To provide educational opportunities to enhance services provided across the state, Texas Health and Human Services develops and provides free training. Training initiatives are based on identified needs of services providers, individuals receiving services and supports, and emerging and best practices.

Below, you will find a list of training opportunities available to you with a description each course and instructions on how to access them.

Employment Services

The following web-based trainings provide an overview of waiver employment services and other key issues related to employment in Texas. The trainings are a resource for professional staff, direct service workers, family, other caregivers and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who get services from HHS. Each of the courses below includes a link to the training and a separate end of course quiz.

CLASS Trainings

There are three Community Living Assistance and Support Services trainings in this series:

These three trainings give a foundation of understanding of Employment Services within the CLASS waiver. The payer of first resort and the basics of providing employment services will be covered.

Each training has a corresponding quiz:

TWS-VRS Overview

The Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services Overview web-based training provides a foundation for understanding TWS-VRS and how it relates to home and community-based waiver services. The training has a corresponding quiz.

SSI/SSDI Benefits Overview

The SSI/SSDI Benefits Overview web-based training provides a basic foundation for understanding Supplemental Security Income and Supplemental Security Disability Insurance and provides contact information for people who can help you further understand these programs. The training has a corresponding quiz.

Employment First

The Employment First web-based training covers Texas' new Employment First policy. The training has a corresponding quiz.

Visit the HHS Employment First website.

HCS and TxHmL

There are two Home and Community-based Services and Texas Home Living trainings in this series:

The web-based trainings cover employment services provided through HCS and TxHmL, information about the payer of first resort for employment assistance, and the basics of providing these services. They are designed to enhance staff knowledge about providing quality employment services to people enrolled in the waivers.

Each training has a corresponding quiz.

Direct Service Workers

The Direct Service Workers web-based training provides information about employment services and how direct service workers can support people achieve their employment goals. The training covers federal and state initiatives related to employment for people with disabilities and touches on issues related to people who work and receive SSI or SSDI benefits. The training has a corresponding quiz.

DBMD

There are two Deaf Blind with Multiple Disability trainings in this series:

The DBMD Employment Assistance and Supported Employment web-based trainings cover employment services provided through the waiver, information about the payer of first resort for employment assistance, and the basics of providing this service. These trainings are designed to enhance staff knowledge about providing quality employment services for people enrolled in the waiver.

Each training has a corresponding quiz:


Mental Health Wellness for Individuals with IDD

The Mental Health Wellness for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is a six-part e-learning course that teaches direct service workers and other caregivers about the behavioral health needs of people with IDD who also have a mental health condition. The course will help you understand the biological, psychological and social influences on people with IDD who may have challenging behaviors, and will provide tools to help you support the person and promote positive behavior and outcomes.

Through the modules in this course, which are outlined below, you will learn to recognize the "whole person," and to gain a better understanding of different factors that influence the way people with IDD think, feel and behave. You will also learn how you can positively impact their quality of life.

Co-occurring Disorders: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Mental Illness [Part 1 of 6]

Co-occurring Disorders: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Mental Illness teaches DSWs and other caregivers about the mental health needs of individuals with IDD and what it means to have a co-occurring IDD and mental health condition.

People with IDD are much more likely to have a mental health condition than the general population, even though they are less likely to be diagnosed. This module explores how mental health conditions often may be overlooked in people with IDD who have challenging behavior and offers strategies to DSWs who support people with IDD who have co-occurring conditions. Accurate diagnosis and positive supports improves recovery outcomes.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports individuals with an IDD and a co-occurring behavioral health need can benefit from this course. At the end of the module you will receive a certificate as proof that you've completed the course. Please make sure you either print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it at a later date through the e-learning system.

Trauma-informed Care for Individuals with IDD [Part 2 of 6]

Trauma-informed Care for Individuals with IDD teaches DSWs and other caregivers about the effect of trauma on people with IDD and how to use a trauma-informed care approach with the people they support. People with IDD who have a history of trauma may have challenging behavior that we do not always recognize as symptoms of their trauma. The trauma-informed care approach looks at challenging behavior in a new way and emphasizes the importance of supporting mental wellness in individuals recovering from trauma.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports individuals with IDD and a trauma history can benefit this course. New employees of intermediate care facilities and state supported living centers who will be working directly with people with IDD are required to take this course. At the end of the module you will receive a certificate as proof that you've completed the course. Please make sure you either print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it at a later date through the e-learning system.

Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Support [Part 3 of 6]

Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Support teaches DSWs and other caregivers the foundational principals of positive behavior support. All behavior is a form of communication that serves a purpose. This module teaches the concepts of functional behavior assessment, which is a process for gaining an understanding why behavior occurs. Identifying what a person is attempting to communicate through their behavior will help you support that person to meet his or her personal goals. Positive behavior support focuses on increasing an individual's quality of life. When people are happier, they are less likely to have challenging behavior and more likely to achieve mental wellness.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports individuals with an IDD and a co-occurring behavioral health need can benefit from this course. At the end of the module you will receive a certificate as proof that you've completed the course. Please make sure you either print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it at a later date through the e-learning system.

Overview of Genetic Syndromes Associated with IDD [Part 4 of 6]

Overview of Genetic Syndromes Associate with IDD teaches DSWs and other caregivers about different genetic syndromes that are associated with IDD. Knowing about genetic syndromes and the risks for medical and mental health disorders allows us to provide better, targeted support. Understanding a person's genetic syndrome provides valuable information in helping you to establish a foundational relationship with the individual. While the focus of this module is on teaching about genetic syndromes, it underscores the qualities that make each person unique and emphasizes the importance of the relationship between the DSW and the individual they support in achieving mental wellness.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports individuals with an IDD and a co-occurring behavioral health need can benefit from this course. At the end of the module you will receive a certificate as proof that you've completed the course. Please make sure you either print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it at a later date through the e-learning system.

Overview of Medical Diagnoses Associated with IDD [Part 5 of 6]

Overview of Medical Diagnoses Associated with IDD teaches DSWs and other caregivers about common medical conditions that influence people with an IDD and the direct impact these conditions can have on mood and behavior. Often people with an IDD may have underlying medical conditions or problems that influence the way they behave. Challenging behavior usually does not tell us what is wrong, just that something is wrong. This module explores how behaviors may be an individual's attempt to communicate physical pain or illness. It provides strategies for DSWs to support individuals' physical and mental wellness.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports individuals with an IDD and a co-occurring behavioral health need can benefit from this course. At the end of the module you will receive a certificate as proof that you've completed the course. Please make sure you either print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it at a later date through the e-learning system.

Putting It All Together: Supports and Strategies for DSWs [Part 6 of 6]

Putting It All Together: Supports and Strategies for DSWs is the final module of the series. This module reinforces all of the topics covered in the first 5, and provides practical tools that DSWs and other caregivers can use every day when supporting the mental health needs of people with IDD. A person's behavior is affected by a complex combination of biological, psychological and social influences. DSWs will learn to use specific strategies to prevent and respond when challenging behaviors do occur, in a safe way that will support and promote mental wellness and positive outcomes.

Who should take this course: Anyone who supports individuals with an IDD and a co-occurring behavioral health need can benefit from this course. At the end of the module you will receive a certificate as proof that you've completed the course. Please make sure you either print the certificate immediately upon completion or save it to your computer as you will not be able to access it at a later date through the e-learning system.