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AUCD - Live Poster Q&A Session

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Monday, November 15, 2021 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Location: Virtual

Session Description

Nearly 170 posters were accepted to the AUCD 2021 Virtual Conference and will be presented on the virtual conference platform as on-demand content. Poster presenters will also be available during a live Q&A session where attendees can ask questions and engage with presenters on a variety of topics. Topics for this Q&A session are listed below. You can find other topics on Tuesday's live Q&A session. 

On the virtual platform, posters will be grouped by topic area and will be available for viewing starting on Wednesday, November 10 throughout the duration of the conference for attendees to view at their leisure. All posters will include an accessible PDF of an e-poster, and many will also include a captioned, short presentation video of the poster. More information about how to access posters on the virtual platform and how to chat with presenters during the live Q&A session will be shared with registered, virtual conference attendees.


Topics covered during this live Q&A session: 

  • Advocacy
  • Aging
  • Behavior Supports
  • Community Living & Supports
  • Diagnostic and Clinical Service Issues
  • Disability Studies
  • Education: Early Intervention/Early Education
  • Education: K-12, Literacy, Learning
  • Education: Postsecondary
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Engagement with Creative Partners
  • Leadership Development and Training


Promoting Policy and Systems Change: Developing and Implementing an Innovative Policy Curriculum for LEND Trainees


Kiley McLean, MSW, MSEd, Doctoral Student, Waisman Center, UCEDD/LEND

We describe a LEND training curriculum developed and implemented at the UW-Madison Waisman Center in the 2020-2021 academic year. Curriculum was developed using the Maternal and Child Health Leadership Competencies through partnership with local and national advocacy organizations and diverse MCH populations. It includes a self-guided learning activity, how-to video series, interactive seminars, and individualized policy script development. Efficacy of the curriculum was assessed through pre- and post- self-assessment tools.

Include Me: 10 Years of Effective Teacher Mentoring & Successful Inclusion for Students with Severe Disabilities (2010-2020)


Stefano Bagnato, Ed.D., NCSP, Professor of Psychology & Pediatrics, LEND Center of Pittsburgh, LEND

Include Me (IM) is an evidence-based teacher inclusion mentoring approach focusing on students with severe disabilities. IM has been has been field-validated over 10 years in over 135 Pennsylvania school districts as an innovative collaboration between PA government, The Arc of PA, & Pittsburgh LEND. Our succinct presentation promotes the success of IM via focused teacher, student, mentor, and school outcome graphic data and a short video clip.

Southern Regional LEND Collaborative ITAC GOAL Project: An Exchange Trainee Program


Elizabeth Cleveland, Ph.D., Director of Training, Partners for Inclusive Communities, UCEDD/LEND

The Southern Regional LEND Collaborative created an Exchange Trainee program that was funded as an Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (ITAC) Group Opportunities to Advance Learning (GOAL) Project. This presentation will describe the program, project objectives, and the participants� experiences. The presentation will also highlight family-professional partnerships. The presenters will also offer examples and suggestions for other states that might adopt this program.

Let's Talk About the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Rule


Amy Peckinpaugh, LBSW & MSW Grad Student, Research Assistant, Developmental Disabilities Institute, UCEDD/LEND

This session is for individuals, family members, and professionals. Participants will learn about the HCBS Rule through HCBS Trainers sharing their lived experiences. The Trainers will discuss the importance of the HCBS Rule; its impact on services and supports for individuals with disabilities. Information will be presented on the individual rights the HCBS Rule provides to live in the community, have freedom, a person-centered plan, respect, and privacy.

Child Protection Specialist Training


Toby Long, PhD, , Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development, UCEDD/LEND

CPS Training, a comprehensive training program develops skilled, competent child protection specialists able to address child maltreatment and its implications supporting the efforts of the Ministry of Community Development in the United Arab Emirates to implement the federal Child Rights Law. GU CCHD collaborated with the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority to develop and implement the program. Evaluation results indicate changes in knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

Partner Up! A Creative Assignment to Discuss Disability Portrayal in the Media, Reinforce Course Content, and Educate Others


Michelle Donahue, PT, DPT, EdD, PCS, , Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

This poster documents a learning activity for students in a pediatric neuromuscular management course related to the representation of disability in the media. Students watched a movie or TV series that portrayed a condition presenting in the class and discussed the representation of the disability with another individual. This fun and creative assignment allowed students to understand the public�s perception of disability, reinforce course material, and educate others.

Assessing the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Families of Children from 0 to 5 years with Developmental Disabilities


Carol Salas, Psy.D., , Institute on Developmental Disabilities, UCEDD

Worldwide, people have been experiencing many challenges with the COVID-19 Pandemic. The economic impact and in routinely services of this event such as education, medical care, therapies and mental health services during this period was significant for children with disabilities. The objective of this poster presentation was to explore the changes and needs that families with children with IDD have experienced when facing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coping with Grief, Loss, and End of Life Issues for Autistic Adults


Bill Gaventa, M.Div., Consultant, Educator, Author, Collaborative on Faith and Disability

A description of the developmental process and resources offered in a new website on coping with grief, loss, and end of life issues for autistic adults, their families, friends, caregivers, and supporting professionals, produced as a collaboration between the Hospice Foundation of America and the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation.

The relationship between symptom severity and social perception skills in youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)


Natalie Sprinkle, B.S. Psychology, Early Interventionist, Center for Disability Resources, UCEDD/LEND

This research study examined the relationship between autism symptom severity and performance on standardized assessments of social perception and pragmatic language skills, when controlling for intellectual functioning. The association between receipt of applied behavior analysis therapy and performance on standardized assessments of social perception and pragmatic language skills also was examined.

Student diversity impact training: Assisting faculty in creating more accessible courses


Anita Swanson, PhD, , Texas Center for Disability Studies, UCEDD/LEND

An online course for university faculty was designed to shift perspectives about disability and accommodations as well as teach accessibility and universal design principles. Staff from the Texas Center for Disability Studies gathered interested, experienced faculty to help create a course consisting of videos, readings, discussions, and testimonials. Learning modules included the following topics: models and perceptions of disability, disability laws, accommodations, universal design for learning, accessibility tools, and intersectionality.

Translating Research and Technical Knowledge into Clear Language Products


Katherine Cargill-Willis, , HHS / ACL

It is vital that knowledge developed by researchers can be used by people with ID/DD to advocate for themselves and as groups. At The Ohio State University, the Disability Experience Expert Panel (DEEP), a group of people with ID/DD, advises research design and translates materials into plain language. The poster will describe how the DEEP translated a complicated ACL Roadmap for Health Equity Data into plain language.

A Profile of Young Children in Westchester County Foster Care


Trupti Rao, PsyD, Director Child Welfare, Westchester Institute for Human Development, UCEDD/LEND

The goal of this project is to create a descriptive profile of young children in Westchester County, NY foster care. In Westchester County, over half of the children entering foster care from 2015-2018 were under the age of 5. This poster will present findings from a retrospective records review of the birth, developmental, and child welfare histories of children entering foster care during this time period.

The Sustainability of Self-Directed Supports Across the Lifespan


Jennifer Hall-Lande, PhD, , Institute on Community Integration, UCEDD/LEND

Self-directed supports is a program in which people with disabilities, their families, and their allies directly manage their supports. Surveys were completed by people who self-direct and their natural supports to examine the sustainability of self-directed services. Results blend statistical trends and the participants� experiences and perspectives of self-directed supports. Overarching themes include: plans for sustaining self-direction, sustainability concerns, and what did and did not work to sustain self-direction.

Education of Children with Developmental Disabilities During COVID-19 Pandemic: Parental Choices


Maria Valicenti-McDermott, MD MS, Associate Professor Pediatrics, Rose F. Kennedy Center, UCEDD/LEND

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, K-12 grade education quickly transitioned to remote learning and parents could opt for full remote or a hybrid system (part-time remote and part-time in person). We interviewed 86 families of children with developmental disabilities living in an urban, ethnically diverse area and examined which options they chose and why.

Connecticut's Enhancement of Early Childhood Associate Degree Programs


Bethanne Vergean, Learn the Signs Act Early Ambassador for CT, A. J. Pappanikou Center for Developmental Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

The project is funded under a grant from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The grant was written to address OSEP�s overarching requirement. To improve the quality of existing Associate Degree programs so that AD-level personnel are well prepared to work with infants, toddlers, preschool, and early elementary school children ages birth through 8 (young children) with disabilities and their families in inclusive early childhood programs and elementary schools.

Collaboration between Learn the Signs Act Early, Reach out and Read and CT Community Health Centers


Bethanne Vergean, Learn the Signs Act Early Ambassador for CT, A. J. Pappanikou Center for Developmental Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

One way to improve outcomes for children, especially those at risk for developmental delays, is to connect them and their families/caregivers with multiple resources across our state. The CT UCEDD in conjunction with CDC Act Early Ambassador for CT, Reach out and Read CT and Community Health Centers to disseminate developmentally monitoring tools and materials to the low resource and underserved communities especially economically marginalized and non-English populations.

Moving toward full Inclusion: Universal Design for Learning in a LEND Curriculum.


Kathryn Loukas, OTD, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Maine LEND Training Director (2023), The Maine LEND Program

The Maine LEND program is dedicated toward full inclusion including transforming the didactic portion of the curriculum by integrating universal design for learning (UDL). The CAST UDL checklist was adapted to guide the process. Seven sessions were targeted based on core faculty and topics that easily transitioned into this educational framework. This poster will describe the theoretical framework, rationale, process, and outcomes of this project.

Addressing the Needs of a Vulnerable Population: a Medical, Legal, and Mental Health Interdisciplinary Model


Mallory Legg, JD, Director, Project HEAL, Kennedy Krieger Institute, UCEDD/LEND

Equity, diversity, and inclusion discussions at Kennedy Krieger Institute brought to focus one clinic that addresses developmental and behavioral disorders in children from low-income urban settings. Discussions concluded that integrating legal consultation and mental health counseling services could better meet the needs of this clinic�s patients and families. This novel multidisciplinary team of medical, legal, and behavioral health personnel is a model of comprehensive care for similar clinical settings.

Exploring Learners' Knowledge and Observations Regarding an Interdisciplinary Approach to Autism Evaluation


Susan Redwine, MD, , Center for Learning and Leadership, UCEDD/LEND

This project presents the survey results of learners regarding interdisciplinary teaming principles after observing autism diagnostic evaluations in JumpStart clinic. Learners include medical residents, students, and fellows, and Oklahoma LEND trainees from various disciplines. The information gained is used to improve the interdisciplinary educational experience. This session is relevant to service providers of any discipline, including family partners, who are involved in interdisciplinary clinical service and/or education.

Screening for Hearing Impairment in School Age Children with Developmental Disabilities


Maria Valicenti-McDermott, MD MS, Associate Professor Pediatrics, Rose F. Kennedy Center, UCEDD/LEND

Failure to identify hearing loss in children may result in lifelong deficits. We sought to examine compliance of referrals for formal audiogram for children older than 7y.o in an university-affiliated urban developmental center that serves children with developmental disabilities(DD) and determine the prevalence of abnormal audiograms and hearing loss in school age and adolescents with DD. This session may be relevant to all disciplines, especially audiologists, pediatricians, and speech/language pathologists

Child, Clinician and Assessment Characteristics Associated with Consistency of Autism Diagnosis by Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians: A DBPNet Study


Jill Fussell, MD, LEND Director, Professor of Pediatrics, Partners for Inclusive Communities, UCEDD/LEND

Participants will learn of factors associated with consistency of developmental-behavioral pediatricians� (DBPs) diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children ages 18 months to 5 years 11 months, before and after administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. This research is of interest to DBPs and other disciplines involved in ASD diagnostics (e.g., psychology, speech-language pathology), and to other populations impacted by the diagnostic process (e.g, community providers, families).

Status of Syrian Refugee Children with Disabilities: What Do We Know?


Toby Long, , Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development, UCEDD/LEND

Since 2011, the Syrian Civil War has resulted in a mass exodus from the country, leaving 6.6 million people internationally displaced; nearly half of them are children. This poster provides an epidemiological and programmatic overview of the risks to and supports available�and currently unavailable�for the youngest Syrian refugees, with particular focus on the needs of children with disabilities during the crucial developmental period from birth to age 3.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Implications for Diagnosis and Beyond


Taylor Villemarette, Graduate Occupational Therapy Student, , Louisiana State University Human Development Center - New Orleans, UCEDD/LEND

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is acknowledged as an underdiagnosed and misunderstood disorder caused by the teratogenic event of prenatal alcohol exposure. Lack of awareness, social stigma and diagnostic discord contribute to the confusion surrounding FASD. Our project evaluates FASD�s diagnostic process to serve our community and develop a diagnostic clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana. Please join us if you identify as a self-advocate, family member and/or clinical professional/graduate student.

Stakeholders: Experiences and Attitudes about Accommodation Meetings for Students with Hearing Loss


Jessica Huddleston, Doctor of Audiology, , Center for Learning and Leadership, UCEDD/LEND

The purpose of the study was to explore parents' and school personnel's knowledge of, experiences with, and attitudes toward Individualized Education Program (IEP) and 504 Plan meetings for students with hearing loss. We hypothesized that stakeholders would report various experiences, including strengths and areas for improvement for which they may want additional resources. Although school personnel have been surveyed before, this unique study sought to include the family perspective.

Hands-On Training of Emergency Preparedness


Howard Zlamal, MEd, Mr., The University of Arizona, LEND

From the makers of "Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities", this presentation enacts a worse-case scenario, such as evacuation after a hurricane or other natural disaster. During this hour, participants will watch how to quickly build a shelter as well as how to cook food with minimal supplies.

Strengthening Partnerships and Enhancing Trainee Experiences in a Virtual World: Lessons Learned From a Collaborative LEND Pilot


Jackie Robinson Brock, Masters of Social Work , Assistant Director-Administration Va-LEND, Partnership for People with Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

Va-LEND and Pittsburgh LEND conducted a series of 3 collaborative virtual events for trainees. The goal of this collaboration is to share expertise across LEND programs, allow for a space for trainees to connect and learn from one another, and strengthen relationships among faculty across LEND programs. Lessons learned, implications for practice, and next steps will be shared.

Disability Advocacy and Care for Physical Therapy Students: A Pilot Training


Winston Kennedy, , Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, UCEDD/LEND

This session will focus on the development and piloting of a training module whose intended purpose was to supplement graduate physical therapy (PT) students? education. The training module included content on a wide range of topics including clinical care, advocacy, and support of people with disabilities (PWD), and included speakers who had disabilities who shared their personal experiences with receiving PT services.

Educating Learners on the Interdisciplinary Approach and its Impact on At-Risk Families Through Participation in the Oklahoma Family TREE Program


Matthew Deel, MD, , Center for Learning and Leadership, UCEDD/LEND

This study analyzes a new LEND practicum experience for LEND trainees. This experience is the OKDHS Family TREE program. The Family TREE is a program that utilizes interdisciplinary teaming that includes a family partner to manage OKDHS cases and help increase family reunification rates and ensure appropriate management of parents and children with developmental and behavioral disorders in OKDHS custody.

Care Navigation Support Following Virtual Evaluation of Autism Spectrum Disorder


Maura Rouse, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist/Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine, LEND

Children with autism spectrum disorder frequently experience unmet needs. This presentation will describe a model of care navigation delivered to families of children receiving virtual ASD evaluation. Outcomes regarding caregiver engagement and satisfaction with care navigation, as well as enrollment in recommended services and supports and barriers encountered, will be reported.

Exploring Pandemic Impacts on the Family: The influence of neurodiversity and resilience


Jen O. Collins, M.A., , Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, UCEDD/LEND

COVID-19 has impacted families in a unique way and may place them at greater risk for adverse mental health outcomes and poorer functioning. These effects may be even more arduous for families of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities given the strain from disruption in household schedules, treatment availability, and social isolation. This project explores the pandemic impact on families and family resilience. Relevant disciplines: psychology, psychiatry, behavior supports, education

COVID-19, Students with Disabilities, and Those Who Support Them: A Ripple Effect


Marcia Montague, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Center on Disability and Development, UCEDD

The COVID-19 pandemic caused disruption in the lives and education of children with disabilities. Beginning with the perspective of an adolescent with a disability and holding a shared focus on students with disabilities, we describe how the pandemic complicated and interfered with our shared goal of educating students. We consider the ripple effect the pandemic had on the many layers of educational service delivery- from the classroom to higher education.

Connecting research and practice: Lessons learned during provision of interdisciplinary treatment of food selectivity


Cassaundra Miller, EdD, CCC/SLP, LEND, PM / Feeding and Swallowing Clinician, Center for Excellence in Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

We will summarize three individual case studies of clients aged 9-10 with food selectivity from our interdisciplinary feeding clinic. This presentation will describe implementation of best practices in psychological assessment and behavioral and oral-motor feeding interventions. We will discuss lessons learned about autonomy, families, cultural implications, and mealtime preferences.  This session is designed for individuals with interest in food selectivity, with an emphasis on benefits of multidisciplinary collaboration. 

Developmental Disabilities Council Support for Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with ID


Cate Weir, M.Ed., Program Director, Institute for Community Inclusion/Boston Children's Hospital, UCEDD/LEND

In 2020, AUCD and Think College National Coordinating Center, with support from NACDD, conducted a survey to assess DD Councils? support for postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities from 2015 to 2020.The poster illustrates the survey findings from 16 states related to their agency?s support of postsecondary education for students with intellectual disability in their respective states. (Relevant to DD Council staff, parents, self-advocates, and UCEDD staff)

The Impact of Hearing Loss on Mental Health in Adults


Roberta Moran, B.S. Neuroscience, , Center for Disability Resources, UCEDD/LEND

This poster outlines the relationship between hearing loss and mental health outcomes. Basic information regarding hearing loss is included, along with an overview of associated mental health disorders. The primary focus of this presentation is the social-emotional impact of hearing loss, including factors linked to improved quality of life for these individuals. This presentation is most relevant for those interested in aging and mental health.

New Tools to Support Community Life Engagement


Jennifer Sulewski, Ph.D, Senior Research Associate and Project Manager, Institute for Community Inclusion/Boston Children's Hospital, UCEDD/LEND

The Institute for Community Inclusion has identified four Guideposts for success in supporting community life engagement of people with disabilities and a toolkit for service providers based on those guideposts. The newest additions to this toolkit are a Guidepost Fidelity Scale that measures organizational adherence to the guideposts, and a set of training modules for direct support providers. We'll describe these new tools and the processes for developing them.

Implementing Social Skills Group during COVID-19 pandemic in an ethnically diverse population.


Maria Valicenti-McDermott, MD MS, Associate Professor Pediatrics, Rose F. Kennedy Center, UCEDD/LEND

Social Skills Groups, involving social thinking methodology, are often recommended to improve social deficits in individuals with autism. In this presentation we will discuss feasibility and preliminary efficacy of Social Skills group via telehealth in an urban, ethnically diverse population

Virtual Playgroup: An Online Transdisciplinary Early Intervention Play Experience for Toddlers


Kathryn Loukas, OTD, MS< OTR/L, FAOTA, Maine LEND Training Director (2023), The Maine LEND Program

The purpose of this presentation is to showcase a virtual playgroup that was run in the spring of 2021, coordinated by trainees in the Maine LEND program. The presentation will cover the transformation of a well established, in-person, inclusive, toddler playgroup for to a fully-online service. The rationale process, results, and suggested directions for future generated by this project will also be presented.

Bridging internal and external stakeholders and community-based partnerships to fill behavioral healthcare gaps.


Eric Kurtz, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

This presentation will describe a unique partnership between the SD UCEDD, the University, and community partnerships to establish the state�s first certificate program aiming to increase the number of board certified behavior analysts (BCBA) in the state, and expand the settings they serve.

Emergent online clinical learning theory & telehealth pedagogies during COVID-19: An in-depth case study


Cassaundra Miller, EdD, CCC/SLP, LEND, PM / Feeding and Swallowing Clinician, Center for Excellence in Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

Telehealth and remote learning continue to expand, yet scholarly texts iteratively expose a lack of evidence-based telehealth pedagogies. Thus, the development of best practices is essential to achieve mastery of technology-centric teaching and learning. This case study utilized experiences of individuals engaged in telehealth and remote clinical learning to add to the foundations of telehealth and remote clinical leaning practices. Relevant disciplines: feeding therapists, telehealth users, online learners/educators, PT/OT/SLP/SW/BCBA

30 Years of Community Living


Sheryl Larson, PhD, Research Manager 3, Institute on Community Integration, UCEDD/LEND

30 Years of Community Living is a joint product of three ACL Longitudinal Data Projects of National Significance and a self-advocacy advisory board. In this session, we summarize 30 years of research on community living, employment, federal expenditures, and technology. We do so in language understandable to families, self-advocates, students, and professionals. We also describe the challenges that remain.

Understanding the experience of suspension and expulsion of young children from early childhood education settings: Parents' perspectives.


Valerie Wood, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Center on Disability & Community Inclusion, UCEDD

Researchers partnered with their state agency on childhood development to understand the experience of suspension of young children with specialized health needs (SHNs) from early childhood education settings. A multi-pronged, mixed methods approach was used to investigate this complex issue. This presentation summarizes the findings from a parent survey and parent interviews, including an examination of factors that parents identified as strengths and barriers to the inclusion of their child.

How Do We Know if LEND Training Works?: Feasibility, Implementation, and Five-Year Outcomes of the LEND Outcomes Study


Lauren Bishop, PhD, Assistant Professor, Waisman Center, UCEDD/LEND

This presentation details feasibility and efficacy findings of the LEND Outcomes Study, an ongoing seven-year, multi-site study designed to test the efficacy of LEND training in improving the leadership trajectories of LEND trainees. In this session, we will: (1) present feasibility and preliminary efficacy results; (2) discuss implementation of the LEND Outcomes Study across multiple sites; and (3) detail lessons learned from our ongoing collaboration between three LEND programs.

Impact of an Inclusive Postsecondary Education Program on Implicit and Explicit Attitudes Toward Intellectual Disability


Carol Laws, PhD, Clinical Professor, Institute on Human Development and Disability, UCEDD

This study examines the impact of an IPSE program on typically matriculating student attitudes toward ID. Explicit and implicit attitudes were measured at the start and end of a semester among volunteer peer mentors and an uninvolved student group. Findings indicate that volunteers demonstrated lower discomfort after their volunteer experience, as measured by the Attitudes Toward Intellectual Disability Questionnaire. This demonstrates that volunteer involvement positively impacts explicit attitudes.

Waiting for the Autism Diagnostic Evaluation: Assessing the Lived Experiences of Family Members


Susan Redwine, MD, , Center for Learning and Leadership, UCEDD/LEND

This session overviews a grounded theory investigation of family members' experiences waiting for their child's evaluation for possible autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In-depth interviews were conducted with 5 families, and a model of the family wait experience was developed. Findings and broad implications for those supporting families in a "waiting" situation will be discussed. This information is relevant to various disciplines, including medical providers, family advocates, and self-advocates.

Creating Education and Advocacy Resources for Head Start Teachers to Promote Child Development


Paola Amaya de Lopez, MD, Fellow, University of Cincinnati UCE, UCEDD/LEND

Understanding and seeking support for developmental concerns can be challenging, especially for families of lower socioeconomic status, who may experience systematic barriers and uncertainty related to their child's development. Therefore, we created educational materials and advocacy resources to partner with Head Start teachers to facilitate this conversation with families and promote developmental services.

Practice makes possible: The impact of an air travel accessibility program for families with children with autism spectrum disorder


Jennifer Smith, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist and LEND Director, University of Cincinnati UCE, UCEDD/LEND

This presentation will provide an overview of the Leading Individuals Forward Together (LIFT) Program, an in-vivo air travel rehearsal program for families of children with ASD. LIFT is a collaboration between the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and the Cincinnati LEND program. Results will be presented regarding impact of the program on caregiver confidence, stress level, preparedness, and likelihood to travel, as well as evaluation of program components.

An Educational Checklist for Students with CHARGE Syndrome.


Lily Slavin, MA, Miss, Developmental Disabilities Institute, UCEDD/LEND

This poster will provide an overview of the educational impact of CHARGE syndrome (the leading genetic cause of congenital DeafBlindness) and the Educational Checklist, a tool to help educational professionals meet the needs of students with CHARGE. This poster is relevant for a range of educational professionals, including special and general education teachers; speech language pathologists; occupational therapist; physical therapists; teachers of the Deaf, Blind, and DeafBlind; interpreters; and interveners.

Levels of Community Engagement: From Tolerance to Inclusion


Blaire Donnelly-Mason, MSRLS, CTRS, Program Manager

According to the WHO, nearly 15 percent of the world�s population lives with a disability, yet many challenges related to accessibility and inclusion still exist. Evidence shows people are motivated to successfully include neurodivergent people, however information is not widely available. As a first step, levels of engagement (e.g., tolerance, integration, accessibility, inclusion) should be defined and used accurately to ensure expectations for engagement are set high.

What Was That About? Preparing Staff to Understand and Manage Sexual Behaviors Seen in Young Patients In A Treatment Clinic.


Susannah Poe, Ed.D., Psychologist, BCBA-D, LEND Mentor, Center for Excellence in Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

When staff expressed discomfort when our young clients engaged in sexual behaviors during and between sessions in our autism clinic, they requested training to better understand the function of those behaviors as well as appropriate intervention. Our LEND team responded by researching current literature and implementing a survey with staff. This presentation will describe how we wove our findings into a training that translated real life experiences into evidence-based intervention.

Increasing Access to ASD Diagnosis for Spanish-speaking Families using Telehealth: Current Model and Future Directions


Cassandra Cerros, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow, Center for Development & Disability, UCEDD/LEND

The University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability Bilingual Clinic Team provides ASD diagnostic services for Spanish-speaking children under three years. We describe a telehealth evaluation model designed to increase access. We present outcome data demonstrating reduced wait time and increased number of families served. We discuss future directions focused on understanding families� experience with telehealth and service improvement. This is relevant to providers and family members.

Does Alternative schooling (Virtual. Hybrid, homeschooling) work better for Students with disabilities?


Hamida Jinnah, PhD, Associate Research Faculty, Institute on Human Development and Disability, UCEDD

This qualitative research study focuses on the experiences of students and families who use alternative schooling (Virtual, Hybrid or flexi schooling, homeschooling) for their youth with disabilities, especially low incidence disabilities and those on the spectrum.

WVU Country Roads: Wrap-Around Approach to Curriculum Leads to Promising Outcomes


Mandy Filippelli, BA Special Education, Grant and Partnership Development Officer, Center for Excellence in Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

This session will describe curriculum development and implementation for the first cohort of the WVU Country Roads Program (CR). CR�s first year was virtual. The focus remained on increased skills across a variety of life areas. The program prepares students for independence through academic courses, social engagement, and work experiences. Content areas included: Occupational Skills, Mock Classrooms, Independent Living, Self-Advocacy, Health & Wellness, and a variety of soft-skills.

Use and Compliance of a Computer-Assistant Learning Program(Lexia) for Children with Learning Disabilities in Reading in an Ethnically Diverse Community


Maria Valicenti-McDermott, MD MS, Associate Professor Pediatrics, Rose F. Kennedy Center, UCEDD/LEND

Learning Disabilities are lifelong conditions that vary in degrees of severity. This proposal examines use and compliance of an online computer-assisted learning-reading program in an urban, ethnically diverse youth with learning disabilities in reading. Of the 50 children who registered for the program, at least 70% were compliant with it.

Development of the ECHO Communities of Practice Measure


Michelle Barth, MA, Research Associate II, Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, UCEDD

Providers may not have the capacity to serve those with IDD effectively. The ECHO Model � was designed to create a virtual Community of Practice (CoP) to enhance provider skills and knowledge. While it is often assumed that ECHO creates a virtual CoP, no research has studied this. Preliminary psychometric performance of a measure of CoP will be reported along with discussion of the importance of CoP.

Wyoming Accessible Educational Materials Needs Assessment and Outcomes


Shelby Kappler, Assistive Technology Program Specialist , Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, UCEDD

This poster presentation discusses the methods, findings, and outcomes of a needs assessment conducted by the Wyoming AEM Clearinghouse in 2020. The goal of this research was to determine how Wyoming school districts are using accessible educational materials in the K-12 setting, as well as identify gaps and areas where service delivery can be improved.

Psychological Well-Being of Mothers of Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


Tyler Womack, Ph.D. School Psychology Student, UC-LEND

Using data from a longitudinal study following children with disabilities and neurotypical children, this study evaluated mothers� overall well-being and affect over time. We found that mothers� physical health and family income, assessed at child age 3, were significant predictors of their well-being and affect when the child was age 5. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed. [Relevant to Psychology, Pediatrics, Social Work, Education, Public Health]

Children with Disabilities Attending Montessori Programs: An International Overview


Toby Long, , Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development, UCEDD/LEND

Although Montessori developed her teaching methods for disadvantaged and disabled children, it is unclear if children with disabilities attend Montessori programs in the US or in Italy, where there is only inclusive education. This study surveyed Montessori programs in both countries to determine if children with disabilities are enrolled. Results indicate that children with disabilities attend Montessori programs. Survey respondents indicate specific needs to include children optimally.

Using small group, interdisciplinary case-based learning to teach advocacy for children with disabilities among medical students


Tara Lutz, PhD, MPH, MCHES, , A. J. Pappanikou Center for Developmental Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

An elective course was developed by one medical school and UCEDD to increase the knowledge and skills of 14 future pediatricians to provide care to children with disabilities within a medical home. Students learned strategies to support and advocate for and with families across health, education, and other systems through casework, interdisciplinary speakers, families, and self-advocates. Based on student evaluation, contents may become part of the pediatric clerkship requirement.

A 12-week feeding therapy program with emphasis on parental education for children with developmental disabilities and feeding disorders.


Ida Barresi, Master of Arts, Speech-Language Pathologist, Rose F. Kennedy Center, UCEDD/LEND

Children with feeding disorders often have negative experiences with food, poor oral hygiene and heightened sensory processing issues. This proposal describes specific feeding intervention designed to increase parent education/training, improve oral hygiene, increase a child�s awareness of the sensory properties of food along with provide a positive mealtime experience for children with developmental disabilities and feeding disorders.

Act Early Ohio Social Media Influencers: Spreading awareness about developmental monitoring in a virtual world


Arin Gile, MA, Project Coordinator, University of Cincinnati UCE, UCEDD/LEND

The evidence-based �Learn the Signs. Act Early (LTSAE).� program of the CDC provides materials about the importance of monitoring developmental milestones in young children. Act Early Ohio used a social media strategy to share LTSAE information with caregivers as social media influencers to engage other families in tracking their children�s development and �acting early� if needed. This session is relevant to attendees with interest in EI and family support.

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): Best Practices in Alaska


Virginia Miller, DrPH , Professor, Center for Human Development, UCEDD/LEND

This presentation will explore the development, delivery and evaluation of an interdisciplinary course addressing FASD in Alaska. The presentation will address the lessons learned from a community-engaged, Alaska-specific perspective as well as the challenges of distance-delivery during the COVID ? 19. Highlights will include the value of an interdisciplinary team, students from multiple disciplines and the integration of lived experiences. Nursing, Occupational, Physical, Speech Therapy, Social Work, Public Health

Needs of Wyoming Residents with Developmental Disabilities: Findings from Qualitative Interviews


Haley Sturges, M.S., Ms., Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, UCEDD

Interviews were conducted with 40 Wyoming residents who either have a child on the Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver or act in a professional capacity as a case manager or Waiver service provider to gauge statewide needs. Interviews focused on strengths, weaknesses, and needs for each of the UCEDD areas of emphasis. Findings reveal important needs for individuals with DD living in Wyoming, a large, rural state.

Speech Language Pathology Perceptions in the Time of COVID-19: Telehealth and Dysphagia Services in West Virginia


Catherine Ray, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology, , Center for Excellence in Disabilities, UCEDD/LEND

Little is known about the nature and accessibility of telehealth services in rural settings with historically limited access to speech, language, and swallowing services for individuals with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to define the type of services available in these settings and to discuss how COVID-19 precautions and telehealth needs from the Speech-Language Pathologist perspective. This presentation would be relevant to rehabilitation practitioners in rural settings.

The importance of collaboration in the AUCD network:


Richard Chapman, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, UCEDD/LEND

The purpose of this presentation is to discuss collaboration within the ucedd network. This presentation will present a case study of how one ucedd engaged in collaboration during the Covid 19 pandemic. This presentation will highlight the benefits of collaboration.

Implementation of a National Training Initiative using the ECHOTM Model to support children affected by the Opioid Epidemic.


Canyon Hardesty, MS, CHES, Associate Director, Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, UCEDD

Project SCOPE, is a National Initiative to train 16 UCEDD / LEND Programs to replicate the Supporting Children of the OPioid Epidemic (SCOPE) ECHOTM model and curriculum. Two years into the national training, 13 states have shown success in adapting and improving upon the replication of the SCOPE ECHO model. This presentation aims to outline the process of creating, recruiting, training, and supporting a multi-state training initiative.

Family and professional partnerships: using an interdisciplinary team approach to improve outcomes for children with hearing loss


Haley Kuck, BS, Student , Center for Learning and Leadership, UCEDD/LEND

This poster will highlight the process used to develop a family-centered provider training for a state program that requires collaboration from multiple disciplines to ensure families are served in a timely and effective manner. Although the training described is directed toward audiologists, the model can be easily adapted to other disciplines as well.

Centering Self-Advocates in Transition Programming Development and Implementation


Jacklyn Googins, MS in Occupational Therapy (Aug 2021), MS

Program developers and self advocates will provide an overview of HEELS Bridge, a new program at UNC-Chapel Hill that focuses on college access and readiness for young adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) discussing key aspects of the hidden curriculum for young adults with ID pursuing higher education and presenting strategies for promoting self-determination enhanced by leveraging the lived expertise of self-advocates in transition program development and implementation.

Romantic Activity and Romantic Loneliness in Young Adults with ASD following the PEERS Social Skills Intervention


Danielle Mund, Masters in Psychology, , Tarjan Center UCLA, UCEDD

This presentation provides an overview of a study assessing changes in romantic dating activity and feelings of romantic loneliness among young adults with ASD following an evidence-based social skills intervention. Findings have implications for practitioners, individuals on the autism spectrum, and other stakeholders about interventions that provide young adults with tools to better navigate their dating worlds and future research directions to better meet the needs of this population.

Assessing & Addressing Spiritual Interests and Needs in Individual Service Plans of Adults with IDD


Amy Petre Hill, JD, M.Div., LEND Spiritual Care Fellow, JFK Partners/University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, UCEDD/LEND

Extensive research has demonstrated spirituality is a social determinate of health for adults with and without IDD (Koenig, King, & Carson, 2012; Parket al., 2017). This presentation explores the key findings of an IRB-approved survey that measured how often and how significantly human service professionals in Colorado conduct assessments of the spiritual interests and connections to spiritual communities of adults with IDD.

Virtual Communities of Practice: Bringing Educators Together


Julie Riley, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA, , Louisiana State University Human Development Center - New Orleans, UCEDD/LEND

The Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities (LASARD) Project of the LSUHSC Human Development Center piloted a model of virtual professional development that promotes the use of evidence-based practices and collaborative problem solving. The LASARD Community of Practice model was developed to connect professionals with similar roles, responsibilities, and/or interests across schools. This session is relevant to those involved in planning and delivering professional development in schools.

Service Delivery Competencies in Home and Community-Based Services ​Needed to Achieve Person-centered Planning and Practices: A Scoping Review​


Allen Heinemann, PhD, Director, Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Person-centered practices require a direct support workforce that is skilled in person-centered thinking and planning. To identify best practices, we conducted a scoping review of peer-reviewed literature, augmented with grey literature sources, regarding training for HCBS providers. Our goal is to improve person-centered practices of the direct care workforce, increase the accessibility of person-centered training, and improve the quality of HCBS services and outcomes.

Act Early ECHO: Learning Together to Build Resiliency


Stephanie Weber, PsyD, MPH, , University of Cincinnati UCE, UCEDD/LEND

This presentation will provide an overview of the Act Early ECHO collaborative between Ohio, Virginia, and Wyoming. This program combines work from the CDC�s �Learn the Signs. Act Early.� Ambassadors in these states with the ECHO model (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), an all-teach, all-learn approach to building shared learning. This session is relevant to all disciplines who work with early care and education communities to improve early identification.

An interdisciplinary program to improve access to preventative dental care for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities


John Berens, MD, , Baylor College of Medicine

a. This presentation describes the preliminary results of an interdisciplinary, behavior therapy-driven program seeking to improving access to preventative dental care for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Information presented will be relevant to persons from medical (particularly primary care), dental, and behavioral fields; family- and self-advocates with intellectual/developmental disabilities; and persons working in the insurance/policy domain.

A Community Approach to Community Based Participatory Research through Stakeholder Interviews


Canyon Hardesty, M.S., Associate Director, Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, UCEDD

Through stakeholder interviews, the Equality State Research Network (ESRN) further pursued our commitment to the engagement of community stakeholders including patients, family members, and caregivers, research stakeholders, healthcare professionals, and others that have interest in the improvement of health outcomes for Wyoming residents. Community member�s engagement is one mechanism to continue to allow the voice of ESRN members to be included in patient centered outcome research in Wyoming.

Community Voices Informing Evidence-Based Policy: COVID-19 and People with Developmental Disability in the Greater Washington D.C. Area


Kimberly Bullock, M.D., Associate Professor, Georgetown School of Medicine, Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development, UCEDD/LEND

This original research highlights the perspectives of both individuals with IDD as well as caregivers and healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic to evaluate the ability of these specialists to effectively and equitably meet the needs of those within the IDD community in the COVID-19 pandemic. The extracted strengths and weaknesses of the care continuum for individuals within the IDD community will be utilized to promote preparedness for crisis scenarios.

Holistic Recruitment: Strategies to Increase Diversity of LEND/UCEDD Trainee Cohorts


Hannah Sanford Keller, MS, CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor, Speech Language Pathologist , Oregon Institute on Development & Disability, UCEDD/LEND

The United States is becoming increasingly diverse as a nation, yet there continues to be an underrepresentation of cultural, gender, and ethnic diversity in professionals working within healthcare settings. This presentation will provide attendees with concrete strategies and resources to enhance the recruitment and interview process for LEND and UCEDD trainees across disciplines, with the goals of decreasing bias in the interview process and increasing diversity amongst trainee cohorts.

Developmental Regression Analysis and Investigation of Genotype Correlations in Patients with Classic Rett Syndrome


Aubrey Rose, MS, , Center for Disability Resources, UCEDD/LEND

Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by pathogenic variants in the MECP2 gene. Disease presentation varies significantly, making it difficult to provide prognostic information for families following an early diagnosis. Here, we will present data from the Rett Syndrome Natural History Study. Results establish correlations between genetic variant and disease presentation. This can provide prognostic information for families, highlighting the expanding role of genetics in patient care.

Act Early Physicians� Toolkit: Reaching Families in Collaboration with Medical Providers


Ilka Riddle, PhD, Director, University of Cincinnati UCE, UCEDD/LEND

The evidence-based �Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE)� program of the CDC provides materials about the importance of monitoring developmental milestones in children 0-5 years. The Act Early Ohio team developed LTSAE toolkits for families and collaborated with primary care practices to get them to families. This session is for attendees involved in EI and family support who have an interest in working with healthcare providers to reach families.

Families Perspectives on Complex, Fragmented Service Systems


Jenna Lequia, PhD, , Westchester Institute for Human Development, UCEDD/LEND

This presentation provides an overview of findings from focus groups of families of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) across New York State. Specifically, this session will highlight challenges and barriers families report navigating the systems that aim to support them. Suggestions and recommendations for improving the structure and accessibility of systems will be discussed.

A Multidisciplinary Model for Training in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities


Mihee Bay, MD, , Kennedy Krieger Institute, UCEDD/LEND

A workforce shortage of neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD) and developmental and behavioral pediatrics (DBP) subspecialists necessitates innovative and effective strategies to train the future workforce in the care of children with disabilities. A multidisciplinary teaching clinic model is proposed to train learners of varied backgrounds and educational levels simultaneously. This will be relevant to clinician-educators, who design and implement medical education and training programs.

ECHO Collaborative on AAC: Supporting Inter-professional Collaboration to Improve Augmentative Alternative Communication through Case-Based Learning and Knowledge Sharing


Lou-Ann Land, MS. Ed., , Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute, UCEDD/LEND

The ECHO Collaborative on AAC is an inter-professional practice network where education and related service professionals learn and problem-solve augmentative and alternative communication together. This session describes the components of the ECHO model that contribute to professional development, inter-professional collaboration and increased capacity to implement evidence-based practices in AAC. Participants will be introduced to the concept of "All Teach, All Learn" which represents the heart of the ECHO� model.

All Are Welcome Here: Three Approaches to Promoting an Environment of Belonging for All Students


Mary Schwager, MS, Occupational Therapy, Trainee, Self Advocate, Center for Learning and Leadership, UCEDD/LEND

Three approaches to promote students with disabilities' sense of belonging in varying school contexts, addressed through the social aspects of the cafeteria, a curriculum introducing disabilities for typically developing peers, and a pair of booklets for use in the general education classroom to promote a welcoming environment. Relevant for Counselors, Dieticians, Educators, School Administrators, and Therapists.

Systems, Family Organizations and families Learning Together: A story of empowering individuals and families through collaboration and a shared vision


Celia Schloemer, MA, Senior Community Engagement Specialist, University of Cincinnati UCE, UCEDD/LEND

Join the Family Resource Network of Ohio and Ohio�s two UCEDD�s (Nisonger Center at The Ohio University and the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence (UCCEDD)) as they share stories of how the State agency, UCEDD�s, and grassroots family organizations learned together how to best support and respond to individuals and families desire to lift their voice and take new and different steps to identify and create their desired future.



Ebele Okoli, MBBS, MPH, Dr., Community Initiative for Disability Resources and Research

A cross-sectional enumeration study of all the services available for the rehabilitation of persons with Disabilities in Enugu, Nigeria. This study utilized the snowball sampling method to find, categorize and map all the services available to help persons with disabilities live healthy lives in society. This session will be relevant to all disciplines, particularly Health and Rehabilitation Services

Considering Platforms for NH-ME LEND Program Delivery: Face-to-face? Remote? Or Hybrid? Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic


Betsy Humphreys, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, INACTIVE-University of New Hampshire, LEND

At the start of COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the NH-ME LEND program transitioned all didactic, clinical, and leadership activities to a remote format, and this continued during the 2020-2021 year. Looking ahead to the 2021-2022 year, NH-ME LEND has been examining the benefits and challenges of each format (face-to-face, virtual or hybrid program). This poster describes one program�s process of examining decisions around face-to-face, virtual or hybrid program.