About Celeste Foundation

History                                                               top

The Celeste Foundation is an organization dedicated to increasing the understanding of the challenges faced by children and adults with special needs and advancing the knowledge and practice in providing services to such individuals. To these ends, The Celeste Foundation conducts and enables research on problems and their solutions, convenes consumers and professionals to address issues of policy and practice, and consults on a variety of issues pertinent to individuals with developmental disabilities, emotional disturbance and others with special needs, especially those with behavioral challenges.

Past Research                                                   top

In October of 2004, the Celeste Foundation completed a three-year federal study that examined the practice of delivering professional services to foster children diagnosed with developmental disabilities through the use of real-time interactive video technologies.  Therapeutic foster settings were selected for the study chiefly because therapeutic foster children, or foster children with developmental disabilities, typically require the widest intensity and range of professional services.  The settings used for the research included conventional single-family foster homes, group homes, classrooms, and semi-independent living apartments.  This research examined the adequacy of the technology as a tool for providing services, evaluating both the reliability and performance of the videoconferencing technology, and, more importantly, the ability of the technology to satisfy both the standards of practice of the professionals and the needs and expectations of caregivers and persons with developmental disabilities.  It also explored potential cost savings associated with using interactive video when compared to conventional means of service provision. 

The results of this project proved very exciting.  Over the research period, specialized services were delivered via interactive video technologies to over 75 individuals with developmental disabilities, by professionals representing a variety of human service areas: behavior analysis, case management, medical services, psychiatric services, support to education, and training.  A total of more than 1,300 professional interactions were achieved during the period. The results indicate that the technology satisfied the standards of practice of the professionals at rates exceeding 90%, and that the technology functioned as needed nearly 95% of the time.  These results underscore the promise and potential of interactive video as an augmentative means for delivering services to at-risk populations.

Advisory Board                             top

Dr. Judith E. Favell, Ph.D., BCBA, is the senior board member of the Celeste Foundation.  Dr. Favell is Past President of the American Psychological Association, Division 33 (Developmental Disabilities), as well as the Past President of the International Association of Behavior Analysis.  Dr. Favell has authored numerous research articles, monographs, and books, and is widely sought as a lecturer on issues confronting individuals with exceptional needs.  Dr. Favell serves as Principle Investigator for the research projects conducted by the Celeste Foundation.