The STM Options Program provides a modified academic inclusion program designed to meet the needs of developmentally disabled students. The primary goal is to prepare students for the transition from high school to a life of independent living while still maintaining a level of academic achievement.
Students in the Options Program experience an academically rich curriculum while also participating in a diversified life-skills curriculum. Students wishing to enter the program should possess appropriate social skills and behavior patterns in order to ensure their educational success. Each student’s academic achievement is individual and therefore paced accordingly. Students are integrated into the regular curriculum and school community as much as possible depending upon their cognitive abilities.
Admission of students into the Options Program is contingent upon review of the application by a select committee of staff and parents as well as the administrator of the Admissions Department. Additional information concerning admissions can be obtained by contacting Danielle Price, Director of Options, at 337-988-3700 ext. 153 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Mentors are trained by the Options staff to interact with Options students. They provide assistance throughout the entire school community to aide the Options students in integrating with fellow students on campus. Mentors assist as teachers, coaches, tutors and friends. They are an invaluable asset to the Options Program in that they enhance the self esteem of the Options students and help them to develop relationships with other students on and off campus.
As part of the national campaign R-Word Spread the Word to End the Word, our Options students, together with our media ministry team produced a powerful video promoting the derogatory use of the R word. The heartfelt video features our options students explaining how hurtful the word retarded can be and that they are more than their disabilities. They are chefs, photographers, softball and football players, dancers and librarians.
The student body involvement with the campaign included signing banners pledging to stop using the R-word and pledging to spread the word. Options students were involved by handing out bracelets to students who pledge. www.r-word.org
Louisiana Special Olympics – www.laso.org - Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance, and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities.
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Wrightslaw – www.wrightslaw.com - Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. Begin your search for information in the Advocacy Libraries and Law Libraries. You will find thousands of articles, cases, and free resources about dozens of topics:
Lafayette Association of Retarded Citizens – www.lafayettelarc.org – An organization devoted to caring for the needs of adult citizens with mental disabilities. Website is currently under construction, but will be up and running in a few weeks.
Children’s Special Health Services - http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/offices/?ID=256; http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/offices/links.asp?ID=256 - Children with special health care needs are those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally. This site provides links to numerous agencies affiliated with caring for children with special needs.
Internet Special Ed. Resources - http://www.iser.com/index.shtml ISER is a nationwide directory of professionals, organizations, and schools that serve the learning disabilities and special education communities. We help parents and caregivers find local special education professionals to help with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder assessment, therapy, advocacy, critical teen issues, and other special needs. We also offer a directory of Special Needs Teacher Training Programs and Job Opportunities, , Special Needs Software and Assistive Technology, and Travel Assistance for Disbaled Persons.
Families Helping Families - http://www.fhfla.org/ - Families Helping Families of Louisiana is a group of families who, through our own experiences, are committed to reaching out to other families who have members with special needs and self-advocates. The term "special needs" includes physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, and/or academic issues.
The Sibling Support Project - http://siblingsupport.org/ - The Sibling Support Project is a national effort dedicated to the life-long concerns of brothers and sisters of people who have special health, developmental, or mental health concerns.
The International Order of Alhambra - http://orderalhambra.org/home.html - A fraternal order of Catholic men dedicated to assisting persons developmentally disabled by mental retardation. The order provides assistance, education and residences for persons developmentally disabled by mental retardation; identifies, marks, preserves, and commemorates Catholic historical places, events and persons of international or regional importance; promotes fraternalism and sociability among its members and their families.
Summer Camps for Children with Disabilities - http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/genresc/camps.htm - Here are some resources for finding a summer camp. Some of these identify camps available to all children and some are especially for children who have disabilities. It is also very likely that your community has summer camps or recreational opportunities available, that you won't find listed here! To find out what's available in your community, consult these local sources of information—your child’s teachers, parks and/or recreation departments, area private schools, religious organizations, other community groups, parent centers, and fellow parents.
Department of Education – www.ed.gov - ED was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. ED's 4,500 employees and $71.5 billion budget are dedicated to:
• Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.
• Collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research.
• Focusing national attention on key educational issues.
• Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.
Network of Inclusive Catholic Educators - http://campus.udayton.edu/%7Eipi/nice - As part of the University of Dayton Institute for Pastoral Initiatives, the Network of Inclusive Catholic Educators, serves as a support network and resource to individuals with disabilities and their families by providing conferences, video and print resources, consultations, workshops and networking opportunities on the national and local level.
The Network of Inclusive Catholic Educators believes in valued-centered parochial school and religious education programs which acknowledge the gifts and talents of all students. The NICE network supports individuals with a vision of creating church and school communities that are open, accepting and supportive of individuals with disabilities.
Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council - http://www.laddc.org/ - The Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council is made up of people from every region of the state who are appointed by the governor to develop and implement a five year plan to address the needs of persons with disabilities. Membership includes persons with developmental disabilities, parents, advocates, professionals, and representatives from public and private agencies.
Down Syndrome Association of Acadiana - http://www.dsaa.info/ - The Down Syndrome Association of Acadiana provides support to persons with Down Syndrome, their families and friends through networking, promotion of positive public awareness, information sharing and advocacy.
Disability info.gov – www.disabilityinfo.gov - DisabilityInfo.gov is the federal government's one-stop Web site for people with disabilities, their families, employers, veterans and service members, workforce professionals and many others. A collaborative effort among twenty-two federal agencies, DisabilityInfo.gov connects people with disabilities to the information and resources they need to actively participate in the workforce and in their communities.
Steve Jankower, Attorney - www.Jankower.com Mr. Jankower works directly with families with disabled and special needs members throughout the Acadiana area. His web site contains useful and helpful information concerning issues affecting the special needs community. It also contains access to published articles he has written and other good information regarding Medicaid planning issues.