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Mairead Deacy, Dr. Mirian Ofonedu, Diogo Fortes


2024 Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature Reflection

Each year, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities (MDD) Coalition sponsors Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature (DD Day), an opportunity for participants to educate state legislators in the capital on crucial issues affecting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), their caregivers and their families. On February 21, 2024, we had the pleasure of attending this year's DD Day as Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities trainees, alongside Kennedy Krieger Institute staff members, other trainees and self-advocates.



The State of HDI Podcast Explores Alternate Augmentative Communication

Dr. Jacqui Kearns discusses communication and alternative augmentative communication and how she collaborates to ensure all students in school can communicate.



Traumatic Brain Injury Toolkit for Emotional Self-Regulation Project

The TBI Toolkit for Emotional Self-Regulation project aims to connect individuals with TBIs to assistive technology that can help them better identify and understand their emotional rhythms and gain awareness of their emotions.



Mailman Center Awarded Two FAAST Grants to Support Assistive Technology Program

As part of its mission to improve the quality of life for Floridians with disabilities by increasing access to assistive technology, the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology, Inc. (FAAST) has awarded two grants to support the Mailman Center for Child Development's Assistive Technology program.

he DASUNS website enables Ugandans with disabilities to find and pay for the services of mobility guides, personal support assistants, sign language interpreters, and captioners.


PFP-IDE Alumni Ronald Kasule & Hassan Waddimba Launch Uganda's First Disability Accommodations Website

Ugandan Professional Fellows alumni Ronald Kasule and Hassan Waddimba have officially launched the DASUNS online platform (Diversity Ability Support Network System), which will broaden access to critical services for people with disabilities in their country. DASUNS (Diversity Ability Support Network System) is a social enterprise that provides information about disability resources and services in order to connect people with disabilities, service providers, and agencies. Its new website is a historic step forward for online access to disability accommodations in Uganda.



Va-LEND Cohorts Complete New Pediatric PT Residency

May 2021 marks the first-year anniversary of the accreditation of the Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. The program officially started in July of 2019 with its Director Terry Solano, PT, DPT. Solano is also a Va-LEND Faculty member and former Va-LEND Trainee. Jennifer Brashears, PT, DPT was one of two Va-LEND Trainees who were accepted into the program for the 2020-2021 academic year. "Residency programs are a relatively new idea in physical therapy, and even more so in pediatrics, so the process is competitive. Not all programs allow two residents, so this was unique and quite beneficial," said Brashears.



The Experts in the Room: Sonoran UCEDD students train Reid Park Zoo staff on accessibility, inclusion

Kayla was one of three other students who helped create and deliver a training focused on accessibility and inclusion at a local Tucson zoo. Kayla and her colleagues agree that the experience to apply what they learned and help make a difference in the community was a fulfilling experience.

Physical therapist Marne Iwand works with a client using the ZeroG Gait and Balance System at the new Munroe-Meyer Institute building.


New Tech Opens up Physical Therapy Opportunities

The new Munroe-Meyer Institute building was created to be on the cutting edge of clinical care and therapy for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and one improved technology already is in use and garnering a positive response from therapists and clients. The ZeroG Gait and Balance System includes a safety harness that runs along an 80-foot-long track in the mobility lab in the department of physical therapy, but it is far from a traditional body weight harness, said Sandra Willett, PhD, director of the MMI Department of Physical Therapy.



HDI Collaborates on NIH Research Education Program Grant

The UK Human Development Institute in collaboration with the UK College of Engineering and the UK College of Medicine Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine have received a National Institutes of Health R-25 Research Education Program grant: Team-Based Design of Assistive Technology Devices. This program invites students to apply for an opportunity to complete courses in engineering and universal design, participate in a clinical immersion experience at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, and gain practical skills and knowledge by working with people with disabilities who use assistive technology devices.



HDI to Partner with the Adaptive Martial Arts Association

The Kentucky Inclusive Health Collaborative at the UK Human Development Institute is excited to partner with the Adaptive Martial Arts Association (AMAA) to develop training modules for a web-based certificate course for instructors to increase capacity for adaptive martial arts in their academies.



WebAIM Celebrates Anniversary by Offering Scholarships to People with Disabilities

WebAIM celebrated its 20th year by giving back. The WebAIM team, located in the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University, trains individuals and corporations on web and digital document accessibility. As part of their anniversary celebration, they are offering free enrollments to their accessible documents course to people with disabilities, many of whom work in the accessibility field.



Pathway Program Adjusts to Remote Internships During Pandemic

Pathway at UCLA Extension has taken great pride in our robust internship program, which matches students with internship sites based on their career interests. For the last 15 years these internships have been in person. When Covid-19 restricted in-person internships for our safety in Los Angeles, Vocational Advisor, Rachael Ambler, started thinking outside the box. "Internships give our students a sense of purpose and responsibility, and even though in person opportunities were on hold, this need remained."



MI-DDI Autonomous Vehicle Project Releases White Paper

A study was conducted by the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute (MI-DDI) to gain a better understanding of how Autonomous Vehicles (AV) can be used to meet the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities. The study was funded by a grant from the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC).



Sharing Stories of Individuals with Disabilities: Vanderbilt Consortium LEND's Collaboration with Saddle Up!

By Tatum Gross, Family Discipline LEND Trainee at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Consortium LEND's trainees have been split into groups to work on interprofessional collaboration group projects. My group is working with Saddle Up!, a therapeutic horseback riding program in the Nashville, TN, area. Saddle Up! provides Adaptive Riding, Therapy Services, and an Equine Assisted Learning Program to individuals with disabilities ages 2-26.



Staying Connected During COVID-19: Waisman Center Outreach Supports AAC Remotely

The Communication Development Program (CDP) is an outreach program of the Waisman Center UCEDD at University of Wisconsin, Madison. This program was developed over 30 years ago in partnership with the Dane County Department of Human Services, and specifically the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) unit. The mission of CDP is to enhance community participation, health, safety, and self-determination for individuals with disabilities through specialized Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology (AT) services.

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