Family Leaders: What They are Saying, and how UCEDDs and LENDs can help


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Archived Recording
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Tuesday, June 9, 2020
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Webinar

Webinar Description:

As a follow up to the webinar: Families: What They are Saying, and how UCEDDs and LENDs can help. We have invited 3 family leaders from the ECPC/DEC Family Cohort to bring their perspectives to the conversation. Disparities, access to technology, food, housing, job security and appropriate bi-lingual services including adequate support to teach at home have been identified as barriers. This panel of family members will join Ann and Rud Turnbull to discuss their perspectives on these challenges and how the UCEDDs can help. 

This is a webinar by sponsored by AUCD's Early Childhood Special Interest Group.


Chioma Oruh, Ph.D. is a mother of two brilliant young sons with Autism Spectrum Disorder that current attend nonpublic schools, and have attended DC public schools, both traditional public and public charter schools. In learning to navigate the systems of care for her family, she also learned to put her skills in service of other families and organizations serving families of children with special needs, including behavioral health. Dr. Oruh is an experienced education advocate, working over two years under the supervision of skilled attorneys to build cases that protect the educational rights of students with disabilities and is versed in federal guidelines articulated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act. In addition to supporting individual families, Dr. Oruh has also been a public advocate, supporting key local education and healthcare policies and practices in the District of Columbia as it impacts families of children with special needs.

Having experience in the public and private sector, Dr. Oruh has dedicated her life to humanitarian service, civic engagement and community organizing and is currently the founder of Chi Bornfree, LLC, a single member company providing parent advocacy coaching, business consulting, and other products, including a weekly blog and newsletter on key issues such as emotional intelligence, wellness, policy review, book review and intellectual discourse on disability, mental health and family-centered practices. As a consultant, she works with The George Washington University's Milken School of Public Health Center for Health and Healthcare in Schools as part of the school behavioral health expansion via the DC Community of Practice and the Bainum Family Foundation's Stakeholder Learning Community.

Dr. Oruh earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from Howard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from The George Washington University. She has also served as a Diversity Fellow and earned an Early Intervention Certification from the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development in 2019 and previously earned a Certificate in Leadership from The Leadership Academy of the Georgetown University's National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Competency and completed a Community Activist Fellowship via the Wayfinder Foundation. She has completed a Community Organizing Training Program via Innovate Public Schools in San Francisco, CA, recently studied Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment and related Disabilities (LEND) Fellow via the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is part of the Cohort 2 of the Family Leadership Cohort of the Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC)/the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and was part of Cohort 1 of the Disability Entrepreneur Start Up Incubator via 2Gether-International, Inc sponsored by the DC Mayor's Office of Planning and Economic Development.

Karen Young Lewis, currently serves as the chair of the Georgia State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC) as well as secretary of the Cobb Douglas Local Interagency Coordinating Council (LICC). Karen is also a Parent Resource Coordinator for Babies Can’t Wait in Cobb/Douglas as well as serves as a member of the NICU Advisory Board at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta/Scottish Rite. She has served on the Cobb County Stakeholders for Children with Disabilities Committee and was previously a member of the Quality Care for Children Regional Team as a parent advisor. She previously held in a similar position as Parent Educator for BCW working with SCEIs (Skilled Credentialed Early Interventionists) in Georgia. As a parent of a non-verbal child with neurodevelopmental disabilities and Parent Resource Coordinator for BCW in Cobb/Douglas Counties, Karen is uniquely suited to share her knowledge and experience as a mom of a child that has special needs and is medically fragile. She also shares information about organizations and community resources plus works to help further educate and foster the partnership between parents and support professionals to hopefully bridge the gap between home and services offered. She and her husband, Jeffrey, are the proud parents of one son, Cyrus Stephens Lewis who is currently in the special education program in Cobb County Schools.

Doris Tellado, the parent of two children. Her youngest son has Larsen syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the development of bones throughout the body. He also has Autism and hearing loss. Since birth, her son has needed multiple surgeries and acute medical care. Along with her husband Jose Luis, Doris has always been a partner in his care and education, collaborating closely with medical professionals and educators.

Since 2007, she has been sharing her experiences with other families by working as a Family Resource Specialist for the University of Florida North Central Early Steps, a part of the early intervention program for the state of Florida. In her role, she helps other families to navigate early intervention and other systems of care providing information, supports, and resources to enhance their children's learning and development.

As a parent leader, Doris has presented to the students at the University of Florida College of Education in multiple occasions and was part of the Advisory Board for the Preparing Early Childhood Leaders Implementation Science (PLECS-IS) at the college's Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies.

Doris is part of the Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC)/Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Family Leadership Cohort 2. A member of the advisory boards for Florida Family Leadership Network (FFLN), Family Run Organizations Movement (FROM) and Florida and Virgin Islands Deafblind Collaborative (FAVI).

In her free time, Doris likes gardening, cooking and spending time with her family.

Rud and Ann Turnbull, are Co-founders and former Co-directors of the Beach Center on Disability and Distinguished Professors Emeriti of Special Education at the University of Kansas. Between them, they have authored over 40 books (including two leading textbooks now in their 7th and 8th editions) and over 500 articles and chapters. In 1999, they were selected by the National Preservation Trust in Developmental Disabilities as two of 36 individuals who have "changed the course of history for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the 20th century." Their greatest learning has come from their son, Jay Turnbull (1967-2009), who experienced multiple disabilities and whom they have always called their "best professor." 

Please Note:

  • There is no cost for this webinar.
  • CEUs are not offered for this webinar.
  • This webinar will be held on the Zoom Platform. You can test your connection with Zoom before joining the meeting here.
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  • This webinar will be archived.