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

Graphic Recording and Facilitation with Inky Brittany

Graphic Recording and Facilitation with Inky Brittany  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Location: Webinar

Graphic recording and facilitation is the use of large scale imagery to lead groups and individuals towards a goal. The method is used in various processes such as meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences.

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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: 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.


Tuesdays with Liz: Happy Autism Acceptance Month!

April is all about autism as it is Autism Acceptance Month! Liz talks about why we need to advocate for acceptance of autism and not only awareness, what autism is, and briefly covers the Autism CARES Act.



A Woman's Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs

A Woman's Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET
Location: Bethesday, MD

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) is pleased to invite you to attend our annual special event to recognize National Autism Awareness Month, A Woman's Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs.

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Join the

Join the "Healthcare Transition 4ALL! - Taking Action Together" National Learning Group  Copy to Calendar

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: Kick Off Call

Join our national learning group! This group will meet monthly for the next 12-18 months to develop a network-wide strategy for implementing healthcare transition efforts that include people with disabilities and families.

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Live Webcast - Improving the Trajectories for Youth with Disabilities and Families Living in Poverty: Systems Change in 11 PROMISE States

Live Webcast - Improving the Trajectories for Youth with Disabilities and Families Living in Poverty: Systems Change in 11 PROMISE States  Copy to Calendar

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
1:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Live Webcast

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Social Security Administration, funded six model demonstration projects to improve the education and career outcomes of low income children with disabilities receiving SSI and their families. Findings from the implementation of these projects will be presented in this session.

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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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