Community Conversation: Engaging Diverse Local Communities

Community Conversation: Engaging Diverse Local Communities


pdf File Engaging Diverse Local Communities Presentation (323KB) [download]

Archived Recording
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Webinar


AUCD's Diversity and Inclusion Blueprint team hosts a community conversation for UCEDDs and LENDs to engage in open dialogue about the challenges they face in services, programs, and recruitment related to diversity and inclusion. This is an opportunity to also share strategies to better improve practices as well as the operational and infrastructure considerations to support those practices. This conversation on engaging diverse local communities will be facilitated by Christina Espinosa and Walt Bower, PhD, of the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky. Barbara Wheeler, PhD, will also bring her expertise to react and respond to the conversation and questions.



Photo of Walter Bower, PhDWalt Bower, PhD, is the University of Kentucky's Human Development Institute's Preservice Training Coordinator. He coordinates practicum placements and Mentor Family matches for HDI's Graduate Certificate students and facilitates Mentor Family panels and presentations on developmental disability topics and resources for the UK College of Medicine, UK Division of Physical Therapy, and other community-wide groups. He teaches HDI 603 - Interdisciplinary Supports Practicum in the Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities. He also develops remote, live long-distance learning sites at other colleges, clinical settings, and rehab institutions across Kentucky for HDI's Fall and Spring Seminar Series and serves as the co-chair of a committee engaging underserved populations. In addition, he is responsible for providing resource linkage for UK employees on disability issues and receiving requests for resources for lifespan disability issues from individuals throughout the state of Kentucky. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Kentucky.

Photo of Christina EspinosaChristina Espinosa has worked with Kentucky's UCEDD, the Human Development Institute (HDI) since completing her MA in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2007. She works across projects at HDI focused on improving the lives of people with disabilities. Christina directs a project completing home assessments and modifications for people returning to the community from institutional settings. As the Distance Learning Coordinator for HDI, she is responsible for the online offering of our Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities. She additionally serves as PI for a contract with the Office for the Blind to conduct, analyze and report on their Consumer Satisfaction Survey, as well as a contract with the Office for Vocational Rehabilitation for the Statewide Independent Living Council Coordinator. Lastly, she has been the co-chair of HDI's Underserved Populations Engagement Committee, and previously the Diversity Committee since 2009.

Photo of Barbara Wheeler, PhDBarbara Yoshioka Wheeler, PhD,  RN, has an undergraduate in Nursing and a doctorate in Special Education and is the Associate Director for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities programs for the University of Southern California University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (USC UCEDD) and Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine at USC. She has a 30-year history with the UCEDD writing and administering grants and contracts that began with addressing barriers to full community inclusion for individuals with intellectual and related disabilities (i.e., service inclusion for students with disabilities; transition consultant to the LAUSD Chanda Smith Consent Decree in 2003; Project GUIDE training for law enforcement to interview victims with severe DD; co-development of a national program to train Special Education Advocates; providing disability consultation to California's Americorps programs). Her current focuses on strengthening the parent and consumer voice in systems reform, and on addressing disparities in services for individuals with DD and their families from culturally and linguistically diverse groups, i.e., building the capacity of minority community-based disability organizations to become part of the fabric of the DD service system and organizing multi-cultural advocacy networks. Her research has focused on the inclusion of Latinos in bio-medical research on ASD and attempting to understand barriers to services for individuals at the intersections of race/ethnicity and disability. She is currently maintaining her collaboration with California State University Los Angeles (a minority serving institution) on Minority Pipeline programs to bring more racial, cultural and linguistically diverse students into higher education and to populate the workforce of the DD, healthcare, and related fields with leaders who reflect the rapidly changing demographics of our nation. At the policy level, she served on the President's Committee on Mental Retardation for five-years during the Clinton administration, was the past Chair of the Multi-Cultural Council for the Association of University Centers on Disability, and a member of the Task Force on Equity and Diversity for the California Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders.


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