‘The Riot!’ Joins College of Direct Support Curriculum Offerings

Prominent newsletter written by and for individuals with disabilities provides resource for Direct Support Professionals

Atlanta, GA – 26 April, 2011 – The College of Direct Support (CDS), an internet-based curriculum for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and managed in partnership by Elsevier / MC Strategies and the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center, has announced the addition of a new genre of courses based on “The Riot!” – a quarterly newsletter written by and for self-advocates.

Self-advocates are those with intellectual or other disabilities who take control of their own lives, manage their care and resources, and make life and day-to-day decisions without undue influence or control from others. The first course will be “‘The Riot!’ Silly Rules Issue.” These new additions to the CDS curriculum will help DSPs incorporate information and perspectives from self-advocates into their daily support work.

Started four years ago, “The Riot!” includes information on a variety of topics important to self-advocates, such as personal time and preferences, the service system, dating and friendships, work and day programs, home life, the marriage penalty (where you lose disability income if you get married), and barriers to voting. The staff at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration (ICI), which develops and authors the CDS curriculum, will base each new course on the full content of “The Riot!” newsletters.

"‘The Riot!’ provides an opportunity for us to infuse the CDS curriculum with a learning tool that delivers training to DSP’s directly from the voice of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Amy Hewitt, Senior Research Associate at the ICI.

Hewitt continued by saying that “The Riot!” will help DSPs learn what is important to self-advocates and how to provide support in ways that promote respect and understanding. “‘The Riot!’content is edgy and is likely controversial for some in the service system. We feel very strongly that this edge and prominent voice of self-advocates is a tremendous asset to the CDS curriculum," she explained.  Several courses built around “The Riot!” newsletters will be released throughout 2011.

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