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CareerTech, Great Plains Tech Center Will Offer Training To Educators Working With Veterans

Dec. 2, 2013

Educators who work with veterans can learn more about post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries at a CareerTech workshop in December.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and Great Plains Technology Center are sponsoring “Understanding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury” in December for those in education and education training who work with veterans with PTSD or TBI.

CareerTech and Great Plains Technology Center are presenting the workshop to give technology center staff members and other educators tools and resources to help students who have PTSD/TBI, said Levi Valdois, CareerTech military liaison and coordinator of military initiatives.

“We are seeing a significant upswing nationwide – and in Oklahoma – of military-related individuals returning to school, and a portion of those individuals have experiences that have led to injuries resulting in PTSD/TBI,” Valdois said. “Great Plains and CareerTech, through this workshop, are facilitating the necessary education and awareness related to PTSD/TBI, as well as promoting our abilities to provide educational services to this specific and very important population.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, the number of veterans who have experienced traumatic brain injuries has increased because of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

“The Department of Defense and the Defense and Veteran’s Brain Injury Center estimate that 22 percent of all combat casualties from these conflicts are brain injuries, compared to 12 percent of Vietnam related combat casualties,” according to the website, www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/pages/traumatic-brain-injury-ptsd.asp.

The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Great Plains Technology Center’s Lawton campus. It will feature three sessions: “VA Healthcare for the OEF/OIF/OND Veteran,” “Functioning Following Military-Related Concussion: A Neuropsychological Perspective” and “Understanding the Needs of Returning Veterans: Combat Stress, Trauma and Readjustment.”

The workshop will also include resource and provider booths to provide more information to those attending.

Admission to the workshop is free, but seating is limited. To register, contact Debbie Reed at 580-250-5551 or dreed@greatplains.edu.

A second PTSD/TBI workshop will be Feb. 25 at Moore Norman Technology Center. It will offer help to educators working with veterans and also provide resources and tools for educators working with students who were affected by the May tornadoes.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 59 campuses, 393 comprehensive school districts and 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

By Laura Wilson, writer/editor