Yachad Presents Spring Continuing Education Conference, April 1 in Brooklyn

March 25, 2014

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Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities will present its Spring 2014 Continuing Education Conference for disability service providers and educators on Tuesday, April 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Yachad/NJCD IVDU Boys School, 1301 East 18th Street in Brooklyn.

It is free of charge. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

Yachad, the flagship program of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), provides unique social, educational, summer camp, clinical, and recreational programs for individuals with learning, developmental and physical disabilities with the goal of their Inclusion in the total life of the Jewish community.

The conference will provide training for service coordinators, counseling professionals, case managers, and vocational, educational, residential and health professionals.  As a new programmatic element, it will include professional development sessions for supervisors, managers and agency leadership. A certificate of completion will be given to each attendee.

“Yachad is committed to addressing the needs of individuals and families with diverse needs, from diverse circumstances, and with unique challenges” says Deborah Berman, LCSW, Director of Social Work for Yachad. “Professionals in the inclusion movement may have the best intentions in the world and be full of sincerity and a true desire to support their clients, but heart is not enough.  Lack of ongoing training and keeping one’s knowledge base current really risks that the practitioner may end up accidentally doing more harm than good.”

“The idea of a one-approach-fits all clients and families is completely outdated and dehumanizing. It is crucial for health, mental health, and disability professionals to train, and train, and train throughout their careers to stay on  the cutting edge of proven interventions and concepts; that the way we work with families must at all times require of us to be a sociologist, an historian, a detective, and a counselor; and to understand past and present trends in how an individual’s culture or community responds and reacts to disabilities, both on the attitudinal level and the social service level.

“This conference is our way of really working with colleagues at other agencies and schools as a professional courtesy – completely free of charge – so that as a community of like-minded practitioners who have dedicated our lives and livelihoods the Disability Inclusion Movement we learn and grow together and stay current in best practice interventions.”

Presenters include:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, International Director of Yachad/NJCD
  • Dr. Mark Freilich, MD, Total Kids NY
  • Deborah Berman, LCSW, Director of Social Work of Yachad and conference coordinator
  • A guest speaker from OPWDD to discuss topics related to vocational services for adults with developmental challenges.

Sessions include:

  • Clinical interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder;
  • Clinical skills for service providers;
  • Vocational options and job placement strategies;
  • Engaging complicated family systems in diverse services;
  • Finding the right school for a child when that school does not exist;
  • Providing effective interventions to clients, students and families.

In addition, conference coordinator Deborah Berman, LCSW, will facilitate a self-care and support session for direct practice workers.

For further information and to register, visit yachad.org/springconference.