Join the AUCD Sexual Health Special Interest Group for Sex Talk for Self-Advocates Webinar #7: Marriage on Wednesday August 12, 2020 from 2:00 – 3:30pm EST. Our expert hosts of sexuality educators and self-advocates have invited a panel to discuss questions and topics related to marriage for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This webinar is part of an on-going series that addresses self-advocate questions about relationships and sexuality.
Assistant Professor Ian Danielsen earned his Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1992. He then worked for the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice for nearly ten years in an intensive treatment program for sexually reactive youths. He then worked for almost four years as a Clinician for a private agency providing residential treatment services for sexually reactive adolescent boys in foster care.
He began serving as the Director of the Greater Richmond SCAN Children’s Advocacy Center in June of 2006. Serving also as an adjunct faculty instructor for the VCU School of Social Work from 2009 to 2016, Ian has coordinated several important projects including earning Accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance, forming new multidisciplinary child abuse teams, and engaging in statewide legislative advocacy efforts.
Ian was honored to be a 2011 recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award and a 2012 awardee of the Commonwealth of Virginia Governor’s Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. He also serves on the Virginia Bar Association’s Commission on the Needs of Children. He was also named an honoree of the “Unsung Hero” award for victim advocacy in April 2020 by the Virginia Office of the Attorney General.
Ian accepted a faculty position in Longwood University’s Social Work Program in 2016. Shortly thereafter, he joined a steering committee to form “The Longwood LIFE” Program, a post-secondary education program at Longwood for young adults who have intellectual disabilities.
Discussing Programs for Students With Disabilities
Transcript of the Academic Minute Podcast with Ian Danielsen
Increasingly across the U.S., colleges and universities are establishing programs for young adult students with intellectual disabilities and students on the Autism spectrum. In Virginia alone, there are at least three such post-secondary programs active in state universities, with some collaboration among them.
While programs vary in style, structure, and cost, they are all rooted in a value system of inclusion and accessibility. The growth of programs nationally reflects a collective recognition that the vast and deep resources of universities can be of great benefit students with intellectual disabilities, both academically and vocationally.
Colleges and universities are often seen as microcosms of larger society; they represent a training ground for students to practice skills for future independent living. It therefore follows that if students with disabilities gain access to this setting of supported semi-independent living, then their competencies for greater independence will grow as well.
Some university programs include students with disabilities in pre-existing non-degree courses, on a sort of “audit” basis, tailoring the students’ course loads to their academic and career interests. Others provide more individualized instruction, offering courses in social skills, daily living skills, and skills for development of healthy relationships, as well as tailor-made coursework in economics, physical education, music, and theatre.
We have studied the ways in which our program has benefited students and found genuine growth in their life skills and vocational readiness. My research focus is in the benefits to other university students, faculty, staff, and parents, as we have seen time and time again that inclusion enhances and lifts the culture of the university as a whole, our mutually beneficial experiences supporting the personal and professional growth of us all.
I’m Sheri Uhrin and I recently joined the TOPS staff as the new residential coordinator. I have lived in the Columbus area for the past twenty years but grew up in Wisconsin. I attended college at University of Wisconsin – Stout and earned my B.S degree in Vocational Rehabilitation and M.A in Rehabilitation Counseling from Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. I have a CRC Certification (Certified Rehabilitation Counselor). I was previously the Transition Services Coordinator at the Ohio School for the Deaf for over twenty years. Where I have worked with youth 14- 22 with transitioning and preparing for life after high school.
My husband Janos of 26 years met in Tucson, AZ when I was on an internship for my Masters and he was traveling and visiting the states (he is originally from Hungary). We have an adult son Riley, who is 23. Stella, is our 8 year old Australian Sheppard.
Things I enjoy in my free time are: traveling, hiking, cooking and spending time with my family and friends.
I am looking forward to being a part of the TOPS Staff and getting to know you all. 🙂
As we all try to navigate this world that is filled with multiple different types of stressors, we need to take mental health more seriously than most of us do. We constantly battle the effects of human rights violations, wars and violence in the home, schools, and businesses. World Mental Health Day is a day dedicated to bringing the stigma of weakness that comes along with taking care of your mental health to an end. The World Federation for Mental Health said it perfectly, “Suicide and substance abuse numbers have been steadily rising, LGBTQ youth are feeling alone and persecuted for being true to themselves and young adults are at the age when serious mental illnesses can occur and yet they are taught little to nothing about mental illness and wellbeing.” (WFMH, 2018) We need to come together and bring awareness to this ongoing issue in today’s society.
According to The Tribune, some tips on how to care for your mental health during college are:
Develop a support network. Form a group of close friends. Stay in contact with your family. Get to know your advisors and instructors. The more people you know at your college, the more connected you’ll feel.
Be active. Exercise is important for your mental outlook and helps ward off depression. Take a break from your studies and get moving on a regular basis. Shoot for 2+ hours every week.
Eat well. Choose a wide variety of healthy, nutritious foods. Eat regularly to keep up your energy. Limit all-you-can-eat cafeterias and late-night raids to get pizza. Do, however, consume enough food to feel and perform your best.
Get enough sleep. Sleep is vital to your mental well-being. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Wake up at roughly the same time every day. Keep your room dark and quiet at night.
Avoid substance abuse. It’s easy to overdo when you’re a student. But excessive drug and alcohol use puts you in grave physical and mental danger. If you can’t get a grip on your actions, team up with someone who can.
Seek professional help. You’re not alone. Lots of people can help. Talk to a trusted adult about your concerns. Or visit Student Services. Don’t rely on the advice of friends. Sometimes you need more.
I have prepared some updates for you from the Independent Living area!
As a way to get involved and serve in the community, all TOPS students are required to complete 15 hour of community service. A wonderful opportunity that is coming up is the TOPS community service day, which will take place on April 29th, 8am-1pm. If you are interested, please RSVP by April 1st to Steve Varga, Social Coordinator.
Stay tuned for other community service opportunities!
In addition to the weekly group outings, this semester we are pairing each TOPS student with one or two social coaches. This will allow each of you to participate in activities you are interested in that fit your schedule, as well as to interact around campus just like how other OSU students would!
Now is the time to start thinking about roommates and living arrangements for the next academic year! Please plan to attend our parent training on March 23rd at 6 pm. We will highlight University Village and discuss some other options that may be available on Campus.