April 2019: Autism Acceptance Month

AUCD’s International Fellows are using the network’s knowledge to transform young women with disabilities in Africa into tomorrow’s policy leaders. Visit the PFP-IDE Fellowship blog to read about Brian Malika’s award-winning project that’s introducing advocacy skills from the Indiana UCEDD to rural Kenya. Learn more...



Alternative Spring Break participants, from left to right: Jordan, Christian, Ameer, Hoy, David and Anna


Break for High School Students with Disabilities (MS UCEDD)

For one group of Hattiesburg-area high school students, Spring Break 2019 is not about the sand, the sun or the water - it's about preparing for the future. During the week of March 11-15, the Transition of Teens to Adult Life (ToTAL) Program at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) hosted an Alternative Spring Break on the Hattiesburg campus focused on preparing high school students with disabilities for employment.



Disability and Democracy: Barriers in Arizona Elections (AZ UCEDD)

The Institute for Human Development (IHD) at Northern Arizona University has been awarded funding to conduct a year-long, statewide research project identifying barriers to voting for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Arizona from the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (ADDPC).



Explore Access with UA Partners' Social Media Accessibility Toolkit (Arkansas UCEDD)

University of Arkansas Partners for Inclusive Communities has a new resource to assist organizations in making social media outreach more accessible. The Social Media Accessibility Toolkit provides information about how to use built-in features on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instragram to create accessible posts and videos. Where features are not available to solve certain accessibility issues, the toolkit offers alternative solutions.



Linking Nutrition and Disability (MN LEND)

What does food have to do with disability? Kalia Thor wanted to know. She is a Fellow in ICI's Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (MNLEND) Program, but she is also a second-year Master of Public Health nutrition student at the University of Minnesota, a Maternal and Child Health nutrition trainee, and a nutrition educator for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. "During undergrad [in nutritional science], I always wondered why nutrition choices were so limited for certain individuals with disabilities and why they tended to be so 'picky' at mealtime," she says. Thor still wants to know, but her interests have become more specific. "I want to work with diverse populations and figure out the nutritional deficits and needs of people with neurodevelopmental disorders like autism. Being part of MNLEND, I hope to use my knowledge and skills from previous experiences and apply them to children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their nutritional intake."

An SC LEND trainee and practicing nurse presented on information related to providing specialized training for school nurses working with students with disabilities.


SC LEND Trainees Attend the Nurturing Developing Minds Conference

The members of the South Carolina LEND program recently attended a state conference in March 2019 focusing on research and initiatives that are driven to create supportive environments to help children and their families flourish. The Nurturing Developing Minds conference provided several opportunities to the LEND trainees, including attending reviews of recent research and policies on developmental surveillance and screening (with a particular emphasis on the Help Me Grow nationwide initiative) and on the long-term risks of spanking and promising interventions (i.e., the No Hit Zone)


AUCD Webinars

Importance of Sexual Health for Individuals with IDD

Importance of Sexual Health for Individuals with IDD  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

Sexual health is an important topic for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Unfortunately, conversations related to sexual health are often not fully addressed or are pushed aside because of fear, lack of comfort with the topic, or lack of information. Join us for a webinar on the importance of sexual health for individuals with IDD. Participants will hear from Joe Shapiro from NPR and Barbara Thomas from the Tall Institute as they discuss why this sensitive topic needs to be addressed.

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Power to the Profession

Power to the Profession  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinars

There are more than 40 million children birth through age 8 in America. One of the best things our country can do to support and improve outcomes for these children and their families is to make significant, substantial, and sustained investments in high-quality early childhood education. And because positive relationships are at the core of quality, investing specifically in early childhood educators is the best thing we can do to improve early childhood education. That is why Power to the Profession is focused on equitably advancing an effective, diverse, and well-compensated early childhood education profession across states and settings. Power to the Profession is a national collaboration to define the early childhood profession by establishing a unifying framework for career pathways, knowledge and competencies, qualifications, standards and compensation. Learn more about this powerful initiative and how you can be involved!

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Public Policy


Tuesdays with Liz: Chris Smith Explains the 'Sunset Provision' and Talks Advocacy

Congressman Chris Smith provides an overview of what a 'sunset provision' is and how it relates to the Autism CARES Act. He also shares with Liz why the advocacy she and other disability advocates do is so important in helping ensure disability issues and policy receive attention in the halls of Congress.


Tuesdays with Liz: Congressman Chris Smith Discusses Autism CARES Act

Liz sits down with Congressman Chris Smith to discuss what the Autism CARES Act does, and why it is important that Congress re-authorize funding for CARES by September 2019.


Expanding Disability Access for Higher Education is Critical

Access to higher education is a critical gateway to productive employment, economic self-sufficiency, and community inclusion. AUCD believes that all students should have access to postsecondary education opportunities and is pleased to support the Expanding Disability Access for Higher Education Act, S.1176.



Northeast Regional LEND Programs Co-sponsor Annual Spring Conference

Northeast Regional LEND Programs Co-sponsor Annual Spring Conference  Copy to Calendar

Friday, May 17, 2019
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Concord, NH

This year marks the sixth annual Northeast Regional LEND conference. This year's topic will be Effects of Substance Abuse on Young Children. The conference will be held on Friday, May 17, 2019 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, NH. The conference is sponsored by the NH-ME LEND Program at Dartmouth College in partnership with Behavioral and Neurodevelopmental Services at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Connecticut LEND Program at UCONN Health; Eunice Kennedy Shriver LEND Program at University of Massachusetts Medical School; LEND Program at Boston Children's Hospital; Maine LEND at the University of New England; Rhode Island LEND at Rhode Island Hospital.

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 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability 2019

Summer Institute on Theology and Disability 2019  Copy to Calendar

Monday, May 20, 2019 - Thursday, May 23, 2019
Location: Holland, MI

The 2019 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability will be held in Holland, Michigan, May 20-23, 2019 in partnership with Western Theological Seminar. The Institute brings together academics, theologians, practitioners, and others to explore the inclusive intersections of faith and disabilities.

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2019 AUCD Leadership Academy

2019 AUCD Leadership Academy  Copy to Calendar

Sunday, June 23, 2019 - Friday, June 28, 2019
Location: Atlanta GA

The AUCD Leadership Academy is a week-long program designed to enhance the skills of current and emerging leaders from the disability network to build coalitions to improve systems of supports and services. The Leadership Academy seeks participants from UCEDDs, LENDs, and their disability partners to come together to immerse themselves for a week of study, shared experiences, self-evaluation, and skill development. Participants will engage with their cohort, Academy staff, local coaches, and national allies in the year following the experience. The Academy will focus on the exploration of shared values and commitments to civil and human rights, assessments of personal and leadership strengths, skills in building partnerships to achieve collective impact, and establishing personal and professional leadership goals.

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Learn about AUCD


AUCD for All 2019 Gala

AUCD for All 2019 Gala


AUCD Annual Report 2018

AUCD 2018 Annual Report


AUCD Supports

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