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 3 Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) trainings in this series:

These 3 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:

HCBS Rule

The Home and Community Based Settings (HCBS) Rules web-based training provides information on clarification issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about the HCBS setting rule for day habilitation waiver programs. The training has a corresponding quiz.

TWS-VRS Overview

The Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWS-VRS, formerly known as DARS) 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 (SSI) and Supplemental Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) 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 2 Home and Community-based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living (TxHmL) 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 2 Deaf Blind with Multiple Disability (DBMD) 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:


Free Positive Behavior Management and Support Workshops

Proactive approaches to establishing positive relationships are essential for caregivers. Positive Behavior Management and Support can be a valuable tool in meeting the needs of the people we serve. The PBMS workshops will provide the skills you need to help people eliminate or reduce challenging behaviors and incorporate positive behaviors into their lives to achieve their goals.

This 12-hour training will teach participants how and why attention can be a powerful tool for behavior change, how to use reinforcement to tip the scales toward adaptive, positive or successful behaviors, and how to safely and effectively redirect potentially harmful behaviors as a last resort.

2018 Training Dates and Registration

HHS will hold five PBMS workshops in 2018. They are free and open to anyone who works directly with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors.

Note: CEUs will be provided at the end of the second day. Leaving early or only attending one day forfeits your CEUs.

Click a link below to register for the session you are interested in.

Agenda

Note: CEUs will be provided at the end of the second day. Leaving early or only attending one day forfeits your CEUs.

Day 1

8 to 8:30 a.m.
Registration: Sign-in

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Introduction:  Richard Smith, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Session 1, Part I:  Carla Smith, M.S., BCBA

  • What is this training and why do I need it?
  • Laying the support foundation—Tools for better behavior
  • Give me your attention, please. Why I need it.

Session 1, Part II:  Carla Smith, M.S., BCBA

  • Oops, did I use coercion and punishment?
  • 12 common coercives used by caregivers
  • Using the “Stay Close Tool” (Tool #1) to build great relationships
  • Group practice activity for the “Stay Close Tool”

Session 2, Part I:  Richard Smith, Ph.D., BCBA-D

  • Understanding behavior and the “pay offs”
  • Types of challenging behavior
  • Mistakes of the heart, by well-meaning caregivers.

12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. 
Lunch Break (on your own)

2 to 5 p.m.

Session 2, Part II:  Richard Smith, Ph.D., BCBA-D

  • Where does challenging behavior come from?
  • What maintains it and what keeps it going?

Session 3:  Richard Smith, Ph.D., BCBA-D

  • “Using Reinforcement” (Tool #2)
  • Using reinforcement to support good behavior
  • Types of reinforcing consequences
  • Making good consequences great

Session 4: Audrey Newkirk, M.S., BCBA

  • The “Pivot Tool” (Tool #3)
  • How to get more productive behavior and less “junk” behavior

Session 5:  Breakout groups (based on your area of need)

  • Small group demonstrations and discussions:  Reinforcement & Pivot Tools
  • Small group discussions; question and answer session

Day 2

8 to 8:30 a.m.
Registration:  Sign-in

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Session 6:  Carla Smith, M.S., BCBA

  • Preventing problems with the “Environmental Engineering Tool” (Tool #4)
  • How to deal with problem behavior when it occurs.  Use the “Protect/Redirect Tool” (Tool #5)
  • Increasing better behavior with functional replacement behaviors

Session 7:  Breakout Groups (based on your area of need)

  • Small group demonstrations and discussions: Environmental Engineering and the Protect/Redirect Tools
  • How to train better behavior (replacement behaviors)- the prompting sequence
  • How to choose reinforces the scientific way (Additional material provided)
  • Group activity: fun and easy preference assessments
  • Small group discussions; question and answer session

Session 8:  Richard Smith, Ph.D., BCBA-D

  • The KEYS to positive behavior
  • How to find additional support and help in Texas

Questions and Answers

Q. Is there a registration fee to attend the training?
No. This is a complimentary training. However, space is limited, so register as soon as possible.

Q. What is the limit on attendance at each training?
Each training is limited to 150 people. If you register and are not able to make it for any reason, please let us know so we can make space available for other interested parties.

Q. Will meals be provided at the training?
No. Meals are the responsibility of the attendee. There will be no food at the trainings.

Q. Are CEUs provided for this training?
Yes. CEUs for social work, psychology, LPA, and LPC are provided. BCBA CEUs are not.

Q. Can you earn CEUs for attending one day or partial attendance?
No. CEUs will be provided at the end of the second day. Leaving early or only attending one day forfeits your CEUs.

Meet the Presenters

Richard Smith

Richard Smith received his Masters and Doctoral degrees at the University of Florida.  After receiving his doctoral degree, Rick joined the faculty at the University of North Texas, where he served as chair of the Department of Behavior Analysis for 13 of his 25 years on the job.  His primary research interest is in the assessment and treatment of behavior disorders in persons with intellectual disabilities with specific areas of focus in motivational variables, advances in functional analysis procedures and the use of complex research designs to investigate basic principles underlying the effects of behavioral interventions.  His research has resulted in numerous presentations and publications and he has served on the editorial board and as associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis for many years.  He directs the Behavior Analysis Resource Center located on the campus of the Denton State Supported Living Center, where he and his staff and students provide caseload, clinical, and caregiver training services.
Awards:

  • “B.F. Skinner New Researcher Award” for innovative and important behavioral research by a new investigator, August 1997. Presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Division 25, Chicago, IL.
  • Developing Scholar Award, University of North Texas, Fall 1999.
  • Texas Association on Mental Retardation Research Award for Outstanding Research Contributions in the Mental Retardation Field, August 2000.
  • Award for Distinguished Faculty Service, Special Recognition Award for 10 Years of Meritorious Service. Awarded Fall 2004. Denton State School, Denton, TX.
  • Hiram J. Friedsam Award of Distinction for Outstanding Faculty Contributions, UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service. Awarded May 2007.
  • Honor Professor, University of North Texas Student Government Award. Awarded April, 2011.
  • Career Contributions to Behavior Analysis in Texas Award, Texas Association for Behavior Analysis, February, 2014.
  • UNT President’s Special Faculty Recognition Award, October, 2017

Carla Smith

Carla Smith serves as director of UNT’s Behavior Analysis Resource Center where she oversees student clinical experience at the Denton State Supported Living Center.  Carla Smith received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in behavior analysis at the University of North Texas and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a BACB-approved supervisor. 

Carla’s areas of interested are improving assessment and treatment of behavior disorders, organizational behavior management, and performance based staff training. 

She has presented her research to the Association for Behavior Analysis International Conference and has published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the European Journal of Behavior Analysis.  

Audrey Newkirk

Audrey Newkirk is senior project coordinator for UNT’s Behavior Analysis Resource Center overseeing competency-based staff training of behavior management skills at the Denton State Supported Living Center. Audrey received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in behavior analysis at the University of North Texas and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Audrey supervises and mentors students who obtain practical training in the assessment and treatment of behavior disorders, competency-based staff training, behavior skills training, teaching clients to cooperate with and tolerate routine health care procedures, and evaluation of procedural fidelity in program implementation. Audrey has completed research on the development and evaluation of a large-scale pyramidal staff training program for behavior management. Her original work was presented at the 2014 meeting of the Association of Behavior Analysis International conference, and she and her students continue to present extensions and refinements of this work at regional and national conferences.

Katy Atcheson

Katy Atcheson has been the project manager for the Behavior Analysis Resource Center since 2006, where she provides training and oversight to undergraduate and graduate students at the Denton State Supported Living Center. Katy received her Bachelors degree in psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno and her Masters degree in behavior analysis at the University of North Texas; in 2006 she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is a BACB-approved provider of supervised experience. Katy’s primary interests and expertise lie in the area of assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior. Her 16 years of experience treating people who engage in extremely severe behavior have led to her passion to help and train future behavior analysts, providers, and caregivers to better understand and more effectively manage their day-to-day behavioral challenges.


Mental Health Wellness for Individuals with IDD (MWH-IDD)

The Mental Health Wellness for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (MHW-IDD) is a 6-part e-learning course that teaches direct service workers (DSWs) 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 (IDD) and Mental Illness [Part 1 of 6]

Co-occurring Disorders: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) 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 (TIC) for Individuals with IDD [Part 2 of 6]

Trauma-informed Care (TIC) 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 (ICFs) and state supported living centers (SSLCs) 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.


Trauma-Informed Care for Individuals with IDD

Texas Health and Human Services is hosting 6 training sessions for Trauma-Informed Care for Individuals with IDD, delivered by Dr. Karyn Harvey.

The trainings are free and will be held in locations around the stated.

The training will provide participants practical ways to implement trauma-informed care approaches when supporting people with IDD. Attendees will learn about:

  • Signs and symptoms of trauma
  • Effects of trauma on development and behavior
  • Effects trauma has on people with an IDD and co-occurring behavioral health conditions

The courses are designed for educators, case managers, direct care workers, family members, mental health professionals and other community providers.

Two tracks are being offered: a general session and a clinical train-the-trainer session. The two tracks are held on separate days.

Track 1 / General Session

The first day will include general training on trauma-informed care focused on people with IDD and positive psychology.

This general training is offered to case managers, IDD professionals, mental health professionals, teachers, juvenile justice professionals, staff from local IDD authorities, staff from local mental health authorities, staff from state supported living centers, and others who work with individuals with IDD and behavioral health needs.

Note: CEUs will be provided at the end of both days for LCSWs, LPCs, LMFTs and licensed psychology professionals. Leaving early or only attending a portion of the day forfeits your CEUs.

General Session Agenda
Time Session
9-9:30 a.m. Session 1: Trauma and Trauma-informed Care (Why is this so important?)
9:30-10:30 a.m. Session 2: Sources of Trauma with Individuals with ID
10:30– 10:45 a.m. Break
10 a.m.-Noon Session 3: Biological Effects of Trauma
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Lunch on your own
1:30 – 2:45 p.m. Session 4: The Psychiatric Effects of Trauma
2:45 – 3 p.m. Break
3-5 p.m. Session 5: Ingredients for Recovery – the Recovery Triangle

Track 2/ Train-the-Trainer for Clinicians

The second day will include implementing trauma-informed care in clinical practice. This training will teach mental health professionals about

  • Approaches to diagnosing mental health conditions in people with IDD
  • Trauma-informed approaches for working with people with an IDD and behavioral health conditions
  • Trauma informed adaptations for treatment approaches

This train-the-trainer clinical track is offered to LCSWs, LPCs, LMFTs, psychologists, BCBAs, and other clinicians who deliver mental health services to people with IDD. Participants attending this course should be able to train others on trauma-informed care. Space is limited for Track 2.

Note: CEUs will be provided at the end of both days for LCSWs, LPCs, LMFTs and licensed psychology professionals. Leaving early or only attending a portion of the day forfeits your CEUs.

Train-the-Trainer Agenda
Time Session
8:30-10 a.m. Session 1: Sources of Trauma with Individuals with ID
10-11 a.m. Session 2: Biological and Psychiatric Effects of Trauma and Ingredients for Recovery
11-11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Session 3: Clinical /Therapeutic Interventions
12:30-1:45 p.m. Lunch on your own
1:45-2:45 p.m. Session 4: Programmatic Interventions
2:45-3 p.m. Session 5: Positive Identity Development and the Power of Positive Regard / Happiness Enhancement
3-5 p.m. Session 6: Critical Ingredients to incorporate into behavioral support plans

Training Dates, Locations and Registration