Interagency Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI)

The Interagency Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI) is a collaborative effort between the Utah State University Institute for Disability Research, Policy and Practice (IDRPP) and the Utah Coordinating Council for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD).

Interagency Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI)


The Interagency Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI) is a collaborative effort between the Utah State University Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice (IDRPP) and the Utah Coordinating Council for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD). This partnership was established by the Utah State Legislature in 1995. In 1995 (HB 234) and 1996 (HB 107) the Utah State Legislature appropriated ongoing funds to Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities to support an Interdisciplinary Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI). The IOTI’s purpose is to support training that responds to needs identified through a statewide needs assessment conducted by the USU Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice.

IDRPP Needs Assessment and IOTI

Every 5 years the IDRPP engages in a yearlong collaborative planning study to identify statewide needs facing people with disabilities and their families. The statewide needs assessment and planning process is guided by the IDRPP’s Consumer Advisory Council (CAC), with input from the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council (UDDC), the Utah Disability Law Center (DLC), State agencies, advocacy organizations, schools, and service providers. Self-advocates from across the state and family members also participate and provide feedback throughout the process. Other interested stakeholders and the general public are also given an opportunity to comment on the planning process and resulting work-plan prior to its adoption. The statewide needs assessment results in a five-year work-plan that guides the work of the USU IDRPP.

Training and professional development activities funded through IOTI grants are expected to fit within the areas of needs identified through the needs assessment process, and address critical gaps in knowledge and skills for paraprofessionals who work directly with people with disabilities, direct care staff, individuals with a disability, family members of people with disabilities, and/or volunteers. This does not exclude the participation of professional staff, but they cannot be the primary target group for IOTI funding proposals.

IOTI Funded Grants 2018-2023

ACRE Training

The ACRE course is designed to provide individuals with the requisite skills for understanding and delivering employment supports to individuals with disabilities. The training is competency focused and individuals will obtain the knowledge and skills to develop validated strategies to meet the diverse integrated employment needs of individuals with disabilities.

Topics for the training include:

  • Disability rights and history of employment
  • Individual assessment, including discovery
  • Career planning
  • Community research & job development

Register for a Training!

February 20-22, 2024 - Online

March 26-28, 2024 - Salt Lake City

IOTI Funded Grants 2022-2025

Discovery and Customized Employment

Customized Employment Training for Special Education and Transition Educators: 

In this 10-12 hour course, educators will learn key elements of Customized Employment practices and how discovery can be used in the classroom. They will learn how discovery can be used as an alternative assessment for students who do not have a clear path to employment. It can be used to inform IEPs and individualized work-based learning activities, as well as support students to improve self-advocacy skills, and build stronger connections in their community.

Trainees will have the opportunity to identify a student in their classrooms to complete a field-based assignment and engage in live group learning sessions to support and learn from one another and instructors. The outcome/end product will be an age-appropriate community-based assessment that informs the student’s IEP, supports individualized work based learning experiences, and a positive personal profile developed and led by the student.

Option 1 

  • 10-12 hours total over 8 weeks 
  • Self-paced through Canvas with technical assistance to implement discovery in the classroom
  • Develop a positive personal profile with an identified student 
  • Receive continuing education credits and a stipend

Option 2 

  • Asynchronous or self-paced through Canvas 
  • 5 hours total
Click Here For More Information Register Here!

Guided Group Discovery Training

This training is designed for students with disabilities, their family members, and others who support them.  It is ideal for individuals who are ready to start thinking and talking about employment and feel they would benefit from a different approach to finding employment.

Group Discovery is the first step in a process known as "Customized Employment." The idea behind customizing a job is that we all have skills and talents to bring to an employment situation, but may not compete well in the open market. The traditional way of getting a job (identify job openings, fill out application, interview) is a very competitive process where the employer must decide who best meets the requirements of the job description.  

Customized Employment focuses on the individual! The Discovery Process will help identify interests, potential contributions, and conditions for success. This information will be translated into tasks that can benefit a business, and help a job seeker proactively approach employers about how they might be able to help them meet one or more unmet business needs.

Participants will learn different ways to approach the job search, identify strengths related to employment, and develop an individualized blueprint for employment.

The training will comprise of 5 in person learning sessions spread over 10 weeks and take 1 ½ to 2 hours per session.  Learning sessions will take place every two weeks, with technical assistance available to complete assignments in between sessions.

Click Here for More Information

If you are interested in hosting a location or bringing the Guided Group Discovery to your organization, please reach out to Kelie Hess at

Improving Access to Mental Health Care Services for Autistic People in Utah

The purpose of this project is to increase the number of Utah Mental Health Professionals who are competent at providing services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and/or Intellectual Disabilities (ID). Too often, professionals turn away clients with these conditions stating they do not feel comfortable or confident providing mental health services to these populations. This project will target clinical mental health counselors, school counselors, and social workers in Utah. Mental health participants in this project will receive an incentive to attend the training about service provision to people with ASD and/or ID.

Multicultural Disability Network and Training: Strengthening Community Integration and Practices

The Multicultural Disability Network and Training MULDINET: Strengthening Community Integration and Practices Project seeks to improve community integration and inclusion of people with disabilities from multicultural backgrounds by providing training to build capacity of direct service professionals (DSPs) who serve multicultural individuals and families to improve access to meaningful, inclusive community settings and services. The intersectionality of cultural diversity and disability creates a convoluted context and complex challenges for DSPs to meet people’s needs, implement quality inclusive services, and make appropriate referrals. Therefore, multicultural organizations and non-profit agencies DSPs should be knowledgeable on disability content and convey information in plain language, provide evidence-based support strategies, and recognize people from various cultures may not identify as having a disability. This project will provide training and accessible resources to DSPs who serve individuals and families from multicultural backgrounds on (a) specific disabilities, (b) evidence-based support strategies, (c) services available, and (d) the intersectionality of disability and cultural diversity will be developed and shared through Multicultural Disability Network meetings, Disability & Diversity online course, storytelling lived-experience videos, infographics, and social media. This project anticipates training DSPs from multicultural organizations, non-profits, organization volunteers, individuals, and family members.

Join the Network!

Social Emotional Learning Tools for Parents and School Professionals

The goal of the Utah Department of Health & Human Services Interagency Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI) project is to help parents and school staff to build social and emotional skills with young people who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Youth with disabilities are considered an at risk group that need a higher level of support to be able to succeed as healthy teens. To improve multiple risks that these young people face, training is needed to increase protective factors and improve health. An important part of the project is also to create Utah-specific social and emotional skills resources through a relationship with the Utah State Board of Education (USBE).

Take this training! The training is divided into four sessions:
  • Session 1- Setting the Stage to Support SEL in Adolescents
  • Session 2- Equipping Staff
  • Session 3- Creating the Learning Environment & Using SEL Data for Improvement
  • Session 4- Designing Impactful Learning Experiences
Current Training Dates
- January 25th, 9:30am-3:30pm
- February 22nd, 9:30am-3:30pm
- March 28th, 9:30am-3:30pm

Register Here  

For additional information, visit the Utah Department of Health & Human Services' website at

Utah Pyramid Model Statewide Implementation

Utah’s Pyramid Model State Leadership Team is developing a system to support training and coaching for all interested early care and education professionals and families to enhance children’s wellness through social and emotional development.

What is the Pyramid Model?  
Pyramid Model Overview - YouTube

The Pyramid Model is a conceptual framework of evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s healthy social and emotional development.

Who uses the Pyramid Model?

The Pyramid Model provides guidance for:

  • Early childhood special education personnel
  • Early intervention personnel
  • Early educators
  • Families
  • Other professionals

The Pyramid Model provides universal supports to all children to promote wellness, targeted services to those who need more support, and intensive services to those who need greater support.

Pyramid Model

Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) Guide for Chronic Health Conditions

Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) Guide for Chronic Health Conditions is an online self-help training program designed to foster emotional wellbeing and improve quality of life for individuals living with a chronic health condition. ACT Guide for CHC’s was adapted from the original ACT Guide, a service created and maintained by the Utah State University ACT Research Group based on over a decade of research, with the Center for Mental Health Promotion at the Institute for Disability Research, Policy, and Practice.”