment. They also are often mandated to report issues of concern. This course will help the learner to understand the factors that influence maltreatment risk. He or she will learn how to nurture protective factors. He or she will learn to manage his or her personal risks. The learner will identify local laws and policies that affect his or her role. He or she will also learn how to identify and respond to situations that are of concern.
    • Lesson 15: Engaging and Supporting Protective Factors in Organizations and Communities
      • Attitudes in our communities, homes, and organizations make maltreatment more or less likely. This lesson encourages the learner to look at systemic issues and to get involved in change.
    • Lesson 1: Overview of DSP Roles
      • This lesson provides an overview of the roles a direct support professional (DSP) plays in preventing and responding to maltreatment. It reviews the legal, ethical, and practice issues a DSP needs to consider. It will also provide the learner with a basic understanding of maltreatment.
    • Lesson 10: Characteristics of Situations that Increase Risk
      • Certain environments and situations influence the likelihood of maltreatment. Isolation provides privacy for a person who may maltreat. It also makes it difficult for a person who receives support to report. Environments that rely /on punishment in response to challenging behavior increase risk. This lesson will help the learner to consider environments and what he or she can do to decrease risk.
    • Lesson 11: Characteristics of People Supported that Affect Risk
      • A person who is supported is never responsible for maltreatment. It is the caregiver's responsibility to manage any risks. But certain traits in a person can make it more likely that a caregiver will maltreat. Traits that increase the stress of caregiving and reduce the natural rewards are included. This lesson will help the learner to understand how direct support professionals and others can take steps to manage stress and reduce risk.
    • Lesson 12: Reducing Caregiver Risk of Maltreating
      • A caregiver who is at risk for maltreatment has signs. He or she has trouble managing emotions and being appropriately bonded to the people he or she supports. Caregiver incompetence is another risk. Being alert to signs of these risks in themselves and others is important for direct support professionals. This lesson will help the learner to understand the steps to take to manage or reduce these risks.
    • Lesson 13: Engaging and Supporting Protective Factors in Individuals
      • Overprotection, isolation, and lack of engagement are situations that increase a person's risks of being maltreated. Methods of support that encourage listening to a person, engaging him or her in all aspects of their life, and helping the person to make decisions are critical. They help a person to recognize problems. They also help a person to have more ability to speak up and be protected. This lesson will help the learner to understand how to use these methods of support.
    • Lesson 14: The Role of Documentation and Systems in Prevention
      • Putting systems in place to track important information and documentation can reduce a person's vulnerability to maltreatment. This lesson refreshes the learner on good documentation practices. It helps him or her to consider forms of documentation and systems to engage in the areas of maltreatment.
    • Lesson 16: Responding to Potential Maltreatment
      • Potential maltreatment is not always easy to recognize. Learners already have reviewed definitions and examples. This lesson will help the learner to consider what this might look like in practice and the steps for responding. The learner will understand how to care for an individual as well as follow reporting laws. Information regarding how to interview a person without leading him or her is included.
    • Lesson 17: Where to Report Potential Maltreatment
      • Reporting potential maltreatment may go beyond protective services. This lesson will help the learner to understand options for reporting. It reviews the roles of internal designees of the employer. It will also help the learner to understand the roles of law enforcement, ombudsmen, and protection and advocacy agencies.
    • Lesson 18: How to Report Potential Maltreatment
      • Reporting maltreatment must be done within certain timeframes. Reports must have enough detail to be helpful. This lesson reviews important details that protective services and others will seek. It will help the learner to understand how to be organized and thorough in reporting.
    • Lesson 19: Follow-Up to Potential Maltreatment Reports
      • Making a potential maltreatment report is often an emotional and draining experience for a direct support professional (DSP). He or she may have many feelings regarding the situation. A DSP may be eager to find out the outcome of an investigation. But he or she may not be informed of the outcome for a variety of reasons. This lesson will help the learner to understand why he or she may not get specifics regarding investigations. It will help the learner to focus on important steps to follow-up over which he or she will have more influence and which are more meaningful.
    • Lesson 2: What is Maltreatment?
      • This lesson goes into more detail regarding definitions of maltreatment and the direct support professionals (DSPs) legal role. A worksheet and Web links are provided to help the learner research and understand roles based on local laws and policies.
    • Lesson 3: What is Abuse?
      • This lesson goes more in depth regarding definitions of abuse. It provides multiple examples of forms and types of abuse. It will help the learner to discriminate between reportable events and events that are of concern. It also provides ideas for response to both. .
    • Lesson 4: What is Neglect?
      • This lesson goes more in-depth regarding definitions of neglect. It provides multiple examples of forms and types of neglect. It will help the learner to recognize his or her risk of neglect. It will also help the learner to understand the take steps to prevent or report neglect with other caregivers.
    • Lesson 5: What is Exploitation?
      • This lesson goes more in-depth regarding definitions of exploitation. It provides multiple examples of forms and types of exploitation. It will help the learner to recognize helpful boundaries in the behavior of direct support professionals to prevent undue influence on those he or she supports.
    • Lesson 6: Balancing Rights with Protection
      • Rights violations can be forms of maltreatment. They also can be a response to fear for a person's safety. This lesson will help the learner to consider the balance between the mandate to protect and the need to respect rights. It will also help the learner to recognize behavior management strategies that increase the risk of maltreatment. Examples include seclusion and restraint.
    • Lesson 7: The Ethical Role of the DSP
      • Maltreatment laws tell direct support professionals what their legal obligations are. Ethics are useful for situations without clear right or wrong answers. This lesson looks at ethics in practice. It also looks at specific situations regarding maltreatment.
    • Lesson 8: An Overview of Risks for Maltreatment
      • Risks of maltreatment go beyond just the caregiver who engages in maltreatment. Community attitudes and support practices also have an influence. This lesson provides the learner with an overview of these issues.
    • Lesson 9: Characteristics of Caregivers that Affect Risk
      • Caregiver traits greatly affect the likelihood of maltreatment. Caregivers who are apathetic or easily frustrated and lack anger management skills are at increased risk. This lesson looks at traits that increase risk. It also reviews strategies for reducing the risk in other caregivers. It will help the learner to understand how to reduce his or her own risk as well.
  • Personal Care
    • 5 lessons; 5.5 contact hours This course provides information on why grooming and hygiene is an important part of daily life. Grooming and hygiene can reflect a person's well-being and self-esteem. Poor hygiene can lead to poor health. Many direct support professionals help people with grooming and hygiene activities. These include tasks such as helping with dressing, bathing, shaving, or using the toilet. It may also include teaching these skills to children or adults with special needs. Direct support professionals may feel uncomfortable assisting people with grooming and hygiene. Learning to support people with personal care in a sensitive and respectful manner is discussed. It is also important to respect a person's own grooming habits. These are personal and unique, and can be culturally based. Direct support professionals will learn how to find out about people's personal style and preferences. Learners will review methods for completing many grooming and hygiene tasks. This course will also help learners understand health concerns and risks related to personal care.
    • Lesson 1: Understanding Personal and Self Care
      • Personal care is an important part of the direct support professional role. In this lesson you will learn what personal care is and why it is necessary. Learners will explore how to provide personal care assistance in a caring and respectful manner. This includes understanding the balance between health and safety, and individual choice. The ethical and legal responsibilities of the direct support professional will also be discussed.
    • Lesson 2: Individualized Personal Care Support
      • This lesson will help the learner to understand what "individualized" support means. It will describe how to provide individualized personal care support. It will explore how personal differences such as disability, age, culture, and gender may affect grooming and hygiene. Strategies will be provided to make sure that support is based on the needs and preferences of the person supported. Learners will be asked to reflect upon their own attitudes and beliefs about grooming and hygiene. They will learn how these beliefs and attitudes may influence how they assist others with grooming and hygiene. How to prioritize activities when assisting with grooming and hygiene will also be discussed.
    • Lesson 3: The Basics of Hygiene
      • This lesson reviews how to complete a variety of hygiene activities. Instructions for completing bathing routines, personal cleanliness, skin care, nail care, hair care, oral care, and using the toilet are included. Potential health concerns and risks related to these areas are reviewed. Learners are given methods to minimize these risks in the lesson.
    • Lesson 4: The Basics of Grooming and Dressing
      • This lesson reviews how to complete a variety of grooming activities. Instructions for assisting a person to dress, complete hair care, nail care, shaving and other grooming activities are included. Learners will review how to support a person with grooming in a way that reflects personal preferences.
    • Lesson 5: Oral Care
      • Good oral health is critical to overall health. This lesson teaches methods for assisting people to care for their teeth and gums. A section on denture care is provided. Potential health concerns related to poor oral hygiene are reviewed. Strategies for achieving best possible oral health are included.
  • Person-Centered Planning
    • 4 lessons; 3.9 contact hours This course will help learners understand the foundational concepts and values of Person-Centered Planning and the benefits of this type of planning. The history of Person-Centered Planning is reviewed.  The course includes an overview of five different types of planning as they are done today.  It includes information and tips on participating meaningfully in a Person-Centered Plan. The course outlines steps that help the direct support professional bring these plans to life. Common challenges to person-centered services are reviewed and the learner is given a chance to learn about and create solutions to these types of challenges.
    • Lesson 1: Foundations of Person-Centered Planning
      • This lesson is an overview of person-centered planning. The core concepts and values of this planning approach are reviewed. Some of the key historical events that influenced the development of person-centered planning are reviewed. The lesson contrasts person-centered planning with system-centered planning. It looks at how process and outcomes in these two types of planning differ from each other. Finally, some benefits and challenges of facilitated person-centered planning are reviewed.
    • Lesson 2: An Overview of Person-Centered Approaches
      • Here is a description of the lesson you are starting: This lesson reviews several person-centered planning methods. This overview helps the learner become familiar with different methods. The review includes who developed the method. It identifies some unique characteristics of each one. It is a starting point to helping people find competent facilitators.
    • Lesson 3: The Person-Centered Planning Process
      • This lesson helps the learner prepare to participate in person-centered planning. The lesson describes the role of the direct support professional in this process. Direct support professionals may help in many ways with person-centered planning. They may help educate and prepare others. They may participate in the actual planning event. They may be key people to follow-up on items in an action plan.
    • Lesson 4: Bringing Person-Centered Plans to Life
      • This lesson helps direct support professionals and others understand barriers and challenges to keeping focused on person-centered supports. It provides strategies for avoiding and overcoming these challenges.
  • Positive Behavior Support
    • 7 lessons; 8.7 contact hours  This course is an introduction to methods of supporting people who engage in challenging behaviors. Strategies that are safe, fair, compassionate, and effective in preventing and reducing problem behaviors are included. The learner is provided with definitions of challenging behavior and basic behavioral terms and principles. The learner will understand more about the history of treatment of people with developmental disabilities and why the person-centered practices at the heart of positive behavior supports are being embraced. The course teaches learners about regulations in the use of behavioral interventions and provides practical information on how to effectively support people who present behavioral challenges.
    • Lesson 1: Understanding Behavior
      • Sometimes people use disruptive or harmful behavior. This lesson gives an overview of behavior and what maintains it. It will help you understand what behavior is. It provides a definition of challenging behavior. You will learn some of the terminology used by behavior specialists to describe behavior. This knowledge will help you understand behavior. You will be better able to describe behavior to others. It will help you understand behavior support plans. Finally you will be better able to prevent and respond to challenging behavior.
    • Lesson 2: Functions and Causes of Behavior
      • Most behavior has a purpose. This lesson will help you understand more about identifying the function of challenging behavior. You will learn why identifying the actual function of the behavior is important. You will learn how it is used to create effective supports for changing behavior.
    • Lesson 3: Understanding Positive Approaches
      • There is a long history of trying to shape the behavior of people receiving supports. Unfortunately, choices in the past did not always respect people's rights. It did not always preserve their dignity or safety. This lesson reviews some of the lesson of the past and why changes in approaches are so critical. It helps you know what personal characteristics are helpful in supporting people with behavioral challenges. It helps you understand the purpose of supports.
    • Lesson 4: Preventing Challenging Behavior
      • This lesson teaches you how it implements prevention strategies. It helps you understand how to change things that happen before a behavior occurs. These changes can help the person do better immediately. Changes may be to the environment and expectation. It may include teaching new skills. Selection of new skills and the basics on how to teach them are included.
    • Lesson 5: Responding to Challenging Behavior
      • Here is a description of the lesson you are starting: This lesson is an overview of responses to challenging behavior. It includes information on how to manage consequences to behavior in ways that make challenging behavior less likely. It also includes basic information on crisis management.
    • Lesson 6: Behavior Support Plans
      • This lesson is an overview of the behavior support plan. Behavior support plans are ways to organize information to help DSPs and others support the person effectively. This lesson helps you understand what to look for in a plan and how to implement plans. It describes the role of the DSP in creating and using these plans.
    • Lesson 7: Rules, Regulations, Policies, and Rights
      • This lesson helps you understand rights restrictions in behavior support. It provides an overview of common restrictions. It gives you strategies for understanding if something is a rights restriction or not. IT explains the different roles people have in protecting other's rights.
  • Professional Documentation Practices
    • 11 lessons; 3.1 contact hours Documentation is a critical part of direct support work. Good documentation lays the foundation for support services. Documentation helps direct support professionals meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in all setting. In this course you will learn what documentation is and why it is important. The course covers reasons for and basic rules of documentation. You will learn the difference between subjective and objective documentation. In addition you will learn about confidentiality. Finally, it introduces to five common areas where documentation is often required.
    • Lesson 1: The Purpose and Meaning of Documentation in Direct Support Work
      • Documentation is a critical part of direct support work. In this lesson you will learn what documentation is and why it is important to direct support work. You will learn that documentation's purpose, whether in paper form or electronic, is to communicate information.
    • Lesson 10: Staff Communication Logs
      • Communication on the job is important. You need to be able to communicate with other staff across different shifts and different work days. This helps work places run smoothly. A staff communication log is at the hub of daily staff communications. This lesson is about staff communication logs. The lesson explains what staff communications logs are and how they are used to communicate important information.
    • Lesson 11: Incident and Accident Documentation
      • Accidents and incidents do happen on the job. This lesson will review accident and incident documentation. You will learn what information is needed on an accident and incidents report form.
    • Lesson 2: Reasons for Documentation
      • In this lesson you will learn more about the seven common reasons for documentation. You will begin to explore how documentation can help you provide better supports. You will also learn why it is important to those being supported.
    • Lesson 3: The Basic Rules of Documentation
      • This lesson covers some of the basic rules for documentation. You will learn about rules covering any type of documentation. This includes formal and informal. It also covers both handwritten and electronic documentation.
    • Lesson 4: Documentation and the Direct Support Professional
      • This lesson will provide some helpful guidelines for writing effective and useful documentation entries. You will learn to write documentation entries that are clear and concise. You will learn the difference between objective and subjective entries. This will help provide valuable information to other support team members and help improve the quality of supports for the individuals being supported.
    • Lesson 5: Protecting Confidentiality
      • In your work as a direct support professional you will be reviewing a lot of documentation about the person you support. You will need this information to do a good job. Documentation will have private information about the person. This lesson will help you understand your role in protecting the person's private information. You will learn about confidentiality and why this is important to your everyday practice.
    • Lesson 6: Rights to Privacy
      • This lesson explains a person's rights to privacy. It also identifies some common substitute decision makers. These are people who are legally authorized to make decisions for the individual receiving supports. They would also have access to a person's confidential information.
    • Lesson 7: Release of Information Forms
      • This lesson will help you understand what information is needed in order to secure a proper release of information form from a person being supported or their legal surrogate decision maker. You will learn what information should be included on an authorization form. You will also learn about appropriate ways to request information from the person or his or her legal surrogate decision maker.
    • Lesson 8: Individual Support Plans, Progress, and Personal Goals
      • This lesson is about Individual Support Plans. It also covers personal goals and progress reporting. These plans are used to guide the supports and services a person receives. The plans also help individuals reach individual goals, dreams and preferences. You will use these in everyday practice.
    • Lesson 9: Medical and Health Related Documentation
      • Good health is important in everyone's life. As a direct support professional, you need to encourage good health for the people you support. One way to do this is through the completion of medical documentation. In this lesson you will be introduced to medical and health related documentation forms.
  • Safety
    • 19 lessons; 7.9 contact hours Balancing risk, choice, and safety is a big responsibility for direct support professionals. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the right to make choices even if these seem risky or unsafe to others. CDS’s new Safety course will help learners balance the risks with persons they support as it pertains to safety and handle accidents and incidents as they occur. Each lesson in the course addresses specific safety strategies for various support situations. For instance, learners will learn how to promote safety in different areas of the home, fire prevention and motor vehicle and community transportation safety.
    • Lesson 1: What is Risk
      • This lesson explores the risk factors that are common for a person receiving support. It helps you to understand how to minimize risks related to choices. It reviews the different kinds of risks. It also helps you to understand the difference between real risk and perceived risk.
    • Lesson 10: Fire Prevention
      • Fire prevention skills are critical in direct support practice. It is important to understand the dangers and characteristics of fire. Direct support professionals have a responsibility to take action with fire prevention strategies. This lesson will cover the basics of fire prevention when it comes to providing support to a person with a disability.
    • Lesson 11: Fire Emergency Response
      • In the previous lesson you learned about the dangers and characteristics of fire. You also learned how to prevent fires. This lesson will prepare you to respond to a fire emergency. You will learn two important things. One is how to follow the proper procedures when there is a fire. The other is how to handle things after a fire.
    • Lesson 12: Fire Emergency Plans and Evacuation
      • This lesson will help you learn how to prepare for a fire emergency. It will also cover evacuation procedures. It covers all of the key elements of fire emergency plans. It covers using community resources. It also includes how to involve stake holders in the process. All of this will be important to know in your role as a direct support professional.
    • Lesson 13: Individualized Fire Safety Plans and Skills
      • This lesson will help you learn how to effectively prepare for fire emergencies with the individual you support. It includes information on how to assess fire safety risks for individuals. It includes information on how to practice and teach fire safety skills. All of this will be important to know in your role as a direct support professional.
    • Lesson 14: Community Safety
      • This lesson will help you learn about safety awareness in the community. You will learn how to assess risks in many different community settings. You will learn how to evaluate individual needs for different environments. This lesson also addresses your responsibilities for community safety in your role as a direct support professional.
    • Lesson 15: Vehicle Safety
      • The ‘5 knows’ provide information and skills on being a safe driver. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses when operating a motor vehicle may prevent problems from occurring. You should have a working knowledge of your vehicle. Defensive driving strategies are useful skills that can help prevent accidents before they happen. Understanding each one's needs is an important part of safety. Planning ahead in case of an accident or injury may make reacting to an emergency easier. Distracted driving is a cause of motor vehicle accidents and should be avoided.
    • Lesson 17: Role of the Direct Support Professional: Accident Prevention, Risk Assessment, and Risk Management
      • Balancing risk, choice, and safety is a big responsibility for direct support professionals. This course will help you learn to balance these risks with those you support and to support safety at home and in the community. Each lesson addresses specific safety strategies for various support situations. You will learn how to promote safety in different areas of the home. You will learn about fire prevention and keeping people safe from fire danger. In addition, you will learn about being safe in the community. This includes promoting motor vehicle and community transportation safety. And when accidents or incidents do happen you will learn how to handle these too.
    • Lesson 18: Following Accident & Injury Policies and Procedures
      • Accidents or incidents can happen anywhere and at any time. That is why safety and prevention are so important. You should understand your employer's policies and procedures about accidents, injuries, or incidents. This can be an important step in prevention. Knowing the safe and correct way to handle a situation decreases the likelihood of injury to those you support and yourself. This lesson will cover the importance of following policies and procedures for safety.
    • Lesson 19: Reporting Incidents and Accidents
      • Accidents or incidents will happen. As a direct support professional you have a responsibility to report accidents and injuries you witness. You may also need to make verbal or written accident reports. This might be for things you don't witness. It is important to report an accident or injury objectively. You should use the 5 W's. This includes who, what, where when, why/how. In this lesson you will learn how to make verbal and written reports. You will also learn about the importance of accurate and timely records. This is an important part of preventing future harm.
    • Lesson 2: Balancing Risk with Individual Safety and Choice
      • This lesson will explore the concepts of freedom of choice and reasonable risk. It will help you learn how to balance these two things in a safe manner for a person you support. It will explore the concept of informed choice. It will also help you learn how to provide support in a way that promotes personal expression and freedom of choice.
    • Lesson 3: Personal Safety
      • This lesson defines and describes personal safety and why it is important for each person a direct support professional supports. It covers key areas to address with regard to personal safety. It also reviews the responsibilities of the direct support professional with regard to the personal safety of those he or she supports.
    • Lesson 4: Individual Safety Plans
      • This lesson addresses how to assess risks for a person you support. This can be done in different environments. It covers how to manage risk through an individual safety plan.
    • Lesson 5: Safety in the Kitchen
      • It's common for accidents to happen in the kitchen. But it's not hard to avoid many kitchen hazards. Prevention is the key. Safe use of appliances, utensils, and household chemicals is an important part of kitchen safety. There are also many infectious agents and bacteria in the kitchen. One source is raw food. It is important to understand how to handle food safely. Finally, knowing how to clean a kitchen properly is part of good kitchen safety.
    • Lesson 6: Safety in the Bathroom
      • Bathrooms have safety hazards. Accidents are very common. Direct support professionals play a role in promoting bathroom safety and preventing accidents. There are several areas to consider in bathroom safety prevention. Risks can include fall prevention, electrical appliance safety, burn prevention, and poisons. A big safety issue in the bathroom is the risk of slips and falls. Direct support professionals often support people with getting in and out of bathtub or shower. Bathroom transfers and supports need to be handled in safe manner. There are some bathroom safety features and materials that support increased bathroom safety.
    • Lesson 7: Safety in the Common Area
      • This lesson focuses on safety in the common areas. It will include safety strategies. It will demonstrate how to prevent accidents. It will also help you learn how to support cleaning and organizing common areas in the living area of someone you support.
    • Lesson 8: Safety in the Bedroom
      • Prevention is the key to bedroom safety. A bedroom should be comfortable and well organized. It should promote safety, function, and restful sleep. There are five general areas to consider in bedroom safety planning. This includes good lighting, organization, laundry, communication, and fire safety. It is important to address each of these areas well to ensure that both you and the person you support are safe.
    • Lesson 9: Safely Enjoying Outdoor Spaces at Home
      • In this lesson you will learn about safety in the outdoor areas of the home. This includes common safety hazards found in the outdoor areas. You will learn about safety strategies. You will learn how to prevent accidents. You will also learn about how to assist with the outdoor maintenance of someone you support.
    • Lesson 16: Community Transportation
      • Community transportation can include many different things. This lesson will cover a variety of community transportation options. It will help you learn about why community transportation is important for those you support. It will cover how to be safe when traveling in the community. It will cover how community transportation aids in social interaction. It will also cover the direct support professional's roles and responsibilities for safe community transportation.
  • Supporting Healthy Lives
    • 6 lessons; 8.0 contact hours This course provides an overview of information needed to understand what it takes to lead a healthy life and how to support people with disabilities in making good choices related to their health. It covers the importance of making healthy choices such as eating right and getting the right amount of exercise. It reviews health-related issues across the life span and gives advice on working with health care providers. A lesson on recognizing the signs and symptoms of illness is included along with information on how to take care of someone who is ill.
    • Lesson 1: Living a Healthy Life
      • This lesson explores the overall big picture needed to lead a healthy life. It will define the four basic areas of mind, body, spirit and emotional well-being. In addition, the learner will learn about the common risk factors associated with not living a healthy life and what impact a direct support professional has in their role of supporting someone to choose to live a healthy life.
    • Lesson 2: Health Through the Age Span
      • This lesson explores the medical and nutritional need of everyone during their life span. It will describe some of the barriers to good health and discuss recommended screenings for vision, hearing, health and immunizations needs for all age groups from infants to older adults. It also will provide the learner with printable fact sheets that will help them know how to support someone with disabilities to get the health care they need.
    • Lesson 3: Individual Health Needs
      • This lesson provides information on the components that affect individual health needs like age, family history, culture, and life style choices. It discusses ideas for approaching the individual you support to meet their individual health needs by assisting them to understand health needs, conditions and various diagnoses. The direct support professional must become knowledgeable about and understand health-related areas such as special diets, diabetes, and following recommendations of the health care provider.
    • Lesson 4: Signs and Symptoms of Illness
      • This lesson provides an overview of how to recognize and what to do when someone is ill. It explores ways to develop your observation and assessment skills in order to identify problems that could lead to serious health care problems. It covers the rationale and need for good documentation and communications skills that help the individual being supported get the help they need when they need it.
    • Lesson 5: Care of Common Health Care Conditions
      • This lesson looks at acute and chronic health care conditions and syndromes and provides basic information so the direct support professional will be able to recognize their symptoms. This is not a course on first aid but rather common health conditions that describe various symptoms and recommend specific treatments.
    • Lesson 6: Working with a Health Care Provider
      • This lesson covers the importance of team cooperation and action in getting quality health care for the individuals you support. It explores ways of communicating information to the individual you support and to the health care professional and of advocating for quality care. It provides suggestions for documentation including medical histories, referrals, doctor visits and instructions from the health care provider. It stresses the importance of being organized and getting and receiving information in writing. There are sample forms that can be adapted to meet individual needs and that help you work more effectively with health care professionals.
  • Supporting Jobs and Careers in the Community
    • 4 lessons; 4.3 contact hours This course will help you understand many of the things that go into successful employment and introduce Direct Support Professionals to many different employment opportunities for those they support.  The DSP will learn the importance of matching a person’s current abilities and desires to a job he or she will enjoy. You will learn about the skills and knowledge needed to support both the worker and the employer along with the role workplace relationships play in job success.
    • Lesson 1: Successful Community Employment and Retention
      • Successful employment takes a lot of planning. Job retention is often a positive result of good planning. This lesson will help you understand your role. You will learn how important it is to support both the workers and employers and the skills needed to support jobs and careers in the community. This lesson describes the vital work skills needed by individuals with disabilities in order to be successful. It is important for you to understand how to support people in building these skills. This lesson will help you understand how to develop and maintain a supportive work environment. This includes building successful relationships.
    • Lesson 2: Employment Supports and Volunteering
      • This lesson's main focus is on volunteering and the role you play in supporting successful volunteer opportunities. People are not always seeking paid employment. There may be many reasons a person wants to volunteer. This lesson will explore these reasons. It will help you learn about and explore resources that can help you to support someone's search for a volunteer job. You will also learn how to use a person's current abilities and desires to match him or her with a good position.   Remember that competitive employment is the desired outcome of supported employment activities. Volunteering is a way to gain skills.
    • Lesson 3: Introduction to Government Benefit Programs
      • This lesson will provide an overview of the four major government benefit programs in the United States. It will discuss key features and basic eligibility components. Due to the complexity of these programs, consultation and further education is always needed. As a direct support professional, you should never give advice. You should connect the person and his or her legal representative with the experts. These experts can then help explain the risks and benefits of any changes being considered. This lesson will identify resources for the learner to consider for future use.
    • Lesson 4: Government Benefit Programs and their Interaction with Work
      • Many people that receive government benefits are also employed. The type of benefits a person receives and the rules for these benefits can affect a person's employment. The interaction between benefits and employment is important to understand when providing employment supports. This lesson will help you understand how these programs might affect a person's work decisions, offer specific strategies to assist people in balancing their government benefits and employment, and will outline some important factors to consider when a person is planning to stop receiving government programs.
  • Supporting Older Adults
    • 5 lessons; 7.3 contact hours Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are living longer than they once did. It is important for direct support professionals to understand changes related to aging in order to provide quality supports as people grow older.  This course will help you recognize age-related changes. It will help you meet the changing support needs. This knowledge will also help you support a person to maintain their health and connections in the community. It will help you support him or her to live a happy and meaningful life for as long as possible.
    • Lesson 1: The Aging of the U.S. Population
      • Over the next 40 years, older adults will make up a much larger part of the U. S. population. This lesson identifies the later life concerns of people with disabilities and their families. This lesson discusses how these issues will affect the disability service systems. You will also read about common myths of aging. Finally, this lesson will cover the role that direct support professionals have in supporting people with disabilities who are aging.
    • Lesson 2: Age-Related Sensory and Physical Changes
      • Older adults experience many changes in health. This lesson focuses on physical changes. You will learn about changes related to the five senses. You will learn about changes related to vision and hearing. There is also information about changes in sense of touch, taste, and smell. You will learn how aging affects skin, muscles, and bones. Finally, this lesson focuses on oral health. Direct support professionals have an important responsibility to support older adults through sensory and physical changes. This lesson describes strategies to support a person experiencing these changes. It includes special consideration of older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    • Lesson 3: Age-Related Physical and Cognitive Changes
      • Older adults experience many changes in health. This lesson focuses on physical and cognitive changes. You will learn about changes related to cardiovascular or respiratory systems. You will learn about changes related to urinary or endocrine systems. You will learn about medication changes and how this affects health. There is also information about behavioral and cognitive changes. Finally, this lesson focuses on mental health. Direct support professionals have an important responsibility to support older adults through these changes. This lesson describes strategies to support a person experiencing these changes. It includes special consideration of older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    • Lesson 4: Later Life Planning and Support
      • Many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are living longer. This means them reaching a new stage in life: retirement. This course will give you an overview of how you may be involved in helping with retirement planning. It will alert you to signs people show when they are getting ready for retirement. This course also talks about preparing for the end of life. It will give you an introduction to legal documents that are important for people you support. These documents allow for the people you support to have the most choices on how to live at the end of life.
    • Lesson 5: Grieving and End of Life Support
      • Grief is an experience that affects most people at some point in their lives. As the people you support age, it is likely that you may be supporting a person who experiences the death of a friend or family member. This lesson discusses the stages of grief and how to support people through the grieving process. Many factors will affect how a person experiences grieving. These include a person's age, ethnicity, and religion. Direct support involves providing person-centered supports to a person who is grieving. In this lesson you will learn about end of life services. You will learn how to connect and support a person in these services. This lesson will also discuss how direct support professionals may grieve the loss of a person being supported.
  • Teaching People with Developmental Disabilities
    • 4 lessons; 4.2 contact hours This course is an overview of the important role that DSPs have in teaching people with developmental disabilities. It provides the learner with a basic understanding of teaching and learning, an important part of the direct support role. It helps the learner move beyond a "caregiving" role to one of being a true supporter and professional. This course helps the learner understand why it is important for all people to learn new things, what motivates people to learn, what teaching strategies help people with developmental disabilities learn, and how teaching and learning can be effectively organized.
    • Lesson 1: Understanding Teaching
      • This lesson helps the DSP understand why lifelong learning opportunities are important to people with developmental disabilities; the nature of the teaching relationship; how to choose what to teach; and how to select from possible teaching strategies. There is an emphasis on assuming that people have the ability to learn and to select their own goals for learning, when given the opportunity. This lesson also addresses the need to teach within the context of natural environments and real life experiences.
    • Lesson 2: Preparing to Teach
      • This lesson helps the DSP understand the importance of being prepared to teach. This lesson addresses methods of preparing to teach including: knowing the person and his or her special needs, understanding and using task analysis, and completing environmental assessments.
    • Lesson 3: Teaching Strategies
      • This lesson provides an overview of teaching strategies such as discrimination training, modeling, prompting, and shaping. Information regarding how to use reinforcement is also included.
    • Lesson 4: Organizing and Applying Teaching Strategies
      • This lesson describes the importance of developing a teaching plan, the difference between goals and objectives, and how to incorporate self-determination skills into teaching. Consideration for teaching in inclusive environments is also included.
  • Understanding Transitions Across the Life Span
    • 16 lessons; 5.3 contact hours In this course, you will learn about life transitions that affect individuals with disabilities. You will learn about common life transitions. You will learn about working with families. You will also learn about services, supports, and the role of the direct support professional plays in supporting individuals experiencing life transitions.
    • Lesson 1: Understanding Transitions
      • This lesson will introduce you to transitions that affect everyone's life. You will learn about the most common transitions we all go through, from taking our first steps to graduating from high school. You will also learn how the transitions that we all experience -- from birthdays to education -- may be different for a person with disabilities and his or her family.
    • Lesson 10: Types of Formal Housing Services
      • In this lesson, we will take a look at the different types of housing services and supports available to people with disability.
    • Lesson 11: Social Services
      • In this lesson, you will learn about one of the most commonly used government support programs. This lesson will help you to learn about programs through Social Security. You will also, learn about other formal supports and services that exist for people in the categories of employment and general assistance.
    • Lesson 12: Centers for Independent Living
      • This lesson introduces you to informal community supports. In this lesson, you will learn specifically about the Centers for Independent Living (CILs), a long-standing informal, community organization that works to support people with disability by providing a range of services and supports.
    • Lesson 13: Informal Community Supports and Services
      • In this lesson, you will learn about a few community organizations that offer informal services and supports to people with disability.
    • Lesson 14: Services and Supports: By Life Stages
      • Now that you have learned about the many formal and informal services and supports available, this lesson will talk about those services and supports in the context of a person's life stages.
    • Lesson 15: Services, Supports and Quality of Life
      • You have learned a lot about the different formal and informal services and supports. In this lesson you will learn how those services and supports can impact the quality of life for a person with disability.
    • Lesson 16: The Role of the DSP
      • You have learned a lot about the different formal and informal services and supports. In this lesson you will learn the role that you, as a direct support professional will play in helping a person with disability access these services and supports.
    • Lesson 2: Understanding Family Transitions
      • In this lesson, you will learn about the different transitions families experience together over the course of their life cycle -- from birth to walking and birthdays to secondary education -- and how a disability can impact those transitions.
    • Lesson 3: The Role of Families & Support Professionals
      • The learner will learn how family and support professionals play a key role in helping people with disability make successful life transitions.
    • Lesson 4: Family-Centered and Person-Centered Transition Support
      • In this lesson, you will learn about Family-centered Support, a philosophy of care in which the support professionals take their cues from the family. You will also learn about person-centered support and services. You will learn similarities and differences between the two philosophies and how they apply to daily practice.
    • Lesson 5: Holistic Support for Transitions
      • In this lesson, you will learn how to take a holistic approach to supporting families and people with disability as they transition.
    • Lesson 6: The Impact of Culture on Life Transitions
      • In this lesson, you will learn how culturally defined views of disability impact the services and support a person receives and their ability to achieve life transitions.
    • Lesson 7: Formal Health Services and Supports
      • This lesson will briefly introduce you to Formal Services that can be accessed to help individuals with disabilities navigate life stage transitions. In this lesson, you will specifically learn about the many formal health-related services and supports available to people with disabilities.
    • Lesson 8: Formal Education Services – Preschool to Grade School
      • In this lesson, you will learn about formal services and supports in education from preschool to grade school, as well as the role you will play in helping a person with disability access them.
    • Lesson 9: Formal Education Services – High School to Post Secondary
      • In this lesson, you will learn about the different services and supports available to people with disability as they transition into high school and post-secondary school, as well as the role direct support professionals can play in helping them to achieve their goals.
  • Universal Precautions
    • 11 lessons; 3.1 contact hours This course is about Universal Precautions required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It will teach direct support professionals about universal precautions and infection control. It will review OSHA blood borne pathogens requirements. It covers information on preventing and responding to exposure incidents. It will review information about communicable diseases and what can and should be done to prevent the spread of these diseases.
    • Lesson 11: Exposure Control Plans
      • This lesson will help you understand what an exposure control plan is and necessary components that keep the workplace safe. You will learn how important it is to know the plan through training and periodic reviews.
    • Lesson 1: Aspects of Infectious Diseases
      • This lesson covers all aspects of infectious diseases. An infection can come from touching, eating, drinking, or breathing something that has germs. It can come from an animal or insect bite. It can also be spread by kissing and sexual contact. The four different types of germs include a virus, bacteria, fungus, and a parasite. The body’s first line of defense includes the skin, mucous membranes in the nose, tears, and tiny hairs in the nose. It also includes bleeding, peeing, and sweating. The body’s second line of defense is the immune system. A vaccine can help to prevent some types of infectious diseases.
    • Lesson 10: Accidental Exposure Procedures
      • This lesson is about dealing with accidental exposures to bloodborne pathogens. You will learn ways this happens and basic steps you can take if an accidental exposure happens.
    • Lesson 2: Bloodborne Pathogens
      • This lesson focuses on bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens are viruses, bacteria, or parasites. They are found in blood or body fluids. They can cause disease in humans. The most common examples are HBV, HCV, and HIV. Transmission occurs when a person comes into contact with contaminated blood and body fluids. Direct support professionals are often exposed to these and other potentially infectious materials. Bloodborne pathogen standards require the use of universal precautions in all workplaces. The purpose is to protect workers. As a direct support professional you are responsible for recognizing hazards. It is your role to ensure the safety of those you support.
    • Lesson 3: Understanding the Infectious Disease Cycle
      • This lesson focuses on the infectious disease cycle. There are four stages to the infectious disease cycle. Stage 1: Infectious agents begin their journey with one host often through simple contact. The host can be living or non-living. Stage 2: Once inside a host an infectious agent will multiply and spread. Stage 3: Infectious agents eventually leave the host. A host does not have to display symptoms to pass on a disease. Stage 4: Infectious agents enter or wait for a new host and the cycle begins again.
    • Lesson 4: Infection Control and Prevention
      • This lesson focuses on the use of infection control procedures. Direct support professionals must use infection control procedures. This can prevent infectious agents from spreading. It can help to break the disease cycle. Use general infection control procedures every day. This will reduce the transfer of infectious agents. Use proper protocol when you handle raw food. This will help to prevent contamination and sickness. Personal use items can carry and transfer infectious agents. Follow best practice guidelines when you must handle someone’s personal items. Implement a regular cleaning schedule for common use areas to reduce transfer of infectious agents.
    • Lesson 5: Universal Precautions
      • This lesson focuses on universal precaution procedures. General infection control procedures are the ones you use every day. They reduce exposure to common pathogens. Universal precautions should be used when blood or certain body fluids are present. This is an OSHA guideline. This reduces exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Universal precautions include immunizations to protect against contaminated blood or body fluids. They also include an HBV vaccine that is paid for by your employer. Using procedures that will best protect you and the person you support. This includes things like personal protective equipment. It also includes proper hand washing.
    • Lesson 6: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
      • This lesson focuses on personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is an important universal precaution in direct support work. OSHA requires employers to identify and provide PPE that is needed for a specific job. PPE must be used properly by direct support professionals. PPE for direct support professionals includes protective gloves. It includes protective face masks and eyewear. It also includes protective clothing.
    • Lesson 7: Hand Washing Procedures
      • This lesson focuses on the proper way to wash your hands. You should wash your hands before handling clean dishes. Wash your hands after handling raw food or using the toilet. Wash your hands before and after doing any personal care related activities. This includes passing medication. Wash your hands IMMEDIATELY after coming into contact with any body fluid that may contain blood. Use a thorough technique for washing your hands similar to the one outlined in this lesson.
    • Lesson 8: Cleaning and Disinfecting
      • This lesson focuses on how to clean and disinfect items and surfaces. You must follow specific steps to clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces. You must follow specific steps to clean and disinfect cooking surfaces and items. You must follow specific steps to contain and clean contaminated laundry.
    • Lesson 9: Environmental Controls
      • This lesson is about the environmental controls that help you reduce and avoid exposures to infectious agents. You will learn how to properly label and store potentially infectious materials. The lesson covers how to handle accidental exposure incidents.
  • Working with Families and Support Networks
    • 4 lessons; 2.9 contact hours Everyone has family and support networks in their lives. These are the people who surround you. These are people with whom you develop relationships. They add quality, meaning and enjoyment that enrich your life. People with disabilities who receive support are not any different. They have families and support networks which are intensely important to the quality of their lives. This course will help you understand the importance of support networks. It will help you develop working partnerships with families and other support networks. You will learn the importance of family and other types of support networks as well as learning what skills are needed to work effectively with both.
    • Lesson 1: Understanding Support Networks
      • This lesson will help explain support networks. It covers the important role they play in the lives of people with disabilities. This lesson will help define support networks. It will help you identify different types of support networks. You will learn about the different roles each member plays in a support network. The lesson will help learners understand how to develop, maintain and expand the support networks of the people they support.
    • Lesson 2: Family Networks
      • This lesson provides information about families. It will help you understand why they are a unique type of support network. You will learn the importance of families. You will learn how the individuals you support define who belongs in their family. You will begin to identify the contributions they make in supporting their family member. This lesson will help you understand how different cultures influence the relationships between people. You will learn how family values, beliefs and history are a part of everyone.
    • Lesson 3: Creating Partnerships with Support Network Members
      • This lesson will help you understand the importance of developing partnerships with support networks. It will help you develop the skills needed for building partnerships with the family members and other support network members of the individuals you support. Finally, it will explore strategies you can implement to create successful partnerships.
    • Lesson 4: Problem Solving within Support Networks
      • This lesson will help you work with family support networks by giving you strategies for solving problems, working through conflicts, and team building. It will help you recognize and make use of the gifts and talents of each member in a support network.
  • You’ve Got a Friend
    • 4 lessons; 3.4 contact hours This course explores the importance and meaning of human relationships in the lives of all people, including people of all ages with disabilities. In it the learner reflects on the benefits that healthy relationships bring to people's lives and why they are valuable. The learner identifies the common perceptions and prejudices about people with disabilities that create barriers to social relationships. The learner is taught the common challenges that DSPs face when supporting people in developing and maintaining relationships and specific strategies for overcoming these challenges. In addition, the learner explores family relationships and how to effectively support these special long-term relationships that are so important to people with developmental disabilities.
    • Lesson 1: The Importance of Relationships
      • This lesson explores the common bond of all people--the desire to be connected to others. Learners will identify important benefits that are part of having an active social network and the variety of relationship that make up social networks. Learners will examine their own social network and a social network of someone they support in order to identify some differences that are common between social networks of people receiving supports and the people who support them.
    • Lesson 2: Barriers, Challenges, and Opportunities for Friendships
      • This lesson examines the factors that can make it hard for people to connect with others and some key obstacles that can prevent the development and ability to maintain relationships. These obstacles include such things as the effects of segregation, stigma, poverty, inaccessible accommodations, lack of transportation, and other barriers. Learners will explore some of the common patterns of experience shared by people with disabilities that often make it harder for them to develop a deep and diverse social network. They will learn how person-centered approaches are more effective than deficit based planning in overcoming these barriers to relationships.
    • Lesson 3: Strategies for Building and Maintaining Relationships
      • This lesson will examine the importance of the direct service role in supporting people to build and maintain relationships. It will provide learners with an overview of some tools that direct support professionals (DSPs) can use to facilitate the development and maintenance of relationships and provide opportunities to practice with these tools. Common fears and questions that DSPs and others have regarding the implications of supporting relationships and the risks involved in these relationships.
    • Lesson 4: Supporting Family Networks
      • This lesson provides an overview of the diversity in American family life and examines how culture affects lifestyle. It also focused on the unique issues that families confront when raising a child with a disability. The lesson will introduce learners to a family-centered planning practice (FOCUS). This family centered planning can help direct support professionals to support healthy family relationships and will provide learners with an opportunity to apply this technique.
  • College of Frontline Supervision and Management (CFSM): Developing an Intervention Plan
    • 4 lessons; 4.4 contact hours This course teaches learners how to develop an effective plan for employee retention based on analysis of specific needs in their service settings.  It teaches learners how to calculate and track turnover and vacancy rates and how to use the results to select the best interventions and monitor progress.  It also teaches how to anticipate and overcome barriers and challenges in implementing intervention plans.
    • Lesson 1: Understanding the Intervention Plan
      • This lesson reviews the steps and methods of developing an intervention plan designed to stem undesirable turnover and reduce open positions. The lesson reviews why creating a well-developed plan is critical to success. It describes seven steps that ensure a plan is comprehensive. It helps the learner prepare for variables and considerations in each of these steps. This lesson helps the learner understand these issues in the context of both the small consumer-directed situation, as well as large organizations.
    • Lesson 2: Organizational Assessment Part #1
      • The first part of understanding the scope and the nature of problems related to turnover and vacancy is to gather actual data regarding turnover and vacancy rates. This lesson reviews the retention basics of turnover rates, vacancy rates, and tenure groups. These basics will be used to define the scope of your problem, serve as a guide to further investigation into your problems, and help you understand if you are making progress in solving the problem. Information on how to organize information so that your calculations are accurate and useful is included.
    • Lesson 3: Organizational Assessment Part #2
      • This lesson helps the learner take the information gathered regarding turnover, tenure, and vacancy, and use it to help decide what additional assessments need to be completed in order to learn enough about the cause of these challenges. Five important areas to assess are reviewed which include: staff satisfaction; met or unmet expectations of new hires; cost-to-benefit ratios of interventions; staff competence; and commonalities among tenure groups. Five methods of assessment and their pros and cons of each are reviewed. These include: direct observation, interviews, focus groups, surveys, and review of existing data (such as may be gathered by Human Resources). A special section on considerations in using and developing surveys is included.
    • Lesson 4: Developing an Intervention Plan
      • You've learned about how to do basic and more advanced assessments of your problems with turnover and vacancy. Now, it's time to actually pull together a real intervention plan based on your situation. Using the Retention Trends that you gathered earlier, you will follow along with a frontline supervisor as she develops and refines her plan over a year. You will be given opportunities to stop and learn more in order to complete your plan as part of the lesson.
  • College of Frontline Supervision and Management (CFSM): Fueling High Performance
    • 5 lessons; 6.2 contact hours This course focuses on reducing turnover among high-potential staff by providing professional development opportunities and by establishing consistent and high performance requirements.  It reviews a number of important interventions that give structure and definition to expectations that promote high quality performance.
    • Lesson 1: Competency-Based Training
      • This lesson helps learners understand the importance of competency-based training to improving employee performance on the job and reducing turnover due to lack of job skills. The learner will learn about the seven steps to the competency-based training cycle and how to align job descriptions, training, and performance reviews. The learner will understand why it is important to review existing competency sets as part of this process.
    • Lesson 2: Employee Development
      • Employee development is the process of supporting employees in identifying career goals and ensuring opportunities to achieve them. This lesson helps the learner understand why employee development plans are important to retention and recruitment. Methods of ensuring the development plans are built in line with the needs of the employee, the employer, and the people being supported are included. Information regarding the roles of the frontline supervisor's in supporting employee development is also included.
    • Lesson 3: Teamwork
      • This lesson helps the learner understand why teamwork is critical to the effective work environment today. It provides a seven-step process for developing and supporting team growth and renewal. Information on basic communication skills that enhance the ability for team members to work together is included.
    • Lesson 4: Coaching and Positive Discipline
      • This lesson will help the learner understand performance coaching. Performance coaching is a set of methods that supervisors or mentors use to help people enhance or learn skills in the workplace. Performance coaching is also used to deal with problem performance on the part of employees. Learners will review the importance of feedback and communication as well as the steps of performance coaching.
    • Lesson 5: Employee Participation, Motivation, and Recognition
      • This lesson reviews the importance of recognition and participatory management styles in helping to motivate and retain high quality direct support professionals. Methods of identifying and rewarding quality performance are reviewed. Different management styles and their impact on performance and process are reviewed. A review of the goals in the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals that are directed toward recognition and status of DSPs is also included.
  • College of Frontline Supervision and Management (CFSM): Preparing for the Supervisor’s Job in Human Services
    • 5 lessons; 6.9 contact hours This course is an introduction to the role of a frontline supervisor (FLS). It is for direct support professionals (DSPs) or others that might be considering the position. The lessons include a description of the role of frontline supervisors (FLS). It is contrasted with the role of direct support professionals. It includes basic information on four foundational skills critical to supervision. The course outlines both the rewards and the challenges of becoming a frontline supervisor. It asks learners to assess their readiness for a supervisory position. This course is for people who want to make a good decision about whether or not to pursue a supervisory position.
    • Lesson 1: Supervisors and their Roles
      • This lesson is an introduction to what it means to be a frontline supervisor (FLS). It provides a realistic preview of the supervisory role. The learner is encouraged to learn more about a specific FLS position that he or she is interested in. The rewards and challenges of being an FLS are outlined. Common responsibilities, activities, and expectations of a FLS are explained. The learner assesses their own current strengths and needs in regards to taking a supervisory position. Using this information the learner is guided in developing a plan for gaining further understanding and skills related to being an FLS. The benefits of finding mentors are explored as one method of guided skill development.
    • Lesson 2: Professional Relationship Building
      • Relationships are critical to the frontline supervisor's job. This lesson reviews the many types of professional relationships and their purpose. Attributes that define healthy professional relationships are reviewed. Strategies are given to the learner for building and nurturing effective professional relationships. Common situations that are challenging for new supervisors in professional relationships are reviewed. Suggestions for methods of approaching these problems are included.
    • Lesson 3: Understanding Leadership
      • Both leadership and management are important, but they are different from each other. Some managers are excellent leaders. Some are not. Healthy organizations encourage the growth of leadership attributes and skills among all employees regardless of their position. However, considering a move into a supervisory position is a good time to reflect on personal leadership potential. This lesson helps the learner understand more about leadership and its connection to the supervisory role. Learners can explore their leadership potential and learn how to apply leadership practices to their current and future positions as employees.
    • Lesson 4: Communication in a Supervisory Role
      • A primary purpose of the supervisory role is to communicate with others. A supervisor is expected to effectively communicate in a number of different situations. This may include working with employees or other professionals. It may include working with the person supported or families. It can also include communicating with community members. Depending on the situation, the people involved have different needs. The supervisor must be able to adjust his or her communication style and methods to meet these needs. This lesson helps the learner understand what is different about communication expectations in the move from being a direct support professional to becoming a supervisor. It also provides information on how to effectively perform and develop skills.
    • Lesson 5: Supervising Diverse Work Teams
      • Workforce diversity is increasing. More than ever before supervisors need to be able to pull together teams who are of different ages and from various backgrounds. While diversity in the workplace has definite benefits, it also has certain challenges. Cultural competence refers to the ability to recognize, respect and work with people from different cultural perspectives. This lesson reviews critical aspects of cultural competence and diversity from the point of view of the frontline supervisor.
  • College of Frontline Supervision and Management (CFSM): Recruitment and Selection
    • 3 lessons; 3.3 contact hours You will not retain the right staff if you cannot find and hire them. This course will help you understand how to bring more potential employees to your door and how to choose the best of those that apply.
    • Lesson 1: Recruitment and Marketing
      • This lesson explores how marketing and recruitment strategies can bring in a better quality of applicant and increase the number of applicants overall. The lesson reviews inside and outside recruitment sources. Helps the learner understand the importance of defining what is unique about the employer and/or the position and how to market the employer. PDF forms are included to help the learner apply and share this information with others.
    • Lesson 2: Realistic Job Previews
      • This lesson describes Realistic Job Previews (RJPs) and why they are important to retention. The lesson reviews five key characteristics of RJPs and various delivery methods for RJPs. Learners are given a change to evaluate several complete RJPs by ranking how well each RJP includes the five key characteristics. Learners are provided a worksheet and opportunity to complete an initial plan for their own RJPs. Barriers to development of effective RJPs are reviewed and learners are guided to prepare for these challenges.
    • Lesson 3: Selection and Hiring
      • This lesson introduces learners to five components of the selection process that are useful in selecting high potential employees that are likely to stay. The lesson reviews how to prepare for an interview and how to create and use questions that are most likely to draw out the most important information necessary to make a good selection. Other aspects of the selection process are also reviewed such as using tests, effective screening, and creating a positive environment for the interview. Finally the learner is given tips on how to make the final selection based on the best match to the position.
  • College of Frontline Supervision and Management (CFSM): Training and Orientation
    • 5 lessons; 5.3 contact hours This course reviews the need for assessing employee skills as the foundation of successful training and development programs.  The course teaches various components of training and how training practices can influence the retention rates of high-potential staff.  Ways to structure training including methods and topics for training are reviewed.  Because orientation serves a different purpose than skill training, a separate lesson on orientation practices is included.
    • Lesson 1: Understanding Training
      • This lesson provides an overview of training and its purpose. There is a review of training challenges common to community support services and an explanation of why good training is important to the overall success of the organization and quality of services.
    • Lesson 2: Choosing Training Topics
      • This lesson provides an overview of factors that influence choices of training topics for existing and new employees. It provides a description of three industry job analyses, which can assist in identifying training topics. Finally, this lesson provides information to assist learners in locating training resources and opportunities related to topical needs.
    • Lesson 3: Choosing Training Methods
      • This lesson helps learners identify common problems with training practices. It describes the needs of adult learners and ways to accommodate various learning styles. Finally, the lesson addresses a variety of effective training methods and important factors to consider when choosing from them.
    • Lesson 4: Understanding Employee Assessment
      • This lesson will help the learner understand employee assessment and its importance. The lesson presents several ways employee assessments can be completed. It describes who should be involved in the process. Finally, this lesson describes how employee assessment can assist in guiding the training of employees.
    • Lesson 5: Orientation Practices
      • This lesson provides an overview of staff orientation and its purpose. It describes ways to determine how poor orientation practices affect employee turnover and how diversity can influence orientation strategies. This lesson identifies strategies to improve orientation. The role of mentoring in orientation is reviewed. Finally, the lesson reviews how the frontline supervisor and/or manager can promote improved orientation of new employees.
  • College of Frontline Supervision and Management (CFSM): Your First Few Weeks and Months as a Supervisor
    • 5 lessons; 8.9 contact hours This course provides an overview of the entry level skills and duties you will need as a new supervisor. It will be very helpful to you during the first few weeks and months on the job. It may also be helpful for more experienced supervisors that have not had formal training in these areas.   This course will help to create more satisfied staff. Learners are encouraged to review the course, Preparing for the Supervisor's Job in Human Services prior to taking this course.   This course will help you to build on the professional development plan that is started in that course.
    • Lesson 1: Stepping into the Supervisory Role
    • Lesson 2: Supervising and Managing Daily Operations
      • This lesson reviews these basics of supervision and distance supervision. It also provides an overview of related duties. These include finances and staff scheduling. It also includes coordination and maintenance of equipment.
    • Lesson 3: Planning and Organizing Meetings
      • This lesson will help you learn to use meetings in constructive and effective ways. You will also learn how to create positive energy around meetings.
    • Lesson 4: Time Management, Delegation, and Organizational Skills
      • This lesson helps the human services supervisor learn more about time management, and includes planning, prioritizing, organizing, and delegating.
    • Lesson 5: Conflict Management, Decision Making, and Problem Solving
      • This lesson reviews basic principles and strategies of conflict management, problem-solving, and decision-making.
  • Disability Intensive (DIC)
    • Disability Intensive Courses (DIC) are specialized courses within the College of Direct Support (CDS). These courses focus on one disability and have one long lesson, instead of many lessons like other CDS courses.  The course will define and describe the specific disability, along with providing information about the causes, characteristics, and symptoms of the disability.  A DIC course will share stories of people who have this disability and his or her family members. This course will help you understand how the specific disability affects people in their daily lives. It helps you understand how co-occurring disorders may affect people with the disability and effective support strategies.  
    • Autism
      • This course is an introduction to the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  Autism was once thought to be a rare disability. However, the number of people with autism is increasing.  It is important for direct support professionals (DSPs) to be knowledgeable about these disorders. It is also important to know how they affect people’s lives.
    • Brain Injury
      • This course is an overview of brain injury. It will cover the challenges someone with a brain injury may face. It will help you understand the short and long-term effects of brain injury and cover some of the most common causes of brain injury. It will discuss some of the ways you can prevent brain injuries and help you to understand how brain injury may affect someone's life. This course includes some real life stories of individuals with brain injury and their families while also including the stories of the direct support professionals that provide support.  You will also learn about different strategies that can help you support someone with a disability caused by a brain injury.
    • Cerebral Palsy
      • This disability intensive course will introduce you to cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a very common brain disorder disability affecting body movement. It also affects muscle coordination. Cerebral palsy can begin in infancy, early childhood, or it can be acquired at a later age when a specific part of the brain is injured. It is a permanent condition that does not get worse over time. The common characteristics of cerebral palsy will be identified in this course, along with a description of the main types of cerebral palsy. Finally, it will help you understand some of the typical support needed by someone who has cerebral palsy.
    • Depression
      • This course is an introduction to the mental health condition known as depression, a common illness that spans all ages. This course will help you understand the different forms of depression, and you will learn to identify the signs and symptoms of depression. This course will introduce common treatment options and identify recovery and prevention tools. You will learn how to help prevent and respond to suicide concerns. Throughout the course you will be introduced to some common myths and misperceptions about depression in addition to the facts about depression.
    • Diabetes
      • This course is about the medical condition known as diabetes. It will help you understand the affect this condition may have on a person's overall health. Diabetes is a condition where the body does not or cannot produce enough insulin, and Diabetes is a condition that can impact all body systems. The hormone insulin is needed to convert sugar and starches into energy. It describes how diabetes may affect a person and his or her family. It discusses support strategies and diabetes resources that can be useful to direct support professionals.
    • Epilepsy

DirectCourse - College of Employment Services

  • Business Perspectives
    • 4 lessons; 2.4 contact hours You’re focused on supplying workplaces with qualified job seekers, but what about the employer perspective? This course goes in-depth into the “dual-customer” approach to career development. You’ll learn about the functional use of labor-market information for the modern economy, using research to learn about employers’ experiences and workforce development strategies, strategies for working with small and large employers, engaging in community and business networking, and collaborating creatively with employers and job seekers to make strong job matches.
    • Lesson 1: Serving the Employer: Fostering Responsive, Timely and Business-Driven Customer Service
    • Lesson 2: Understanding and Using Labor Market Information to Meet Workforce Needs
    • Lesson 3: Shifting Perceptions: The View of Business Customers on Hiring and Retaining Workers with Disabilities
    • Lesson 4: Building Strong Business
  • Employment for People with Disabilities and Criminal Histories
    • 2 lessons; 1.1 contact hours Welcome to our course about employment services for people with disabilities and criminal histories. In these two lessons, I'll go over specific strategies that can help you support these job seekers. During the course, you'll hear me use the abbreviation PDCH. This stands for "people with disabilities and criminal histories."
    • Lesson 1: Working with People with Disabilities and Criminal Histories
      • We'll look at some reasons why employment is important for PDCH. We'll look at common barriers PDCH face, and how work can help eliminate those barriers. I'll also talk about strategies that will increase your success with this population of job seekers.
    • Lesson 2: Disclosing to employers and Accessing Supports
      • In this lesson, we'll look at PDCH from an employer's perspective. I'll talk about how criminal records work, and go over some incentives for employers to hire PDCH. We'll look at tools that can be helpful, such as a letter of rehabilitation. And we'll look at some resources for PDCH, both online and in their communities.
  • Employment Services for People with Mental Health Disabilities
    • 4 lessons; 2.4 contact hours In this course we’ll talk about common obstacles facing job seekers with mental health issues, and proven principles and specific skills that can help you support them. In these four lessons, we'll look at some research-supported ways to help this population succeed in the workforce.
    • Lesson 1: Course Values and Principles
    • Lesson 2: Networking, Disclosure, and Job Development
    • Lesson 3: Providing Support and Promoting Retention
    • Lesson 4: Co-occurring Issues and Employment
  • Foundations of Employment Services by Elena Varney
    • 4 lessons; 3.2 contact hours This course explains how you can support all individuals in pursuing meaningful, rewarding work, including people with disabilities and other barriers. You’ll learn about the history of employment services as a profession, the key duties of your job, and the core competencies you’ll need to do your job well. In addition, this course will provide you with a solid ethical foundation on which to build your career.
    • Lesson 1: Evolution of Employment Services
    • Lesson 2: Values and Expectations of Work
    • Lesson 3: The Employment-Services Professional
    • Lesson 4: Partners in Employment Services
  • Funding Employment Services
    • 2 lessons; 1.0 contact hours Getting funding for employment services can be challenging, but there are many sources available. In this course, you’ll learn about primary funding sources, such as vocational rehabilitation and developmental disabilities agencies. You’ll become familiar with alternative funding sources, and with strategies for blending and braiding funding. We’ll also cover Medicaid waivers, resource ownership, and Social Security work incentives.
    • Funding – Lesson 1: Where Funding Comes From
    • Funding – Lesson 2: Social Security and Additional Funding Sources
  • Job Creation
    • 3 lessons; 1.5 contact hours
    • Lesson 1: Using Job-Seeker Skills to Target Employers
    • Lesson 2: Identifying Employers’ Unmet needs
    • Lesson 3: Self-Employment
  • Networking
    • 2 lessons; 1.0 contact hours In a challenging economy, employment specialists and job seekers need to become expert networkers. But what’s the best way to network? And what if networking feels uncomfortable? In this course, we offer tips about growing your network and those of the job seekers you work with. You’ll learn about weak and strong social ties, social capital, and social media. And we’ll go in depth into two powerful networking techniques: elevator pitches and informational interviewing.
    • Networking – Lesson 1: The Hidden Job Market
    • Networking – Lesson 2: Elevator Pitches and Informational Interviewing
  • Performance Coaching and Support, Part 1 by Lara Enein-Donovan
    • 5 lessons; 2.3 contact hours This course will address how you can work with job seekers to help ensure a successful employment experience, and their employers to support new hires with disabilities and other challenges on the job. Topics include developing soft skills, creating support plans, facilitating natural supports, acquiring and maintaining skills, emergency preparedness, and fading supports from the job site as the worker gains independence.
    • Lesson 1: The Role of the Job Coach Outside the Workplace
    • Lesson 2: The Role of the Employer
    • Lesson 3: The First Days of Work and the Employment Support Plan
    • Lesson 4: Legal Rights at Work and Self-Advocacy
    • Lesson 5: Preparing for Emergencies in the Workplace
  • Performance Coaching and Support, Part 2 by Lara Enein-Donovan
    • 5 lessons; 2.2 contact hours Part 2 of this two-part course focuses on your role as a job coach in the workplace. Topics include developing and revising employment plans, facilitating natural supports, identifying and supporting learning styles, and fading your presence from the job site as the worker gains independence.
    • Lesson 1: The Role of the Job Coach in the Workplace
    • Lesson 2: Developing a Plan to Sustain Employment and Starting the Job
    • Lesson 3: Supporting Employees’ Learning Styles
    • Lesson 4: Developing a Task Analysis
    • Lesson 5: Natural Supports, Self-Maintenance, and Fading
  • Principles of Career Development by Rick Kugler
    • 6 lessons; 3.8 contact hours In this course, you’ll learn the most effective ways to use individual assessments and other planning strategies. These techniques can help job seekers focus on their skills and interests and get clearer about what various careers involve. You’ll find out about key strategies to help people overcome barriers to employment. This course also covers the relationship between disability benefits and employment, and how beneficiaries can make the most of work incentives.
    • Lesson 1: Everyone Can Work
    • Lesson 2: Person-Centered Career Planning
    • Lesson 3: Assisting with Barriers to Career Development
    • Lesson 4: Tools and Assessment Strategies for Career Discovery
    • Lesson 5: Using Conventional Approaches for Career Planning
    • Lesson 6: Earnings, Benefits, and Career Choice
  • Strategies for Job Development, Part 1 by Lara Enein-Donovan
    • 4 lessons; 2.6 contact hours This course will show you how to develop a plan to help people find jobs. Topics include giving advice on disclosure and matching individuals’ desires and abilities with career opportunities. The course also includes guidance on the latest job-search and marketing techniques, including creating marketing materials, taking advantage of social media, and networking (both in person and online).
    • Lesson 1: Disclosure, Resumes, and Interviewing
    • Lesson 3: Marketing Materials for Job Development
    • Lesson 2: Matching Job-Seeker Skills to Jobs
    • Lesson 4: Using Social Media to Market Job Seekers
  • Strategies for Job Development, Part 2 by Karen Flippo
    • 4 lessons; 2.8 contact hours Job seekers are your customers — but so are the employers who can hire them. This course will explain the importance of understanding and responding to employers’ needs, and matching them to job seekers’ skills and interests. You’ll learn how to show employers that working with your agency is a win-win proposition. Topics include solving business problems, developing mutual confidence and trust with employers, supporting job seekers with online job applications, and negotiating hiring arrangements.
    • Lesson 1: Employer as the Customer
    • Lesson 2: Identifying Employer Needs
    • Lesson 3: Online Applications and Personality Tests
    • Lesson 4: Negotiating the Hire, Including Accommodations
  • Ticket to Work
    • 1 lesson; 0.3 contact hours You’ve probably been hearing about the Social Security Ticket to Work program for years. But what is it, and how can it help the job seekers you support? Get an overview of this useful work incentive in this special feature.
  • Using Work Incentives To Increase Self-Sufficiency by Rick Kugler
    • 6 lessons; 3.4 contact hours Anxiety about earnings and benefits is one of the primary barriers to employment. The truth is, many Social Security beneficiaries can effectively use work incentives to become self-sufficient. While these incentives are complex, you don’t need to be an expert to help. This course will provide you with important terminology, fundamental rules and concepts, and crucial strategies for helping beneficiaries maximize work incentive use and economic self-sufficiency.
    • Lesson 1: Why Work? An Overview of Work Incentives
    • Lesson 2: Proactive Planning: Staying on Track with Work Incentives
    • Lesson 3: Key Incentives for People Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance
    • Lesson 4: Key Incentives for People Receiving Supplemental Security Income
    • Lesson 5: There’s More to Benefits: Health Care and Other Subsidies
    • Lesson 6: The PASS: Helping People with Disability Benefits Create Careers

DirectCourse - College of Personal Assistance and Caregiving

  • Being Prepared for an Emergency
    • 5 lessons; 6.0 contact hours This course covers material on ways a home care provider can help prepare for an emergency. The learner will learn why people with disabilities and older adults may have unique needs during emergencies and how a provider can help.  The learner will gain knowledge on subjects such as: natural disasters, emergency preparedness, responding and recovering from an emergency, pandemics, bioterrorism and terrorism.
    • Lesson 1: Unique Needs of People with Disabilities and Older Adults
      • No one is completely safe from harm during a natural disaster or a weather-related emergency. Events such as earthquakes, thunderstorms, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and fires can happen when you are at work, driving a car, or far away from home. The best way to stay safe is to be prepared. As a home care provider for a person with a disability or older adult, you may be working with him or her during such an event. You need information to keep yourself and the person you work with safe. In this lesson, you will learn what sorts of barriers they may face during an emergency and why they may be more at risk for harm. This lesson will also describe some of the unique needs of older adults and people with disabilities during a natural disaster or emergency.
    • Lesson 2: Natural Disasters and Weather‐Related Emergencies
      • This lesson is about natural disasters and weather-related emergencies.  You will learn about thunderstorms, tornados, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes and extreme heat.  You will also learn steps you can take as a home care provider before, during, and after these types of events.  This lesson will also cover weather-related illnesses that can happen when it’s really hot or really cold.  You will learn the signs of frostbite, hypothermia, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.  You will also learn ways you can prevent these conditions from happening.
    • Lesson 3: Preparing for Emergencies
      • This lesson will cover the first part of emergency preparedness: preparing for an emergency.  You will learn about what people with disabilities and older adults should include in their emergency plans. You will also learn about how a provider can help a person with emergency planning activities. This lesson will give examples of how people with disabilities responded during past natural disasters. This includes events like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. You will learn about the typical items that should go in an emergency kit. You will also learn about other disability-related items that might be needed.
    • Lesson 4: Responding to and Recovering from Emergencies
      • This is a lesson on responding to and recovering from emergencies. You will learn how people respond to emergencies. You will also learn how to help a person evacuate, seek shelter, or shelter-in-place. This lesson will describe ways people with disabilities and older adults can find accessible information during emergencies. You will also learn about some signs of disaster-related stress. This is important because recovering from a disaster can be stressful and difficult. Lastly, you will learn some things you can do to help when a person returns home after a disaster.
    • Lesson 5: Pandemics, Terrorism, and Bioterrorism
      • This is a lesson on pandemics, terrorism, and bioterrorism. Natural disasters and medical emergencies may be more commonplace, but these are additional types of emergencies that everyone should be aware of. You will learn about things you can do as a home care provider if there is a pandemic, terrorist, or bioterrorist attack. You will also learn about how to communicate effectively with the person you work about these types of events.
  • Cerebral Palsy Care
    • 1 lesson; 1.7 contact hours This course will introduce you to cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a very common disability. It is a brain disorder that affects body movement. It also affects muscle coordination. Cerebral palsy can begin in infancy or early childhood. It can also be acquired at a later age when a specific part of the brain is injured. It is a permanent condition. However, it does not get worse over time. You will learn to recognize common characteristics. This course will also describe the main types of cerebral palsy. Finally, it will provide examples of how home care providers can help with activities related to cerebral palsy.
  • Dementia Care
    • 27 lessons; 10.8 contact hours This course will provide learners with information about dementia in a number of areas: dementia as a disease, the signs and symptoms of dementia, how a caregiver can take care of his or her health, ways to find a home care provider for the first time, and how family caregivers can better communicate with home care providers. This course will also cover some of the behavioral and communication challenges associated with dementia, as well as personal care, health, and physical activities related to dementia. Lastly, home safety will be covered, including ambulation and how to prevent people with dementia from falling.
    • Lesson 1: What is Dementia?
      • This lesson will describe what dementia is and how it affects the brain. The lesson will also cover the four most common types of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and frontotemporal dementia.
    • Lesson 10: Communication between Family Caregivers and Paid Providers
      • In this lesson you will learn about issues that might create conflict between family caregivers and paid providers. You will also learn how to communicate effectively.
    • Lesson 11: Long-term Care Options
      • In this lesson you will learn about some different kinds of long-term care options that people with dementia may need, what each provides, and how to find more information on them.
    • Lesson 12: Dementia and Communication
      • In this lesson you will learn about changes in communication caused by dementia. You will also learn about different ways to communicate with a person with dementia.
    • Lesson 13: Dementia and Memory Loss
      • In this lesson you will learn about mild cognitive impairment and memory loss from dementia. You will also learn how you can help a person with dementia who has memory loss.
    • Lesson 14: Dementia and Depression
      • In this lesson you will learn about depression, signs of it, causes of it, and how to treat it. You will also learn about how depression affects people with dementia in unique ways.
    • Lesson 15: Understanding Dementia-Related Behaviors
      • In this lesson you will learn about some general causes for changes in behavior, especially behaviors that can be challenging for caregivers of people with dementia. You will also learn some ways to understand and manage them.
    • Lesson 16: Challenging Behaviors: Agitation, Repetition, and Wandering
      • In this lesson you will learn about agitation, repetition, and wandering. You will also learn how caregivers can help people with dementia who behaves in those ways.
    • Lesson 17: Challenging Behaviors: Aggression, Hallucinations and Perception Problems, and Paranoia
      • In this lesson you will learn about what causes aggression, hallucinations and perception problems, and paranoia. You will also learn how a caregiver can help a person with dementia manage these behaviors.
    • Lesson 18: Sexual Activity and Behavior
      • In this lesson you will learn about intimacy and the sexual needs of people with dementia. You will learn how to respect the person’s privacy and dignity. Caregivers will also learn about challenging sexual behaviors and how they can help a person with dementia with those behaviors.
    • Lesson 19: Nutrition and Hydration
      • In this lesson you will learn about various changes in eating and drinking that can affect people with dementia. You will also learn how a caregiver can help a person with dementia with these activities.
    • Lesson 2: Symptoms of Dementia
      • This lesson will give an overview of some of the symptoms of dementia, from mild to severe. You will also learn about some symptoms that may lead to dementia.
    • Lesson 20: Bowel and Bladder Care
      • In this lesson you will learn about the types of bowel and bladder issues common in people with dementia. You will also learn how you can help maintain a healthy bowel and bladder.
    • Lesson 21: Sleep Issues and Sundowning
      • In this lesson you will learn about some of the problems that people with dementia have with sleep. You will learn about ‘sundowning’ and other sleeping problems. You will also learn how you can help to manage these sleeping problems.
    • Lesson 22: Personal Care
      • In this lesson you will learn about the personal care needs of someone with dementia. You will learn how to help with bathing, toileting, dressing, grooming, and oral care.
    • Lesson 23: Dementia and Medications
      • In this lesson you will learn about some of the different medications used to treat dementia, as well as possible side effects from them. You will also learn how you can help prevent adverse reactions by making sure that a person with dementia takes medications safely.
    • Lesson 24: Physical and Social Activity
      • In this lesson you will learn about the benefits of physical and social activity for people with dementia. You will also learn how caregivers and home care providers can help with these activities.
    • Lesson 25: Identifying and Preventing Abuse
      • In this lesson you will learn why people with dementia are at risk for abuse. You will also learn about signs of abuse and some of the major types of abuse. Lastly, you will learn how caregivers and home care providers can help prevent abuse and report abuse if it happens.
    • Lesson 26: Home Safety
      • In this lesson you will learn about safety issues for people with dementia. You will also learn how a caregiver or home care provider can help prevent accidents from happening in the home.
    • Lesson 27: Ambulation and Fall Prevention
      • In this lesson you will learn about some of the problems people with dementia may have with walking and movement. Caregivers and home care provider will also learn how to help with walking and fall prevention around the home.
    • Lesson 3: Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia
      • In this lesson you will learn about the different ways that dementia is diagnosed. And even though dementia doesn’t have a cure, you’ll learn about how dementia symptoms can be managed and treated.
    • Lesson 4: Caregiver Health
      • In this lesson you will learn how caregiving for someone with dementia can impact a person’s health. You will also learn why it’s important for a caregiver to be healthy. Learners will also receive information on how to stay healthy.
    • Lesson 5: Reducing Caregiver Stress
      • In this lesson you will learn about how stress affects a caregiver and ways to reduce that stress. Learners will receive tips on how to set goals, sleep, relax better, and reduce stress.
    • Lesson 6: Caregiver Burnout
      • In this lesson you will learn what we mean by the term ‘burnout’ and how to recognize signs for it. You will also learn about ways caregivers can prevent burnout and deal with burnout.
    • Lesson 7: Respite Care
      • In this lesson you will learn about respite care and adult day care, what they are, and how to find and pay for them. Paid home care providers can also benefit from learning about these services.
    • Lesson 8: Finding a Paid Provider for the First Time
      • In this lesson you will learn about the three different ways to find a paid home care provider. You will also learn about differences among the three ways.
    • Lesson 9: Hiring a Paid Provider for the First Time
      • In this lesson you will learn about the hiring process for a paid home care provider.
  • Diabetes Care
    • 1 lesson; 1.7 contact hours This course is about the medical condition known as diabetes. It will help you understand the affect this condition may have on a person's overall health. Diabetes is a condition where the body does not or cannot produce enough insulin. The hormone insulin is needed to convert sugar and starches into energy. Diabetes is a condition that can impact all body systems. This course describes diabetes and presents facts about diabetes. It describes how diabetes may affect a person and his or her family. It discusses support strategies and diabetes resources that can be useful to home care providers.
  • Disability Rights and Independent Living
    • 6 lessons; 6.9 contact hours This course will give you an overview of how people with disabilities were treated in the past. You will also learn about some of the hard fought rights they now have. Federal laws and programs for people with disabilities will be described. You will also learn about independent living. This is central to community living in one's own home. You will learn why community living and community inclusion are important to those you work for. Barriers in the community will be discussed. You will also learn about ways that you can help to those you work for to overcome these barriers in your role as a home care provider. You will learn about working with people who are self-directing. You also will learn why it's important to be respectful of the personal and cultural preferences of those you work for.
    • Lesson 1: Disability History
      • In this lesson you will learn how people with disabilities have been treated throughout history.  You will learn how society treated them. You will learn that slowly, over time, the public view of people with disabilities has changed. This lesson will also introduce you to some of the key issues that led to the Disability Rights Movement. You will see how the movement helped to change attitudes about people with disabilities. The movement also led to more rights and freedoms for people with disabilities. Lastly, you will learn about disability pride and the growth of disability culture.
    • Lesson 2: Disability Rights Progress
      • In this lesson you will learn about some of the laws for people with disabilities.  These laws are enacted to give people with disabilities rights. There has been much progress in disability rights since the 1960s.  There are now laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities.  Children with disabilities now have the right to get an education.  It is against the law to discriminate against people with disabilities.  More people are living in inclusive and accessible communities. More people with disabilities have access to meaningful work. All of this is important for you to be aware of as a home care provider. By knowing what rights people with disabilities have, you will be able to help them more fully enjoy their life.
    • Lesson 3: What Independent Living Means
      • In this lesson you will learn about the independent living movement. You will also learn about the independent living philosophy. You will learn why these are important to people with disabilities. You will see how the progress made from the Disability Rights Movement helps people with disabilities live independently. Before, people with disabilities had little or no choice of where they lived and what services they got. Sometimes, services weren’t even available to them. People with disabilities now have more rights. Many of these rights help older adults and people with disabilities to live in the true spirit of independent living.
    • Lesson 4: Community Inclusion
      • In this lesson you will learn how communities can work to include more people with disabilities. You will learn about barriers that prevent people with disabilities from becoming completely included in their communities. You will also learn about and ways to reduce these barriers. You will begin to understand why belonging to the community is an important part of the lives of people with disabilities. Lastly, you will learn how home care providers can help people with disabilities become more involved with their communities. This includes getting around the community, working, volunteering, and socializing or making friends.
    • Lesson 5: Working with People Who Are Self‐Directing
      • In this lesson you will learn more about people who are self-directing. You’ll learn why it’s important for your work as a home care provider to know about the disability culture. In the spirit of independent living, you will also learn why it’s important to be respectful of the personal and cultural preferences of the person you work for. This includes understanding self-direction and how the independent living philosophy can be a part of everything you do. A better understanding of the disability culture can make it easier for you to relate to the person you work for. This will also help you to do a better job. You will now have a better idea of how to provide care and help in the home that is respectful of the person you work for.
    • Lesson 0: Introduction and Overview
  • Healthy Lives One: Understanding Health and Health Care Activities
    • 5 lessons; 5.5 contact hours You may help a person with various health and disability related activities as a home care provider. You will learn many things by the time you are done with the course. You will know what sorts of barriers a person with a disability or an older adult faces when accessing health care. You will learn about accessible medical equipment a person may use at the doctor's office. You will learn about help a person may need from a home care provider during a health care visit. You will know how to prevent infection and illness. You will learn about activities related to bladder or bowel needs. You will learn about activities related to catheter, port, feeding tube, and respiratory care devices. You will also learn about activities related to dialysis, chronic pain, and pressure sores.
    • Lesson 1: Concepts of Health, Disability, and Access
      • Health, as an idea, is something that is difficult to define.  As a provider, it is important to understand how many things can be a part of health.  This lesson is made up of 2 sections. Section one focuses on the definition of health.  This section looks at the various social, physical and individual factors can all have a role in a person’s health.  It will also cover the idea of health disparities and what it means for people with disabilities and older adults. Section two goes more in-depth on the health of people with disabilities and older adults and the barriers they may face when seeking health care.  This section also covers some specific needs people with disabilities and older adults might have during a health care visit and types of accessible medical equipment that can be used.   You will also learn some examples of how you might help the person you work for during a health care visit.
    • Lesson 2: Health Care Visits and Common Illnesses
      • Health care visits are part of a healthy lifestyle.  Learning about common illnesses and diseases can also keep you healthy.  This lesson is made up of 3 sections. Section one focuses on health care visits.  This section focuses on what happens during a regular checkup with a health care provider.  Information on routine health screenings and tests are described in detail.  Suggestions on how a person can communicate well with a health care provider are also provided. Section two describes several common illnesses and communicable diseases.  This section covers illnesses and diseases that are ones that you might encounter during your work as a home care provider.  You will also learn how to reduce your risk for getting and spreading these common illnesses and communicable diseases. Section three briefly covers what a home care provider can do during an emergency medical situation.  This section will outline some information a provider can prepare ahead of time to help the person he or she works for.
    • Lesson 3: Disability Related Health Activities – Bowel, Bladder, Port, Feeding Tube, and Dialysis Care
      • This lesson will give the learner information about activities related to bowel and bladder, port, feeding tube and dialysis care.  The first section discusses bowel and urinary health, bowel programs and catheter care.  The learner will also learn how to prevent urinary tract infections with the person he or she works for. The second section is on implantable ports.  Information on what a port is, what it is used for and possible problems with ports will be discussed in this section.  The learner will also discover what kinds of activities are related to helping someone with a port. The third section is about people who use feeding tubes.  Similar to the other parts of this lesson, this section will describe what a feeding tube does, signs of problems with feeding tube usage and what kinds of activities are related to helping someone with a feeding tube. The fourth section describes dialysis and what it does for the body.  This section provides information on care activities for people who use dialysis.
    • Lesson 4: Disability Related Health Activities – Pain Management, Skin, and Respiratory Care
      • This lesson will give the learner information about activities related to pain management, skin and respiratory care.  The first section describes signs of chronic pain and various methods of treating pain.  The learner will also learn how help a person with pain management activities. The second section is on skin and wound care.  Information on pressure sores, how to treat them and how to prevent them will be covered in this section.  The learner will learn how to identify early signs of a pressure sore and ways to keep a person’s skin healthy. The third section is about people who have difficulty breathing.  This section describes some common health conditions and disabilities that may cause breathing problems.  The learner will become familiar with devices used to help people breathe such as nebulizers, inhalers, oxygen, ventilators and CPAP/BiPAP machines.
    • Lesson 0: Introduction and Overview
  • Healthy Lives Two: Preventive Health and Wellness
    • 6 lessons; 6.4 contact hours This course covers material on ways a person can stay healthy. The learner will receive information about a wide variety of topics. This includes the importance of physical activity. It includes the importance of nutrition and relaxation. The learner will also receive health information on chronic diseases and mental illnesses.
    • Lesson 1: Preventing Chronic Diseases
      • This lesson will give the learner information about common chronic diseases.  The lesson will cover five chronic diseases:  coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and cancer.  In each section, the learner will receive information about the chronic disease such as its risk factors, health risks and ways to prevent it.  Each section will also have information on how a home care provider can help someone with a particular chronic disease. This information can be helpful for the learner when working for a person with a chronic disease.  This information can also be used for the learner in his or her own life.
    • Lesson 2: Physical Activity, Lifestyle Choices, and Substance Abuse
      • This lesson is divided into two sections:  physical activity, lifestyle choices and substance abuse.  In the first section, the learner will learn about the importance of physical activity and its impact on a person’s health and well-being.  The learner will learn about different types of physical activity and how a home care provider can help a person with a disability or older adult with physical activity.  The learner will also learn about of range-of-motion exercises. The second section of the lesson covers lifestyle choices and substance abuse related to alcohol, tobacco and drug use.  Like physical activity, these are activities that a person chooses in his or her life.  The learner will learn about the health risks of alcohol, tobacco and drug use, and how it affects the brain.  The learner will also learn about the effects of addiction and how a home care provider can help a person who is recovering from addiction.
    • Lesson 3: Nutrition and Eating
      • In this lesson, the learner will learn facts about food and nutrition. The learner will also learn about food safety, food preparation, and assistance with feeding. This lesson will provide an overview on the major nutrients the body needs, proper food handling, and food preparation practices. The learner will also learn about the ways in which he or she can assist with feeding as a home care provider.
    • Lesson 4: Medication Safety and Alternative Medicine
      • This lesson is divided into two sections:  medication safety and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).  The first section will cover information about the risks and benefits of prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medications.  The learner will learn about safe ways to take medications and how to avoid mistakes like drug interactions.  The learner will also learn how to help give medications to people with disabilities and older adults. The second section of this lesson describes Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and the general philosophy behind it.  The learner will also learn about some common types of CAM such as yoga, meditation and acupuncture.  The learner will also learn some examples of how a home care provider can help a person with activities related to CAM.
    • Lesson 5: Mental and Emotional Health
      • This lesson covers topics on mental and emotional health.  The learner will learn about how to maintain mental and emotional health. The learner will also learn about stress and how to reduce it.  Other topics include setting goals and priorities and examples of relaxation activities. The work of a home care provider or family caregiver can be stressful and challenging. All of this information can be helpful for the when working for a person with a disability or an older adult.
    • Lesson 6: Mental Illness
      • This lesson explores various mental illnesses. The learner will learn about the general types of mental illness and general ways mental illnesses are treated.  The learner will also learn about signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.  Related to this information, the learner will also receive tips on how a home care provider can help a person with mental illness.
  • Personal Care
    • 7 lessons; 4.4 contact hours This course will teach you why personal and self-care is important. You will learn about the physical aspects of the body. You will also learn about body mechanics and how to properly transfer a person. The course will cover the kinds of tasks that are done while providing personal and self care support. Examples include grooming, bathing, and toileting. You will also learn how to help prevent and control infections. You will become familiar with other health conditions that may be present. Medication and oral health care will be covered in this course. This course will also teach the learner that personal care can be different and challenging for every person. Because of this, each person's individual needs must be a priority.
    • Lesson 1: Personal Care, Basics, and Overview
      • Personal care for people with physical disabilities is an important part of the home care provider role. The support you'll provide will help people with physical disabilities live as independently as possible. In this lesson you'll learn what personal care is and why it's necessary. Consideration of the person's individual choice and self-direction will also be discussed. You will learn how to provide personal care assistance in a caring and respectful manner. This includes helping with hygiene, grooming, and oral care. It also includes understanding good body mechanics. You will learn about infection control practices and health and safety. Other health conditions will be reviewed. Different ways to manage medications will be covered. You will learn about nutrition and good foods. The ethical and legal responsibilities of a home care provider will also be discussed.
    • Lesson 2: Physical Aspects and Body Mechanics
      • This lesson is made up of 2 sections: ‘Physical, Emotional, and Biological Aspects of Aging’ and ‘Body Mechanics, Preventing Falls and Fractures, and Accident Prevention.’ The first section will describe the major systems in the body, how they work, and how they change as a result of aging or illness. This section will also identify some ways you as a provider can help. The second section talks about how to properly lift or transfer the person you work with. It will cover ambulation and making a bed. As a provider, you will also learn about how to prevent a person from falling or having an accident around the house.
    • Lesson 3: Bathing, Toileting, and Grooming
      • This lesson will go into detail about the major activities related to bathing, toileting, and grooming the person you work for. As a provider, you'll learn some basic steps about how to do these activities. This lesson covers subjects such as infection control procedures, information on how to assist a person with bathing, showering, nail care, using the toilet, dressing, and grooming.
    • Lesson 4: Infection Control
      • This lesson reviews some of the common infections that people with disabilities may get. Different infections are described, as well as how to prevent and care for these. This means doing things to reduce the chance of spreading diseases and infections. You are responsible for protecting both the people you work for and yourself. Infection control makes it hard for germs, diseases, and infections to grow and spread. Infection control procedures should be used when you help with personal care.
    • Lesson 5: Health Conditions and Medications
      • This lesson reviews some of the common health conditions that people with physical disabilities may get. It also covers how to keep track of medications a person may use. Different health conditions are described. This includes skin-related health concerns and chronic conditions. You will also learn about medication side-effects and how to manage medications.
    • Lesson 6: Oral Care
      • Good oral health is critical to overall health. This lesson teaches methods a person to care for his or her teeth and gums. A section on denture care is also included. Potential health concerns related to poor oral hygiene are reviewed. Strategies for achieving best possible oral health are provided.
    • Lesson 0: Introduction and Overview
  • Roles and Responsibilities of a Home Care Provider
    • 5 lessons; 6.4 contact hours This course covers material on roles and responsibilities of a home care provider. The learner will receive information about a wide variety of topics including what is a home care provider and how to become one, what is abuse and neglect, the importance of maintaining a professional relationship, why it is important to practice confidentiality, and what are your legal rights and responsibilities as a home care provider.
    • Lesson 1: What is a Home Care Provider
      • This lesson will cover the topics of self-direction and consumer control. The person you work for may practice self-direction, which means he or she will be actively involved in choices and decisions about his or her care. In this lesson, you will also learn about the tasks you may be asked to perform; how to assist the person you work for to make the work environment safe for you both; how to avoid infections; and how to prepare for emergencies.
    • Lesson 2: Becoming a Home Care Provider
      • This lesson will cover the role of the home care provider. You will learn about some of the ways you can become a home care provider. You will learn about how your role can differ, depending on who you work for. You will learn about working with people with disabilities and what your responsibilities are to the person you work for. You will also learn about his or her roles and responsibilities to you. If you work for an agency, you will learn about the responsibilities that agencies have to home care providers. This lesson will also cover the importance of a job description and work agreement.
    • Lesson 3: Avoiding and Reporting Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation
      • This lesson will help you to understand and identify what abuse, neglect, and exploitation is. You will learn how to protect someone from exploitation and how to document these situations. This lesson teaches you about specific reasons people with disabilities may be more at risk for abuse, neglect, or exploitation. You will learn about strategies to help reduce their risks. Agencies and resources that deal with abuse and neglect situations are also described and explained.
    • Lesson 4: Doing the Right Thing
      • In this lesson you will learn about ethical practices. You will be introduced to a set of ethical guidelines that can help you to make good decisions. You will also learn about professional and unprofessional practices in the workplace. This includes learning how to set and keep boundaries between you and the person you are working for. This also involves learning to respect individual differences that may be based on culture, ethnicity or religion.
    • Lesson 5: Practicing Confidentiality and Privacy
      • As a home care provider, you will know a great deal of personal information about the people you work for. In this lesson, you will learn how to keep private information private. You will also learn when it’s OK to share something that is private. The lesson begins by introducing you to confidentiality and privacy. It then describes ways you can ensure confidentiality. Later, the lesson describes common ways you may reveal things that should be kept private. Finally, the lesson describes how to ask for permission to share private information about the person you work for.
  • Safety at Work: Information for Home Care Providers
    • 5 lessons; 5.7 contact hours This course covers material on ways a person can stay safe at home and in the community.  The learner will receive information about a wide variety of topics such home safety hazards, abuse, accident prevention, fire safety and work safety.  The learner will also receive information on how to help a person outside the home using transportation or pedestrian walkways.
    • Lesson 1: Safety in the Home
      • Did you know that most accidents happen in the home? Most of these accidents are preventable. As a home care provider, you will most likely work in someone’s home. Safety is an important issue for both you and the person you work for. This lesson outlines some of the most common safety hazards that exist in a home such as falls, trips, burns and accidents from electricity and chemicals. You will learn how to reduce the risk of these safety hazards and how to prevent injuries and accidents.
    • Lesson 2: Abuse
      • This lesson covers abuse. It describes different types of abuse and signs of abuse. You will learn about the unique challenges people with disabilities and older adults face regarding abuse. You will learn about what a home care provider should and shouldn’t do when it comes to appropriate behavior toward the person he or she works for. You will also learn about what a provider can do if he or she suspects abuse. This lesson includes examples of possible abuse and different ways a provider can respond and act.
    • Lesson 3: Fire Safety
      • This lesson will teach you about fire safety. The lesson will describe the unique challenges older adults and people with disabilities face with fire safety. The lesson will help you identify prevention strategies and how to respond in case of a fire. The lesson will also describe how you can help the person you work for in case of a fire emergency.
    • Lesson 4: Accident Prevention and Work Safety
      • This lesson reviews some of the common safety hazards that you might face as a home care provider. You will learn about them and ways to reduce your risk for an accident or injury. You will also learn how to communicate with the person you work for about safety concerns. This lesson will also contain information on how to document a work-related accident or injury and what to do if you have one.
    • Lesson 5: Safety in the Community
      • Being safe while out in the community with the person you work for is an important part of what you do. In this lesson, you will learn how you might help the person outside of the home. You will learn about safety issues when you’re out in the community. This includes walking, using transportation, and driving. You will also learn about some personal safety tips to prevent crimes or violence happening to you or the person you work for.

DirectCourse - College of Recovery and Community Inclusion

  • Cultural Competence in Mental Health Service Settings
    • 12 lessons; 8.2 contact hours Effective community mental health practitioners who value diversity must continually improve their ability to understand, work with, and accommodate individuals with mental health conditions from many different cultural backgrounds. This course provides an introduction to the concept of cultural competence, discusses the importance of cultural competence in the delivery of mental health services and supports, and helps the learner to develop the attitudes, knowledge, and skills needed to work in a culturally competent manner. The course begins with lessons that highlight the ways in which the delivery of mental health services must take into account the cultural background and preferences of each person receiving supports and services, then defines common terms that are used in discussions of multicultural awareness, and also reviews the ways in which each individual’s cultural background shapes their thoughts, preferences, and everyday behaviours, as well as their responsiveness to mental health supports and services. The course then assists the learner in gaining a more profound understanding of these issues by asking each learner to reflect upon their own cultural background and its impact on their own lives. The next lessons focus on the impact of bias and discrimination of all kinds and their impact on the service recipient, as well as the bias and discrimination within service provider organization. The course ends with a discussion of the role of the community mental health practitioner in promoting changes in practices, programs, and policies that help to promote greater cultural competence in the delivery of community mental health care.
    • Lesson 1: An Introduction to Cultural Competence for Community Mental Health Practitioners
      • This lesson reviews the importance of cultural competence in the delivery of community mental health care, and its impact on the relationship that develops between the community mental health practitioner and the service recipient.
    • Lesson 10: Bias and Discrimination
      • Despite a growing national recognition of the value of diversity, many individuals, from a wide range of minority identities, still face bias and discrimination: this lesson provides an introduction to the issues raised by continuing bias and discrimination.
    • Lesson 11: Organizational Structure and the Service Participant
      • Each service delivery agency has a 'culture' of its own, often one that reflects mainstream values and worldviews: this lesson provides an introduction to this and suggests strategies for grappling with the tension between recipient and agency values.
    • Lesson 12: Promoting Cultural Competence through Change
      • The final lesson in the course on cultural competence suggests a variety of strategies that community mental health practitioners can use to promote changes in how they work and the programs/policies of their agencies that move toward greater cultural competence.
    • Lesson 2: Responsible Practice for the Community Mental Health Practitioner
      • In this lesson, the emphasis is on describing in greater detail the ways in which the community mental health practitioner can effectively respond to service recipients in a more culturally competent manner.
    • Lesson 3: Defining Race, Ethnicity, Heritage, and Ancestry
      • Key terms used when talking about cultural competence are discussed in this lesson, with an emphasis on 'race,' 'ethnicity,' 'heritage,' and 'ancestry', drawing distinctions between terms that are often, and erroneously, used interchangeably.
    • Lesson 4: Defining Culture and Its Effects
      • In this lesson the learner is exposed to a variety of cultural variations with the United States, as part of a general discussion about how values, modes of expression, behaviors, and responsiveness to care are often a product of individual cultural styles.
    • Lesson 5: Cultural Differences in Communication
      • Cultural differences in communication – in speaking styles, in the use of language, in the open expression or careful monitoring of emotions, and in the use of specific words – vary from culture to culture.
    • Lesson 6: Understanding Diversity
      • This lesson provides a more in-depth discussion of the diversity inherent in any community mental health setting, and the importance attached to community mental health practitioner capacity to recognize and respond to that diversity.
    • Lesson 7: Understanding Your Own Culture
      • This lesson begins the process of asking learners to think about their own cultural backgrounds and the ways in which their family, neighborhood, and national 'cultures' have had an impact on their own worldviews.
    • Lesson 8: Your Family and Cultural Roots
      • Learners are asked, in this lesson, to look more deeply into the cultural basis of their own behaviors and beliefs, and to identify how this process impacts the values and perspectives of the individuals they serve.
    • Lesson 9: Multiple Cultural Identities and Your Adult Life
      • Because a multi-cultural nation like our own offers individuals the opportunity to both value and adopt the values of cultures other than their own family's worldview, this lesson discusses multiple cultural identities in the learner's and service recipient's life.
  • The Effective Use of Documentation
    • 15 lessons; 6.1 contact hours This course focuses on effective documentation for the community mental health practitioner (CMHP). It will cover a number of important topics in this area. It will cover the two important concepts of recovery and community inclusion and how documentation can help to support these. It will cover how to use empowering language when documenting. It will define documentation and its primary purpose. It will address how documentation can help CMHPs to provide consistent support. It also provides a list of additional reasons why documentation is important. The lesson provides information on medical and health related documentation as well as an overview of the individual recovery plan. It provides information on incident and accident documentation and also staff communication logs. It covers mental health crisis documentation, objective and subjective documentation, and basic rules and guidelines for documentation. It also defines confidentiality and rights to privacy and decision makers. Finally, this lesson will address how to secure the Release of Information form.
    • Lesson 1: Documentation for the Community Mental Health Practitioner
      • Writing individual progress notes and completing other types of documentation are important responsibilities. This lesson will help you to identify two core concepts important to recovery and community inclusion. It will also explain how these inform documentation practices for the community mental health practitioner (CMHP).
    • Lesson 2: The Language of Empowerment
      • Words have meaning. They often shape our thinking. They can influence our attitudes and how we see other people. This lesson is about using documentation language that empowers individuals in their lives. It discusses the use of person first language in documentation. You will learn how important words and language are to respectful documentation.
    • Lesson 3: Defining Documentation
      • Documentation is a critical part of community mental health work. You will also learn that the primary purpose of documentation is to communicate information. Finally, you will learn some important reasons for documentation.
    • Lesson 4: Documenting Consistency of Support
      • As a community mental health practitioner, you will be asked to complete and read documentation about many aspects of a person's life. This lesson will help you understand the role of documentation in helping you and others provide consistent support and care in these areas to people being supported.
    • Lesson 5: Additional Reasons for Documentation
      • There are many reasons for documentation. In earlier lessons you were introduced to a few of these. This lesson covers the remaining reasons you, as a community mental health practitioner, should document information. You will learn how documentation helps you identify changes in care and supports. This lesson also covers how documentation helps providers to comply with rules, regulations, and agency policy. Finally the lesson touches on how documentation is used to help you stay connected with coworkers and supervisors.
    • Lesson 6: Medical and Health Related Documentation in Mental Health Settings
      • Good health is important in everyone's life. As a community mental health practitioner, you need to encourage good health for the people you support. One way to do this is through the completion of medical documentation. In this lesson you will be introduced to medical and health related documentation forms.
    • Lesson 7: Individual Recovery Plan Documentation
      • The documentation related to a person's personal goals is recorded on the Individual Recovery Plan. This type of documentation is an excellent source of information that allows community mental health practitioners (CMHPs) to support people in the community activities that they most want to focus on. This lesson is about the documenting of personal goals on the Individual Recovery Plan.
    • Lesson 8: Incident and Accident Documentation in Mental Health Settings
      • Accidents and incidents do happen on the job. This lesson will review accident and incident documentation. You will learn what information is needed on an accident and incidents report form.
    • Lesson 9: Staff Communication Logs in Mental Health Settings
      • Communication on the job is important. You need to be able to communicate with other staff across different shifts and different work days. This helps work places run smoothly. A staff communication log is at the hub of daily staff communications in most group residential programs. This lesson is about staff communication logs. The lesson explains what staff communications logs are and how they are used to communicate important information.
    • Lesson 10: Mental Health Crisis Documentation
      • As a community mental health practitioner there may be times when you have to document information related to someone's mental health crisis. This is an important responsibility. This lesson will help you understand mental health crisis documentation. You will learn what it is and why it is an important part of the support you provide. You will also learn about some wellness and recovery tools and how these are used.
    • Lesson 11: Objective and Subjective Documentation
      • Documentation is an important part of your role as a community mental health practitioner (CMHP). In this lesson you will learn the difference between objective and subjective documentation. You will learn how to write clearly and concisely using the four parts of objective documentation.
    • Lesson 12: Basic Rules and Guidelines for Documentation
      • This lesson covers some of the basic rules and guidelines every community mental health practitioner needs to follow when completing documentation entries. You will learn about the rules that cover any type of documentation whether it is formal, informal, hand written, or electronic. The lesson also discusses rules that are specific to hand written documentation.
    • Lesson 13: Defining Confidentiality
      • As a community mental health practitioner (CMHP) you will have access to documents and you will be completing documents that contain private information regarding the people with whom you work. You will need it to do your job effectively. You also need to protect the person's right to privacy. This lesson will help you understand this important responsibility. You will learn about confidentiality and why this is important to your everyday practice.
    • Lesson 14: Rights to Privacy and Decision Makers
      • This lesson explains a person's rights to privacy. It also identifies some common substitute decision makers, that is, other persons who are authorized to make decisions for the individual who would also have access to a person's confidential information.
    • Lesson 15: Securing the Release of Information Form
      • This lesson will help you understand what information is needed in order to secure a proper release of information form from a person being supported. You will learn what information should be included on an authorization form. You will also learn about appropriate ways to request information from the person or his or her legal guardian.
  • Introduction to Mental Health Recovery and Wellness
    • 9 lessons; 4.5 contact hours Recovery has increasingly become the clarion call in the mental health system both in terms of expected outcomes for individuals living with mental health conditions and in terms of systems transformation. This course reviews three key influences in the field that impacted systems transformation and explores multiple perspectives on recovery found in the literature. The course reviews the ten Guiding Principles of Recovery as identified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Recovery Support Strategic Initiative. The course reports critical data that individuals who are served by the public mental health system are dying from preventable chronic health conditions 20 to 25 years earlier than their counterparts without mental health conditions. Incorporating a focus on wellness is gaining increasing momentum in contemporary mental health practice and this course introduces the learner to the eight dimensions of wellness as set out in SAMHSA’s Wellness Initiative. Seeking a balance across the eight dimensions of wellness can promote and support physical health as well as mental health recovery and the course provides a wellness assessment tool that can be utilized to help develop and support wellness goals. The course introduces a number of shifts in thinking about program planning and service delivery practices that place the person in recovery at the center of the treatment and rehabilitation decision making process. Finally, the course explores the role of the community mental health practitioner in supporting the development of recovery and wellness goals. It offers suggestions for community mental health practitioners to advocate for and help individuals’ access necessary and competent medical care, as well as develop self‐care skills to prevent or manage health and lifestyle concerns. The course identifies strategies that community mental health practitioners can implement to work collaboratively with individuals served as they pursue their recovery journey and work toward the achievement of identified recovery and wellness goals.
    • Lesson 1: Mental Health Recovery: Why Now?
      • The system of mental health care that existed in the United States for most of the twentieth century was based on the belief that people with mental health conditions do not recover. In fact, it was believed that people would likely get worse over time. The system developed to ensure that maintenance and ongoing care of people with mental health conditions would be the goal. The call for recovery, or "transformation," in the mental health system has its roots in the research on the long-term course of mental health conditions, the ex-patient/consumer/survivor movement, and the development of the field of psychiatric rehabilitation. This lesson will review the ways that these three influences challenged the prevailing belief that dominated twentieth-century mental health practices in the United States.
    • Lesson 2: Defining Recovery in Mental Health
      • Recovery has increasingly become the clarion call in the mental health system both in terms of expected outcomes for individuals living with mental health conditions and in terms of systems transformation. This lesson will explore two differing yet complementary concepts of recovery. It will present multiple perspectives on recovery found in the first person recovery narratives in the literature. Additionally, it will explore the role of the community mental health practitioner in supporting individuals as they pursue their own journeys of recovery.
    • Lesson 3: The Guiding Principles of Recovery: Part 1
      • There are many pathways to mental health recovery and each person in recovery must be empowered to self-direct their own recovery process. This lesson will review five of ten guiding principles of recovery identified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Recovery Support Strategic Initiative.
    • Lesson 5: Mental Health Recovery and Wellness
      • Research indicates that individuals living with mental health conditions who are served by the public mental health system die earlier in life than their counterparts without mental health conditions. Recent data suggests that individuals are dying about twenty-five years earlier and are dying from preventable, chronic health conditions. This lesson reviews critical information regarding this health disparity. It offers suggestions for community mental health practitioners to advocate for and help individuals access necessary and competent medical care, as well as develop self-care skills to prevent or manage health and lifestyle concerns.
    • Lesson 6: The Eight Dimensions of Wellness: Part 1
      • The notion of wellness for mental health practice added a holistic focus to the recovery vision. Just as Pat Deegan and Bill Anthony brought recovery into the forefront of mental health practice, Peggy Swarbrick and Mary Ellen Copeland introduced wellness in the late 1990s. Incorporating a focus on wellness is gaining increasing momentum in contemporary mental health practice. This lesson will begin to introduce you to the eight dimensions of wellness as set out in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration's (SAMHSA) Wellness Initiative.
    • Lesson 7: The Eight Dimensions of Wellness: Part 2
      • The concept of wellness is a holistic way to support greater health and well-being across a number of areas in one's life. In this lesson we continue to explore the eight dimensions of wellness as set out in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration's (SAMHSA) Wellness Initiative.
    • Lesson 8: Assessing, Developing, and Supporting Wellness Goals
      • Wellness focuses our attention on positive health behaviors across a host of dimensions that enable people to move from their current state of health to a higher level of well-being and recovery. Seeking balance across the eight dimensions of wellness, as previously reviewed in this course, can promote and support mental health recovery. This lesson will introduce you to a wellness assessment tool that you can use to help develop and support wellness goals with the individuals that you serve.
    • Lesson 9: Creating a Culture of Recovery
      • Mental health systems across the country continue to promote recovery as a desired outcome for all people living with mental health conditions. Within their program environments, community mental health organizations are striving to create a culture of recovery. They are creating programs designed to support long-term recovery and are implementing practices that place the recovering person at the center of the treatment and rehabilitation decision-making process. Creating a culture of recovery within an organization or program requires a number of "shifts" in thinking about program planning and service delivery. This lesson will introduce you to a number of these important paradigm shifts.
    • Lesson 4: The Guiding Principles of Recovery: Part 2
      • There are many pathways and principles to guide mental health recovery. It is important that each person in recovery be empowered to self-direct their own recovery journey. This lesson will review the remaining five of the ten guiding principles of recovery as identified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Recovery Support Strategic Initiative.
  • Mental Health Treatments, Services, and Supports
    • 8 lessons; 5.3 contact hours Treatment interventions are aimed at curing, eliminating, or reducing the symptoms and distress associated with the health condition being addressed. In this course we divide mental health treatment interventions into three groups: somatic treatments, crisis stabilization services, and rehabilitation interventions. This course first provides a brief historical overview of mental health treatment in the United States. It highlights the transition from institutional care to the development the community‐based system that we have today. We then introduce the learner to the most widespread somatic treatment in mental health, the use of psychotropic medications. The course reviews commonly used hospital‐based crisis stabilization service interventions, while also introducing newly emerging models of community‐based and peer delivered crisis intervention and alternatives to hospitalization services. Ppsychiatric rehabilitation and its associated services and intervention models developed in concert with the transition from institutional based care to community based care. This course provides a brief introduction to psychiatric rehabilitation and the rehabilitation planning process. It then reviews a set of rehabilitation models that continue to be expanded and improved upon. These models offer some of the most promising and evidenced‐based practices to support community inclusion and individual recovery goals that are utilized in community mental health programs.
    • Lesson 1: A Brief History of Mental Health Treatment in the United States
      • In the early part of the 20th century, mental health care in the United States for individuals living with mental health conditions was provided in large state run psychiatric institutions. By the 1950s, overcrowding, mistreatment, and substandard living conditions characterized life in these hospitals. In the second half of the 20th century, mental health treatment began to move to a newly developing community mental health system. This lesson highlights important events that brought about the development of the community mental health system as we know it today.
    • Lesson 2: Medications
      • Treatment interventions are aimed at curing, eliminating, or reducing the symptoms and distress associated with the health condition being addressed. This lesson provides an introduction to the most widespread somatic treatment in mental health, pharmacology, that is to say, the use of psychotropic medications.
    • Lesson 3: Hospitalization and Psychiatric Emergency Services
      • This lesson will review the most commonly used crisis stabilization service interventions for individuals living with mental health conditions. Additionally, it will introduce newly emerging models of community-based and peer delivered crisis intervention and alternatives to hospitalization services.
    • Lesson 4: Rehabilitation Planning
      • Deinstitutionalization in mental health policy in the United States brought with it challenges in providing comprehensive services and supports for individuals discharged from long-term stays in state psychiatric institutions. Psychiatric rehabilitation and its associated models and interventions have their origins in this era. This lesson provides an introduction to psychiatric rehabilitation and rehabilitation planning.
    • Lesson 5: Rehabilitation Interventions Part 1
      • You learned in a previous lesson that psychiatric rehabilitation and its associated services and intervention models developed in concert with the transition from institutional based care to community based care. These rehabilitation models continue to be expanded and improved upon and offer some of the most promising and evidenced-based practices to support community inclusion and individual recovery goals that are utilized in community mental health programs. This lesson will introduce five different intervention models to support people's living, learning, working, and socialization goals.
    • Lesson 6: Rehabilitation Interventions Part 2
      • In this lesson we continue to review rehabilitation interventions designed to support people's individual recovery and community inclusion goals. Additionally, we introduce the recovery-oriented concepts of self-direction and self-directed care.
    • Lesson 7: Peer Support and Peer Run Service Programs
      • This lesson will briefly discuss the emergence and importance of the self-help movement in many areas of social services. It will also discuss the social and political influences that spawned the development of peer support in the field of mental health. Additionally we will explore the development and expansion of peer run services, also described as consumer operated services, as an effective alternative and compliment to traditional mental health treatment.
    • Lesson 8: Recovery and Community Inclusion
      • Recovery as an expectation in the mental health field is a relatively recent phenomenon. The focus on recovery as a realistic outcome in mental health services has begun to change the way these services are delivered. Equally new to the scene is the concept of community inclusion. Community inclusion includes the premise that individuals living with mental health conditions have the right to live in the community and participate in valued adult roles of their choice. This lesson will briefly introduce the core concepts of recovery and community inclusion.
  • Professionalism and the Community Mental Health Practitioner
    • 8 lessons; 3.9 contact hours This course provides community mental health practitioners with a series of guidelines for conducting themselves in a professional manner on-the-job. The course discusses the importance of professional behavior and its impact on participants receiving services, the agency delivering services, and the career aspirations of the practitioner. After identifying 7 core aspects of professional behavior, each lesson reviews in detail one of each of the competencies. The course focuses on the need to place a priority on the needs of program participants, placing their needs first in a variety of circumstances. It discusses how critical it is to meet basic professional standards of behavior - being on time, dressing appropriately, developing a professional demeanor, etc. It explores the most effective strategies for establishing and maintaining respectful relationships at work with participants, colleagues, supervisors, and community members. The course reviews the importance of confidentiality, addresses the issues surrounding ethical on-the-job behavior, and reviews both various ethical standards and ethical decision making processes. It reviews the need for practitioners to commit to ongoing professional development, using both media and interpersonal connections to stay current on 'best practices' and emerging trends in the community mental health field. Finally, the course provides guidance to help practitioners maintain their own health, in both on-the-job and off-the-job settings and with regard to both physical and emotional well-being.
    • Lesson 1: The Importance of Professional Conduct
      • Conducting your work in a professional manner is a very important part of your job. This lesson reviews the importance of professional conduct and explores the kinds of problems that can emerge when you work in an unprofessional manner. It identifies seven core competencies for professional conduct in the mental health setting. It identifies the rewards of conducting yourself at work in ways that meet high personal and professional standards.
    • Lesson 2: Focusing on Program Participants
      • One of the most important aspects of professional conduct is the degree to which you focus your work as a community mental health practitioner on the needs of program participants. This lesson discusses the variety of ways your day-to-day on-the-job conduct reflects your priorities.
    • Lesson 3: Meeting Professional Standards
      • This lesson reviews ten basic competencies that are at the heart of professional conduct. These competencies are critically important to meeting the expectations of both your current employer and the participants with whom you interact day-to-day. Maintaining professional standards is a way to communicate your respect to program participants, contribute to the effective operation of your agency, and enhance your own career. Skilfully demonstrating these competencies will not only make you a better employee at any job but also make you a more professional practitioner in the community mental health field.
    • Lesson 4: Sustaining Effective Relationships
      • This lesson discusses the importance of maintaining effective relationships with the wide range of people with whom you interact at work. Many people, including program participants and their family members, your supervisors and colleagues, staff in other human service agencies, and members of the community all rely on you to be professional in fulfilling your role as a community mental health practitioner.
    • Lesson 5: Respecting Privacy and Confidentiality
      • This lesson focuses on respecting and protecting the rights to privacy of the program participants with whom you work. Additionally, it will help you to maintain the confidentiality of the information that program participant's share with you. Respecting privacy and maintaining confidentiality are important components of professional conduct in the field of community mental health.
    • Lesson 6: Behaving Ethically
      • Community mental health practitioners are expected to behave ethically. Your employer will require you to apply specific ethical standards that have been developed to govern professional conduct for those in the human services. In this lesson, you will learn about the importance of behaving ethically, the types of ethical challenges you may face in your job, and a process for resolving ethical questions as they emerge in your work.
    • Lesson 7: Increasing Your Knowledge & Improving Your Skills
      • This lesson explores the responsibility a community mental health practitioner has as a professional in the community mental health field to expand both his or her knowledge and skills for providing supports and services to individuals with mental health conditions. The more the practitioner knows the more the practitioner can do. Continually working to increase knowledge and skills helps the community mental health practitioner be more valuable to the individuals supported.
    • Lesson 8: Taking Care of Yourself
      • Taking care of your physical and emotional health is important to your professional development. This lesson explores why maintaining a healthy balance is so important, and reviews a number of strategies that you can use both on-the-job and in your personal life to support your efforts to be an effective community mental health practitioner.
  • Seeing the Person First: Understanding Mental Health Conditions
    • 8 lessons; 3.6 contact hours People who experience mental health issues are able to live satisfying and meaningful lives in the community like everyone else. This course will help the learner to gain a basic understanding of mental health conditions, including the fundamental principle that people living with mental health conditions are first and foremost people who want to live full lives. It is founded on a recovery and community inclusion approach in which one's mental health condition is viewed as only one part of an individual's life. It is designed to help you understand that each person with a mental health condition has his or her own individual hopes, dreams, and desires for their lives. It will help you recognize and build upon the strengths and preferences of the people you serve to better support recovery. It introduces a new way to look at health and functioning that will broaden your view of the individuals with whom you work. It will help you identify the importance of community inclusion and participation in the lives of individuals living with mental health conditions. It introduces you to the symptoms and diagnoses that you will most likely come in contact with in your role as a community mental health practitioner. This course discusses a number of theories about the causes of mental health conditions. It also focuses on identifying and addressing the environmental barriers that limit community participation as individuals pursue recovery and community inclusion goals in their lives.
    • Lesson 1: Seeing the Person First
      • This lesson is designed to help you remember that people living with mental health conditions are first and foremost people who want to live full lives. It is founded on recovery and community inclusion principles that view mental health conditions as only one part of an individual's life.
    • Lesson 2: Acknowledging Individual Hopes, Dreams, and Desires
      • This lesson is designed to help you recognize the individual hopes, dreams, and desires for each person you serve. When community mental health practitioners recognize and build upon the strengths and preferences of the people they serve they can better support the individual's recovery. It will increase people's motivation to lead a full life of activity and participation in the community.
    • Lesson 3: Participating in Community Life
      • This lesson is designed to help you identify the importance of community participation and inclusion in the lives of individuals living with mental health conditions. You will hear personal stories of recovery and inclusion throughout the lesson and reflect on the experiences described.
    • Lesson 4: New Ways of Understanding Health and Functioning
      • New models of health and wellness have much to offer to our understanding of how mental health conditions impact people's functioning in a number of important areas in their lives. In this lesson you will be introduced to a new way to look at health and functioning that will broaden your view of the individuals with whom you work and increase your knowledge of how best to suggest and develop intervention strategies to support individual recovery and community inclusion goals.
    • Lesson 5: Mental Health Conditions: Understanding Symptoms and Diagnoses
      • The current mental health system relies on the language of symptoms and diagnoses found within the classification system of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. This lesson introduces you to the symptoms and diagnoses that you will most likely come in contact with in your role as a community mental health practitioner.
    • Lesson 6: Understanding the Causes of Mental Health Conditions
      • There have been many theories generated about the causes of mental health conditions. This lesson will introduce you to theories that have been discredited over the years as well as contemporary theories driving research and community mental health practice today. This lesson will also discuss strategies for interventions to support recovery and community inclusion goals that address the causes of mental health conditions.
    • Lesson 7: Supporting Activity for Individuals Living with Mental Health Conditions
      • The skills and capacities that an individual possesses and can perform positively impacts their participation in the community and the successful pursuit of recovery and community inclusion goals. Community mental health practitioners can play an important role in helping the individuals they serve to develop and enhance these skills and capacities.
    • Lesson 8: Promoting Participation for Individuals Living with Mental Health Conditions
      • Today many more individuals living with mental health conditions live in the community rather than in the large psychiatric hospitals of old. While their presence in the community has increased, it is also true that their participation in the everyday life of the community is much less than those of others'. This lesson focuses on recognizing that people living with mental health conditions can participate in the community even when they experience significant symptoms and activity limitations. It will also help to identify and address the restrictions that limit community participation as individuals pursue recovery and community inclusion goals in their lives.
  • Understanding Community Inclusion
    • 8 lessons; 3.1 contact hours Promoting and supporting the community inclusion of individuals living with mental health conditions is increasingly becoming the focus of attention in mental health program planning. This course will introduce the learner to the terms community integration, community participation, and community inclusion. It will review their relationship to each other and more importantly, their implications for supporting mental health recovery. Historically, people living with mental health conditions have had limited opportunities to participate fully in community life. In many instances they have been systematically excluded from participation in several domains. This course will review the evidence documenting the exclusion that many individuals living with mental health conditions continue to experience in the community. However, despite this experience of exclusion, it is clear that people would, could, and should participate more fully in the communities of their choice. This course also presents the research base in support of the promotion of increased opportunities for community participation across a wide range of domains. This course then reviews how the principles of normalization and social role valorization, the Disability Rights Movement, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 all impact our current understanding of community inclusion and integration. It reviews the conceptual foundations of community inclusion and outlines 8 principles for practice. Finally, it presents a discussion on the potential challenges associated with the practice of community inclusion and integration in community mental health programming.
    • Lesson 1: Defining Community Integration, Participation, and Inclusion
      • The terms community integration, community participation, and community inclusion are connected and are important to understand as community mental health practitioners work to support each person's individual journey of recovery and increased participation in valued social roles in the communities of their choice. In this lesson you will learn what each of these terms mean, why they are important, how they are related to each other, and their implications for supporting mental health recovery.
    • Lesson 2: The Evidence of Community Exclusion
      • The concept of community integration has generally been thought of in terms of greater physical presence in the community. However, the participation of individuals as full members of the community, where individuals have an increased sense of psychological and social belonging, has not received the attention it deserves. Historically, people living with mental health conditions have often had limited opportunities to participate fully in community life, across several important life domains. In many instances they have been excluded from participation. This lesson will review the evidence documenting the exclusion that many individuals living with mental health conditions continue to experience in the community.
    • Lesson 3: The Evidence for Community Participation
      • Many individuals living with mental health conditions continue to be excluded from full participation in community life and there is much resistance to the idea of increasing opportunities to for individuals to participate more fully in the community. Indeed there are fears and concerns on the part of persons in recovery, family members, providers, and from community members as well. It is clear, however, that people would, could, and should participate more fully in their communities. Our beliefs as mental health practitioners can be a major barrier to community participation. This lesson will explore research studies that lend support to the importance of increasing opportunities for community participation, across a wide range of domains.
    • Lesson 4: The Historic, Legal, and Policy Foundations of Community Inclusion
      • The concepts of community inclusion and integration have their origins in a number of important social movements, legal mandates, and public policy decisions. These include the "Normalization Movement" for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Wolf Wolfensberger's "social role valorization" approach, the Disability Rights Movement, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In this lesson you will learn how each of these influenced the legal and policy foundations of community inclusion and integration.
    • Lesson 5: Building a New Understanding of Community Inclusion
      • There is an emerging new understanding of both mental health conditions and community inclusion and integration that is deeply rooted in the historic, legal, and policy foundations that we reviewed in Lesson 4. This new understanding includes a shift from seeing disability as entirely a problem with how an individual functions to what has been termed the social model of disability. It is also rooted in the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF). These two conceptual foundations are critical to understanding the practice of community inclusion and are the focus of this lesson.
    • Lesson 6: The Principles of Community Inclusion, Part 1
      • Putting community inclusion into practice requires a change from business-as-usual in the community mental health system. Community inclusion asks us to view people as a regular part of the community, not just as service recipients in our mental health programs. To truly promote community inclusion we must adopt strategies that allow us to help individuals identify and explore the valued social roles in which they want to participate. We must work to decrease and/or eliminate the environmental barriers that inhibit their participation. We must provide supports to help people live in the communities of their choice and participate in the valued roles that enhance the meaning and purpose of their lives. This lesson presents the first three of six principles of community inclusion to help guide your work in putting community inclusion into practice.
    • Lesson 7: The Principles of Community Inclusion, Part 2
      • As you learned in Lesson 6, putting community inclusion into practice requires a change from business-as-usual in the community mental health system. Community inclusion calls us to view the individuals that we serve as active participants of their community, not just as passive recipients of mental health services. This lesson presents the final three of six principles of community inclusion to help guide your work in putting community inclusion into practice.
    • Lesson 8: The Challenges of Community Inclusion
      • Throughout this course, so far, we have been discussing the importance of promoting community inclusion for people with mental health conditions. However, if community mental health practitioners want to put community inclusion into practice on a day-to-day basis, and for each individual they serve, they will face significant challenges. This lesson discusses four specific challenges that practitioners and the individuals they serve will face, and reviews a variety of strategies for responding to these challenges.
  • Understanding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
    • 3 lessons; 1.1 contact hours This course is an overview of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the most current changes to important rules of HIPAA. The course provides information regarding what is protected health information (PHI) under HIPAA. It also supports community mental health practitioners in understanding their role in protecting it. They will also learn what to do if there is a breach of PHI.
    • Lesson 1: Introduction to HIPAA
      • This lesson provides a brief overview of the current Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It introduces basic terms associated with HIPAA. It describes the important role that community mental health practitioners (CMHPs) play in protecting information. It helps them recognize protected health information (PHI). This lesson also introduces four rules essential to HIPAA. These rules are explored more fully in other lessons.
    • Lesson 2: The Privacy Rule and Security Rule
      • This lesson provides a brief overview of the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. It discusses how these rules impact the work of CMHPs. This lesson also provides the learner with important ways to protect the health information of the people they support.
    • Lesson 3: The Breach Notification Rule and Enforcement Rule
      • This lesson provides a brief overview of the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule and the HIPAA Enforcement Rule and discusses how these rules impact the work of CMHPs. This lesson also provides the learner with a final review of keeping PHI safe.
  • Universal Precautions and Infection Control
    • 11 lessons; 2.2 contact hours This course is about Universal Precautions required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It will teach direct support professionals about universal precautions and infection control. It will review OSHA blood borne pathogens requirements. It covers information on preventing and responding to exposure incidents. It will review information about communicable diseases and what can and should be done to prevent the spread of these diseases.
    • Lesson 1: Aspects of Infectious Diseases
      • This lesson will help you understand how diseases enter the body. You will learn about the four different types of germs. The lesson also covers ways the body is able to defend itself against diseases.
    • Lesson 2: Understanding the Infectious Disease Cycle
      • This lesson will help you understand the infectious disease cycle. You will learn about the four stages of the cycle. You will also learn how disease causing organisms can infect the body with disease.
    • Lesson 3: Bloodborne Pathogens
      • This lesson is about bloodborne pathogens. It will help you understand what they are and how they cause diseases in humans. You will learn about your roles and responsibilities in using universal precautions in the workplace.
    • Lesson 4: Infection Control and Prevention
      • This lesson is about infection control procedures. It will help you understand how you can prevent the spreading of infectious agents. You will learn some easy strategies to prevent sickness and contamination in the workplace.
    • Lesson 5: Universal Precautions
      • This lesson is about using universal precautions required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the federal government. You will learn what they are and how they are used to reduce exposure to common pathogens.
    • Lesson 6: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
      • This lesson is about personal protective equipment (PPE), which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require employers to identify and provide for workers. You will learn about different PPE and how to use these on the job.
    • Lesson 7: Hand Washing Procedures
      • Hand washing is the number one way to prevent the transmission of disease. In this lesson you will learn about the proper and thorough technique for washing your hands to prevent disease. You may want to share this information with the individuals to whom you provide services and supports.
    • Lesson 8: Cleaning and Disinfecting
      • This lesson is about cleaning and disinfecting to help prevent disease and illness. You will learn how different surfaces and household textiles can be cleaned and disinfected.
    • Lesson 9: Environmental Controls
      • This lesson is about the environmental controls that help you reduce and avoid exposures to infectious agents. You will learn how to properly label and store potentially infectious materials. The lesson covers how to handle accidental exposure incidents.
    • Lesson 10: Accidental Exposure Procedures
      • This lesson is about dealing with accidental exposures to bloodborne pathogens. You will learn ways this happens and basic steps you can take if an accidental exposure happens.
    • Lesson 11: Exposure Control Plans
      • This lesson will help you understand what an exposure control plan is and necessary components that keep the workplace safe. You will learn how important it is to know the plan through training and periodic reviews.

DirectCourse - Person-Centered Counseling

  • An Introduction to No Wrong Door System
    • 4 lessons; 2.4 contact hours No Wrong Door (NWD) systems are meant to support positive changes in the way that people understand and access long-term services and support (LTSS) This course is designed for professionals and community members who have an interest in understanding or implementing aspects of the NWD system. It is part of a training program developed for people who will serve as Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals. This course provides basic information about the No Wrong Door (NWD) system. It introduces the vision, values, and key system structures of the proposed NWD system. It describes key aspects of the evolution of the service system and lessons learned that have been infused in this vision. It introduces the Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional role and how this role supports the NWD vision.
    • Lesson 1: The No Wrong Door System: Vision, Values, and Structure
      • In the past two decades, the number of options for receiving long-term services and supports (LTSS) has grown immensely. While these options are welcome and provide more flexibility for people seeking LTSS, they also can make the process of finding and accessing the right LTSS very complex. People do not know where to get reliable information that meets their unique needs. Many professional roles are limited to specific tasks. This means the support professionals provide can be either not very comprehensive. They may begin and end with eligibility for a specific service, program, or treatment. The result is a fragmented and unwieldy process for people seeking help with no single point of contact to understand a more holistic and person-centered approach to arranging services and supports. The vision of the No Wrong Door (NWD) system is a single, statewide system for supporting access to LTSS options from any source, including those paid for through Medicaid, other government programs, insurance, and private pay. It is meant for any person, of any age or need, who is seeking or planning for LTSS. Each state will be encouraged to have a NWD system that leverages the state's strengths in supporting people to reach their goals. This lesson will introduce the vision and values of the NWD system. It will describe the structures of a successful NWD system.
    • Lesson 2: The Evolution of the No Wrong Door System
      • The No Wrong Door (NWD) system is designed to address some of the most significant barriers individuals face when accessing Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). The vision and structure of the NWD system draws on a long history of developments at the federal and state levels meant to overcome some challenges of an expensive and fragmented system. The full structure of the proposed NWD system is new, though the efforts toward making LTSS more accessible to all have been going on for years. This lesson helps the learner understand more about past initiatives. It describes the lessons learned from these previous approaches. It reviews how the NWD system is designed to move LTSS systems to the next phase. Finally, it provides a context for culture change and invites the learner to reflect on their own role in culture change.
    • Lesson 3: System Level Changes to Create a No Wrong Door System: Outreach, Partnerships, and Governance
      • The No Wrong Door (NWD) system has grown out of a need to improve the way people access long-term services and supports (LTSS). Building a successful No Wrong Door (NWD) system requires many changes. Some of these changes are system level changes. System level changes are important because they provide structures that make the work possible. They help professionals better understand their roles. They also provide support for carrying out the vision of the NWD system. Change in practices will not be enduring without system level change. NWD systems are designed to have four key functions. This lesson focuses on two key functions at the system level. This lesson discusses the purpose and impact of these key functions and describes some key roles that professionals have in implementing them. Here are the two key functions that focus on system level changes:
        1. Public Outreach and Coordination with Key Referral Sources (outreach and partnerships)
        2. State Governance and Administration (governance)
        The other two functions are person-centered counseling and streamlined access to LTSS. They are reviewed in another lesson.
    • Lesson 4: The Role of the Person-Centered Counseling Professional in a Successful No Wrong Door System
      • A previous lesson discussed the major system level changes that each state may implement as part of the No Wrong Door (NWD) system. The role of individual professionals will also change. One of the most significant changes will be the development of the Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional role. This lesson gives a short overview of the PCC professional role, including their two key functions in the NWD system. The two key functions are person-centered counseling and streamlining access to public programs. Specific training for the skills a PCC professional needs are completed in the remaining courses of this training program.
  • Long-Term Services and Supports
    • 8 lessons; 5.1 conctact hours No Wrong Door (NWD) systems seek to improve the way people understand and access long-term services and supports (LTSS). Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals play a key role. They support people to have a positive experience as they consider and access LTSS. They use person-centered discovery approaches as a way to ensure people have information that is meaningful to them. They support streamlined access to public programs and actions that minimize the sense of system fragmentation. In order to do this, the professional must be aware of a number of community resources. This course defines LTSS. It describes considerations in supporting access to LTSS. It introduces a wide range of public and private programs, supports, and services that may be beneficial. This course also discusses ways to help people combine available resources to meet their individual preferences. It describes a variety of situations that PCC professionals might encounter. It explains options for addressing these situations and provides suggestions of what these options might look like at the local level. Please click on the links below to learn how your lesson fits into this course.
    • Lesson 1: Using Person-Centered Practices to Connect People to LTSS
      • People who are seeking assistance do not always know what is available. Finding the right long-term services and supports (LTSS) can be challenging and at times complicated. Person-Centered Counseling professionals are professionals who can help with this. They use person-centered thinking (PCT) and practices to support people in accessing the right LTSS in the right way. This lesson gives a broad overview of LTSS including a range of services that are available. It provides a quick review of the PCC professional role in the No Wrong Door (NWD) system. It gives a basic description of strategies in streamlining access to LTSS options. This lesson is a reminder of these important functions in the context of this course. You can learn more about the PCC professional role in the courses on the NWD system and person-centered thinking and planning. This lesson and others talk broadly about resources. You need to know about regional resources and access issues that cannot be covered in this course. Please see your supervisor or employer about more support regarding resources and information available to you locally.
    • Lesson 2: Considerations in Presenting and Determining Options
      • Here is a description of the lesson you are starting: Person-centered discovery helps people identify their strengths, goals, and preferences. Person-Centered Counseling professionals play an important role in facilitating the discovery process and streamlining access to resources. This lesson introduces 11 key considerations that you can use as you support people. These considerations can be used at any time in the process.
        1. Start with what the person says they want
        2. Responding to urgent needs
        3. Identifying and sorting resources
        4. Supporting access and eligibility
        5. Considering timelines and limits
        6. Financial implications
        7. Supporting selection of providers
        8. Appeals and grievances
        9. Helping with the impact of unmet needs
        10. Working with authorized decision-makers
        11. Providing ongoing support
    • Lesson 3: Working in Collaboration with Others to Support the Person
      • Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals are part of changing the experience of accessing long-term services and supports (LTSS). The current system often feels fragmented and difficult to navigate for people seeking assistance. PCC professionals help improve the sense of coordination by using person-centered practices to support streamlined access to appropriate resources. In order to do this, PCC professionals need to cultivate professional relationships with others. This lesson provides the learner with an overview of how formal linkages in the No Wrong Door (NWD) system may influence their role. It will also introduce some of the informal partnerships that PCC professionals can cultivate. It describes the values of networking and offers tips on how to build strong relationships while providing person-centered support.
    • Lesson 4: Personal Finances
      • Long term services and supports (LTSS) require resources. Payment for services and supports can include private pay, public pay, or a combination of the two. Private pay is the use of personal resources to organize services and supports. Public pay is the use of community resources. Public pay may help fund need-based programs or entitlement programs, such as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. It may include other types of federal, state, or community resources such as housing or nutrition support. Typically, people do little planning for LTSS costs and have very little understanding of the implications and nuances of paying for them. It may be difficult for people to find transparent information on costs and eligibility for programs and services. APerson-Centered Counseling professional can support people in understanding financial implications of choices and options using a person-centered approach. They can support people in planning for and getting organized in this area. Several other lessons in this course will help you understand more about the resources and programs discussed in this lesson.
    • Lesson 5: Medicaid and LTSS
      • This lesson will give the learner a basic overview of Medicaid as a funder of long-term services and supports (LTSS). It will describe recent changes in the expectations and funding of Medicaid LTSS options. It will provide a basic understanding of eligibility. This lesson is only a starting point for understanding Medicaid and is not comprehensive. Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals need to understand their state's Medicaid waiver programs and other long-term care programs. They need to know how Medicaid intersects with other programs, eligibility requirements, and the implications for people who are seeking these services or who may be eligible for services.
    • Lesson 6: The Influence of Health Insurance on LTSS
      • Health insurance has the potential to be a critical asset to overall health and well-being. It can be a part of support for a return to community living after a hospitalization. Accessing benefits can help people reduce the likelihood of return to health crisis or loss of functioning. Some people may need support to fully understand these options. They may need support to access and advocate for benefits through their health insurance. Due to the Affordable Care Act, health insurance is becoming more accessible to many people. However, people have more choices and information to sort out than ever before. This lesson will help the Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional understand the most common aspects of insurance as it relates to supporting people with LTSS needs.
    • Lesson 7: Other Federal Programs to Consider with Community-Based LTSS
      • You have already learned about some of the large, federally funded programs like Medicaid and Medicare. These are not the only federally (or publicly) funded options for people. Depending on where someone lives, they may be able to access other federally funded programs. Most of these programs are entitlement programs. People must meet certain criteria in order to access the services, however once they do, they should have access to the program. As a Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional, you should have a basic understanding of these programs. You should know what they can do for people and who might be eligible.
    • Lesson 8: Accessing Local Resources and Natural Support in Community-Based LTSS
      • Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals play a vital role in connecting people to meaningful resources. Earlier lessons in this course provided information about some federally funded resources. For some people, accessing those programs will be an essential part of meeting their needs. For others, private pay for services may be the best fit. In both of these situations the use of local and natural support resources may enhance the person's overall quality of life. These sources may also help during periods when a person needs more assistance but for a shorter period of time (transitions). This lesson introduces a variety of resources. It will also help PCC professionals understand more about how to research, organize, and access them.
  • Person-Centered Planning and Implementations
    • 10 lessons; 5.2 contact hours The Person-Centered Planning and Implementation (PCPI) course will help Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals understand their roles in person-centered planning. The course helps learners identify when it might be helpful to develop a formal, written, person-centered plan. It outlines a person-centered planning process that PCC professionals can use. It builds on the skills and tools outlined in the Person-Centered Thinking and Practices (PCTP) course and blended learning day. It provides strategies for working with the person and people they choose to create and implement a useful plan.
    • Lesson 1: The PCC Professional’s Role in Person-Centered Planning
      • Person-centered planning (PCP) is a type of planning that seeks and organizes information differently than a service or system-driven plan. It also has a different purpose. PCP provides a positive, strengths-based introduction to a person. It helps others quickly identify what's most important to them. It describes how best to support them. Goals and outcomes of the plan are defined by the person and are meaningful to the person. In all No Wrong Door (NWD) interactions there should be a focus on what is important to people. However, a formal written plan through the No Wrong Door (NWD) system is always voluntary and driven completely by the person. The plan belongs to them. Having access to planning support from a Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional is an essential component of NWD systems. PCC professionals should be aware of the usefulness of PCPs and have a method of completing one. This lesson will provide you with an overview of your potential role in the NWD system and an overview of what a person-centered plan might look like in that role.
    • Lesson 10: Implementation and Follow-Up
      • Specific actions of a person-centered plan may be completed by anyone the person chooses and who is willing. Completing actions may or may not be a part of the Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional's role. However, sometimes they have role in implementing actions in the plan. At a minimum, the PCC professional's role will include follow-up regarding plans as desired by individuals. In addition, the PCC professional may have a role in identifying gaps in services and supports. These may be in the community or their agency's capacity to support people in a person-centered way. This lesson will help you understand when these duties may be a part of your role and how to accomplish them.
    • Lesson 2: Applying the Core Values and Principles in a No Wrong Door Person-Centered Planning Process
      • This lesson is about putting core values into action through a person-centered plan. Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) is based on the core values of individual choice, direction, and control. It is also based on the principle of ensuring people have enough support to experience typical, inclusive, and preferred opportunities in a culturally relevant way. You will learn how to use the core values and principles in planning. The lesson ends with content to help you consider risks.
    • Lesson 3: Using Person-Centered Thinking Approaches to Support Discovery and Build the Plan
      • Gathering and organizing useful information is a crucial task when helping to develop person-centered plans (PCPs). This discovery process uses purposeful but branching conversations as a core strategy. The skills and approaches from the person-centered thinking course are used to help identify a person's goals and build the components of the plan. This lesson will review these skills and approaches and the basics of how they relate to formal, written PCPs in the No Wrong Door (NWD) system.
    • Lesson 4: Filling in the Components of a One-Page Description
      • A No Wrong Door person-centered plan includes a one-page description. It will be developed for a purpose, and it will include a person's goals and actions steps. It may also include other person-centered thinking tools as makes sense. This lesson will help you become more familiar with each section of a one-page description. It will provide you with general guidance in transferring information into a description. It will also help you sort out when you might use other tools such as a relationship map, a communication chart, a matching profile form, or a learning log as part of the plan.
    • Lesson 5: Applying the Skills Flexibly and in a Variety of Settings
      • Person-centered discovery and planning can occur in many ways. To complete a formal person-centered plan requires the use of flexible but organized approaches. To complete a plan, you may meet with a person several times. You must be prepared to meet people in a variety of locations. You may facilitate the process one-on-one with the person. Or, you may support group processes to complete a plan. Each situation presents unique benefits and challenges that you must navigate. This lesson will provide you with key tips and consideration for organizing your approach. It will provide examples of person-centered planning in three different situations.
    • Lesson 6: Writing Action Steps for Meaningful Outcomes
      • Discovery and the development of a person-centered plan always start with a purpose. The purpose will help people develop their goals for the plan. A person's goals will be uniquely their own. They will be defined by them and often written in their own words. In order to coordinate teams or ensure plans are useful, it is helpful to develop action steps and timelines related to the goals. The Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional can help the person shape their goals into action steps that are likely to lead to the outcomes they desire. They can also help ensure the actions steps reflect important considerations regarding identification and selection of approaches.
    • Lesson 7: Considering and Using Natural Supports, Private Pay, and Community Resources in Planning
      • Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals help people describe their situations and hopes in a person-centered way. The understanding of the person's situation and how they prefer to handle it is based on the individual's own values, beliefs, and preferences. The plan is never is defined by or described in terms of service eligibility. PCC professionals must work with people to try to achieve their goals. There are many reasons to look at meeting needs with natural supports first. For many people, local or generic resources and private pay options are going to be given first consideration over larger, publically funded options. This lesson helps you support people in thinking about these resources as part of their plans. There are additional lessons about accessing and using these types of resources as part of a person-centered approach in the course on long-term services and supports (LTSS).
    • Lesson 8: Use of Publicly Funded Programs in Planning
      • Person-centered counseling helps people to organize services and supports in ways that make sense to them. Many people will never be eligible for public programs. Those who are eligible may choose not to use them. However, sometimes people are eligible and are interested in these programs. Others may already be using publicly funded programs but still want support from the Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional. This lesson gives a brief overview of the PCC professional's potential roles in this process. This lesson is a short overview of incorporating these programs into a plan. For more information regarding the specifics of these programs, you can refer to the course on long-term services and support (LTSS) in this curriculum.
    • Lesson 9: Ensuring the Plan is Useful and Useable
      • It is important for a person-centered plan to be useful and useable. Once you have enough information and an understanding of the person's goals, you will help them organize this into the full plan. You may start on your own and bring it for review or approval. Or, you may do this with the person present the whole time. You will want to transfer the important details to a person's one-page description. You will help to describe goals and write action steps that have the SMART components. Before using the plan it should be carefully reviewed with the person and anyone else they would like to review it. This lesson will remind you of criteria that you can use to review a person-centered plan. By reviewing for these, you make it more likely the plan will be useful and useable.
  • Person-Centered Thinking and Practices
    • 12 lessons; 8.5 contact hours This course is an introduction to person-centered thinking and practice. It is for people who will work in a No Wrong Door (NWD) system. The content is part of the person-centered counseling (PCC) training program being developed by the US Administration on Community Living (ACL). It is meant to ensure states access to core training that supports movement toward a single entry point to long-term services and supports (LTSS) for all payers and all ages. The concept of person-centered support goes beyond the limits of what is available in the system. It sees people holistically and in the context of their strengths, goals, and expectations. It focuses on support for living well in the community. It helps people experience choice, direction, and control in services. The primary terms and approaches of person-centered thinking (PCT) practices taught in this course are based on training developed and maintained by The Learning Community (TLC). Content also reinforces and ties the TLC approaches to other approaches that people may already have or could learn more about to enhance their competence. This includes things such as motivational interviewing, active listening, or culturally specific approaches. The course starts with a review of the core values of PCC in the context of PCT approaches. It provides context to community living as a part of understanding the skills of PCT. It introduces the PCT tools and strategies in the context of the role of PCC professional. It wraps up with a lesson on the practical approach to integrating the skills and tools into the day-to-day work of the PCC professional. This course is a prerequisite to the Person-Centered Planning and Implementation course. In between the two online courses, learners are expected to complete a one-day facilitated training. This course introduces the concepts, terms, strategies, and tools. Additional training supports actual application of skills.
    • Lesson 1: The Core Values of Person-Centered Counseling (PCC)
      • Person-centered counseling (PCC) is an approach to counseling that is built on the core values of choice, direction, and control. This lesson reviews these core values in the context of using person-centered thinking (PCT) practices in a No Wrong Door (NWD) system. The lesson will help the learner understand these values as a foundation to person-centered approaches. It will also review some common challenges in applying them. It helps the learner connect the PCT skills they will learn in other lessons to the values. Finally, it will review some ideas for how to maintain theses values in practice when the system or others make this difficult. The remaining lessons in the course provide more details regarding how these values and other critical attitudes and skills can be applied through PCT and related skills.
    • Lesson 10: Further Exploration of Everyday Learning Approaches
      • Everyday learning skills are an essential part of person-centered thinking. They support learning about a good "to/for balance." They can also be used to document learning, problem-solve, define common agendas, and negotiate solutions as needed. There are three different tools presented in this lesson: 4+1 questions, what's working/what's not working, and the learning log. As with all approaches taught in this course, they are optional and not required. They may be used formally or informally. They are only used formally with people's willingness and permission. These tools may used by the professional alone, in groups with co-workers, with a person, or with others. They may be used for a variety of reasons beyond direct contact with people seeking services (for example, to problem-solve a policy or practice issue). However, nothing about a person is placed in any formal record or used in anyway without their participation and approval. Practice with these tools can enhance the Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional's skills in helping people weigh pros and cons of their options (decision support).
    • Lesson 11: Further Exploration of the Remaining Skills and Tools of Person-Centered Thinking
      • Being able to discover what is important to and for a person and their correct balance is a central role for a Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional. Being able to use that information to provide meaningful decision support is also a role. Often that work is done informally and quickly. A PCC professional may only have one interaction with a person. However, in other situations there may be ongoing work to help a person engage support in a meaningful way. The tools in this lesson are more helpful in situations where a lengthier discovery process is needed and roles and expectations must be clarified.
    • Lesson 12: Integrating the Tools and Skills in the No Wrong Door Person-Centered Counseling Role
      • Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals have a challenging but exciting job. They are at the forefront of new attitudes and approaches in long-term services and supports. However, there are many competing demands and expectations. In addition, the role is evolving in the current environment. Incorporating different practices on top of many job duties can feel intimidating. This lesson will provide information about the importance of integrating person-centered thinking (PCT) skills. It will provide support for approaches that make it possible.
    • Lesson 2: Community Life for Everyone
      • This lesson will help you consider the value of community living. It will provide background on the movement toward community living in long-term services and supports. It will explain the difference between a system-focused life and a balanced life in the community. It will use terms and concepts that are part of The Learning Community's (TLC) Person-Centered Thinking (PCT) approach. It will also introduce the Relationship Map, a TLC tool. This tool supports consideration of the person's current connections to community through the lens of relationships.
    • Lesson 3: What is Person-Centered Thinking in the PCC Professional’s Role?
      • Person-centered thinking (PCT) skills help people approach each other in a consistently person-centered way. They are a core skill set for Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals. This lesson provides additional information about what being "person-centered" means in this role. It helps learners distinguish between "fixing" approaches and "support" approaches. It introduces the three promises of PCT. It reminds learners about the power and importance of active listening in the role.
    • Lesson 4: Supporting Positive Change in Service Delivery and Systems
      • In the last few decades, there have been many positive changes in systems and community attitudes. However, there is further to go. Today, human services systems are still not aligned with person-centered practices. They do not reliably provide support in the context of inclusion, opportunity, choice, direction, and control for everyone. More change is needed. Everyone has a role in making this change happen. This lesson will use terms and concepts that are part of the Learning Community approach to person-centered thinking to describe conditions required to fuel change in systems. It helps the learner understand potential roles and responsibilities for supporting positive change in a system.
    • Lesson 5: PCT Core Concept: Important To and Important For and the Balance Between Them
      • Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals must be able to recognize the difference between the concepts of important to and important for. They must also be able to guide people seeking support in determining what is important to andfor them. They must be able to support people to address these aspects of their lives and express their preferred balance between the two. They can do this through person-centered discovery and planning strategies. In this lesson, the learner will review these concepts as they are defined by the Learning Community. They will practice differentiating the two areas. They will also learn more about why the sequence of discovery matters. And they will learn how to help people address their "to/for balance" when planning supports are reviewed.
    • Lesson 6: The Role of Relationships and Cultural Context in Person-Centered Thinking
      • A central part of what makes life meaningful is connections to others. People also value the ability to set goals or prioritize life according to their own values. Culture, background, and resources will have a large impact in these areas. As a result, the context of what is valued and how it looks will vary from person to person. It will also vary from community to community. This lesson introduces the learner to these important issues. It provides approaches for applying them. However, this lesson introduces this content only briefly. It does so in the context of the person-centered thinking skills and tools. It is strongly recommended that you seek additional training and information about these topics. You can check out the resources listed with this course to learn more.
    • Lesson 7: An Overview of Person-Centered Thinking Skills and Tools
      • The Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) training program teaches skills that will enhance your ability to provide person-centered support. These skills are not specific to working with people who have long-term service and support (LTSS)needs. They are strategies that help you understand any person's "to/for balance." However, when applied thoughtfully in a No Wrong Door setting, they can support person-centered discovery and assessment. They can help professionals learn more and problem-solve. They can help professionals support people in organizing information to achieve person-centered support. This lesson provides an overview of three sets of skills (discovery, everyday learning, and management) that are part of the Learning Community approach to person-centered thinking (PCT). This is a brief overview and orientation. Each set has its own lesson for more depth. You will also get to practice many of the skills in person as part of the blended learning approach.
    • Lesson 8: First Impressions and Conversation Skills
      • This lesson will help you understand the importance of starting off well with a person. It reviews the difference between person-centered discovery and assessment. It reviews methods of discovery conversations that are likely to support the person's engagement. It describes the power of purposeful but branching conversations. It will reinforce a technique of guess/ask/write in documenting information. It describes the usefulness of open-ended questions. Keep in mind, you will have opportunities to practice these skills and others during the in-person portion of the blended learning model.
    • Lesson 9: Further Exploration of Discovery Approaches
      • Discovery is an essential part of person-centered thinking and planning. There are six different approaches discussed in this course that can be used to discover the right "to/for balance" with a person. These approaches provide more options for developing skill in discovery. Four of them are reviewed in this lesson. One was reviewed in the lesson in this course called Community Life for All (relationships map). All of them will be reviewed in more depth during the in-person portion of the blended learning model. These approaches may be used informally and flexibly in practice. They can help professionals learn more about a person. They can help Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals avoid common pitfalls and overcome barriers to discovery.
  • Protection and Advocacy
    • 7 lessons; 4.8 contact hours This course will describe what the Protection and Advocacy System is and what protection and advocacy agencies and organizations do. Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) Professionals will gain an understanding of how protection and advocacy relates to working in the No Wrong Door (NWD) system, and when it might be appropriate to partner with or refer someone to a protection and advocacy agency. The learner will also become oriented to person-centered thinking and practices as it relates to the protection and advocacy role of PCC Professionals working in the NWD system. The core values of the person-centered counseling approach – choice, control, and direction, will be described and issues of informed choice, decision support, self-direction, and person-centered advocacy will be addressed. This course will also provide information on defining and identifying various types of abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as well as the responsibilities of mandated reporters. Lastly, disability and aging-related laws, policies, and advocacy organizations that are relevant to working in the NWD system will also be identified and described.
    • Lesson 1: The Protection and Advocacy System
      • In this lesson Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals will learn about the Protection and Advocacy System, Protection and Advocacy agencies, and the programs and services they provide. The Protection and Advocacy System is a federally mandated network of agencies that provide protection and advocacy services for people with disabilities of all ages, including older adults. There is one Protection and Advocacy agency in every state and territory in the US, including a Native American Protection and Advocacy agency. As a PCC professional, you might already engage in some protection and advocacy duties, but keep in mind that for this lesson the term 'Protection and Advocacy' refers to this formal and specific system of agencies. Also keep in mind that this system and the agencies that are part of it are different from Adult Protective Services, although you might work with both Adult Protective Services and Protection and Advocacy agencies in your role as a PCC professional. You will learn more about Adult Protective Services in Lesson 5 of this course.
    • Lesson 2: Incorporating the Values and Views of Person-Centered Counseling into Protection and Advocacy
      • The core values of the person-centered counseling (PCC) approach in the No Wrong Door (NWD) system are choice, direction, and control. This lesson orients the learner to person-centered thinking and practices as it relates to a Person-Centered Counseling professional's protection and advocacy role. This lesson will help the learner incorporate the PCC approach in their protection and advocacy work and address issues of informed choice, decision support, self-direction, and person-centered advocacy.
    • Lesson 3: Defining and Identifying Abuse
      • Maltreatment refers to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It is important to understand and identify different forms of abuse or maltreatment in your work as a Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional in the No Wrong Door (NWD) system. Any person can experience abuse, regardless of age, disability, race, or sex. Any person can inflict abuse on an individual, including friends, family, paid providers, neighbors, and health or homecare professionals. This lesson provides information on various kinds of abuse while Lesson 4 will focus on neglect and exploitation. Refer to Lesson 5: Reporting Abuse and other Legal Requirements for Mandated Reporters, for more information on next steps if you suspect abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
    • Lesson 4: Defining and Identifying Neglect and Exploitation
      • While Lesson 3 focused on abuse, this lesson provides information on neglect and exploitation. As a Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional, it is important to understand and be able to identify neglect and exploitation, two other forms of maltreatment. Any person can experience neglect and exploitation, regardless of age, disability, race, or sex. And any person can neglect or exploit someone including friends, family, paid providers, neighbors, and health or homecare professionals. Refer to Lesson 5: Reporting Abuse and other Legal Requirements for Mandated Reporters for more information on reporting and next steps if you suspect abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
    • Lesson 5: Reporting Abuse and other Legal Requirements for Mandated Reporters
      • This lesson will give Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals an overview of what mandated reporting is, who mandated reporters are, and what events are reportable. It will describe how to document and report abuse or suspected maltreatment that someone working in the No Wrong Door (NWD) system may encounter, as well as when and where to report it. Lastly, this lesson will provide information on resources and agencies that can help.
    • Lesson 6: Disability and Aging-Related Laws and Policies
      • The disability rights movement led to significant changes and legal decisions that have influenced the lives of people with disabilities of all ages. Even though much progress has been made, the disability rights movement continues because people with disabilities are still discriminated against in many ways. This lesson will introduce the learner to some of the most important laws, policies, and court cases that have created fundamental rights for people with disabilities, including children and older adults with disabilities. Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) Professionals will learn about the different laws and policies that influence the kinds of services and supports that people seek through the No Wrong Door (NWD) system. Understanding the history of these laws and policies can help PCC professionals to not only advocate on behalf of those being served, but also to better understand current inequalities and struggles. At the end of this lesson, the learner will have a better understanding of why these laws and policies are an important part of their job in the NWD system.
    • Lesson 7: Advocacy and Disability Organizations
      • This lesson will go over some information on individual and systems advocacy, including what they are and why they're important. In this lesson you will also learn about some advocacy and disability organizations that might be useful to Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals who work in the No Wrong Door (NWD) system. Keep in mind that there are many more national and state agencies and organizations. The ones covered in this lesson are just a small selection. Feel free to do some research on your own and find some other organizations that might be useful in your role in the NWD system.
  • Who We Serve
    • 6 lessons; 4.6 contact hours The No Wrong Door (NWD) system is designed to serve all people who may need any type of long-term services and supports (LTSS) regardless of their age, type of disability, income, or source of payer. That being said, everyone served in the NWD system is unique. As a Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional, you will come into contact with many different populations, including people with disabilities, older adults, family members, caregivers, veterans, and immigrants. Some people you serve in the NWD system might not even identify as having a disability or even use the word "disability" to talk about what's important to them and for them. Regardless of who you work with, it's important to be familiar with the different groups of people who may seek NWD services. That means being culturally sensitive to a wide variety of cultures, age groups, disabilities, and unique life experiences they represent. Another important part of your work is effectively communicating with people seeking services so that you can meet their service and support needs. Communication can include both spoken and written words, as well as the use of body language, gestures, technologies, devices, and other augmentative and alternative communication. Effective communication also means being able to communicate with diverse populations and practicing cultural competency and humility. Many of the people seeking services in the NWD system will be looking for help with LTSS or other resources to help them during various life transitions. This might include helping with transitions between care settings, such as from a hospital or rehabilitation facility to a home. It could also include identifying transition services for children, for adolescence to adulthood, for military service to civilian life, for adulthood to older adulthood, or for institution to community living. As a PCC professional, it's also important for you to be familiar with some of the service needs that bring people to the NWD system. This might include information and referrals or assistance, benefits counseling, personal assistance services, care management, mental or behavioral health services, housing services, and employment services. Knowing as much as possible about the people being served in the NWD system will help you provide effective and appropriate person-centered counseling.
    • Lesson 1: Who Needs LTSS
      • The No Wrong Door (NWD) system is designed to serve all people who may need any type of long-term services and supports (LTSS) regardless of their age, type of disability, income, or the source of payer. That being said, everyone served in the NWD system is unique. As a Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professional, you will come into contact with many different populations, such as older adults, people with disabilities, veterans, immigrants, and many others. Keep in mind that not all people who need LTSS are people with disabilities and not all people with disabilities need LTSS. Some people you serve in the NWD system might not even identify as having a disability or even use the word 'disability' to talk about what's important to them. This lesson will provide an overview of disability as a concept and why it is important for PCC professionals to be aware of disability as an identity and the different dimensions of disability, even though not everyone served in the NWD system will have a disability. You will also learn various definitions of disability according to certain laws and programs. This lesson is not meant to include an exhaustive list of all disabilities and their definitions, but rather to familiarize you with some.
    • Lesson 2: Working with Diverse Populations
      • The No Wrong Door (NWD) system is designed to serve all people who may need any type of long-term services and supports regardless of their age, type of disability, income, or source of payer. That being said, everyone served in the NWD system is unique. They will represent different cultures, races, ethnicities, ages, disabilities, and lived experiences. In this lesson, you will learn about diversity, bias, cultural competence, cultural humility, and cultural reciprocity. They will have different needs and wants. Learning about diversity and culture will help Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals better engage with and listen to each person seeking services in the NWD system. Awareness and increased understanding of each person's diverse culture, background, and situation will help PCC professionals identify the services and supports they need.
    • Lesson 3: Communicating with Diverse Populations
      • The No Wrong Door (NWD) system is designed to serve all people who may need any type of long-term services and supports regardless of their age, type of disability, income, or source of payer. In this lesson you will learn how to effectively communicate with all of the diverse populations that may seek services through the NWD system. You will learn about cultural differences in communication and some different ways to communicate. You will also learn about devices, aids, technologies, and tips that can help with effective communication. That includes how to create environments that facilitate effective communication. There are also legal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that ensure access to effective communication. The information presented in this lesson can apply to anyone who seeks services in the NWD system – it's not specific to any one population served. You can also learn more about specific communication skills in the Person-Centered Thinking and Practices course, Lesson 8: First Impressions and Conversation Skills and Lesson 10: Further Exploration of Everyday Learning Approaches.
    • Lesson 4: Becoming More Culturally Competent
      • The No Wrong Door (NWD) system is designed to serve all people who need long-term services and supports regardless of their age, type of disability, income, or source of payer. In this lesson, Person-Centered Counseling (PCC) professionals will learn about the importance of cultural competency and diversity. They'll learn why it's necessary to constantly examine one's own cultural assumptions as part of the process of becoming more culturally competent. They'll also learn about different cultural perspectives, as well as ways to learn more about the cultural diversity around them.
    • Lesson 5: Transitions throughout the Lifespan
      • The No Wrong Door (NWD) system is designed to serve all people who may need any type of long-term services and supports (LTSS) regardless of their age, type of disability, income, or source of payer. That being said, everyone served in the NWD system is unique. They will represent different cultures, races, ethnicities, ages, disabilities, and lived experiences. Throughout a person's lifetime, they can go through a number of changes as a result of evolving needs and new roles, identities, and goals. This lesson will describe the following transitions and the services and activities that might be linked to them:
        • Early Intervention to Childhood
        • Youth to Adulthood
        • Transitional Care
        • Military Service to Civilian Life
        • Older adulthood
        • Institutions to Community Living
        Keep in mind, these transitions follow the lifespan, and may not capture all of the possible phases in an individual's life. You may not provide the services described in this lesson, but it's important for you to know what services a person receives and if they have unmet needs. As you learn about each transition, think about the role you and the other agencies and organizations in your community may play in serving the people who contact the NWD system. You may have already read about some of these transitions in the course Person-Centered Access to Long-Term Services and Supports, but this lesson will illustrate these transitions with stories from individuals.
    • Lesson 6: Services Provided by the NWD System
      • The No Wrong Door (NWD) system is designed to serve all people who may need any type of long-term services and supports regardless of their age, type of disability, income, or source of payer. That being said, everyone served in the NWD system is unique. They will represent different cultures, races, ethnicities, ages, disabilities, and lived experiences. This lesson broadly describes some of the common services a person served in the NWD system may need or want, including Information and Referral/Assistance, benefits counseling, Personal Assistance Services, Case Management, Mental and Behavioral Health Services, Housing Services, and Employment Services. This lesson also includes self-advocates talking about the importance of these services in their everyday lives.