2010 Council on Community Advocacy Award

November 2, 2010

Members of the Westchester Institute for Human Development accept the 2010 AUCD Council on Community Advocacy Award
Members of the Westchester Institute for Human Development accept the 2010 AUCD Council on Community Advocacy Award

The Westchester Institute for Human Development awarded 2010 AUCD Council on Community Advocacy Award

The Westchester Institute for Human Development received the 2010 Council on Community Advocacy Award today at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Conference.

This award is presented to the UCEDD that:

  • has exhibited the strongest commitment to support the full and active participation of self advocates and family members on its consumer advisory council;
  • has demonstrated leadership in the promotion and use of assistive technology to enhance the lives and participation of individuals with disabilities;
  • has an outstanding record in providing and encouraging best or promising practices in person and family centered principles; and
  • utilizes culturally competent approaches and overall consumer accessibility in all aspects of their mission.

From the presentation ceremony:

"The spirit of this award is clearly demonstrated by the roles and positions individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families assume as part of the administrative leadership team, program directors and coordinators, faculty and staff members, advisors and volunteers of the Westchester Institute on Human Development. 60% of WIHD's staff members of two hundred professionals and paraprofessionals identify themselves as individuals with disabilities or family members. Their Consumer Advisory Council is one of the longest established in the country and has been intimately involved in the creation of policy and programs at WIHD.

WIHD has worked with their Consumer Advisory Council and the broader community to foster inclusion several ways. They have established, demonstrated, validated and disseminated internationally one of the earliest practice models of employing parents as service coordinators in early intervention and Medicaid waiver programs. WIHD was one of the first LEND training programs to establish family faculty as a core position, a Family Mentorship Program as part of a Family Partnerships Curriculum Module, and to recruit family leaders as trainees each year for the past ten years. A self-advocate staff member served as a co-trainer with AUCD staff in presenting the new orientation curriculum developed by AUCD for CAC members and worked as a team with a parent staff and CAC members in developing the CAC by-laws and recruitment brochure.

The Institute has developed a web site, "New York My Way" in partnership with self-advocates, family members and professional staff from WIHD and local and state agencies. The site is focused on providing practical and local resources, is accessible, and features individuals with I/DD prominently. Accessibility and practical value of the information on the site is monitored and reviewed by self-advocates and colleagues on an ongoing basis. Additionally they have developed two curricula "My Health, My responsibility," a curriculum designed to enable people with I/DD to take charge of their own health care needs and resources, and to transition from pediatric care to adult health care and "My Safety, My Responsibility, My Plan, a multi-session program to train adults with intellectual disabilities to understand and to be prepared for emergencies.

These examples are only a part of the work that is carried out at WIHD. The Institute has a long established commitment to partnership with families and people with I/DD, its cutting edge use of technology and its ability to reach a broad and diverse community make it worthy of this nomination for the Council on Community Advocacy Award.

Congratulations to the Westchester Institute on Human Development and their Director, Ansley Bacon, who will be accepting the award this evening on behalf of the Institute. "



Established in 1971, AUCD is a membership organization comprised of three national networks of interdisciplinary, university-based Centers dedicated to research, education, leadership training, policy development, and direct service for people with disabilities.