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Developmental Disabilities Training Series From Rutgers Cooperative Extension


Get the foundational knowledge needed for teaching, assisting, and working with people with disabilities. Learn how to identify different behavioral patterns and implement effective strategies to manage challenges.

Developmental disabilities training online

Millions of adults and children in the U.S. have at least one developmental disability, according to the United States Census Bureau. To better serve this population, it is important for professionals in a wide variety of fields to gain an understanding of the characteristics and needs of people living with disabilities.

This series of online developmental disabilities training courses was developed in partnership with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station - Cooperative Extension. Designed to expand your understanding of different conditions, training covers topics including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Sensory Processing Disorder, Tourette Syndrome, and others. Learn about the indicators, learning styles, and behaviors commonly associated with each disability, how to prevent or address specific behaviors, and techniques to better engage individuals with developmental disabilities in your programs or services.

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What are developmental disabilities?

Developmental disabilities are cognitive or physical impairments that can affect communication, learning, physical function, and behavior. These disabilities begin during the developmental period of a person's life — often during prenatal development, infancy, or childhood — and can persist throughout a person's lifetime.

Gain a deeper understanding

Building knowledge can increase your confidence and effectiveness when working with people with disabilities. Learn how to identify and navigate different behavioral patterns and implement helpful strategies to manage challenges. This program places a strong emphasis on understanding different learning styles and using visual support aids in teaching and communication. Coursework also delves into the legal protections and accommodations that must be taken into account by educators and other professionals.

Who should take this program?

This program is designed for Cooperative Extension professionals and volunteers, youth development professionals, and individuals in a wide variety of settings who educate, train, manage, employ, interact with, or provide services to people with developmental disabilities. Although it is well-suited for care providers, disability professionals, school administrators, teachers, trainers, counselors, and HR professionals, it also benefits anyone who has frequent contact with individuals or family members with developmental disabilities.

Study at your own pace

Courses in this program are self-paced. Study on your own schedule, and customize your learning experience to match your individual goals. Take all five courses to earn your Mastery Badge, or take only the courses you're most interested in. (Please note the first course is a prerequisite for any of the other courses).

Learn more about digital badges and how they work.