Mississippi LEND's Delta Initiative

February 57, 2020

Arkansas LEND's Developmental Outreach Clinic
Arkansas LEND's Developmental Outreach Clinic

The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies' LEND programmay be a program with a little "p", but that does not stop our LEND group from doing big things. After traveling to Dumas, Arkansas last year to observe the Arkansas LEND's Developmental Outreach Clinic which provides comprehensive interdisciplinary assessment ofmedical, health, social and educational needs of preschool and school-age children, Mississippi's LEND directors were inspired to explore potential opportunities in the Mississippi Delta.

Duringthe fall 2019 semester, each LEND trainee selected a city in the Mississippi Delta to research and present to the rest of the group. During these group presentations, LEND trainees followed a strengths-based approach to provide details regarding available resources upon which a LEND Delta Initiative could be developed. Following the presentations, the group chose the city of Belzoni, "The Heart of the Delta", as the location for the first LEND Delta Initiative. On November 1, 2019, we drove three hours north to Belzoni and conducted a windshield tour under the guidance of Dr. Rebekah Young, the Director of our UCEDD, the Institute for Disability Studies. A windshield tour entails driving around the community and taking note of the resources the community has to offer. We noted the numbers and locations of medical and mental health facilities, disability-related service agencies, government buildings, schools,churches, grocery stores, banks, businesses and more. As part of our Delta Initiative, our LEND group wants to highlight resources the community already has available to help enhance qualityof life for residents.