Community Programs

In order to improve the lives of the persons with disabilities and create a welcoming atmosphere for them, we provide programs that integrate the community into our mission and goals.

AAC Evaluation and Training Program

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As part of its Assistive Technology Services, IHD has been providing comprehensive augmentative communication evaluations to children and adults with complex communication needs for more than 15 years through its contract with the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)*.  After the client receives his or her device, follow-up training will be provided when authorized by DDD.

American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Training and Technical Assistance Center (AIVRTTAC)

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The Northern Arizona University, Institute for Human Development, is very pleased to announce that we received a five-year grant in October 2015 from the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The purpose is to develop the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Training and Technical Assistance Center (AIVRTTAC), and provide three types of training and technical assistance (TA) to the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) programs. There are currently 85 AIVRS programs located on tribal lands in 25 states serving tribal members with disabilities to prepare for gainful employment. Dr. Lee Gaseoma is the Project Director for AIVRTTAC.

The Department awarded this grant as a cooperative agreement as authorized by 34 CFR 75.200 (b) (4) meaning that there will be substantial involvement between the Department and Northern Arizona University in order to carry out this collaborative project.  The following three different types of training and TA will be provided by the AIVRTTAC:

Intensive, sustained training and technical assistance means:

  • TA services often provided on-site and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship between the AIVRTTAC staff and the AIVRS training and TA recipient. 
  • “Technical assistance services” are defined as negotiated series of activities designed to reach a valued outcome. 
  • This category of training and TA should result in changes to policy, program, practice, or operations that support increased recipient capacity of improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.

Targeted, specialized training and technical assistance means:

  • TA based on needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively individualized.  A relationship is established between the AIVRS training and TA recipient and one or more AIVRTTAC staff. 
  • This category of training and TA includes one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences.  It can also include episodic, less labor-intensive events that extend over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the needs of the AIVRS recipients. 
  • Facilitating communities of practice can also be considered targeted, specialized training and TA.

Universal, general training and technical assistance means:

  • Training and TA and information provided to independent users through their own initiative, resulting in minimal interaction with AIVRTTAC staff and including one-time, invited or offered conference presentations by AIVRTTAC staff. 
  • This category of training and TA also includes information or products, such as newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the AIVRTTAC’s Web site by independent users. 
  • Brief communications by AIVRTTAC staff with AIVRS recipients, either by telephone or email, are also considered universal, general training and TA.
The contents of this Website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education (CFDA 84.250Z; PR/Award Number H250Z150002).  However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.The AIVRTTAP will also provide for the AIVRS programs webinars, self-paced training, and regional training and develop quarterly evidence-based practice guides, on-line newsletters, videos, and FAQ documents.

ADE Assistive Technology Short Term Loan Library

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The mission of the ADE Assistive Technology Short Term Loan Library is to make a wide variety of assistive technology devices, equipment, software and professional development materials available to school personnel in order to improve access to assistive technology—at no cost. The program is designed to provide short-term (4 weeks) loans of assistive technology for learning products.

For more information contact:

Janelle Bauerle

Arizona Technology Access Program (AzTAP)

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Our mission is to connect people with disabilities with the assistive technology they need to participate as fully as possible in activities that matter to them.

AzTAP offers comprehensive set of programs and services including:

  • Information and assistance for assistive technology related questions
  • Demonstrating AT devices from our inventories of approximately 4000 AT-related products
  • Lending out devices for short term use
  • Consulting with clients to help them select and obtain technology that matches their unique needs
  • Operating an online equipment re-use program
  • Providing affordable financial loans to help people buy the technology they need

Please follow this link to AzTAP

For more information contact:

Jill Pleasant 

Arizona University Center on Disabilities (AzUCD)

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The University Centers on Disabilities were established by President Kennedy's Panel on Mental Retardation to serve as a bridge between universities and communities. The underlying premise for University Centers on Disabilities is how the active, reciprocal exchange of information and resources between communities and institutions of higher education would benefit persons with disabilities through improved systems of service and personnel preparation.

For more information about the Arizona University Center on Disabilities, contact: 

Tom Uno 

Association of University Centers on Disabilities 

Assistive Technology Center

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The Assistive Technology (AT) Center is a resource to the communities of Northern Arizona and statewide. Located on the Northern Arizona University (NAU) campus, the Center is a program of the Institute for Human Development (IHD) and supports the mission of IHD through the provision of direct services, interdisciplinary training, technical assistance, and information dissemination related to the field of AT.

For more information contact:

Debbie Mariage

Growing in Beauty Partnership Program (GIBPP)

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The Institute for Human Development’s Growing in Beauty Partnership Program (GIBPP) is funded by the Navajo Nation’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. The Growing in Beauty program (GIB) assists the Navajo tribe in addressing their intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Arizona’s Part C Program for infants and toddlers (Arizona Early Intervention Program or AzEIP). The IGA between AzEIP and the Navajo Nation requires the tribal program to identify and serve children with disabilities from birth to three years old and their families as regulated by Part C of the Individuals Disabilities Education Improvement Act. The IHD Growing in Beauty Partnership Program provides professional staff, including speech/ language pathologists, physical therapists and, when available, occupational therapists, to fill the personnel gaps in the tribal program’s interdisciplinary teams. The IHD/GIBPP also provides support from a licensed social worker, as needed.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

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PBISAz - Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is multi-tiered system that an entire school adopts to prevent and reduce challenging student behavior. It can help schools replace longstanding patterns of ineffective and sometimes harsh discipline with effective and data-driven practices that are focused primarily on prevention.

When implemented properly, staff and students experience a more positive school climate, fewer office referrals, fewer suspensions, and fewer school-related arrests. With fewer behavior problems, teachers and administrators experience more time to do their jobs. However, it takes time and effort for school teams to obtain the needed training and coaching required to make noticeable changes in their discipline practices. The national technical assistance center on PBIS is the definitive resource in the field and can be found at

PBIS is also the most recommended approach to reducing dangerous and unnecessary instances of restraint and seclusion, often used on students with disabilities. It is for this reason that the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council ( contracted with IHD to create PBISAz, the official statewide organization dedicated to helping Arizona Districts/Charters/LEAs initiate PBIS. To learn more about the advisory committee, helpful resources, high achieving PBIS schools and so much more, follow the link below.

Please follow this link to (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports of Arizona).

For more information contact:

Jean Ajamie (


Special Education Learning Experiences for Competency in Teaching (SELECT)

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SELECT is a federally funded program. Northern Arizona University courses are offered through SELECT to provide training to persons seeking to expand their skills in working with children with disabilities and are recommended for general and special education teachers, administrators, related service personnel, and para-educators.

For more information, contact:

Emily McRobbie, EdD