Summer Training Workshop

The Whole Person, Inc.
SUMMER  2012

Instructor: Matthew Westra

    No Pity.  by Joseph Shapiro (If you have read it recently, that is good enough. Work on having it read as early as feasible, even before the workshop begins.
    We will be using a variety of Web sources - see "Schedule" below for readings.

What the course is, and what it is not.

 This extensive summer training opportunity is built upon the college course "Introduction to Developmental Disabilities" at UMKC, but it is not the same as that course.

Participants will:
 What it is NOT:
About the Instructor
    Matthew Westra has been teaching college for over 25 years, primarily in psychology, but also in human services and anthropology. His interests are varied, including the psychology of terrorism, human development, disability, and cultural studies. He is a two time recipient of the Missouri Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and has been a commentator for National Geographic Television's program Taboo. Matthew has been a popular guest speaker on a variety of topics.
    Matthew's involvement in disabilities study and work began in college, interning in a public school program for children with autism. He has worked as direct care staff in group homes, a special education instructor in a program operated by the California community colleges, and a Supervising Psychologist with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation where he worked for the unit that brought people out of institutions to live in groups homes in the community. Matthew has also provided group and individual counseling and education in sexuality for people with developmental disabilities. While in California, he provided educational and discussion programs for elderly folks with disabilities in a variety of settings.
    Matthew believes that humanity, cultures, and individuals all move through the same evolution of attitudes and responses to social justice issues, including disability. Civil Rights and full integration are thought to be the current pinnacles of this evolution, but we also once thought the wheel was the best technology we could ever hope for.
    You can view Matthew's complete resume/vita on line at  

Weekly Connections Journal-
    Writing helps to solidify what we learn. Keeping a journal where you can record your thoughts and make connections between the readings, your personal and professional experience will help you lock in what you've learned.
       The journal can be used to describe how you were affected, led to think in a different way, learned something new, were angered by or disagreed with something that happened in class, etc. Be critical. Challenge Ideas and Assumptions.

    Due to the nature of the study of Psychology, we will have occasional frank discussions including the topics of human sexuality and biology in factual, symbolic, and figurative forms. If you are easily offended or made uneasy by such language or concepts, I recommend you consider withdrawing or talking with me about what exactly will be covered and how it will be covered. These discussions often take on a humorous tone, as people's anxiety often erupts in laughter and jokes. Inappropriate (hostile or sexist) joking will not be tolerated, but it should be expected that one natural release of tension is through humor.

    Intellectual Property Restriction - Permissions
       The materials on this course web site represent the author's intellectual property and are for the use of students currently enrolled in this course, and others who have been given specific permission. Usage is to be limited to appropriate use for this course and may not be shared or retained other than for the express use by the enrolled student for purposes of the course.

   What happens on each date is subject to change. When we have concluded material for a topic, we will begin the next topic. Please read website materials prior to the day's session. 

Week #
June 4
Intro to Workshop. Syllabus.

   Defining "Disability" / Types of Disabilities  (Class NOTES) 
        Mobility, Sensory, Cognitive, Psychiatric, Communication - and Developmental 
           National Federation of the Blind - Questions Kids Ask about Blindness
           ASL - dictionary on line (examine how the dictionary works, don't try to memorize it all!)
           About American Sign Language
           Cognitive Disability Simulation 
           Fiction - "The Country of the Blind" by H. G. Wells (download free from Project Gutenburg) or,
              (you can download and listen to a free MP3 by linking through by clicking here
June 11
Taking a Break - Time for the NCIL Conference in Washington D.C.!
June 18
Historical development of social attitudes toward people with disabilities. (Class NOTES)
    Disability Campaigns in the United States: 1930s - 1960s
    Eugenics Movement & MR (NOTE: just scout around a bit, don't read the whole thing)  
    Common Myths and Stereotypes about Disability    

Religion, Spirituality, and Disability    (Link to Notes)   

June 25

Civil Rights Movement, Legal Issues
.    (Class NOTES)
   Reading for Class Discussion: Ashley: Treatment to Stunt the Growth of a Severely Developmentally Disabled Girl.  
     Text of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 - Take a look at the law, don't read cover to cover.
    Americans with Disabilities Act: Questions and Answers
    A Guide to Disability Rights Laws
     People First of Missouri
     The New Civil Rights (Article by Joseph P. Shapiro, from AARP)
     Ragged Edge Online Magazine (I don't expect you to read everything - root around and look at what insiders are writing.)
     Mouth Magazine   (I don't expect you to read everything - root around and look at what insiders are writing.)
     "The Great Wooster High French Fry Conspiracy" by Deidre Hammon 

Film & Discussion - Rory O'Shea was Here (subject to change)

July 2
Cultural Diversity: (Link to Notes)
  Issues inherent in culture; ethnography; cultural differences in attitudes. 
      Deaf Culture
      Disability Culture  (NOTE: Read the "Editorial" and scout around articles) 
      Cultural Competence

Film & Discussion - Murderball (subject to change)

  The Family - Impact of disability on families, family issues. (Class NOTES)
      The Arc - Position Statement on Self Determination
      The Arc - Family Support Services
      Respite Care
July 9
Documentary: "The F.A.T. City Workshop - How Difficult Can This Be?"

Early Intervention &
The School Years.   (Class Notes)
  Programs for infants and toddlers (0-3) and Preschool programs (3-5) 
      What is "Early Intervention"?
      3 Articles from 

July 16

Adult Living - Part 1    (Class Notes)
    Transition from School to Work  & Vocational programs for adults 

Adult Living - Part 2 -  Sexuality, marriage, and parenthood. (Class Notes)
      Annotated Bibliography from SEICUS: Sexuality & Disability 
      The Arc - Position Statement on Sexuality
       Disability and Sexuality: From Medical Model to Sexual Rights   

July 23
Adult Living - Part 3  -  Community Living Options, Technology Supports, & Universal Design.  (Class Notes)
Streaming Video:   
Streaming Video:
    Principles in Universal Design
     De-Institutionalization - Closing Brandon Training School: A Vermont Story
     Institution Story - a Student's Family Memoir

World Wide Web Image     Interesting Internet Sites     World Wide Web Image
  Center for Self Determination
  Disability History Museum 
  Missouri Division of Mental Health - Developmental Disabilities

Last Modified: May 21, 2012