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Everything Counts

NEW Hot Dog Service Delivery Model

The Individualized Hot Dog Team (IHDT)

Retirement looms in just 185 more contract days!

I'm going to miss a lot about public education when I leave... I'll have a lot of fond memories. Mostly I'll miss working with the backbone of America: the students. But I'll also miss the legal and effective procedures, rules, laws, paperwork and meetings related to the special education service delivery model.

Those who know me know I'm going to open a hot dog cart in my "second career" during my retirement years. I'm going to purchase the cool Middlebury Concession Trailer pictured above. Recently I've been diligently finishing up my business plan. I'm going to run my hot dog business in the same manner special education is run... I'm going to use the methods and strategies I've learned and practiced over the past twenty years... I'm going to stick with what I know. Why “reinvent the wheel?” Why not just use the methodology invented by our government and used over the past thirty or forty years to serve millions of students nationwide?

I'm sharing here just a few excerpts from my hot dog business plan, still in the final development stages. If you have any suggestions, please let me know: I'm always interested in effective hot dog delivery methods for my clients, uh, er, I mean customers.

Referral for consideration of a hot dog.

The customer arrives at the window and requests a hot dog. The customer is asked to put the request in writing; a form is of course provided.

The customer completes the form and returns it to the window. The time and date of this transaction is documented... the hot dog process officially begins NOW.

If it is an appropriate request and the form is completed in full with all applicable legal signatures and contact information, perform the following steps:

a) hand customer a copy of his or her legal rights related to hot dogs. It won't include all applicable laws, but instead will include a broad overview and brief synopsis listing who to contact if the hot dog is cold or if there are other rights violated in this transaction; in effect, who to call in order to sue!

b) customer signs a brief transaction form indicating s/he has read and understands all of his or her rights related to the purchase of the hot dog.

c) consider all other options as appropriate... the customer may require Taco Bell or McDonalds instead of a hot dog. If so, the customer will be referred there first.

d) if the request for a hot dog seems appropriate, and the customer has signed all applicable forms and followed all procedures so far, then a formal assessment related to all aspects of the customer's need for a hot dog will occur with the results reflected in a brief four-page report.

Assessment for hot dog eligibility.

First, the referral concern will be articulated. This usually should be relatively easy to document in one to two brief paragraphs.

“The customer requested a hot dog in writing on December 13th, 2005. The purpose of this report is to assess the customer's need for a hot dog, determine if s/he is eligible for a hot dog, and then to forward recommendations related to the purchase and consumption of the hot dog. In addition, it is hoped the most appropriate hot dog as per the customer's hunger and related needs will be addressed.”

A brief assessment will follow. This assessment can usually be completed in 15 to 30 minutes, but in some instances may require subsequent and more formal hot dog assessment. Excerpts from a typical hot dog assessment might look something like this:

“Present hot dog assessment determined the customer possesses the cognitive skills generally considered necessary to request the purchase of a hot dog. The customer reports having consumed hot dogs in the past with only minimal problems. Customer denied any hot dog side effects, allergies, or other health risks related to this request. The customer reported no known legal issues or concerns and stated s/he understands all related issues regarding the consumption and use of hot dogs. Customer reported once experiencing some past minimal psychological trauma related to hot dogs but declined to comment further, suggesting possible denial or other defense mechanisms may exist.”

Hot dog recommendations.

Based on the hot dog assessment results, appropriate recommendations are forwarded.

1) Based on all information available to this vendor through present assessment, this customer is suffering pain and trauma related to diagnosed hunger. Present and past trauma may play a role in this customer's request. The Individual Hot Dog Team (IHDT) will need to determine if this customer requires a hot dog in order to meet his/her diagnosed hunger need.

2) A hot dog intervention plan, designed to monitor the frequency, duration, and intensity of hot dog consumption and related hot dog behaviors, may help increase the quality and effectiveness of this individual's hot dog consumption in the future.

The IHDT meeting.

Then the IHDT meeting is scheduled. This meeting usually can occur within one to five days, but must occur within sixty. It is very important all procedures are followed in this process. First, the customer is notified in writing of the meeting date, time, and location.

The meeting is held and usually can be completed in less than one hour.

If the customer doesn't show for the meeting, s/he will be provided a second notice via registered mail. At the meeting, all the important decisions are determined and finalized. The goal of the meeting is to recommend the most appropriate hot dog based on the individual customer's assessed and reported hunger and related hot dog needs. Hot dog goals and objectives are developed. If there exist any concerns related to customer behavior, an individual hot dog behavioral plan is developed. The customer's safety is always first: the IHDT will always consider whether or not an ambulance should be in close proximity in case the customer might choke on the hot dog, for example; sometimes the IHDT will recommend that all other customers and those working nearby obtain training on the Heimlich Maneuver, for example, in case there is a possibility of the customer choking.

Once the decision is made for hot dog eligibility, and the appropriate hot dog is determined and agreed upon by all stakeholders, the hot dog can be delivered to the customer; of course, all required accommodations and/or modifications (such as mustard, ketchup, relish, etc.) MUST be addressed and delivered as per the hot dog accommodation plan. Future transitions toward Polish Dogs, Chili Dog, or Fire Dogs should be addressed. The date, time, location, and service provider must be documented regarding all aspects of this hot dog service delivery.

There will, of course, be several documents for the customer to sign, but almost always less than ninety. It is imperative that all procedures and laws are followed. In addition, all provisions related to ongoing hot dog services will be documented. An IHDT meeting will be scheduled at least once a year, more often if necessary, to insure the continued provision of appropriate hot dog services.

Daily operating schedule.

The typical daily operating schedule for my new hot dog business is inspired by special education (subject to change in the event of a hot dog emergency):

7:00 to 8:00 a.m.

Arrive, prepare, planning.

8:00 to 08:30 a.m.

Open for business! Serve hot dogs as per IHDP.

08:30 a.m. to Noon

Testing, paperwork, reports, planning.

Noon to 12:30 p.m.

Open for business! Serve hot dogs as per IHDP.

12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Hold IHDT meetings.

3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Paperwork, reports, filing, etc.

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Close, order paper and ink cartridges.

So you can see why I'm so much looking forward to my retirement. I'm taking everything I've learned in twenty years of special education service delivery with me into the business world.

When you have an effective model to use, you need to stay with it. 

The IHDT © 2005-12, 2019. Donald J. Asbridge, Ed.S. Bakersfield, California USA Some rights reserved.