February 27, 2007 • Volume 7, Number 2


New Autism Prevalence Study Underscores Need for Research, Services, and Supports (AUCD Press Release). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new study on the prevalence of Autism and related disabilities. According to the recent study, approximately 1 in every 150 American children has a potential diagnosis of Autism, a higher rate than previously reported just a year ago. This study was based on in depth review of medical and school records for children who were 8 years of age at multiple sites across the country. Several Centers across the AUCD network collaborated with CDC on this important study. It is one of the largest and most intensive studies to date.

Redesigned Website Launched! AUCD announced the launch of a completely redesigned website at the beginning of February. The new website has hopefully provided you with more intuitive navigation, more focused content, and a cleaner user interface for enhanced usability. The website uses a content management system (CMS) which will allow greater flexibility in presenting information and faster, more efficient updates and maintenance by AUCD staff and content owners. New features include:

  • AUCD - A Guided Tour: An introduction to AUCD for new visitors
  • Member Spotlight: Highlights members and noteworthy events in the AUCD Network
  • Special features: An acronym dictionary, improved event listings, restructured public policy sections, and a regularly updated list of funding opportunities
  • Health & Disability Digest: An online publication highlighting the AUCD-NCBDDD Cooperative Agreement
  • Reorganized Council web pages

We invite you to tell us what you think by taking the Visitor Survey. This version of the AUCD website is our next step to provide better organization and accessibility to AUCD network-wide information. We want to continue to make improvements to the information we provide to you so please let us know what you think and any suggestions that you may have. We welcome all feedback! If you have questions about the new website, please contact Evette Mezger, Director of Information Services, 301-588-8252.

Aging Out of EPSDT: Issues for Young Adults with Disabilities (Issue Brief). This issue brief written by Bob Williams, Senior Policy Consultant at AUCD and Jennifer Tolbert with the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, discusses the challenges and implications for young people with disabilities when they become adults and lose their Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefits, and looks at how recent changes to the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) gives states an opportunity to increase the availability of services that allow disabled individuals to lead as normal a life as possible as they move into adulthood.

Reintroduction of the AUCD Health and Disability Digest. We are happy to reintroduce the quarterly, online publication highlighting the latest news about the AUCD-NCBDDD Cooperative Agreement and public health and disability. This issue features the following Project News and Updates:

  • 2007 Research Topic Of Interest (RTOI) Opportunities
  • New NCBDDD-AUCD Fellow for CDC's "Learn the Signs, Act Early" Campaign

For more information or submit questions, please contact Sue Lin, Project Director of CDC Cooperative Agreement.

Current Issue of LEND Links Available. Announcing the February edition of AUCD's LEND Links, the newsletter for and about the nation's 35 MCHB LEND Interdisciplinary Leadership Training Programs. The next issue of LEND Links will be produced at the end of the spring semester. *NEW: To submit articles and photos for LEND Links, simply visit the LEND Links Submission webpage!

Central Office Welcomes New Policy Fellow, David Morrissey. AUCD is pleased to announce that David Morrissey has been named as the 2007 Policy Fellow. A recent graduate of the University of Arkansas's Clinton School of Public Service, David began his fellowship this month. While earning his master's degree, Morrissey worked as the lead author of Arkansas youth with Spina Bifida: Supporting independence through transition planning, a manuscript that was presented before the CDC and Spina Bifida Association's joint annual meeting. He served the Arkansas Disability Policy Consortium with legislative agenda crafting, facilitating constituent focus groups, and communicating with state representative offices to complete his Clinton School Capstone Project. David participated in a 12 week Vietnam-based internship, during which he served grassroots disabilities organizations in creating developmental goals. He also taught grant writing workshops at Ho Chi Minh City's National University of Social Sciences and Humanities, and to the Disabled Youth Association.

Thoughts from the 2006-2007 AUCD Virtual Trainee Rene Jamison of the Developmental Disabilities Center (KS LEND): I would like to extend an opportunity for AUCD trainees to share their research interests and projects with other trainees and faculty across the network. A "call for papers" will be sent through the trainee listserv inviting trainees to submit summaries of their current or past research projects, program evaluations, or proposals for upcoming research projects. The selected research summaries will then be posted on the trainee section of the AUCD website. The upcoming "call for papers" will outline specific guidelines for submitting your summaries. This will provide a forum for trainees to share their research accomplishments, ideas, and proposals and facilitate opportunities for collaboration. I hope to hear from you, trainees! Best wishes, Rene Jamison.