Two faculty members from the Center for Equity, Leadership, and Social Justice in Education at Loyola University in Maryland educate superintendents of correctional facilities in Maryland on best practices for interacting with incarcerated people with developmental disabilities. and received a grant of $197,715 to train. The pilot training program, LEADing to Learn, raises supervisors’ awareness of how to work with people with developmental disabilities and establishes a model for future training.
“‘LEADing to Learn’ works with community members, students and allies to amplify our collective voice through professional learning, research, dedicated scholarship and community engagement forums. said Dr. Qi Shi, Associate Professor and Director of Loyola’s Center for Equity, Leadership, and Social Justice in Education.
Dr. Leah Katherine Saal, Associate Professor of Literacy Education, and Lisa Schoenbrodt, Ph.D., Professor of Spoken Language and Hearing Sciences, follow the LEAD model they have developed to conduct the LEADing to Learn training program. People with developmental disabilities provide police, fire, rescue, and now corrections supervisor training. Schoenbrodt and Saal planned and conducted similar training in Baltimore and Prince George, Montgomery, Howard, and Washington counties.
A three-year pilot grant will fund the recruitment, training, support, and supervision of five paid self-advocacy educators who are individuals with developmental disabilities. Self-advocacy educators train up to 300 correctional supervisors from the Jessup area at the Maryland State Police and Correctional Training Commission in Sykesville, Maryland.
The LEADing to Learn training curriculum addresses the characteristics and characteristics of people with disabilities and the skills to effectively communicate with them. In addition, the self-advocate educator conducts hands-on role-play her scenarios in training and provides feedback to program participants.
“The Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission has a long history of partnering with institutions of higher learning to create innovative training opportunities that benefit staff and enhance public safety,” said the Commission. Executive Director Albert Liebno Jr. and Thomas Martin, Director of Correctional Training, wrote to Loyola. “We hope that this model will be accepted as standard training for working with this population through state and local corrections.”
This grant was awarded by the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Living Services.