RTS Event at the Cincinnati Zoo (OH UCEDD/LEND)

October 9, 2017

RTS (Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome) is a genetic multi-system disorder characterized by facial abnormalities, broad thumbs and great toes, and developmental disability. The condition was first described in 1963 by Dr. Jack Rubinstein and Dr. Hooshang Taybi and it is estimated that 1 out of 300,000 people have this syndrome.

Dr. Rubinstein saw RTS patients at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and his legacy continues at the hospital through expert confirmation of diagnosis as well as the latest treatments and support. Through the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the hospital, RTS families also receive information, support and connections.

In August of this year, the RTS-OKI (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana) group gathered at the Cincinnati Zoo for a day of education, games and activities and two special animal guests. This was a great opportunity for RTS families to come together and gave the Cincinnati Zoo an opportunity to showcase the work they've been doing to make the zoo more inclusive and accessible.

One of the LEND projects at the University of Cincinnati UCEDD this year was to work with the Cincinnati Zoo to identify potential supports and barriers for families and individuals with developmental disabilities who visit the zoo. Once these were identified the students were able to share the focus group results with the zoo to assist in developing training programs and increase participation in community programs.

Dr. Smith, Program Director for The University of Cincinnati UCEDD's LEND program was just awarded with a 3-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library to partner with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden to continue to help it become one of the nations' most welcoming, accessible and inclusive zoos in the county for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.