Susan B Woods, M.Ed, retired Associate Dean, Student Support Services at Middlesex Community College, BS in Special Education from Boston University M.Ed from Northeastern University in Rehabilitation Administration.
Susan has spent the last 27 years at Middlesex Community College managing the Transition Program and Disability Support Services, as well as overseeing the college's Federally funded TRIO student support programs, Counseling and Consultation services and coordinating the Student Assessment Intervention Team with the office of the Dean of Students.
Prior to coming to Middlesex, Susan worked at the Department of Mental Retardation and Mental Health—now the Department of Developmental Services—and was involved with the Turning 22 transition planning initiative, and the early stages of development of community-based individual service planning.
For the past 9 years, Susan has been an adjunct faculty, an online section of Developmental Disabilities in the Psychology and Education Department at Middlesex Community College.
A significant part of her work has included providing professional development and training to college faculty to promote and support their use of teaching strategies and approaches using principles of universal design for instruction. The goal of this work is to create and support inclusive pedagogies and create a welcoming environment to support the success of diverse learners.
Susan has also provided workshops and professional development training at local high schools. This training is provided to special educators, transition specialists and guidance department staff, as well as parents and students, on how to prepare and support the transition of individuals with disabilities to post-secondary education.
click here for Susans Website: www.susanbwoods.com
We are very excited to have Dawn Gross as our guest on this episode to talk about the ICEI program at Middlesex Community College. Dawn is the ICEI Coordinator for this partnership with LABBB Collaborative and Bedford Public Schools. The Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (ICEI) Program at Middlesex Community College is a dual enrollment opportunity for high school students with intellectual disabilities, ages 18 to 21. The MCC/LABBB ICEI program is beginning its 5th year. Dawn talks with LABBB Collaborative Executive Director Patric Barbieri about how this initiative started, what we have learned and how it has evolved. Dawn also answers many of the questions that parents and students ask about the ICEI program.
For more information please see below.
Dawn Gross, Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Program
Middlesex Community College Webpage ICEI information
Special Olympics is celebrating its 50th year (1968-2018) and we had the opportunity to interview Mary Beth McMahon, President and CEO of the Special Olympics Massachusetts. We discuss the past, present and future of the Special Olympics and how this organization is continuing to grow and evolve. LABBB has been involved with the Special Olympics since the late 1970's and we have a long history of bringing the games to our student athletes in collaboration with the Best Buddies organization. Paula Rizzo, LABBB Recreation and Integration Coordinator, joins us for this episode and she talks about her involvement with special since she was in high school as a student leader.
We were on location at Special Olympics Headquarters in Marlborough MA for this episode so tune in and learn more about the future of Special Olympics.
Please visit the special olympics website for more information: www.specialolympicsma.org
In this episode we talk with Mobility Transfer Systems Inc. owner Thomas Leoutsakos, his wife Dina Leoutsakos, and Stephani DiDonato-Azar. Listen to this amazing story and the opportunity this company gives to our students in LABBB. We feel fortunate to be partnering with such a compassionate and forward thinking organization.
Mobility Transfer Systems Inc. is the predominant leader in bringing you unique medical products to improve the quality of life for people who are physically challenged and elderly. We are the manufacturers of The Transfer Handle ™ which is the Safest and Easiest way to get in and out of bed. We also produce an entire line of bed mobility products as well as the SafetySure ™ line of products.
MTS is a close knit company that prides itself on providing first class customer service to all of our clients. We supply products to individuals, businesses, doctors and hospitals throughout the United States. Our team is bright, talented, passionate and always willing to help you with whatever you may need.
Our mtsmedicalsupply.com website features hundreds of enabling devices that makes life easier to all those who require them. So...
Give yourself a grip on INDEPENDENCE today!
In this episode we are joined by 'Omar's World of Comics & Hobbies' Manager Sally Hoops. Omar Masood has been a student in LABBB since middle school and he is graduating this April from the LABBB Lexington High Program. Omar's parents had a vision of creating a business for him when he graduates to keep him connected to the LABBB community. Omar has always had an interest in comics since he was a young boy and this sparked an idea!
This vision is now a reality. Omar's World of Comics & Hobbies will be opening in Lexington Center on 30 Waltham Street in the next month. LABBB will be partnering with the Masoods and Sally Hoops to run this business. The store is a short walk from the Lexington High School program and many LABBB students will be involved in the day to day responsibilities of running the store.
Kristin Dailey, LABBB Transition Department Supervisor, who has been working with Sally also joins us for this episode.
This is an exciting opportunity and we are looking forward to making this a huge success!
Michael Weiner is a financial advisor. He is intimately familiar with available benefits and supports, and provides families guidance regarding how to integrate those supports into their unique circumstances, and create a sound financial solution to help provide the resources their children and families need throughout their lives.
He is currently the Treasurer, and board member, at the Federation for Children with Special Needs, and sits on his local Department of Developmental Services advisory council.
Michael resides in Medfield, MA with Susan, his wife of more than thirty years. Their eldest son, Ben, lives in Washington D.C., and their youngest, Zack, currently resides in Brookline with a roommate and adult caregiver. Although Zack has an intellectual disability and requires significant support, he is working a full time job, and is an active participant in his community.
In this episode we are joined by Assistive Technology Specialist Rachel Kuberry. We have known and worked with Rachel for many years in LABBB. Tune in to listen to Rachel talk about her approach to assistive technology for students with special needs. Rachel adds a fresh perspective on AT and gives us some insight into how she collaborates with students, parents and teachers. Rachel has a unique style of communication to talk about the brutally honest truth about AT. She brings a blend of personal experience, humor, research and data which makes conversation with Rachel fun and engaging. We have met many professionals who have built a rapport with Rachel and everyone has been inspired by her knowledge and passion of AT. In the end, these professionals have been more successful at 'implementation' which is the ultimate goal of using assistive technology tools.
In this episode, Patric and Trish interview two LABBB staff persons: Caroline Brown, Teacher, and Marina Simons, Speech Pathologist. Both Caroline and Marina have a brother with special needs. We discuss growing with a sibling with special needs; how we first became aware that we had a sibling who has special needs; what impact did it have on our families; what are our biggest fears; how does a sibling advocate for themselves and many other topics. This was an informative discussion as we shared many stories and we reflected on our experiences. Each family experience is unique and you will listen to three different perspectives which have many similarities and differences. For families raising a child with special needs, and who also have other typically developing children, this is a must listen.
After we concluded our podcast with Jenna Kotler, Trish and I continued our discussion with her about ADHD. Jenna was sharing some strategies that her family was using with her and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to have her share these strategies on our podcast. We turned the recorder back on and asked Jenna to talk about what she shared with us after the show. Please listen to these strategies that were an important part of helping Jenna cope with ADHD as a child and an adult.
Jennifer Kotler, Harvard University PH.D candidate, joined us on this podcast to tell her story about growing up with ADHD, and life as an adult with ADHD. Jenna talks very candidly about her struggles, how this impacted her family, and what you need to know about a child with ADHD. Jenna also shares the positive aspects of having ADHD and how this has helped her get to where she is. We were excited to do this podcast with Jenna and you will enjoy how she brings humor to her life and the future of how she will be coping with ADHD. This episode is a very refreshing dialogue about a person who wants to share her story, with a mission of helping others. Lastly, Jenna shared her insight on being a female with ADHD and ways in which that might be different from the typical young, white, male experience.
Jenna, is very open to answering any of your questions, you can contact her via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org