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Celebrating 25 Years of Va-LEND and Beyond

By Jennifer Drummond

A Chinese proverb states that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the second best time is now. The Va-LEND (Virginia Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) program was established over 25 years ago and is planting new seeds for the next generation of maternal and child health leaders. It all began with recognizing an opportunity.

Mississippi Version of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month poster with theme Disability: Part of the Equity Equation


Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2022

By: Jerry R. Alliston

Throughout the month of October, The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) is hosting a series of activities in conjunction with National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). National Disability Employment Awareness Month is part of an annual awareness campaign designed to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's national theme is "Disability: Part of the Equity Equation." Each year, IDS receives permission from the Department of Labor to adapt the national poster into a Mississippi focused one featuring youth and young adults with disabilities.



Dr. Bates Attend Year 2 of Leadership and Economic Development Program

Dr. DeMetra Bates, Executive Housing Director, The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS), has recently completed the Year 2 of the 36th annual Community Development Institute (CDI) at the University of Central Arkansas on August 5, 2022. Dr. Demetra Bates was selected as a scholarship recipient for the Community Development Institute for the second consecutive year in June 2022.

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.

Linda Labas, ME UCEDD Early Childhood Coordinator


Labas Reflects on Maine Partners' Collaboration to Create a Professional Pathway for TA Professionals Supporting ME's Early Childhood Workforce

Linda Labas, who recently retired as early childhood coordinator for the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS), Maine's UCEDD, wrote a reflection on a multi-year collaboration with three state partners that created a set of competencies and a credential for technical assistance (TA) professionals who support Maine's early childhood workforce.



New Director for the PATHS Program at Texas A&M University Announced

The PATHS Program at Texas A&M University would like to welcome Leticia LaSota to the PATHS family! Leticia comes to us from Emporia State University in Kansas and is now our new Director for the PATHS Program! Leticia has a wealth of experience at the postsecondary level and brings with her some amazing ideas that will be valuable as we continue to grow and expand. Welcome to the PATHS family, Leticia!

 Cover of Frontline Initiative, 18(1), showing an employee with disabilities in front of the store where he works. He is standing with his DSP. Both people are Black.


New Frontline Initiative: Diverse Voices

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals and the MN UCEDD have released the latest issue of their joint publication, Frontline Initiative. This issue, available in English and Spanish, is about the diverse voices of direct support professionals.



PATHS Student, Noah Stormski, Presented on Vaccine Hesitancy

Noah Storemski is a second-year student participating in the PATHS program with the 2021 co-hort. He is currently studying under the Direct Support Para-Professional track and fulfilling his practicum. He has been hired to work with Vanessa Richard, Program Coordinator, of a grant through Administration for Community Living (ACL) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



The 2022-2023 Work-Based Learning Application is Available Now!

Project TAPP-Teaching, Autism, and Practitioner Preparation.Our team provides a series of workshops, followed by 3 months of follow-up support, to paraprofessional and teacher teams working with students with autism in Texas.During follow up, we provide check-ins, resources related to the workshops, and individualized support based on need.



The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute Welcomes Five New Staff Members

The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute recently hired five new staff members. This article introduces each staff member including their current title, summary of their position, education background, and relevant work history.

Cover of Impact, 35(2), showing a young employee with a disability in a workshop. He is operating industrial equipment and wearing a work apron.


Transition Through a Global Lens

The new issue of Impact, which is the flagship publication of the MN UCEDD, is about transition in a global context for people with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities.

Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Logo consisting of yellow, blue, and green intertwined lines with OHSU written underneath in gray letters.


Why is it so difficult to change ableist language?

By Daniela Buchillon-Almeida, OHSU UCEDD Intern

We have moved away from using many words with harmful and oppressive connotations over the past couple of decades, but why has knowledge, understanding, and change of ableist language remained limited?



WVU CED Launches New Disability Micro-credentials/Badges for Faculty and Staff

A new micro-credential (badge) available at West Virginia University focuses on disabilities and disability services and supports within the university setting (https://cedwvu.org/badges/). Specifically designed for faculty, instructors and staff from any university, this badge series provides information you may choose to use for: Enhancing your classroom environment and course experience for students. Enhancing your clinical/professional first impressions with patients and clients.



The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities (NJ UCEDD/LEND) Launches Community Life Video Series

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities (NJ UCEDD/LEND) launched a new Community Life Video Series created through funding from New Jersey's Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities and in partnership with people with developmental disabilities. The Community Life Video Series is meant to illustrate key concepts of the federal Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Final Rule which requires that people with developmental disabilities have full access to community life and receive services in the most integrated setting possible. In each video, people with developmental disabilities share why community life and aspects of the Rule that support it are important to them.



Georgetown UCEDD Hires New Associate Director

The Georgetown UCEDD hired Pamala Trivedi, PhD, NCSP, to be the new Associate Director. Dr. Trivedi Pamala is a licensed psychologist, nationally certified school psychologist, policy expert, and applied behavioral health researcher with more than two decades of experience supporting children, youth and adults across a range of developmental levels, as well as the providers and families who care for them.

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