START Newsletter | Fall 2017
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Vision & Voice: A Quarterly News & Event Publication of the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire
START Newsletter | Fall 2017
Director Joan Beasley, PhD

Happy Autumn!

We have had some beautiful views as the colors of fall are always a wonderful time to be in New England. As I write this welcome, the chilly weather is upon us, but the sun is shining bright. In this season of giving thanks, I want to express gratitude to you, the wonderful and ever expanding network of START providers and partners. There are many challenges ahead and much to learn, but our positive and resilient community continues to thrive. Thank you all for all that you do to make it happen. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Wishing you Peace and Joy,
START Spotlight
NYSTART Region 4 Richmond Kings Team Receives Award
Last month, SUS recognized their NY START team for the excellent work they are doing in their community at the 2017 SUS Employee Recognition Ceremony.

"We were very surprised and share the award with all of you for your support, daily encouragement and ongoing faith in our ability to share the START Values in New York."
-Sharon Cyrus-Savary, Program Director, NY START Region 4 Richmond Kings

NC East Resource Center Celebrates National Police Woman's Day
On Tuesday September 12, NC START East Resource Center Counselors Shekiah Wilder, Teena Case, and Janel Burroughs, along with two guests, visited a group of female officers at the New Bern, NC Police Department to present a poster and fruit basket in recognition of National Police Woman's Day.
National Police Womans Day Group Photo
"One guest who participated in the activity has had negative experiences with the police in the past and was anxious going into this day- she ended up speaking in front of them and being an integral part of the presentation, hugging some of the female police officers as they left. The guest has said that she now has a better understanding of what police do and that they are there to help. It gave her an opportunity to see them as human beings and hear their stories." -Shekiah Wilder, Resource Center Counselor

South Korean Social Workers Visit the Center for START Services
On October 3rd, a group of eight social workers from South Korea met with Beth Grosso and Bob Scholz from the Center for START Services at the IOD office in Concord, NH to learn about the START Program. The group is part of a large initiative "Social Worker Overseas Training Project" which was developed 17 years ago to enhance quality of services in Korea through participation in overseas training. Read more >

NY START Region 1 Celebrates Resource Center Open House
In late September, NY START Region 1 staff provided tours to community members at their new Resource Center in Dansville, NY. The location will provide a site based opportunity for individuals, who are community based, to experience enhanced assessment and treatment. Learn more and see additional pictures in this Arc of Chemung Newsletter.

Dr. Beasley & Dr. Hinton Connect with Japanese Social Workers at PacRim
While attending the 2017 Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity in Hawaii, Dr. Beasley & Dr. Hinton met Mamiko Tsuneyoshi who was sharing her poster (pictured). Her work is consistent with START's philosophy of coaching to build capacity for people with disabilities to have more ordinary experiences. START hopes to have continued collaboration with our new colleagues in Japan.
START National Advisory Council Updates
The START National Advisory Council met for its fourth session on Monday, October 23. Dr. Beasley provided updates on START’s new and upcoming projects. Andrea Caoili, Director of Quality Assurance, provided updates on the development of the Center for START Services first annual report, progress made thus far on the validation of the START Action Plan, and START research initiatives. Beth Grosso, Project Coordinator, provided updates on the START National Training Institute and National Online Training Series. The remainder of the meeting focused on a discussion about sustainability measures employed by START programs. The next meeting will be held on January 22, 2018.
Research Updates

The Research Committee is currently seeking proposals for projects that:
  • Seek to understand the role of START in promoting optimal outcomes for the population we serve
  • Evaluate START’s impact on a community’s ability to improve capacity
  • Expand the knowledge base regarding the challenges that individuals with IDD and behavioral health needs face and the solutions to overcome them
Submission deadline February 1, 2018
All START programs, along with current and potential partners, are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to projects that utilize START Information Reporting System (SIRS) data and show potential for publication. Research proposal submission details and additional information is available on our website.
Training Updates
2018 START National Training Institute
The 2018 SNTI is now less than six months away. The schedule overview has been posted on our website and the Sheraton Hotel online reservation site is up and running - reserve these deeply discounted rooms before they run out! Registration opens in January and rates will be posted soon. This year we will be offering special rates for START programs and groups. We look forward to sharing more exciting details and announcements about sessions and speakers in the coming weeks.

National Online Training Series Update
The 2017-2018 START National Online Training Series had a great start this fall with three engaging presentations from Dan Habib, Dr. Jill Hinton, and Dr. Don Kincaid. The next training will air on Friday January 19 and feature genetic syndromes associated with IDD, presented by Dr. Laurie Charlot. Click here for a copy of the training schedule.

Sharing some feedback from the first three trainings of the 2017-2018 Series:

9/15/17 - Disabling Segregation: Creating a Culture of Inclusion with Dan Habib

"I thought it was interesting and was presented in a way that was captivating."

"It gave me a new perspective of inclusion and its importance to education."

10/20/17 - Trauma in Childhood with Jill Hinton, PhD

“It is always helpful to discuss the broad range of trauma, and that events that may not seem traumatic really can be for individuals with vulnerabilities associated with IDD diagnoses.” 

11/17/17 - School-Based Mental Health Supports and the Interconnected Systems Framework with Don Kincaid, EdD

"It fostered some ideas I've had about providing more effective services to individuals with different types of disabilities. I think that the school setting is the starting point for providing services that treat the child as a whole."

"The entire presentation was particularly helpful in identifying strategies to better our community resources to meet the needs of school-aged children dealing w/ mental illnesses as well as developmental disabilities."
Positive Behavior Supports Practice Group
START’s current topic-specific practice group focuses on Positive Behavior Supports is the focus of and is facilitated by Dr. Dan Baker. The PBIS Practice Group mission is to develop a learning collaborative to ensure that START teams have knowledge and expertise regarding Positive Behavior Support for persons with IDD including values, strategies, and the degree of overlap with mental health supports. The objectives of this practice group are to:
  • State definition of Positive Behavior Intervention and Support
  • Identify categories of PBIS interventions for persons with IDD
  • Utilize evidence-based practices, which are positive and strength based, to improve supports with thispopulation
  • Describe how START and PBIS work toward common goals and how START teams can effectively collaboratewith PBIS in the community
If you have suggestions for future topic-specific practice groups, please email
Dr. Weigle's Breathing Groups Training has Immediate Impact on Students in Hawaii

At the end of June, Dr. Karen Weigle and Dave O'Neal, Center for START Services Associate Director and Project Facilitator, respectively, held a two-day training in Honolulu for 50 youth-serving professionals. One of the PLC trainees, Dana Constable, has already integrated some of the new ideas and practices she learned from Karen's training on yoga and breathing groups into her classroom.

"It took a while for some students to settle down until they didn't care if they looked 'cool' or 'silly', but by the last session, every kid was fully participating and breathing. We did a few of the stretches attached to Karen's PowerPoint  and the kids drew a thinking map on the last session for their wall to help them remember. My newest students started with bubbles to practice exhaling and have been using this helpful visual to practice the 3 part breathing and sigh breathing. THANK YOU GUYS!!! I'm excited to have been inspired by your great ideas and practices. My students definitely thank you."

As a result of this feedback, Karen will be recording her training on yoga and breathing groups to share these useful practices with our network. More information about this new training will be available in the coming months.
Program Updates
Newest Certified START Teams & Programs
The START program and team certification process is thorough and rigorous to ensure that they are meeting fidelity in all elements of the START model. For more information on START team accreditation options please visit our website.
ArkSTART in May
NC Central Renewal in June
NC Central Team
Virginia START in November
Virginia START Clinical Team
Tarrant County TX in June
NC East Renewal in September
NC START East Teams
Congratulations to these teams on the achievement of certification and thank you for all of the excellent work you are doing across the country.
Coordinator Certifications
Congratulations to all START Coordinators certified since our last newsletter:
Lamar Pittman - NC START Central
Amanda Gross (STARTs 200th Certification!) - NC START Central
Henry Epstein - NY Region 4 - SUS
Shannon Fain - NC START Central
Charita Daniels - TX Tarrant County
Maggie Robbins - NC START Central
Kim Steger - VA REACH 1
Thomas deHaan - NY Region 3
Lynn Phillips - Iowa START
Cynthia Hill - NY Region 3
David Sweeney - TX Tarrant County
Larisa Terwilliger - VA REACH 1
Marva Williams - NY Region 1
Katherine Clary - NC START Central
Kimberly Hill - NY Region 4 - YAI
Brittney Peters-Barnes - NC START Central
Sulay Lora - NY Region 4 - YAI
Melissa Parker - NC START West
Lisa Webb - NY Region 3
Remy Jodrey - NC START Central
Landril Brumfield - TX Tarrant County
Brandi Rogers - ArkSTART
Riddhi Mehta - NY Region 4 - YAI
Samantha Field - NH START
Sandra Cobb - TX Tarrant County
Tiffany Liska - Iowa START
Meenu Krisnamurthi - NY Region 4 - YAI
Anne Doucette - NC START West
Lindsay Gottorff - NY Region 1
Shannon D'Abruzzo - NC START Central
Erica Liles - NC START Central
Emily Hatch - NH START
Matthew McEuen - ArkSTART
Sharon Cyrus-Savary  - NY Region 4 - SUS
PLC Partner Spotlight
Dr. Joan Beasley recently facilitated a START Professional Learning Community (PLC) in Central North Carolina for a group of 16 professionals from local mental health centers and Managed Care Organizations (MCO). The purpose of START PLCs is to provide professionals with training, facilitated discussion, and tools in an effort to improve expertise across the systems of care for individuals with co-occurring IDD and mental health challenges. The PLC is also an opportunity for professionals to connect with other professionals in their local region, fostering partnerships as participants learn together and share their knowledge with one another. Participants for this PLC were selected based on their involvement with individuals with IDD experiencing co-occurring mental health issues. Participants were paired in learning dyads and were assigned monthly homework to accomplish together. This homework encouraged partners to reflect on their new knowledge and discuss ways to apply it to their every day practice.

Partners Jennifer Cagiano, Training Manager for Care Coordinators at Cardinal Innovations (MCO), and Niki Ashmont, Olmstead Liaison for Alliance Behavioral Healthcare (MCO), shared their presentation entitled, “Do you CARE?” which focused on providing support to families during times of crisis. CARE is an acronym that stands for Compassion, Active Listening, Reassurance, and Encouragement. As Jennifer noted, "[as human services professionals] we are always trying to fix a problem, and sometimes we forget to be present.”
  • Compassion: Offer empathy, warmth, and acceptance when working with families, dignifying and validating their concerns and attempting to find something you can relate to within their story.
  • Active Listening: Providing validation, comfort, and hope during difficult times
  • Reassurance: Seeking to identify something that the family is doing well rather than focusing on problems, reframing. Re-energizes and renews the family’s investment in the process.
  • Encouragement: Encouraging professionals to slow down and listen in an attempt to truly understand the family’s perspective. Often families do not feel ‘heard’ within the service system, so providing this opportunity presents as an invaluable support strategy.
To learn more this training, or any PLC training opportunities, please contact
Kudos to...
Sharing some kudos from an Acute Clinical Care Specialty Unit manager in Greensboro, North Carolina to the NC START East Clinical Team and one Team Leader in particular for promoting collaborative and positive discussions.

Lisa and Morgan,
Thank you so much for arranging for Morgan to join us in the conference with the school and DSS. The DSS director raved about Morgan … that she was the first person that was giving information that made sense. She wanted to compliment her in the discussion but did not get a chance to tell her. 

This was the first time I have heard a complement from the DSS Director on anything to do with supports for L. Morgan was able to interject into a confrontational discussion between the school and DSS and turned the discussion around on a positive- proactive discussion. I have seen NC START coordinators do this over and over again and I am amazed. Morgan had just become familiar with the case. You guys are phenomenal! I cannot believe how skilled you are in confrontational situations and you speak the same ideas as one unit.

I am so grateful that the settlement has NC START as a very important support for these children. Everything becomes easier when you are involved!
Thank you.


Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday,

The Center for START Services
Copyright © 2017 Center for START Services, All rights reserved.

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Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire