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Va-LEND Thrives Amid COVID-19

Presentation and discussion of research posters and leadership presentations herald the end of the Va-LEND program for the academic year at Virginia Commonwealth University. They are typically lively events marked by discussion, acknowledgement of trainee achievements, and fellowship. This year was very different due to the commonwealth's response to COVID-19 and need to socially distance.



Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities Factsheets

The Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities is a national coalition that was established to identify and reduce life-limiting healthcare inequities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by improving access to medical protocols that reduce medical discrimination. They have created a couple of fact sheets on how to safeguard against disability discrimination during COVID-19



WIHD Conducts Virtual Training with First-year Medical School Students

Karen Millman, LEND Family Partnership Training Coordinator/LEND Family Faculty, at the Westchester Institute for Human Development, in partnership with Jeanne Wilson, M.D. Course Director, "Foundations of Clinical Medicine", at New York Medical College held a 'virtual' joint training session on 4/22, for first-year medical school students. The session is typically held every year in-person, in the Spring, on the campus of NYMC, but due to COVID-19, this year the session was held via Zoom.

Whitney Terrill, MNLEND Community Fellow


MN LEND Fellows Use Their Training in COVID-19 Response

The MN LEND Fellows at the Institute on Community Integration shared stories of how their work is being impacted by the pandemic.



Kansas Autism Annual Conference Goes Virtual

This year's Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training (K-CART) bi-annual conference Autism Across the Lifespan co-sponsored by Kansas LEND was quickly and successfully re-imagined to be held virtually on April 10th via zoom. LEND faculty members Leni Swails, Ph.D., Rene Jamison, Ph.D. and Skylar Bellinger, Pd.D. partnered with Matt Mosconi, Ph.D. and Sean Swindler of KCART to present on the unique challenges faced by individuals with ASD, their caregivers, and providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.



COVID-19 Information for People with Disabilities, Older Adults, and Others with Functional or Access Needs

Project REDD under the leadership of Dr. Laura Stough has begun to provide resources online for people with disabilities, older adults, and others with functional or access needs. We are updating the site daily and we are working on the REDDy Directory to update and list sources who can also help provide services during this crisis. You can also submit information on the REDDy Site to be included - it's changed slightly since it was hacked into recently and you may submit entries and we will post them.



In Crisis, MN UCEDD/LEND Responds

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and training specialists at the Institute on Community Integration (MN UCEDD/LEND) are launching several new ventures aimed at supporting people with disabilities through the crisis.



MMI Aids in Effort to Provide Free Communication Tools

Jessica Gormley, Ph.D., assistant professor and speech pathologist at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, was part of a nationwide effort by members of the Patient Provider Communication Forum to produce free online communication resources to patients and their health care workers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.



Dr. Stough and a group of scholars and practitioners have been selected as a Disability and COVID-19 Working Group by the Natural Hazards Center

The group includes 14 members from 9 universities and centers representing the 8 disciplines of: Communication, Disability Studies, Education, Educational Psychology, Psychology, Public Health, Special Education, and Social Work. The group includes 3 members representing minority groups, a student researcher, and all of our members themselves have or have family members with disabilities or special health care needs. The primary positions are similarly diverse and include researchers, teachers, practitioners, support personnel, and project directors. As each member of the group already have existing research agendas, teaching positions, or oversee projects aligned with this topic, they will bring knowledge from these experiences to the working group.



AUCD's National Center on Disability in Public Health Shares COVID-19 Emergency Response Information

One of the most important tasks for AUCD's public health team and the entire network right now is sharing accurate, timely information on COVID-19 for the disability community. AUCD's Network Public Health Webinar Series on COVID-19 did just that, together with programs and centers across the network. This 4-part webinar series, hosted by AUCD's National Center on Disability in Public Health, reviewed timely public health information on what we currently know on disability inclusion as it relates to this emerging issue, reaching about 2,000 attendees through the live sessions. Fantastic speakers from the Health and Disability SIG, Emergency Preparedness SIG, Mental Health Aspects of I/DD, Nutrition SIG, Sexual Health SIG, FASD SIG, Family Discipline Network, and the Council on Leadership in Advocacy (COLA) participated alongside colleagues from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Please check the webinar series page for the recordings and share the links with partners and colleagues.



A Disability Should Not Invalidate a Person's Worthiness, Especially During a Pandemic

Read Dr. Nick Winges-Yanez' Op-Ed piece titled, "A Disability Should Not Invalidate a Person's Worthiness, Especially During a Pandemic". Within the article, Dr. Winges-Yanez shares how people with disabilities are being discriminated against during the COVID-19 pandemic.



WIHD medical professionals help special-needs children, their parents during pandemic

WIHD was interviewed by Samantha Crawford of News 12 Westchester to highlight our use of telehealth services to protect thousands of patients with disabilities.



COVID19 Shifts Family Mentoring Experience

Va-LEND trainees have always appreciated close interaction with their mentoring families through the Family Mentorship Experience (FME) program, a highlight of their time in Va-LEND. However, starting in March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in person visits were no longer feasible due to social distancing.



COVID-19 Resources

Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute (MI-DDI) has compiled COVID-19 resources to assist the community to protect the health and safety of at-risk populations. There are a number of plain and Spanish language resources, as well as resources aimed towards specific age groups, people with I/DD, and direct support professionals (DSPs).



Wyoming Institute for Disabilities Facilitates Telehealth Access During COVID-19 Pandemic

The University of Wyoming's Wyoming Telehealth Network (WyTN) is assisting healthcare providers virtually connect with patients to prevent the spread of and assist in the diagnosis of the COVID-19 virus. The network is administered by the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, a unit of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wyoming, in partnership with the Wyoming Department of Health.

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