April 2024

Utah Disability Today

The official newsletter of the Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice
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Web Accessibility Research: Good News,

Bad News

The good news is that the higher education world has made huge steps in the field of web accessibility. But outside higher ed, progress is much slower. Read about the WebAIM Million and award-winning research on technology for people with disabilities.

portraits of Emma Speth, Kylee Hansen, and Marla Nef, who lend their expertise to the Benefits of Play program.

Play: a Tool for Parents and Their Children

The Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice’s Up to 3 program aims to help parents who struggle to connect with their children through the use of play.

"Those relationships with their primary caregiver are just key to the rest of their lives," said Up to 3 Program Coordinator Marla Nef, "which I think can sometimes feel overwhelming. Parents [think], 'Oh I didn't do that all right,' but the good part is you don't have to do everything right to be a good parent. But knowing some of those things and to see what you can do, even a little bit at a time every day, can make a big difference for a child's social-emotional interaction."

Guest Blog: The Women Who Came Before Us

When I was 11 years old, I watched a movie called The Miracle Worker, which was my first introduction to Helen Keller.

... Her story inspired me to keep progressing despite the frustrations of my physical disability. I thought, “If Helen can do it, I can too!” Let us remember not only women who are world-famous, but also women who have contributed personally to our lives, and our female ancestors.


What the World Needs to Know about Women with Disabilities

"I hope to see more women with disabilities taking leadership roles. ... What I hope to see is that women start being less apologetic for the space they take up in the world.

"They can be bold, they can be brave within their own life, and they can move forward with confidence no matter what their abilities are."

Read our own Kelie Hess's thoughts on our blog.

A husband and wife share a smile during an interview

News From Around the Institute for Disability

Pictured: The Acor family is one of several who share their experiences with early intervention.

IDRPP has created a page dedicated to the need and impact of early intervention in the lives of Utahns. See the collection on our website.

The ECHO Program is currently recruiting English- and Spanish-speaking pregnant individuals near the University of Utah or Utah State University who are less than 20 weeks gestation. Study participants will help provide observational data on participating children over twenty-one years, so researchers across the country may understand how environmental factors impact child health and development. Find out if you are eligible thorugh this online survey.

The Multicultural Disability Network hosted "Embracing Diversity: Navigating the Intersection of LGBTQIA+ and Disability Experiences." Watch on their YouTube Channel.

TAESE staff hosted and facilitated the 2024 Leadership Summit for State Directors and Staff in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Project ECHO has posted four new videos on Autism in Females, Social Communication, Adverse and Positive Experiences and Substance Awareness.

In the ABS Kids Autism Weekly Podcast, Jeff Skibitsky and IDRPP Executive Director Matthew Wappett discuss reimagining the future of education to be more inclusive for individuals with disabilities..

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Social Communication Part 2


April 3rd

Find out more & register on the ECHO website.


Documentation, Referral, and Reporting of Mental Health Concerns/Incidents for Disability Service Providers


April 8th

Find out more & register on the MHIDD ECHO website.


5 Things to Know About Naloxone


April 10th

Find out more & register on the Substance Abuse ECHO website.


Supporting Students who are Deaf/Blind in Classroom Settings

Saturday Mornings with NRCP

April 13th

More Information on the NRCP website


Suicide Prevention


April 17th

Find out more & register on the Mental Health ECHO website.


A Workplace Supports Training - Salt Lake City

Center for Employment and Inclusion

April 17th

Find out more & register on the Center for Employment and Inclusion's Website


ACRE Employment Specialist Training- Online

Center for Employment and Inclusion

April 30th

Find out more & register on the Center for Employment and Inclusion's Website



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