DAT offers training designed to get the most out of personnel in your agency and provides staff with the necessary base to best serve individuals they care for.

Mr. Whalen has combined his 17 years of service in the field of developmental disabilities, his extensive networks and collaborative efforts with various entities, and his everyday role as a parent of a child with a disability to provide an in depth look at what it means to service individuals.


Dave has developed progressive initiatives in an effort to ensure inclusion for all individuals. The need to bring entities together is what drives Dave's "hand-in-hand" initiatives in the areas of Spirituality, Employment, and Recreation.



                                                                              Understanding Quality of Life
                                                                 Service Providers-Developmental Disabilities



1. Major purpose/theme of workshop: Disability awareness training has tailored a presentation for direct support professionals, managers, and administrators who have duties and responsibilities with serving individuals with developmental disabilities (DD). It brings together education on disabilities while enhancing sensitivity. The presentation includes the history of disabilities, definitions, etiquette and interaction skills, the perspective of the disabled, challenging behaviors, progressive inclusion models, and current trends and topics.

2. How initiative relates directly to individual needs and its impact on achievement and development: The success of an individual is directly related to the program staff’s awareness and understanding of the individual and his or her disability. Essential to this is the ability of staff to see the person beyond their disability. Attendees will be provided with an in-depth explanation of why society discriminates against individuals with disabilities. Essential to overcoming this is the program recognizing individual talent and ability and overcoming obstacles and challenges. This is achieved when the staff are aware of the both the needs of the individual and the supports available to them.

3. Discuss the types of activities or strategies that will be utilized: Accommodations, early signs/recognition of all disabilities, utilization of the vast array of the network of supports, family-professional collaboration, and the role of the agency in working with other services, vocations, municipalities, places of worship and the community.

Course Key Ideas/Content:

-Introduction to disabilities most prevalent beyond DD
-History of Disabilities
-Service provision and supports
-Challenging behaviors and what to do about them
-Understanding the family/professional relationship
-Proper etiquette and interaction skills
-How to achieve Total Inclusion

Learner Outcomes:

Attendees will learn how to ensure Quality of Life in the individuals they are serving. They will receive information and facts on what happens to individuals when we don’t recognize their talents and individual abilities and don’t properly address their needs and challenges. Staff will be able to better understand the individual they are serving beyond disability and diagnosis, and the significance of incorporating progressive inclusion initiatives. The importance of the treatment team and how best to utilize it will be also be emphasized.



                                                                             Initiatives-The Path to Inclusion


 Initiatives-The Path to Inclusion provides insight, materials, and tools to ensure the community understands and initiates inclusion for all individuals with disabilities. It defines the role of the service provider and provides direction to them so integration occurs without inhibition. It teaches the provider how to incorporate these using strategies that maximize time and effort. Proven techniques and already established programs will be introduced.


Course key content:

   -Employment initiatives; working with corporations and businesses to ensure employment opportunities exist for all.

   -Municipalities; understanding the role municipalities’ play and how service providers can connect with their local government. An introduction to Town Hall Training will be included. 

   -Places of worship; ensuing faith formation exists and how it is a springboard to inclusion in the community. The latest in local, state, and national program models will be highlighted. 

   -Accessibility/Universal design; explaining how it works and ensuring it are present in both the agency and community. This will teach staff how to assess and get involved in local and state accessibility programs. 

   -Advocacy; educates providers on how to advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities, defines what advocacy is and the provider role within it.


Inclusion can mean many things to many people, but to individuals with disabilities it is the basic premise to everything. Imperative to service delivery is understanding what this means and, more importantly, how to achieve it.

This training will introduce and explain inclusion and its components, including employment, spirituality, education, service provision, person first approaches, community and municipalities introduction, and advocacy. It will explain progressive models that are currently funded in WNY and active. It will provide the startup tools and information to advance the cause in places of worship, towns, public venues, schools, and businesses, all driven by the service provider.

 Initiatives-The Path to Inclusion has been presented at the Indiana Association for Rehabilitation Facilities, WNY DD Day, NYSARC statewide tour in 2010 and 2012, and several agencies. In the NYSARC 2010 tour 236 attendees from 26 agencies over four sessions were involved in the training. 94% rated its usefulness as highly practical for their place of employment and gave it an overall rating of excellent while 100% said they would recommend it. Two ARCs followed this up by bringing Dave in to present it to their entire staff.