AUCD Announces 2016 Emerging Leader Scholarship Recipients

November 21, 2016

The following individuals have been awarded an Emerging Leader Scholarship through AUCD. Recipients receive a travel scholarship and waived registration for the AUCD Conference in Washington, DC, where they gain valuable opportunities in networking, mentorship, and professional growth.


Photo: Oanh Thi Thu Bui Oanh Thi Thu Bui (2016)

Oanh Thi Thu Bui is a cultural broker and former LEND fellow through Shriver Center. Her unique experience being a cultural broker enabled her to advocate for a culturally linguistically appropriate system of support for families from culturally linguistically diverse background. She has been working and partnering with a number of parents, professionals across the disciplines, including researchers, to explore the complicated system of support, the cultural barriers that tremendously affect service access for families, as well as the struggle faced by many professionals from diverse backgrounds. From her experience leading a support group for the Vietnamese speaking community, she has outreached to Haitian Creole, Arabic, and Khmer speaking communities using the cultural brokering model with the hope to identify, mentor, and train more cultural brokers from these targetted communities. Oanh has a great interest collaborating with like-minded professionals in addressing the issue of cultural diversity and disability, increasing social justice, and equity, and influencing systematic change for authentic inclusion.

Currently, Oanh is an AIDD-funded diversity leadership fellow with the Institute of for Community Inclusion at UMASS Boston and works at the Federation for Children with Special Needs. Oanh was a FORD scholar and holds two Master Degrees in Health Administration and Sustainable International Development.

Photo: Robert ‘Taylor’ Carley Robert "Taylor" Carley (2016)

Robert "Taylor" Carley. Self-Advocate. Writer. Taylor currently serves as the Self-Advocacy Coordinator for the Institute for Disability Studies (IDS), Mississippi's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Taylor has over seven years of experience in national service, leadership, and mentoring. He is currently the first Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Trainee in Mississippi, a STEP UP Council member and staff liaison, and hosts his own YouTube Series, "Chit Chat Thursday with Taylor," that focuses on advocacy. In addition, Taylor is learning how to become more independent by pursuing his driver's license and writing his first novel. Taylor enjoys sharing his story and his motto . . . "a disability is an ability, and I am just like everyone else."

Photo: Ivanova L. SmithIvanova L. Smith (2016)

Ivanova Smith is a UW LEND Advocate Faculty. They were the first Advocate fellow for UW LEND, and excited to share their perspective as autistic person. Now they are thrilled to be a mentor to new advocate fellows for UW LEND. They also are a leader in the self-advocacy community in Washington State. Ivanova is Co-chair of Self Advocate in Leadership (SAIL) and advocates for rights of people with I/DD to Washington state legislature, as well as serves on the board of people first of Washington where they lead their own local chapter!.