The Alaska LEND Training Program
- Program Information
- Weekly Seminars
- Clinical/Field Experiences
- Family Centered Activities
- Leadership Project
Alaska LEND without Walls requires a minimum commitment from long term Fellows of 300 hours, which includes over 100 hours of clinical experience in an academic year. Long term Fellows receive a Workforce Credential and a stipend for completion of the LEND program. UAA Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) credits are available, 3 per semester.
The LEND program is offered using distance technology to Fellows across the state, including Video Conferencing and some Web conferencing. LEND Fellows also travel to Anchorage three times during the program year. Approved travel for required LEND activities will be paid for by the grant.
- Sept–May Academic Year commitment
- Participate in weekly seminars, Fridays 1-4 pm (offered via video/web conferencing at community sites outside of Anchorage)
- Attend three Leadership Workshops (2-days each, face-to-face in Anchorage;at beginning, middle, and end of program)
- Complete all program requirements
- Monthly meeting with your faculty mentor
- Spend an average of 5–10 hours per week on LEND activities such as seminar, clinical/field experiences, time with host family, and leadership project
Eligibility criteria for Long Term Fellows
- You must meet at least one of the four eligibility criteria
a) Baccalaureate degree and enrolled in a graduate program in one of the following disciplines: nursing, public health, social work, psychology, special education, education, speech language pathology, audiology, occupational therapy, or medicine.
b) Graduate degree in one of the following disciplines: nursing, public health, social work, psychology, special education, education, speech language pathology, audiology, occupational therapy, or medicine.
c) Baccalaureate degree and at least 5 years of experience with increasing professional responsibilities in the field of developmental and related disabilities.
d) You are a parent or family member of a child with a developmental disability.
- Have long-term professional leadership goals focused in developmental disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder in Alaska.
Long Term Fellows develop an individualized leadership training plan (ILTP) with their faculty mentor which meets their personal long term goals. All program components tie directly to this plan and many options are available within each component. Twelve Long Term Fellows are selected to participate each year.
For Parents and Self Advocates
As a parent of a child with an intellectual or developmental disability, or as someone who experiences an intellectual or developmental disability, there is also a Medium Term Fellowship opportunity. This Fellowship completes 150 hours instead of 300 hours over two semesters. Three Medium Term Fellows are selected to participate each year.
Medium Term Fellows focus on building leadership and advocacy skills. Medium Term Fellows attend all seminars and training, and complete field hours to meet individual goals. Medium Term Fellows do not complete a leadership project, clinical observation hours, and the host family experience that the Long Term Fellows complete.
To apply, please follow the application directions, and note your interest in the Medium Term Fellowship on the application form. Though academic experience is helpful, it is not required for this Fellowship. Medium Term Fellows who are selected receive a stipend for completing the program.
Weekly Interdisciplinary Training Seminars
Mandatory weekly leadership training seminars run Friday afternoons from 1-4 pm, September-May, on the academic schedule. Seminars are delivered using high quality video conference technology for Fellows outside of the Anchorage bowl.A diverse group of speakers and experts provide a family-centered foundation, interdisciplinary dialogue and interaction, and leadership skills training. All seminar content and topics tie directly to the LEND Competencies, which are related to the Maternal and Child Health Core Competencies.
To get an idea of the variety of speakers and activities that happen at seminar, you can open the 2016-17 Seminar Schedule.
- Clinical Experiences
Clinical activities help Fellows feel what families experience as they navigate current medical systems and allow Fellows to observe interdisciplinary team work. Most of the following activities may be tailored to meet individual goals for LEND, while helping Fellows see real-world examples of the MCH competencies in action. Fellows identify additional activities to meet the hours requirements based on their ILTP goals. Fellows are required to have at least 80 hours completed in the clinical and field experiences category by the end of the year.
Clinical Activities include:
- disciplinary Assessment or Meeting such as attending grand rounds, an FASD diagnostic meeting, or an IEP/IFSP meeting.
- Neurodevelopmental Outreach Clinic*: Observe assessment, referral, and follow up management
of ASD/DD in a Neurodevelopmental Outreach Clinic.
*Dependent on funding and/or availability of clinical observation opportunities.
- Field Experiences
Non-clinical field experiences expose Fellows to systems change work, and help them become part of a larger network. Most of the following activities may be tailored to meet individual goals for LEND, while helping Fellows see real-world examples of the MCH competencies in action. Fellows identify additional activities to meet the hours requirements based on their ILTP goals. Fellows are required to have at least 80 hours completed in the clinical and field experiences category by the end of the year.
Field Activities Include:
- Coordination of Systems of Care: ID/DD Waiver Training, Advocacy Training, and Title V committee and/or task force meetings
- Policy and Advocacy: Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority meetings, Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education meetings, and Key Coalition planning activity (disability advocacy)
- Community Board or Committee: Serve on a community-based advisory board or serve on a LEND committee, e.g. Family Advisory Council
- National LEND Opportunities: Participate in national opportunities with other LEND Fellows
- Neurodevelopmental Outreach Clinics
Neurodevelopmental Outreach Clinics
Fellows in LEND may attend a Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Rural Outreach Clinic (dependent on funding and/or availability of clinical observation opportunities). The clinics include travel to a rural community and observing a developmental pediatrician doing a diagnostic assessment and parent navigators working with families to connect them to needed resources and a plan for follow-up.
You can watch an example of a presentation by a 2013 LEND Fellow sharing about the Barrow Clinic below.
Host Family Mentoring Experience
Understanding and utilizing family-centered practices is a key part of the LEND program. In addition to discussion and didactic learning in seminar, Fellows build a relationship with at least one family to understand the challenges families of children and youth with ASD/DD face in such areas as shopping, transportation, housing, education, and recreation. Family faculty matches Fellows to a mentoring host family. Fellows spend 25–30 hours during the year with their host family.
Objectives of the Host Family Mentoring Experience:
- To understand the impact of raising a child with a disability may have on the entire family.
- To increase appreciation of the capabilities and contributions of children with disabilities.
- To learn about the emotions and stages of adjustment experienced by parents, when a child is diagnosed with a disability.
- To appreciate the value of good collaboration between parents and professionals.
- To learn about community resources available for children with disabilities and their families.
- To consider obstacles, challenges, opportunities and outcomes of school and community inclusion, for children with disabilities.
- To understand the importance of family-centered practices.
If you are a parent of a child who experiences a developmental or related disability and are interested in being a mentoring family for a LEND Fellow, please contact the Training Coordinator.
The Leadership Project is an integral component of the Alaska LEND without Walls. It offers Fellows the opportunity to explore an area of professional interest in depth and to apply leadership skills in an arena with a broad audience. The leadership project usually accounts for 40–60 hours of the required hours. It includes a review of the literature and either developing an evidence-based product or conducting research in an area of interest.
Some examples of past leadership projects:
- Hidden Disabilities: Communication Tips for First Responders (Captioned) by Anna Spilker (2013-14)
- Communication Tips for Primary Care and IDD (Captioned) by Tara Maltby (2014-15)
- Community needs Assessment project done during LEND led to Camp YES! In the Woods, by Betsey Jacobs and Gretchen Chamberlain (2011-12)
- Get Ready! Alaska's Emergency Preparedness Toolkit for People with Disabilities by the Alaska Health and Disability Program and Loree Rayback (2012-13)
Mentoring for Long Term Fellows
As part of the LEND experience, Fellows develop a relationship with a UAA faculty member, usually in their discipline. LEND Faculty Mentors work with Fellows as they participate and reflect through their experiences in LEND. Mentors help craft the Fellow's goals and Individual Leadership and Training Plan (ILTP).
Fellows meet with mentors (in person, by phone or Skype) to discuss areas of strength and areas for growth and discuss goals for LEND and brainstorm about the ILTP. Fellows meet to discuss progress, reflect on learning from LEND experiences, and adjust goals as needed. Mentors are available to problem-solve with Fellows when support is needed.
Benefits of being in a mentoring relationship:
- Accelerate personal and professional leadership skills development
- Access to expertise and advice
- Problem solving partner
Alaska LEND Without Walls Brochure