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Team photo of the Mississippi Deep South Hurricanes Softball Team


IDS Staff Members Participate in World Series of Wheelchair Softball

The Institute for Disability Studies offers a variety of year-round adaptive recreation and sports programming, including Quidditch, wheelchair basketball and tennis. Recently, two staff members, Sylvester Crosby and Robbie Sullivan, joined their Deep South Hurricanes teammates to represent Mississippi in the 2022 Wheelchair Softball World Series (WSWS) August 4-6 in Crestwood, Illinois.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center TRIAD Program Partners With Zoological Association to Develop 'Inclusive Communities of Science'

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center's (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) is collaborating with Oregon State University's STEM Research Center and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to support the Modeling Zoos and Aquariums as Inclusive Communities of Science (MoZAICS) project.



Nisonger In 'Sights' Photo Contest

The Nisonger In'Sights' Photo Contest first began in 2014 as a way to help increase positive images of individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities and their families. Since then, with themes varying from 'at work' , 'technology' and 'families'; we've received over 500 photos and been able to use them in a multitude of settings and variety of media including our website, facebook page, and various promotional, educational and research materials - THANK YOU!



The Cicadas are Coming - Social Narrative

The cicadas are coming if they are not here already. This social narrative talks about what to expect with the cicadas and how to deal with them.



New Postsecondary Education Program: Horticulture Options in Plant Sciences (HOPS)

The HOPS Project is a two semester (approximately 32 weeks) training program whose purpose is to provide instruction and support individuals with disabilities to gain the necessary skills and experiences in work readiness in order to successfully transition into competitive integrated employment in the horticulture industry. Students have the option to become certified on the state/national level.



2021 Disability Policy Seminar

April 19-22, 2021 - A Virtual Event

The Disability Policy Seminar offers the opportunity for passionate advocates, self-advocates, experts, and professionals in the field to come together and learn about key issues that affect them most. After two days of training and learning, attendees head to Capitol Hill for a day of meetings with their Members of Congress.



Building Mental Health Muscles in Special Olympians and Bridging Learning Opportunities for Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Trainees

A Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) partnership with Special Olympics Tennessee and the Strong Minds program teaches athletes coping strategies to reduce stress while providing trainees with hands-on learning opportunities.



COVID-19 Public Health Webinar Series

Join us for this 4-part webinar series, as we review what we currently know on disability inclusion as it relates to this emerging issue. Each session will be 75-minutes.

Arya gives her partner a hug at a recent session of the Young Athletes Program


MMI, Special Olympics Nebraska Team on Program

The Munroe-Meyer Institute and the Special Olympics Nebraska team for the Young Athletes Program.



Building an Autism Friendly Hospital: How we started, what we have accomplished, and where we go from here

Authors: Belinda O'Hagan, MA; Coral Bays-Muchmore, BSc; Alexander Friedman, MPH; Lauren Bartolotti, MA; Shari King, MA MPH

Hospital visits can be particularly challenging for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) if their unique communication, sensory, and safety/behavioral needs are unaddressed1,2 (Figure 1). This is especially concerning as individuals of all ages with ASD have been found to have higher rates of various medical conditions, and are thus subject to higher healthcare utilization and costs3-6.



The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities Hosts a Project SEARCH Intern (MD UCEDD)

The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute recently hosted its first Project SEARCH intern. Project SEARCH is an internationally recognized program, which seeks to secure competitive employment for individuals with disabilities. Over the past month, the MCDD interviewed candidates for Kennedy Krieger's Project SEARCH program. Potential interns met with staff attorneys at Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), a community-based program of the MCDD, which is located in downtown Baltimore on the medical campus. The MCDD ultimately decided to hire Cole Slusher as the MCDD's first Project SEARCH intern. Cole has a rare gene mutation, which resulted in significant developmental delays as a baby and young child. He enrolled in the Kennedy Krieger School at Fairmount, and completed his education at Kennedy Krieger High School. Thereafter, he enrolled in workforce training through the Project SEARCH program.



Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (MT UCEDD) announces recipient of the 2019 Community Investment Fund

In 2015, the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) established the Community Investment Fund (CIF). CIF awards support innovative projects or programs that help Montanans with disabilities live, learn, work and play alongside people without disabilities. Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) members use their leadership and advocacy skills to review each application, evaluate the merits of each proposal, and award the funds.



IDS Staff Members Play in 2019 Wheelchair Softball World Series (MS UCEDD)

Mississippi's UCEDD, the Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) was represented at the 2019 National Wheelchair Softball World Series (WSWS) by staff members, Sylvester Crosby and Robbie Sullivan, who joined their Deep South Hurricanes teammates to participate in the international competition in Kansas City, Kansas.



Access All Day (OH UCEDD/LEND)

The LEND Program at the University of Cincinnati UCEDD provides training to Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden staff to help make the zoo more accessible for people with disabilities and their families. The last two years, the zoo has hosted an Access for All Day, where they invite the community to take part in the progress they've made to make the zoo more accessible such as: adult changing tables, sensory friendly restrooms, planning maps, social narratives, visual supports, sensory bags and more.

From left, Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Munroe-Meyer Institute and Jim Sutfin, Ed.D., superintendent of Millard Public Schools


Program Launched for Special Education Students to Combat Social Isolation (NE UCEDD/LEND)

By John Keenan

The Munroe-Meyer Institute and Millard Public Schools will partner on new social and recreational skills development programs for special education students with autism and other forms of intellectual and developmental disabilities, designed to decrease social isolation and prepare students for life after school. "Social and life skills development is essential for the long-term prosperity of every individual," said Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Munroe-Meyer Institute.

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