Our first group of peer support specialists was trained last month. Self-advocates from ARC Beaumont had four days of training over Zoom, including courses on:
– Talking and listening
– Being a strong self-advocate
– Helping others through peer support
These amazing self-advocates learned valuable skills like active listening, keeping conversations going, problem solving, and handling conflict. Courses were presented on Zoom using content we created in Moodle, an online learning tool.
Peer support specialists will now start providing services to clients. They will meet with clients matched to them several times a month. They will help clients:
– Explore their needs, wants, hopes and dreams.
– Set goals and make plans to reach them.
– Make decisions and solve problems as they work toward their goals.
– Find needed services to help reach their goals.
Participants were surveyed to see how they felt about the training. All parts of the training received high marks. Peer Support specialists especially liked learning how to believe in yourself and learning how to do the job of a peer support specialist. Contact us for more information about our program.
The UMMS/SES team will train Peer Support Specialists at its first pilot site—The ARC of Greater Beaumont—this Fall. Beaumont was chosen for its strong group of self-advocates, the experience of its staff, and Jefferson County’s demographics.
“We wanted a location that reflected the demographics of the state as a whole. Working in Beaumont will give us a great idea of the challenges and successes we can expect as we expand statewide. Partnering with an organization that has an established and vibrant community self-advocates is a bonus,” says Cynthia Burrow, Project Director and owner of Strategic Education Solutions.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Jefferson County who receive or are on the interest list for Medicaid waivers can apply for free peer support through the program. People of diverse ethnicities, language needs, and socioeconomic status, and those for whom transportation and geographical isolation may be challenging, are encouraged to apply.
Our project will teach self-advocates to help others with IDD live the lives they choose. In our first year, we’ll write the training curriculum. Starting in year 2, we’ll teach a growing group of coaches and peer support specialists. Use the form on the right to join our mailing list and get project updates.
Join us at the Texas Advocates Conference
Project staff will be at the Texas Advocates annual conference in San Antonio, August 2-4. We will give a workshop presentation about this exciting new project. We will also have an exhibit table. Come by and meet our staff. Enter our raffle to win a restaurant gift card!
Make your voice heard
We want our project to meet your needs. To make sure that happens, please:
Take our online survey. Tell us what kind of help you want and need. Service providers–Please share this link with your clients!
Volunteer for our curriculum review panel. You will review our program and tell us what you think. You must have access to a computer or other device and have Web access. You must be able to use email and to do surveys online. If you are interested, email us.