2018 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference brings together a diverse community of stakeholders who gain information, learn about resources, and connect with others across the country to strengthen the disability field. This year’s conference theme, “Be Creative - Innovative Solutions for an Inclusive Life,” reminds us to think outside the box during times of uncertainty. Creativity, innovation, and determination can pave the way for meaningful and inclusive lives for people with disabilities.

Thursday, November 29 • 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Constructing Competence Through the Art of Culinary Expression Seating Available

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Limited Capacity seats available

The art of cooking draws on many abilities that have both physical and social elements. Cooking involves cognitive processing, memory, participation in a variety of forms, and exercises decision-making. Our interactive lessons instill basic cooking skills and food safety while promoting the development of relationships, self-efficacy, and illustrate the power of collective abilities. When there are a variety of ways to participate, students learn that there are many ways to contribute, thus allowing them to feel a sense of belonging. The co-presenters will discuss their class structure and the intentionality behind designing and presenting a variety of ways students are encouraged to participate in a cooking lesson each week. Of utmost importance for the facilitators is the encouragement and development of students uncovering ways they can meaningfully participate and express themselves while learning how to communicate these successes in different contexts. The structure of this class allows for the involvement of peer mentors, family members, and community members in our lessons. Many of our mentors are same-age peers at the university, and in many ways, this class makes it possible for our peer mentors to explore and understand ideas such as presuming competence (Biklin, 2005) and move beyond to work toward constructing competence in all encounters. We allow space for our peer mentors and veteran staff members to work with our students to develop strategies and supports that promote and maintain the dignity of our students and foster strong social inclusion across all campus settings. Through the innovative development of a Cookbook/Look-Book, we offer a variety of methods for increased accessibility. The co-facilitators of the cooking class take into consideration several different ways students access learning and present weekly lessons in multiple formats to include a written recipe page, a step-by-step picture recipe page and access to a captioned video-recorded lesson that students can access from their own home kitchens to recreate their favorite recipes. We encourage students to participate in whatever way is most meaningful to them. The co-facilitators recognize too that levels of participation may change from week to week for each student. The process of creating a meal together is thoughtful and dynamic. This process requires active listening, collective decision-making, and reciprocal interactions and tasks. As the facilitators of this class, we work with the students to tailor each lesson to their needs. We provide space for students to exercise choice and to express their own needs and preferences. We construct meaningful experiences from the step-by-step process of creating a dish that engages the students in their senses of smell, sight, sound, taste, and touch. Engagement with aromas and textures allow students to create meals in which they slice, dice, mince and mix with their own hands as a collective experience. Students can engage in self-expression as they choose from nutritious ingredients and design their individual plates of food. In our seminar, cooking brings a sense of accomplishment, engagement, and creative expression. It focuses on the importance of access to the process of cooking for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For people with disabilities, the collective creation of a nurturing meal can increase self-efficacy and self-determination. Cooking can facilitate decision-making, self-expression, and can foster community involvement and social skills when in an inclusive setting. References Biklen, D. (2005). Autism and the myth of the person alone. New York: NYU Press.


Magan Straight

Doctoral Student, Syracuse University

Thursday November 29, 2018 2:10pm - 3:00pm
Medford - Lower Level 1401 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201

Attendees (13)