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AUCD - Trainee-Professional Networking Breakfast

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016 7:30 AM - 8:30 am

Location: Grand Ballroom South Salon

Session Description

On Tuesday morning, trainees are invited to grab breakfast from the continental buffet provided and engage with a diverse group of disability community professionals in a relaxed atmosphere.

One professional will be seated at each table in the ballroom, with room for up to five trainees to join as they choose. Trainees are encouraged to ask about professionals' areas of expertise, roles within their centers or programs, current research or projects, etc. Professionals are encouraged to ask trainees about their career aspirations and provide guidance based on their experiences.

A list of participating professionals follows so that trainees can match interests, and are organized in no particular order; seats at each table are first-come first-served. 

Photo  Name, Position, Center Discipline   Areas of Interest 

Katie Borras, MS

Project and Evaluation Coordinator
Westchester Institute for Human Development (WHID), NY

Online bio.

 Healthcare administration  Healthcare administration, children and adolescents, accessibility to resources (providing in alternative formats), technical assistance
Under the supervision of Dr. Karen Edwards, I take the lead on coordinating development of training curriculum, project-related websites and online training materials. In addition, I take a leadership role in supporting various training activities of the UCEDD through training faculty and staff on the use of various software and web-based tools to develop online content, training webinars and modules. I have recently taken on the role of providing technical support and coordination to distance trainees participating in the WIHD LEND program from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. I earned a master's degree in human development and family studies and a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Delaware and am currently pursuing a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in healthcare administration. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and learning about and exploring new surroundings.
  Debora Downey, PhD, CCC-SP/L

Training Director
Center for Disabilities and Development, Iowa

Online bio

Speech-Language Pathology Augmentative/alternative communication
Pediatric dysphagia
Debora is the facilitator of the AAC Service at Center for Disabilities and Development, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She has extensive experience in teaching and has been a frequent presenter on the topic of AAC at national conferences as well as published in a variety of academic journals.
Michael Gamel-McCormick, PhD

Associate Executive Director
AUCD: Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Maryland

Online bio.

Twitter: @MgmAUCD

Policy, Research Public policy, rural early intervention, education
Michael is the Associate Executive Director at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Prior to joining AUCD he was the Disability Policy Director and Senior Education Policy Analyst with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions under the chairmanship of Senator Tom Harkin. For 17 years, Michael was professor and Dean of the College of Education and Public Policy at the University of Delaware, the interim chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and the director of the Center for Disabilities Studies, Delaware's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. He has also been the director of a rural early intervention program, the director of health and education services at a large urban community services agency, the coordinator of an early childhood special education technical assistance center, and a preschool teacher.
   Canyon Hardesty, MS, CHES

Community Education Coordinator, Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND)

Online bio.

Public Health Sexual health, community education, early childhood, assistive technology
Canyon is the coordinator of community education for Wyoming Institute for Disabilities. Canyon oversees programs, training and technical assistance related to health, education, early intervention and assistive technology. She is exploring new delivery platforms and audience-targeted trainings to provide continuing education for educators and health professionals, specifically via telehealth and teleECHOTM. Her educational background is in public health and health care ethics. Prior to joining WIND, Canyon worked for seven years at the Wyoming Department of Health focusing on increasing access to core public health services in communities throughout Wyoming. She has experience in grant administration and community program development grounded in data driven, evidence based and best practice. Canyon's specific interests lie in population health, policy development and systems change.
Katie Lancaster, MSW

Project Coordinator, Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) & Trainee Liaison

Online bio

Twitter: @wind_wyo

Social work

Former LEND trainee at URLEND (Utah)

Sexual self-advocacy of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Friendship & Dating Program, voting behavior of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Katie Lancaster is the Project Coordinator of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Project at the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND). Katie was a 2015-2016 Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (UR LEND) Program trainee. In 2010, she earned her Bachelor of Social Work degree with a minor in Disability Studies and in 2015 received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Wyoming. Katie's background is in providing legal based advocacy services to individuals with a wide range of disabilities. Current interests include helping advance the sexual self-advocacy of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the implementation of the Friendships & Dating Program in the state of Wyoming. Katie is also interested in researching and understanding the voting behaviors of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Stephanie Weber, PsyD

Assistant Professor & Training Director, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (LEND)

Online bio.

Twitter: @sweber2114


Former LEND trainee, Cincinnati

Behavior analysis, Intervention
Dr. Stephanie Weber, PsyD, obtained her Doctor of Psychology degree from the University of Indianapolis in Indiana and completed her fellowship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. She is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's within the University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Weber specializes in applied behavioral analysis, behavior treatment for externalizing disorders, and training professionals in interdisciplinary care. She is the Training Director for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program that provides interdisciplinary training to the future leaders in maternal and child health. As a former LEND trainee herself, Dr. Weber has developed curriculum for LEND training in the areas of conflict-resolution and negotiation and policy and advocacy. Dr. Weber also serves as the Act Early Ambassador to Ohio through the CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." initiative. She has recently gone back to school to obtain a Master's in Public Health degree. In her personal time, Dr. Weber enjoys spending time with her two godsons, friends and family, marathon-watching TV shows, and traveling to new places.
Sarah Keathley, MS, RD, CSP, LD


Nutrition Ambassador for Nutrition is for Everyone grant sponsored by AUCD and Wal-Mart, AR

Dietitian Nutrition related to research, clinical, pediatric, individual counseling and group weight management
Sarah Keathley is currently working as the ambassador for the Nutrition is for Everyone grant, sponsored by the AUCD and Walmart corporation. The goal of the grant will allow and provide People with Disabilities easy access to fruits and vegetables and encourage a higher consumption. Sarah also works as a private nutrition consultant, a nutrition coach/advocate for Fuel Up to Play 60 within Arkansas school. Sarah has over 5 years of experience in grant and policy work, nutrition research, clinical nutrition, pediatric nutrition, individual nutrition counseling, and group weight management. She has lectured widely on various nutrition topics including renal disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, nutrition in people with disabilities, and weight management.

Sarah is an active contributor in the nutrition community working closely with multiple local organizations to improve community wellness and nutrition education in Arkansas. Sarah has also assisted in educational cooking classes promoting the farm to table movement. She currently belongs to the national Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Arkansas Dietetic Association where she serves as the fundraising chairperson. One of her biggest passions is to reach out to those who are in need of nutrition education/support and provide them with the tools to live a healthier and happier life.
Shannon Haworth, MA

Senior Program Manager, AUCD

Online bio

Twitter: @Shannon_Haworth

Family discipline

Former LEND trainee at Virginia Commonwealth University

Children's mental health, advocacy for families, public health, autism across the lifespan, inclusive education, behavioral interventions with children with ASD, early career professional support

Shannon Haworth is the Senior Program Manager, Disability and Public Health for the Public Health team at AUCD. She leads and implements workforce capacity building, training, health education, health promotion, development, and technical assistance activities for the AUCD network. Her focus is on workforce development and including people with disabilities in public health planning and health promotion efforts to decrease health disparities for this population. She also has a deep interest in educating families on autism and co-morbid mental health issues, presents nationally, and is the author of publications on parents experiences receiving an autism diagnosis for their children and autism and mental health.

Shannon received her LEND training at Virginia Commonwealth University in the family discipline. She went on to become LEND faculty, coordinating the LEND clinics, and co-teaching interdisciplinary Teamwork.

Before coming to AUCD she worked at the Partnership for People with Disabilities as the Project Manager for the Virginia state autism implementation grant. She also worked as a behavior analyst. Shannon is the proud parent of a young child with autism.

Shannon has a Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, and a graduate certificate in Autism from Ball State University. She has also earned a Post Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Disability Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and is currently studying Health Education and Promotion in the Ph.D. program at Walden University. She is also an appointed public member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC).

Brenda Munoz, MS

State of Georgia Government Appointed and Executive Council Member with GCDD

Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD), GA

AUCD Diversity Fellow

Online bio

Family / Education

Former LEND family trainee

Interpreting, cultural broker, cultural and linguistic competence
Brenda Liz (Bren) Muñoz is a 2014-2018 State of Georgia Governor Appointed and Excutive Council Member with Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD), as well as a 2015-2017 Diversity Fellow, and 2014-2016 Family Fellow/Trainee with Georgia's Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (GaLEND) within the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. She is a former Georgia Department of Public Health/Autism Plan for Georgia/Parent to Parent of Georgia Parent Partner working with Dr. Isadore Leslie Rubin at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Bren is a freelance English<>Spanish bilingual, multicultural advocate, cultural bearer and broker, educator and interpreter, translator and consultant. She obtained a Master of Science degree in Education with focus on Educational Foundations and Policy Studies, as well a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Spanish (dual major) and Women's Studies (minor). She holds a professional certificate as an Interpreter in Education from The University of Georgia, completed Georgia's Partners in Policymaking in 2014, and is a 2015 inaugural graduate of the Georgetown University, National Center for Cultural Competence, Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Leadership Academy. Bren is a proud parents of a tall, dark and handsome young man who lives with moderate to severe autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Her blended family is fluent in English, Spanish and (Brazilian) Portuguese. A native of the island of Puerto Rico, she lived in Hartford, Connecticut for two decades, and a few years ago relocated to metro Atlanta, Georgia. Other leadership service include work with the Association of University Centers on Developmental Disabilities (AUCD) on their Diversity and Inclusion Advisory and Action Teams, the award-winning Broad Prize in Urban Education, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) as an Advisory Council Member to the Local School Board, and with the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) as a state and regional liaison (Georgia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). Bren is mentee to Mathew McCollough, Executive Director of the Washington D.C. Developmental Disabilities Council, and President-elect of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD). She enjoys the arts, the outdoors, traveling and family life.
 Jacy Farkas, PhD

UCEDD Manager, Project Director

Sonoran UCEDD, AZ

Online bio

Information Resources and Library Sciences

Former Sonoran UCEDD trainee

Information accessibility, youth transition and person-centered practices, intersectionality of disability, race/ethnicity, cultural in terms of community inclusion and successful adult living, diversity and cultural/linguistic competence

Jacy Farkas is a former Sonoran UCEDD trainee. She completed her traineeship with a project focusing on information accessibility and the disability community while pursuing her master's in information resources and library science. Since joining the Sonoran UCEDD staff in 2007, her role has progressed to UCEDD Manager and Project Director. She oversees the Center's outreach/info dissemination efforts and federal data reporting. She directs the Sonoran UCEDD's Person-Centered Initiative which includes leading projects completing plans for transitioning youth with DD and developing community tools.

Ms. Farkas' interests lie in information accessibility, youth transition and person-centered practices; intersectionality of disability, race/ethnicity, and culture in terms of community inclusion and successful adult living, and diversity and cultural/linguistic competency. She previously served on the Sonoran UCEDD Disability & Border Communities Workgroup which hosted two Border Conferences on Disability along the AZ/Mexico Border and the Pima County Transition Task Force. She serves on AUCD's Multiculutral Council, and is the editor of the DDNN, the annual Arizona Developmental Disabilities Network Newsletter.

Elizabeth Morgan, MA Program Coordinator

UC Davis UCEDD (MIND Institute)

Online bio.
 Early Childhood and Early Intervention  Underrepresented populations, inclusion
 Elizabeth Morgan is a doctoral student in Human Development at UC Davis. She also serves as a program coordinator for the UC Davis Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the MIND Institute. Her area of focus includes Early Childhood and Early Intervention Services with a specific interest in underrepresented populations. An educator by training, she holds a Master's in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and has supported Early Childhood practitioners in utilizing developmentally appropriate practice and inclusion strategies since 2004. She has also worked on several state level initiatives to support inclusion of preschool children with various disabilities. Elizabeth currently works as a graduate researcher at the MIND Institute on the Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioral Health study and as the CA state lead for the Intervention team of the C-ESDM project. She is also a parent of a child with Autism and is an active board member for Warmline Family Resource Center in Sacramento, CA.
 Douglene Jackson, PhD, OTR/L, LMT  Co-Director

University of Miami - Mailman Center for Child Development (UM-MCCD)

Online bio.
 Occupational Therapist  Evidence based practices for early intervention and developmental disabilities, assistive technology, autism, and disparities in education and healthcare for ethnic minorities
 Douglene Jackson, PhD, OTR/L, LMT is an occupational therapist (OT) with 18 years of experience working in the rehabilitation field. She holds a PhD in Special Education in Early Childhood, a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy, a Bachelor's degree in Rehabilitation Services with a concentration in counseling, and a Diploma in Massage Therapy. Dr. Jackson works at the University of Miami-Mailman Center for Child Development (UM-MCCD) providing interdisciplinary assessments, clinical intervention, consultations, trainings, and lectures, as well as facilitating community-based program collaborations. She also is the Co-Director for the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST)-South Florida Regional Demonstration Center. Additionally, Dr. Jackson coordinates internship opportunities and supervision for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Occupational Therapy training program at the UM-MCCD, serving also as the Clinician Fieldwork Educator for the American Occupational Therapy Association's Commission on Education. Her research interests include evidence-based practices for early intervention and developmental disabilities, assistive technology, autism, and disparities in education and healthcare for ethnic minorities.
 Wendy Parent-Johnson, PhD, CRC, CESP  UCEDD Director

The University of South Dakota (UCEDD)

Online bio.
 Education, Psychology, Rehabilitation Counseling  Transition, employment, health disparities, secondary and post-secondary education, job coach certification
 Dr. Wendy Parent-Johnson is Professor, Department of Pediatrics, and Executive Director of the Center for Disabilities, a Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, at the Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota (USD). She assumed this position 3.5 years ago and in that role is responsible for administration and oversight of multiple grants, research, teaching, and supervision of 38 staff. Dr. Parent-Johnson received her degrees in Psychology, Rehabilitation Counseling, and Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and began her career at the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Supported Employment in Richmond, Virginia. She has thirty five years experience in the areas of supported and customized employment, transition from school to work, and Employment First policy and practice. More recently, her research, teaching, and grant development has focused on health care transition, health disparities, interdisciplinary health science education, and the integration of health and employment. Dr. Parent-Johnson is a member of the APSE Board, CESP certification council, and Editor of the Journal of Rehabilitation.
Shelly Baer, MSW, LCSW


Mailman Center for Child Development (LEND)

Online bio.

Social Work Accessibility, self-advocacy, leadership

Shelly Baer, LCSW received her bachelor's in psychology/special education at University of Miami and her master's in social work at Yeshiva University. She has worked as a clinical social worker for 20 years in the Miami community focusing on under-served populations. Her current position at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine is at the Mailman Center for Child Development as Director of Leadership Training Initiatives which includes LEND, Emerging Transformational Leadership Program and Self-Advocate Leadership Training (SALT). As clinical social work supervisor, she supervises LEND social work interns.

Ms. Baer is an individual with a disability growing up with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and it has never slowed her down. Ms. Baer created a resource guide called ACCESS Miami providing social service and accessibility resources for people with disabilities; the guide is now part of Mailman's website. Shelly is a sought after speaker to colleges and medical schools where she opens up dialogues and sheds light on the ins and outs of dating, relationships and having sex with a disability. There are still many myths and stereotypes regarding people with disabilities and sexuality; Shelly is on a mission to break that up!

As a springboard for discussion, she utilizes the photography exhibit she co-created, Bold Beauty Project which showcases women with disabilities beauty and sensuality. Bold Beauty Project recently incorporated as a non-profit and Ms. Baer serves as the Director; it is based in Miami. In September 2011, she gave a TEDxMiami talk on "The Beauty of Disability." Shelly hopes to replicate Bold Beauty nationally and you can reach her through the website-