On behalf of AUCD Nominating Committee Chair, Bruce Keisling, and Board President, Amy Hewitt, AUCD is pleased to announce the newly elected members of the AUCD Board. These new members will begin their three-year term at the AUCD 2019 Conference.
Welcome to the 2019-2020 cohort of 22 trainees, 16 from New Hampshire and 6 from Maine who began the LEND year on August 30. Consistent with the program's goal of recruiting trainees from diverse backgrounds, we welcome self-advocates, family members, graduate students, and professionals representing a wide variety of professional fields including early intervention, education, family medicine, nursing, communication sciences and disorders, occupational therapy, journalism, humanities, human services, mental health, social work, public policy, and political science.
Previous LEND trainees and current Indiana LEND faculty, Maura Rouse, PsyD, HSPP and Brett Enneking, PsyD, HSPP, were recently awarded grant funding for their project to bring the telehealth model of care into the Indiana University/Riley Hospital for Children LEND clinic. Their project builds on previous care coordination research demonstrating that families need continued education and support related to diagnosis (e.g. autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability) and treatment following their child's initial evaluation. As Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University is one of the premier care centers for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in the state of Indiana, approximately 68% of the families travel more than an hour to receive this high quality care for their child.
What is it like to live without enough money to buy groceries for your family? Or pay for bus fare to get to the market? How do you find a job that provides a living wage? Or get to a job interview if you can't afford child care for your toddler? The new class of trainees from Iowa's LEND program encountered these issues and others, while participating in a poverty simulation to launch their training year.
MNLEND Fellow Becomes a Special Education Director at Minneapolis Public Schools Organization: Institute on Community Integration (MN UCEDD/LEND)
The Minneapolis Public Schools have chosen Deeqaifrah ("Deeqa") Hussein (MNLEND Fellow, 2017-18) as a Special Education Director. She credits many people and organizations for helping her get the position, including her husband Abdi Hussein (MNLEND Fellow, 2016-17) and family (she has two children with autism); the University of St. Thomas where she is earning her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Learning; her internship at the Minneapolis Public Schools with Rochelle Cox, Executive Director of Special Education and Health (and Hussein's new supervisor); and the student/family advocacy skills she learned as a MNLEND Fellow. Hussein spent the past two years as an Autism Itinerant Teacher, and for two years before that she was a High School Special Education Resource Teacher
Prior to their graduation on May 2, Iowa's twenty-three LEND trainees concluded their LEND experience by hosting the program's first LEND Research Poster Session. Trainees identified an area of interest, and then with the assistance of their training directors, either conducted a research project or performed a comprehensive review of current research. The Iowa LEND trainees complete over 370 hours of training over two semesters; the curriculum is focused on interdisciplinary clinical care, disability policy, culturally responsive care, and family/patient and professional partnerships.
CT LEND Students Sign Bill with CT Governor to Enhance Communication Between First Responders and Children and Adults with Disabilities
The UConn UCEDD staff and LEND students were invited to a bill signing of HB 7000 (PA 19-147) with Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. Governor Lamont praised the students and UCEDD for all the work they had done on the bill. Governor Lamont told the students how proud they should be for making a real difference in the world for the disability community. Representative Linehan, who met with the LEND students at the Capitol, worked with them on enhancing the UConn UCEDD's Emergency Preparation Flipbook to include a communication aid that would enhance communication between first responders and children and adults with disabilities.
Kansas LEND faculty "hit the road" bringing services and training to rural parts of Kansas. As part of our mission to improve access to care and build capacity, LEND faculty drove a CARE-A-Van nearly 800 miles from Kansas City to Garden City and Hays, Kansas. While there, the team worked closely with local school districts and providers to conduct autism and developmental evaluations.
Molly Peterson (LEND Fellow, 2018-19) is serious about play. "As a pediatric physical therapist, play is a pivotal aspect of my job description," she says. "Children are motivated to move and master mobility skills in an environment that appeals to them. It needs to be fun, exciting, and a little bit challenging. To me, community playgrounds foster that environment and provide children with or without a disability the opportunity to practice social, cognitive, and physical skills, and most importantly, the opportunity to play with peers. This project aims to stimulate discussion about inclusion and how playgrounds can be a stepping stone to promote inclusion from a young age." Peterson is talking about her LEND project that recommends the Minneapolis Board of Parks and Recreation make playgrounds more inclusive to people with disabilities.
Be sure to stay up to date with AUCD Emerging Leaders! We encourage all Emerging leaders to submit stories about their experiences within the AUCD Network.