May 8, 2006 • Volume 6, Number 61


May is Mental Health Month!  MIND Your Health


AUCD Announces Locations to Work with the Social Security Administration to Improve Childhood Adjudications.  AUCD is pleased to announce the first Pediatric Medical Units (PMU) that will work on the state and regional level with SSA and disability agencies to improve the timeliness and accuracy of childhood disability adjudications.  The first four prototypes will operate at the following locations: 

AUCD plans to circulate a request for Statements of Interest for Year 2 in fall 2006 and to announce the second set of PMUs by the end of 2006. Pending budget authorization, AUCD will add locations on an annual basis as the network of PMUs expand.  Please contact Rhoda Schulzinger with questions.  For more detailed information, visit the AUCD SSA website 


AUCD Executive Director Moderating Congressional Briefing on NCBDDD.  George Jesien , Executive Director of AUCD will be moderating a Congressional Staff Briefing on the Role of Health Promotion and Prevention in Addressing Mental and Physical Disabilities and Birth Defects sponsored by Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Rep Mike Oxley (R-OH) on Tuesday May 16th a 12:00 PM in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building .  More detailed information is available through the AUCD Press Release.

Photo of Sue LinCentral Office Welcomes New AUCD-NCBDDD Cooperative Agreement Director.  Sue Lin  joins AUCD as its new Project Director of the AUCD Cooperative Agreement with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) of CDC.  In this position, Sue will work with the AUCD grantees and NCBDDD staff to strengthen the network's capacity to carry out public health activities in the areas of birth defects, developmental disabilities, and health promotion for people living with disabilities.  Sue has served people with all disabilities through her work in vocational rehabilitation, independent living and the Assistive Technology Act programs in Massachusetts and West Virginia .  Sue has a MS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan and has extensive expertise in alternative computer access, alternative augmentative communication, environmental control systems, and job-site modifications.  We are excited about the experience, knowledge and skills that she brings to the national office and the AUCD network.  She can be contacted at [email protected]; 301-588-8252 ext. 212.

AUCD-NCBDDD Spina Bifida Fellow Announced.   AUCD is pleased and excited to announce that Ann Alrikkson-Schmidt joined CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) as the Spina Bifida Fellow.  Ms. Alrikkson-Schmidt will work as a member of the Disability and Health Team in the Division of Human Development and Disability. She will work with the team to develop sound procedures to track children identified by existing birth defects surveillance programs and to evaluate the natural history of spina bifida. Ms. Alrikkson-Schmidt brings a unique combination of experiences and competencies as well as training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Civitan International Research Center that will be extremely useful for the fellowship program. She has a strong background in applied work in the developmental disabilities and birth defects field, applied research with the pediatric population, and formal graduate studies in epidemiology and psychology. She received her Masters in Psychology and Masters in Public Health and will complete her doctoral program in Developmental Psychology from UAB this summer. Please welcome Ann by sending her an email at [email protected]. For further details about AUCD-NCBDDD fellowships, feel free to contact Sue Lin, Director of the AUCD-NCBDDD Cooperative Agreement.

AUCD Announces Launch of Developmental Disability Research Centers (DDRC) Web Portal.  Sponsored by NICHD, and working in conjunction with Woodbourne Solutions and a number of volunteer DDRCs, AUCD has been developing the DDRC Web Portal over the last year. The DDRC Web Portal is an online community created exclusively for DDRC researchers and staff to share information, collaborate and leverage the resources and expertise available throughout the DDRC network.  For more information about the portal, contact Evette Mezger.

Reminder:  AUCD 2006 Annual Meeting Call for Participation.  On behalf of the AUCD Program Planning Committee and Royal Walker , Jr. (Program Chairperson), the AUCD Central Office is pleased to announce the Call for Participation for the 2006 Annual Meeting and Conference, October 29 - November 1, 2006 at the Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC.  This year's Meeting promises to be exceptionally exciting and informative as we explore the theme, Forging New Partnerships for New Challenges through Research, Education and Service.  We encourage you to submit proposals to be considered for presentation at the Annual Meeting which provide an opportunity to celebrate our new and existing partners while we explore how partnerships, networks and other formal and informal collaborations can address the new challenges facing our network and our nation.  Submit your proposal today!  Help us realize the vision of full participation of persons with disabilities and their families in the life of our communities and our nation as we try to make a difference in their lives.  For complete details, please visit the 2006 Annual Meeting Conference Website. Deadline for submission of proposals is June 1, 2006.  We look forward to receiving your proposals and to your participation in the 2006 Annual Meeting and Conference.

Online 2006 AUCD Trainee Linkage Survey.  Comments and feedback are requested from the UCEDD & LEND trainees.  AUCD and the National Training Directors Council want to find out what you most enjoyed during your trainee year and what suggestions you have for next year's trainee activities. Please participate by June 1, 2006.

LEND links.   The May issue of LEND-links has been published and is now available for viewing.