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Education & Training Opportunities

The Center on Disability and Development offers dozens of training opportunities throughout the year on disability-related topics. From hour-long seminars to full conferences, these are diverse opportunities for individuals, family members, and professionals to learn about a variety of topics.

Accessibility in Aggieland

The purpose of this series is to promote proactive accessibility and educate the campus community about many different places that accessibility is important.

The webinars will all be held via zoom and each requires a separate registration.  The webinars will be held every third Wednesday at 1:30-3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Please review the sessions below and register for one or all that are of interest to you. The webinars are free and will be recorded as well as stored on the Center on Disability and Development website

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Affiliated Faculty Seminar Series

Affiliated Faculty Seminar Series: Supporting Students with IDD Through the Education Experience

Each presentation will cover the impact on the IDD population as it relates to their educational experience. World-renowned Texas A&M University faculty members will be sharing their research, knowledge, and experiences related to the topic of that month. This series is an interactive 1.5-hour seminar designed to increase knowledge and awareness for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) among faculty, staff, students, and community members at Texas A&M University and beyond. The seminar is meant to promote strong dialogue about issues and information surrounding supporting students with IDD through the education experience. In doing so, the CDD Affiliated Faculty Seminar Series will work to promote positive, equitable, accepting attitudes towards people with disabilities on campus, in schools, and in the community.

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Autism Projects and Leadership Grant

Funding and assistantship offers will be determined following admission to the program.

This doctoral program is ideal for students who:

  • Want to specialize in autism and related developmental disabilities,
  • Plan to become researchers and/or university faculty members, or
  • Are/wish to become behavior analysts.

Application deadlines are December 1st and April 1st.

Capacity Building Project

Students with disabilities face challenges in their transition from school to adult life, especially in the transition from school to employment. Federal legislation requires local and state education agencies to work with the state vocational rehabilitation agency to facilitate a smooth transition from school to employment. Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) have developed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help guide the two agencies for collaborations. To effectively implement the MOU, TWC has proposed and funded several initiatives to enhance Texas’s quality of transition services. One of the measures is for Texas A&M University’s Center on Disability and Development to provide training and technical assistance to regional and local transition teams to build statewide capacity in providing quality transition services to students with disabilities.

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Career & Technical Education Special Populations Resource Center

CTSP provides access to career and technical education (CTE) and special populations-related multimedia information to teachers, parents, and education professionals throughout Texas. Search our database of over 1100 new materials covering a range of CTE and Special Education Topics. Get online access to curriculum materials, videos and online courses, and more.

Horticultural Options in Plant Sciences (HOPS)

The HOPS Project is a two semester (approximately 32 weeks) training program whose purpose is to provide instruction and support individuals with disabilities to gain the necessary skills and experiences in work readiness in order to successfully transition into competitive integrated employment in the horticulture industry. Students have the option to become certified on the state/national level. The program focuses primarily on four of the five core Pre-ETS areas.

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Institute for Person-Centered Practices

Offering training on person-centered thinking and plan facilitation.

As a collaborative initiative between the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University and the Texas Center for Disability Studies at the University of Texas, the Institute offers training in person-centered thinking and plan facilitation. Trainings are based on materials from The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices.

The Institute’s goal is to offer extensive training for participants to gain an understanding of person-centered practices, and provide opportunities to learn specific tools to be used to actively help people have fulfilling lives. Those who are encouraged to attend the trainings include (but are not limited to):

  • Individuals with disabilities,
  • Family members,
  • Service coordinators,
  • Service providers,
  • Local authority, and
  • State department staff.

Scholarships and discounted registration fees are now available for people with disabilities and their families.

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Contact Jeff Garrison-Tate for more information.

Leadership, Employability, and Advocacy Project

The Leadership, Employability, and Advocacy Project (LEAP) provides training and experiences to youth with disabilities to develop their leadership and advocacy skills. Project LEAP selects youth participants from among high school juniors and seniors across the state. Participants learn the history of the disability rights movement, engage in career activities and explore assistive technologies. They also gain exposure to legislative activities at the Texas Capitol, such as mock testimonies and a legislative session, and a tour of the facilities and meetings with state legislators. Of course, there’s always an element of fun with recreational activities, including a talent show, dance and more.

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Postsecondary Access and Training for Human Services

The PATHS Certificate Program is a program offered through the Center that will prepare graduates to be Direct Support Professionals. This two semester certificate program prepares graduates for employment in a career serving people with disabilities.

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Person-Centered Employment Planning Training (PCEP) Project

The Person-Centered Employment Planning Training (PCEP) Project provides an environment that supports students with disabilities that are ages 14-22 in gaining the skills and experiences necessary for a successful transition into postsecondary education and/or competitive integrated employment through the development of their person-centered employment plan.

Certified Person-Centered Planning (PCP) and People Planning Together (PPT) trainers will design and provide activities for students to identify career goals, social and independent living skills necessary for that career, as well as the steps necessary to reach their goals. Students will practice self-advocacy skills with the support of project staff and trainers throughout the development and dissemination of their plan. Developing a person-centered plan will lead to the pursuit of a career, rather than just a job. The Person-Centered Employment Plan is much more than a road map that supports and guides students toward their career goals. This training helps students gain autonomy for their own lives and planning and teaches them to create and communicate their own employment goals.

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The Texas Gathering

The goal of a Gathering is to facilitate critical conversations on person-centered practices, share, gather knowledge to enhance training skills and to network with like-minded people and make connections.

Three days of discussions and practice as we dive deep into strategies to help discover and explore passions which may lead to living a life filled with purpose and meaning.​

  • Sharpen current PCT Skills​
  • ​Maintain your PCT Certification*
  • Practice using the updated PCT curriculum
  • Recharge, Refresh and Reconnect with old (and new) friends
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Texas Transition Conference

Equipping participants with information about youth in transition.

The Texas Transition Conference is an annual three-day conference that equips family members and professionals with information about students with disabilities in transition to improve outcomes for postsecondary education and better employment opportunities. Established in 1977, the conference was formerly known as the Vocational Needs for Special Populations Statewide Conference. The conference is co-sponsored by the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University and other statewide organizations. Participants come from all over the state and include transition specialists, vocational coordinators, representatives of service agencies, educators and parents of youth with disabilities. Keynote speakers are internationally recognized experts in the field of transition issues.

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Work and College Opportunities Project

The Work and College Opportunities (W.A.C.O.) project at Texas A&M is a 5-week program held in the summer for adults with a disability.

TWC-VR Transition Services, The Brazos Center for Independent Living (BVCIL) and the Center on Disability and Development collaborate to provide a unique college and employment experience.

Participants receive:

  • Development and instruction in professionalism,
  • Self-determination,
  • Self-advocacy,
  • Teamwork,
  • Assistive technology,
  • Independent living skills, and
  • Other related areas connected to employment and college attendance while participating in a paid work experience in the Bryan/College Station community.
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