Survey Request

Dear student,

You are invited to participate in a research study to understand your motivation and participation in physical activity. The study is being done by Dr. Deborah Shapiro and Mason Sur at Georgia State University.  You do not have to be actively involved in sport or physical activity to complete this survey.   The survey will take 10 minutes or less of your time. By participating in the survey, you will have a chance to win a $20 Amazon e-gift card. A total of 10 winners will be selected after the completion of the study.

You must be 18 years or older to participate in the study and the raffle. Please click the link to the consent form and the survey.

Survey link:

If you have any question about the survey, please contact to Mason Sur at (815) 761-2399 or



Mason Sur

Doctoral student

Physical Education and Teacher Education Program

Department of Kinesiology and Health

Georgia State University

Sport Arena #122


Apps for Skill Building

Many students think of summer as a time to take an opportunity to relax from classes and employment responsibilities, but that doesn’t have to be the case. While summer break can be a time of getting extra Vitamin D and rest, it is also important that we continue to engage in activities that will strengthen our independent living, healthy lifestyle, and lifelong-learning skills.

One thing that I know we have learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is the power of technology. We have been able to engage with one another socially, career-wise, and academically through Zoom and other outlets with the single click of a mouse or opening of a phone application. The opportunities that are available for skill development, especially on smart phones, are endless, and I would really like to see students taking the time this summer to explore some applications that might help them to be more independent, responsible young adults.

Here is a link to a compilation of apps that can help develop and maintain positive independent living skills throughout the summer. The apps are categorized by “Occupational Performance,” and include, but are not limited to Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), Safety and Emergency Maintenance, Leisure, etc. They also include the compatibility of the app and the price, if applicable. There are several wonderful applications on the list that hopefully, will be able to address target needs.

If there are any questions that you might have regarding specific applications or specific areas of need, please reach out to the TOPS staff. As professionals in the disability field, we are constantly being made aware of new technological advances and tools to help support our students.

Take care and hAPPy summer!

Pre-Employment Transition Services

In partnership with other programs around the state, TOPS is building a model curriculum to deliver Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS). The Pre-ETS curriculum will include five parts: (1) Instruction on Self-Advocacy; (2) Job Exploration Counseling; (3) Counseling on Postsecondary Education Programs; (4) Workplace Readiness Training to Develop Social and Independent Living Skills; and, (5) Work-Based Learning Experiences. Each learning module will include 8-hours of coursework, except for self-advocacy instruction, which will be a 4-hour course. The Pre-ETS curriculum aims to increase career awareness and develop evidence-based skills that improve transition outcomes for students with disabilities. This coursework will enrich our existing programming and services and be available to eligible students at no additional cost. We will keep you posted on our progress as we build the curriculum and apply to become a provider for these specific services this summer. To learn more about Pre-ETS, see OOD’s Students 14+ website:

Employment Tips during COVID-19

Many of us find ourselves navigating a new normal for work in the midst of COVID-19. Some of us have lost work, some of us do not want to work for the safety of themselves and others (and that is okay!), some of us can work and want to work, and some have been working all along to keep us safe. Here are some tips if you fall into any of those categories:

I lost my job, what next?

If you were furloughed or laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may qualify for Unemployment Benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. You can learn more and apply for benefits at Under the expanded eligibility, those who were laid off as a direct result of COVID-19 are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. There is no minimum income requirement for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance like there is for traditional Unemployment Benefits. (“Expanded Eligibility Coronavirus Unemployment Help.” Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, 2020,

As businesses are starting to open back up, make sure to get in touch with your employer about when it is safe to return to work. There might be new protocols you have to follow to make sure you are keeping yourself and others safe and healthy.

I do not feel comfortable working right now. What can I do from home to keep my skills sharp?

I am willing and ready to work. Where do I start?

First, you will want to make sure your resume and references are up-to-date. The State of Ohio has created a new job search website for those that are searching for work at this time at You can enter your city or zip code to filter jobs that are available near your home. As businesses are starting to reopen, jobs may begin posting again. Some other online resources to search for jobs include:

I have been working all along.

If you are still working, it might look very different than what you were used to. A lot of businesses have implemented new procedures to ensure the health and safety of their workforce and their customers, visitors or patients. Taking the time to recharge and do a relaxing activity each day may alleviate some of the new stresses you are facing. Some ideas include:

  • Take a walk or hike at your favorite park
  • FaceTime your friends and family
  • Try a new yoga workout on YouTube
  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Paint, color or draw
  • Cook or bake a new recipe
  • Watch your favorite movie or TV show
  • Take a nap
  • Meditate
  • Make a gratitude list

Wherever you are in the world of work right now, we hope these tips will be helpful in navigating your current circumstances. We hope you all stay healthy and safe!


Research Opportunity

Are you a person with a disability or chronic health condition ages 18-65?

We are doing a survey with people with disabilities and chronic health conditions.

· What about your life has changed since the COVID-19 outbreak?

· What services and supports have changed?

· What are you worried about?

    Your voice is important!

 What will happen in the study?

  • You will do an online survey.
  • You can do the survey of your own phone, tablet, or computer.
  • The survey will take 20-45 minutes.
  • We will not ask for any personal information. Everything you say will be private

Is the study right for me?

  • We are including people who live in the United States.
  • We are including people with most disabilities and chronic health conditions.
    • If your only disability is a learning disability, ADHD, or a temporary physical condition (such as a broken leg), then we will not include you.

Go to the survey:

 Ariel Schwartz at Boston University is in charge of this study. For more information, contact her at:

Recruitment flyer_PWD

Internship Feature – TBDBITL

TOPS employment team would like to make a shout out to The OSU Marching Band (TBDBITL)!  They have been a huge supporter of the program for the last four years.  TOPS had one student, Jackson Hilliard, intern with them for all four years he was in our program.  When the employment team talked to the band about a potential partnership they were happy to support the program.  TOPS would like to thank everyone who had a part of this FANTASTIC experience for Jackson and The TOPS Program!

Virtual Hangouts

Anthony and Alex, current OSU students put their technology skills to work to enjoy some down time with a current mentor and a graduated mentor. If you need help using Zoom, leave a comment below!

Creative Opportunity


Below is a very cool opportunity to highlight what you are doing while in TOPS! (Alumni, you count too!) Staff can support you if you wish to participate.


We are writing a book and creating a website about students’ experiences in inclusive higher education programs.


You can send us different types of work including photos, videos, poems, essays, blogs, art, and more!


The book will be published by the University of Minnesota Press. There will also be a website that will feature the work of the student authors.


You can create something that tells about your college experience and send it to us to consider. 

If you have any questions or are interested, let us know! 

You can send us an email (

If your work is too big to send in an email, that’s ok! We will give you a special link so you can put it somewhere we can see it.


We can’t wait to see your work!

Mike Gill and Beth Myers, Syracuse University, Editors