Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Family Links Conference is a statewide event for parents of children, youth, and adults with special needs and the professionals who serve them.  The following recordings were made from the April 2022 Family Links Virtual Conference,

Five Strategies for Reading with Young Children Birth to 5 years

Amie Jarvie, USDB

Presentation Recording

Learners will discuss strategies which foster language and literacy development in young
children birth to age five. Participants will have opportunities for hands-on learning and sharing collectively. Participants will be provided with resources to help guide their application of five strategies to foster literacy and language development.

Five Strategies for Reading Video

Meet Presenter: Amie Jarvie

Image of Amie Jarvie in winter near creek

Amie Jarvie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Geography at Worcester State University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She earned her Master’s degree in Deaf Education at Smith College in North Hampton, Massachusetts. Amie has worked as an itinerant teacher of the deaf and an early intervention specialist in Massachusetts. As an early intervention specialist she worked as both a teacher of the deaf and a developmental specialist. As an itinerant teacher of the deaf she consulted with many towns as well as provided direct services for children ranging in age from preschool to high school. While residing in Georgia for four years Amie served as a licensed Georgia Pines SKI-HI parent advisor and a certified Wilson Level One reading specialist. She worked at the Katherine Hamm Center, a Listening and Spoken Language School for children with hearing loss.

Amie has also worked as a public school special education teacher and while working at Utah State University she supervised graduate students in the Listening and Spoken Language program. Currently Amie works for Utah State Schools for the Deaf and Blind as a parent advisor in the parent infant program. She chose the field of deaf language and literacy because her youngest daughter, Courtney, is deaf.

Amie is also a wife and mother of three adult daughters.. She loves to travel, hike, kayak, and bike ride with her husband, John. Amie and her oldest daughter, Erica practice yoga together several times a week.

Bullying: What Parents Need to Know

Michelle Creek, Utah Parent Center

Presentation Recording and Handouts

What is bullying and how do we define it? What causes kids to bully? What do we do when our child is the bully? In this workshop for parents, we will talk about different aspects involving bullying, what to do when it happens and how to teach our children coping and advocacy skills.

Bullying Video 

Bullying Powerpoint Handouts 2022

Additional Bullying Handouts and Resources available at

Meet Presenter: Michelle Creek

Image of Michelle CreekMichelle is a mother of seven children, including two adopted children with disabilities. She understands that sometimes it’s hard to know how to respond when our children are involved in interactions that hurt. She is excited to share information and ideas with parents that will help them clarify their thoughts and strengthen their ability to find solutions for their family. When she has a few spare minutes, Michelle likes to play music, read something from the tower of books waiting on her nightstand, and look at pictures of her grandchildren, who really are the cutest tiny people ever.

Brain Injury 101

Candace Floyd, Ph.D., University of Utah and VA Health Care System

Presentation Recording

This presentation will focus on the basics of Traumatic Brain Injury. Learn the characteristics and epidemiology of TBI, then learn more about the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah and the TBI Fund Services. TBI Fund services are free and help those with brain injury recover more fully.

Brain Injury Basics Video

Meet Presenter: Candace Floyd

Picture of Candace FloydDr. Candace Floyd, Ph.D. is a tenured Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Utah. She is also a scientist with the Salt Lake City VA Health Care System. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurotrauma and Neurotrauma Reports. Dr. Floyd currently serves on Council for the National Neurotrauma Society and is the Director of the Interagency Resource Center for Preclinical TBI Research.  She runs an active biomedical research program that conducts research on traumatic brain injury.  Dr. Floyd serves on the Board for the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah (BIAU) and is a volunteer educator for the BIAU.  

Empowered Families in the World of Augmentative & Alternative Communication

Priscilla M. Danielson, Rocky Mtn Univ of Health Professions

Presentation Recording

This class will provide families and professionals strategies and tools for encouraging the use and engagement of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).  We will discuss:  how best to stay informed, concepts for successful modeling and implementation, how to navigate school, therapy, and insurance environments, and how to best advocate for the user and support network.  

Empowered Families in the World of AAC Video

Meet Presenter: Priscilla Danielson

Picture of Priscilla DanielsonPriscilla M. Danielson, PhD, CCCSLP, ATACP completed her Master in Speech/Language Pathology at Memphis State University and her doctorate at Temple University.  Dr. Danielson has focused her clinical work over the past 20 years in the areas of Assistive Technology (AT), Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).  Prior to coming to Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, she was an adjunct instructor at the University of West Chester, Temple University, and University of Delaware.  Dr. Danielson has maintained a lengthy private practice focused on language development and disorders in children and adolescents, fluency, and AT/AAC strategies and tools.  Dr. Danielson has provided consultation to public school districts and legal teams in the areas of AT/AAC tools, strategies, and implementation.

The Medical Home Portal: An Online Resource to Navigate the Journey from Diagnosis to Adulthood

Athena Parker, Medical Home Portal

Presentation Recording and Handouts

This presentation will introduce participants to a unique online source of reliable information about children and youth with special health care needs, called the Medical Home Portal. By the end of the presentation, participants will feel comfortable navigating the Medical Home Portal website and locating information about caring for their child or adolescent with a chronic condition, learning more about a specific diagnosis, and finding local service providers in their area.

Medical Home Portal Presentation Recording

Medical Home Portal Website

Utah Care Notebook 

Meet Presenter: Athena Parker

Picture of Athena Parker

Athena Parker has worked in the world of children and youth with special health care needs for the last 8 years. She was first introduced to the Medical Home Portal in 2014 and used it frequently as a care coordinator while working at the University of Utah Pediatric Clinic. She joined the Portal team in January 2020 and currently works as the Services Support Manager. Her primary roles include helping state partners maintain and customize Portal content and promote the Portal. Athena lives in Minnesota (hooray for remote working options) and enjoys hiking, canoeing, and reading.

Person Centered Support Planning

Lisa Wade, Utah Parent Center, Family to Family Network

Presentation Recording and Handouts

Person-Centered Planning (PCP) is planning to help you and your family members achieve a happy, fulfilled life! How can I create one today? Come for a virtual ‘hands-on’ experience to create a PCP with us!

Person Center Planning Presentation Video

Person Center Planning PowerPoint Handouts

Choosing the Life Course Handouts

Supporting Communication in Those with Limited Verbal Skills

Meet Presenter: Lisa Wade

Picture of Lisa WadeLisa Wade joined the staff at the Utah Parent Center in 2019 and is currently the Family to Family Network Project Coordinator. She has focused on person-centered planning, supporting families in DSPD services, or on the waitlist. She is an Ambassador for Charting the LifeCourse Nexus, a framework and philosophy for supporting individuals with disabilities in living their vision of a good life. She has been an advocate on disability issues for more than 20 years, volunteering in many capacities to improve systems and be the voice for her son with autism and intellectual disabilities. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University and enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandkids.

ABLEUtah: Save your Money and Build your Future!

Jolene Wyler, Utah Work Incentive Planning Services

Presentation Recording and Handouts

This presentation will address the ABLEUtah program and how individuals with disabilities can take advantage of this opportunity.

This presentation will show you how you can now potentially enroll in ABLEUtah and save assets and resources beyond the traditional asset limits of programs such as SSI and Medicaid.  We will also discuss how you can use ABLEUtah together with Special Needs trusts and maximize your savings opportunities.

ABLE Utah Presentation Recording

ABLE Utah Powerpoint Handouts 2022

Able Utah Website

Meet Presenter: Jolene Wyler

Image of Jolene Wyler

Jolene Wyler is the Director for the Utah Work Incentive Planning Services. She has been with the program since its beginning in 2001. She provides services to individuals receiving Social Security Disability benefits so they can make an informed choice about working and their benefits. Jolene graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She is also a graduate of the Certified Public Manager Program. She is currently serving as the Vice President on the Board of Directors of NABWIS (National Association of Benefits and Work Incentives Specialists).

Assistive Technology

Kent Remund, Utah Center for Assistive Technology

Presentation Recording and Handouts
Participants will learn about the service of the Utah Center for Assistive Technology (UCAT), and the Utah Assistive Technology Teams (UATT).  These are both statewide resources that can assist individuals with disabilities find the most appropriate assistive technology devices and services to obtain their goals and improve their independence.
Participants will leave with an understanding of the services from the Utah Center for Assistive Technology (UCAT), the Utah Assistive Technology Teams (UATT), and other assistive technology services across the state of Utah.  This session will discuss the consideration of assistive technology in schools and for overall independence for individuals, discuss the most current widely used assistive technology, and short demonstrations of what is presented.
Meet Presenter: Kent Remund

Kent Remond and Statue of individual in wheelchairKent Remund has worked in the field of assistive technology for the past 24 years in a variety of settings.  He is the current project director for the Utah Center for Assistive Technology (UCAT). He was the project director for the Utah Assistive Technology Teams (UATT) for 6 years assisting teams, students and LEAs across the state.  He has his Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and is an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) with the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).   He has extensive experience evaluating and assessing children and adults with the appropriate selection of assistive technology tools.

Employment Accommodations

Amber Orvin and Kayci Lynam

Presentation Recording

Employment success stories and ideas from self-advocates. 

Employment Accommodations Recording

Learn more about Advocates as Leaders Speakers’ Network 

Meet Presenter: Speakers' Network (Self-Advocates)

Advocates as Leaders Speaker Network.  

Amber Orvin

Ms. Amber Orvin currently lives in Saint George Utah but has lived in Illinois, California and New Mexico. In sunny southern Utah, Amber lives in her own apartment, drives her car and loves her dog named Tiger Lily. She is the 2nd youngest in her family of 8, her mom and dad ,4 brothers, 2 sisters and 18 nieces and nephews. For many years Amber has volunteered her time with several local community organizations. She currently is a peer tutor for Red Rocks Independent Living Center which gives her an opportunity to support other people with disabilities in finding their voice. Even though Amber is deaf in her right ear and mildly deaf in her left, she demonstrates an amazing ability to talk with people about issues that effect her life as well as others. She loves to read, spend time with her family, especially with her nieces and nephews, loves to express her creative side by doing arts and crafts and always loves to be part of a good ballet or modern dance either as a participant or a viewer.

Kayci Lynam
Ms. Kayci Lynam, one of our younger speakers, currently living in Bluffdale, Utah with her mother, step father and brother. She plays an important role in the network by bring her perspective of the younger generation’s hopes and dreams. She began developing her own advocacy skills in 2008 as a member of the very first People First Chapter in the state and has not stopped since then. In 2011 she was appointed by the Governor to be a member of the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council and currently holds the position of Vice Chair along with being the chair for the council’s leadership committee. For many years she also lent her expertise to the Committee on Accessible Transportation, a citizen advisory committee with the Utah Transit Authority. Kayci has spoken throughout the United States about a variety of issues that effect people with disabilities, With all of her work in the advocacy, she has also been advancing her own career by holding down a job for the last 9 years at a local grocery store where in 2016, she earned a higher position within the company. Kayci loves sports and with all of her gold & bronze medals, truly demonstrates her great athletic ability in both bowling and basketball. She would describe herself as friendly, easy to get along with, kind, respectful and smart.