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AUCD - Achieving Inclusive Communities Begins with Us: Awareness in Person-First and Identity-First Language Use in Our Training and Community Education Programs

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Sunday, November 11, 2018 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Location: Congressional A

Session Description

Hosted by AUCD's Community Education and Dissemination and Training Directors Councils, this Driving Change Session will explore ways to include diverse voices, languages, and practices into our Centers and how doing so moves us towards increased participation and inclusion. Attendees will engage in discussions about culture and language use related to person-first and identify-first language. Panelists will share their perspectives on how they have personally and professionally been able to navigate the complexity and individualistic nature of self-identification as faculty and staff members at their Centers, as members of boards and committees, and as parents. The goal is to allow for attendees to begin grappling with and understanding the use of language in training curriculum as well as in community education and dissemination practices.


Shawn Aleong. Institute on Disabilities at Temple University: Philadelphia, PA

Kara Ayers, PhD. University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities: Cincinnati, OH

McCafferty S. Kermon. Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities: Chapel Hill, NC

Zipporah Levi-Shackleford, MA. Creative Approach Development Center, LLC: Richmond, VA


Jerry Alliston, PhD, MSW, Interim Associate UCEDD Director, Institute for Disability Studies: Mississippi's UCEDD at The University of Southern Mississippi


orange badge with letters CEU1.5 CEUs hours (social work) are available for this session through the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. Learn more, including how to get your certificate.



About Our Speakers

Shawn Aleong

Photo of Shawn AleongShawn Aleong graduated from Davidson Elwyn High School in 2009, where he was the Valedictorian of his class. After receiving his high school diploma, Shawn attended Liberty Academy AAL program for one year. Following Liberty Academy, Shawn enrolled in the Temple University Academy for Adult Learning in 2012. Before he finished the AAL program, Shawn received the opportunity to speak in front of Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey about the Able Act. Shawn graduated from the Temple University Academy for Adult Learning in 2014 with a certificate of completion.

In January 2015, Shawn enrolled as an undergraduate student at Temple University, majoring in Legal Studies under the Continuing Studies program. Aside from taking classes, Shawn has many different roles on campus within various organizations. Shawn is currently the Juvenile Justice Chair for the PA State NAACP Youth & College Division, previously serving as the Juvenile Justice Ambassador for the Temple University Progressive NAACP during the 2013-2014 academic school year. He is also involved with Temple Student Government, serving as the Deputy Director of Campus Life and Diversity, Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial Team, and other various organizations. Shawn is also a member of the Institute on Disabilities' Consumer Advisory Committee. Shawn prides himself in being an advocate for people with disabilities and the youth and plans to continue his advocacy in the future.

Kara Ayers, PhD

Photo of Kara AyersKara Ayers, PhD, is the Associate Director of the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCCEDD) and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. She is also a co-founder of the Disabled Parenting Project. Dr. Ayers' interests include disability identity/culture, community inclusion, and the use of media to teach, empower, and reduce stigma. She serves on multiple task forces and national and state coalitions related to improving outcomes for people with disabilities and infuses the mantra, "Nothing about us without us," into all of her scholarly and community-based pursuits. Dr. Ayers self identifies as a self-advocate, a family member (parent and spouse of people with disabilities), and a professional working in the field of disability.

McCafferty S. Kermon

Photo of McCafferty KermonMcCafferty S. Kermon, BFA, is the LEND Advocacy Faculty member at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD), part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a long term LEND Advocacy Trainee, she developed A Coach Approach TM: Education Coaching as a Support Offered to Advocacy Trainees in an Inclusive LEND Course and works with the AUCD to support other LENDs seeking to become inclusive. In 2017 she became a published co-author in the Disability and Health Journal and she lectures annually at the University of Arizona LEND, as well as co-facilitates their Parent/ Professional Partnerships Workshop. In addition, she is currently providing consultative services for intervention programs designed for adolescents and adults with the University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program. Ms Kermon spent many years as a professional decorative painter and was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum as an adult.

Zipporah Levi-Shackleford, MA

Photo of Zipporah Levi-Shackleford Zipporah Levi-Shackleford is a former AUCD Board Trainee Representative and is a graduate from the VA-LEND program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. As a special needs sibling and the mother to four children, three of whom have special needs, her personal experiences instilled in her a passion for improving academic, medical, and community programs and services for individuals with special needs and their families. Zipporah has a Master's degree in education and is certified in Positive Behavior Support Facilitation. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in education, majoring in instructional technology. To help students and young adults with reaching personal goals and their fullest potential, Zipporah founded Creative Approach Development Center, LLC, in 2015 which provides individualized academic and behavioral supports as well as resources and training for guardians, teachers, and direct support providers.

Jerry Alliston, PhD, MSW

Photo of Jerry AllistonDr. Alliston currently serves as the Interim Associate Director at the Institute for Disability Studies, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at The University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Alliston has over 20 years of experience in medical social work, military disability case management, disaster case management, early intervention services, and transition to adulthood services. In addition, Dr. Alliston serves as adjunct faculty for The University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work and an affiliated faculty member for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Dr. Alliston received his doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration from The University of Southern Mississippi as well as a Masters degree in Social Work. Dr. Alliston has recently concentrated on the development of inclusive national service and volunteer programs, work initiatives, self-advocacy and leadership development. Dr. Alliston considers himself "blessed" to work with the future leaders of tomorrow.