Community Building Around a Shared Appreciation for Evidence-based Practice

Institute for Human Development, Arizona University Center on Disabilities
Northern Arizona University

DDNN Summer 2013

On June 10th and 11th, 2013, the Institute for Human Development (IHD) – Arizona University Center on Disabilities (AzUCD) hosted the first Evidence-based Practice in Disability Disciplines Conference in Flagstaff, AZ at the High Country Conference Center.  Attendees included 180 people from a broad range of disciplines interested in evidence-based practice. 

Dr. Timothy Slocum of Utah State University kicked off the conference presenting an Evidence-based Practice Framework for Making Effective Decisions. On day two, Dr. Larry Latham of the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities spoke on the Urgency of Evidence-based Practice for Policies and Programs.  Arizona and national experts presented breakout sessions on topics related to autism services, positive behavior interventions and supports, self-employment, assistive technology and many more, all with a focus on the best available evidence and its potential impact on evidence-based decision making. 

Conference Session with room of attendeesThe IHD’s vision for this conference was to bring together people from a variety of professions to build a community of evidence-driven practices in our state.   Based on a few of the attendees’ comments, it seems this objective was achieved:

“Professionals in different specialties can and should work together instead of in silos. Evidenced based practices make sense and will produce positive results for clients”.

“The application of evidence-based practices includes the use of research-based strategies, clinical judgment, and client values”.

 “I'll be more active in Community Involvement with Individuals with Disabilities”.

“EBP is very important”.

“The breakout sessions were AWESOME!!!”

“The opportunity for networking among other like-minded professionals and discussing the implications of current research was of the greatest value to me”.

“Evidence-based techniques, etc. are very important and needed in our work but are most effective when other pertinent factors are included in the process”.

conference exhibitor tables featuring IHD sign“I valued that the idea of inclusion as a growing movement and evidence to support its implementation”.

The conference program and handouts are available at http://nau.edu/SBS/IHD/Research/EBP-Conference