A partnership between Northern Arizona University and the Navajo Nation provides both help for area families and opportunities for college students to get hands-on experience working with families and children.

The Growing in Beauty Partnership Program (GIBPP), part of the Institute for Human Development (IHD) works with the Navajo Nation’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services to support early intervention services for families of children up to 3 years old who are suspected to have a disability.

GIBPP staff collaborates with tribal staff to provide professional staff in disciplines not already found within the Navajo Nation including physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology.

GIBPP team members travel 1,500 miles to remote homes of families enrolled in the early intervention program to provide their services. Team members use coaching models to provide families with tools and information to address their child’s needs and implement suggested intervention strategies.

“I am so honored to be part of the GIBPP team,” program director Lynne Corbin said. “Our staff’s enthusiasm, dedication and team spirit are contagious.”

GIBPP offers training opportunities for NAU students studying education and health and human services. Students spend the day working side-by-side with knowledgeable staff using methods not taught in typical training programs.

IHD’s mission is to facilitate on-going improvements in access, attitude and inclusion for people with disabilities. IHD programs, like GIBPP, include research, direct service to communities, training and academic programs and informing publics on disability-related topics.

Contact Corbin at (928) 523-7038 or Lynne.Corbin@nau.edu for more information about GIBPP, student training opportunities and other IHD programs.