AUCD places great importance on having a diverse group of participants at the AUCD Conference. We seek to make the conference and all information presented as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, and recognize that cost can often be a barrier to attending. AUCD features significantly reduced registration for students, individuals with disabilities, and family members of individuals with disabilities. As funding allows, we also offer a limited number of travel scholarships; learn about the opportunities available this year and see if you qualify to apply.
2015 AUCD Trainee Scholarships
AUCD is pleased to announce the availability of 20 trainee travel scholarships of up to $500 each AND 4 trainee volunteer scholarships of up to $500 each to support AUCD Trainees in attending the AUCD Conference. Scholarships are available to current trainees and former trainees presenting work conducted while a trainee.
Deadline for Application: October 2
2015 Emerging Leader Scholarships
AUCD anticipates being able to fund at least a portion of the travel and the main conference registration fee for at least three emerging leaders: individuals with disabilities, family members of individuals with disabilities, and early career professionals with 5 years or less experience in the network (not current trainees).
Deadline for Application: September 18
2015 Emerging Leader Scholarship Awardees
We are pleased to welcome three recipients of the 2015 AUCD Emerging Leader Scholarship. These individuals will receive a travel scholarship and registration funds for the AUCD Conference in Washington, DC, where they gain valuable opportunities in networking, mentorship, and professional growth.
Joe was was born with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and has been an advocate for disabilities most of his life. As a child, he was the 1985 Easter Seal Poster Child for the State of Oregon. Joe states his parents always had the same expectations for him that they had for his younger siblings that were "non-disabled," and that they taught him that he could do anything he put his mind to. As a result, Joe graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in Family & Human Services.
Joe is a member of the Consumer Advocacy Councils at both the Oregon Health & Science University UCEDD and the University of Oregon UCEDD. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of AUCD's Council on Community Advocacy.
Joe is especially passionate about the engagement of people with disabilities in their faith communities and the impact of legislation affecting the lives of people with disabilities.
Angela and her highschool sweetheart husband Steve live in Oklahoma with their 10 year old son Jackson. Jackson was diagnosed with autism at only 20 months thanks to SoonerStart, an Oklahoma early intervention program, and thus began Angela's journey in advocacy.
Angela works as the Autism Family Support coordinator for hte Oklahoma Family Network, where she provides the parent perspective for professional trainings and programs. She serves as Vice Chair on the Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Intervention, as the Family Voice for school-aged children on the DDS Policy Advisory Committee, and sits on the Oklahoma Family and Interagency Autism Council and the Oklahoma Combating Autism Leadership Team.
Angela is a 2012 graduate of Partners in Policymaking and a 2015 LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) Fellow in the family discipline.
Xiaojun 'Joanna' Gao
Joanna Gao is a speech-language pathologist at LeBonheur Children's Hospital and a former LEND trainee at the University of Tennessee Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities. Over the course of her career, Joanna has been an advocate for children with disabilities.
Her unique experience of volunteering and working for orphans with special needs in China enabled her to see the need to create family-centered, interdisciplinary systems of care for families of children with disabilities. She furthered her education in speech pathology, a rarely known field in her home country, with a desire of setting up a non-profit foundation and bringing therapy and caregiver support to children in China. Joanna has been exploring this vision by sharing her passion, organizing trips, bringing therapeutic tools, and caregiver trainings to China.
In 2014, The American Speech-Language Association recognized her effort by awarding her the Minority Student Leadership Program Award, presented to emerging leaders in the field of speech pathology.