Wendy Spoon, Oklahoma LEND Trainee, Parent/Family Discipline 1/8/21
Better pay for direct support professionals, more post-secondary educational opportunities for young adults with disabilities, and continuing funding for interdisciplinary programs that promote the inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) were among issues on the table as a group of fellows from the Institute on Community Integration met this month with members of Minnesota's congressional delegation.
Before 2020, Iowa's LEND program did not have a Self-Advocacy Coordinator serving as Core Faculty for trainees in the program. Before 2019, Iowa's UCEDD, the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), did not have a Self-Advocacy Coordinator as a member of its staff. Before 2017, Iowa LEND had never had a Self-Advocacy Trainee. But since 2016, when he became a member of the UCEDD's Community Advisory Committee, CDD has had Ed Esbeck. For the past year, since he was hired as CDD's Self-Advocacy Coordinator in the fall of 2019, Esbeck has championed inclusion for Iowa LEND, and has led the way for more self-advocates to become leaders, as he has.
"No one rises to low expectations." New Mexican Congresswoman Deborah Haaland's words motivated leaders and trainees alike during the Hill Visit day at the AUCD conference in Washington DC, "Leading Change Together," this past November. These words were shared with the NH-ME LEND cohort and guided us through a rigorous training year working to improve the health and education of children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities by engaging in training related to interdisciplinary, family-centered, culturally competent systems of care.
The 12th cohort of ICI's Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (MNLEND) program graduated May 14 in an online ceremony that featured a congratulatory message from U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, among others, and video testimonials from graduates themselves about what the interdisciplinary fellowship program has meant for them.
The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD, Iowa's UCEDD) is proud to announce that Mary Ball, M.A. LSC, and Cassandra Olmstead, M.A., are the 2020 recipients of the Alfred Healy Leadership Award in Developmental Disabilities. Ball and Olmstead were members of the 2019-2020 cohort of the Iowa Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities program (ILEND).
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.
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education, Higher Education Programs is currently recruiting peer reviewers to evaluate applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Model Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) program.
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