VT LEND provides distance accessibility program to Self-Advocate trainees and others

December 13, 2018

Vermont Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (VT LEND) is a distance accessible program meaning all participants, regardless of where they live, are able to participate in all program components. (http://www.med.uvm.edu/vtlend/home) This effort began with our need to train individuals living in rural parts of Vermont who could not participate when we required in person presence. In 2016 when our collaboration with the US Virgin Islands (USVI) began to provide LEND training to individuals there, we solidified our commitment to having a distance accessible program.

In 2017, we recruited our first self-advocate fellow, a Vermonter who lives and works in the DC metro area. Distance accessibility also allowed UVM Doctorate of Physical Therapy students who travel across the country completing clinical requirements participate as LEND fellows. Supports put in place for the self-advocate fellow have been helpful to other trainees/fellows, including former refugees or immigrants having their first academic experience in the US higher education system. Distance accessibility also allows us to have faculty from NM and KS with skills in working with Native communities work with our program. This year we have trainees from NY and RI as well as the USVI participating via distance.