Friday, 9 May 2014


Conductor jobs in expanding service

One way in which organisations have responded to the recession has been through mergers. This has been not just a matter of commercial organisations' merging but apparent in the pubic sector too, hospitals and university departments for example.

In so far as such matters have been publicly aired in Conductive Education (not a lot), mergers and amalgamations have been mentioned as possible survival and strengthening strategies in this sector too. I do not, however, recall its having actually happened.

Ten days ago, Gill Maguire reported the merger in New York of two charitable services for disabled children and their families, Standing Tall, a service for non-verbal children, and iHope, focusing on the effects of traumatic brain damage:

Two charities becoming one
  • Standing Tall’s vision is to be a center of excellence for the education of non-verbal students with physical impairments, as well as a much needed resource for families and communities...
    Since 1997, with the help of education, medical, and therapeutic experts, we have put in place a program that provides a path of true communication and learning to students that would otherwise have stayed locked within forever. Unlike other programs, our students spend half the school day outside of their wheelchairs. Not only is this good for their respiratory health and orthopedic function, it gives them a way to discover power in their own body. This affects their sense of confidence, identification of self, and power of choice. Our holistic approach, that blends the strengthening of the body, plus our innovative approach to helping students find access to communication, has given 100% of our students in the program for at least one year, the ability to communicate. We consider this level of success profound; especially when many in the past might have said these same children would never communicate.
  • The International Academy of Hope (iHOPE), is a non-public, non-profit school for students with a brain injury or other brain-based disorders adjacent to the Columbia University Medical Center campus in Washington Heights in northern Manhattan, New York City. iHOPE is a subsidiary of The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation which is one of the leading organizations in the world advocating to prevent, identity, treat and eventually cure all brain injuries. There are currently no schools in New York City which are licensed to handle the many complications of students with the IDEA classification of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)... There are currently no schools in New York City which are licensed to handle the many complications of students with the IDEA classification of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). 
    iHOPE will raise the bar for standards of care by promulgating best practices, supporting innovative treatments, and sharing knowledge through both on-site and remotely delivered training. The goal will be to develop a model that can be replicated in other major metropolitan areas of the country and around the world...

The service-model on which both organisations have operated might be loosely defined as 'multi-disciplinary'. Standing Tall has long included conductors within its staff mix, iHope will be doing this for the first time.
  • Treatment programs that are successful in helping this child, youth and young adult population make functional gains uniquely combine therapies from best practices in rehabilitation medicine (e.g., developmental pediatrics, pediatric physiatry, pediatric neurology, pediatric psychiatry), best practices in therapeutic interventions (e.g., speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, neuropsychology, developmental psychology), and best practices in special education (e.g., direct instruction, integrated therapies, vocational training, transition planning).
  • The model for special education and treatment services for the ABI population served at iHOPE-NYC will integrate rehabilitative medicine, clinical therapies, and special education instruction to improve the overall functioning of the child across all domains.
The merger will take effect in June.

Ambitious plans

Within the next five years, the school will move to a specially designed building in New York City to include:
  1. iHOPE-NYC (An International Academy of Hope in New York City): A best-in-class school for youth with brain injuries ages 2.9 to 25 years old as well as Early Intervention services for children with brain injuries who are younger than age three
  2. iHOPE-NYC Center (An International Center of Hope in New York City): A world-class rehabilitation center including aquatic rehabilitation
  3. iHOPE-NYC Institute (An International Institute of Hope in New York City): A full research clinic with OT, PT, Speech and other allied health professionals, clinical social work, nursing, Cortical Integrative Therapy, physiatry, psychiatry, and medical services
  4. A skilled nursing facility for young adults
  5. Temporary housing for families
  6. Permanent housing for youth with brain injuries and their families, as well as professionals in training
  7. A tele-education/tele-training facility with studio space for delivering remote training, IEP development, and support.


Two vacancies for conductors/conductor-teachers are currently being widely advertised on the CE Internet. Applications must be in by 18 May.

Further information from Andrea Lozano, Conductive Education Supervisor:

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