Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) publishes Discovery e-newsletter dedicated to COVID-19 response

August 7, 2020

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) recently published its annual Discovery newsletter in June, with its theme being "Research, Training, and Service from a Distance: The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Adapts and Innovates During COVID-19."

"This special issue of Discovery outlines some of the ways we have adapted and innovated during the COVID-19 pandemic," said VKC director Jeff Neul, M.D., Ph.D. "Research in intellectual and developmental disabilities has not stopped. Virtual endeavors have allowed research to continue and new lines of research to emerge. Though in-person training and activities have been cancelled, virtual learning and services have continued, and connections with new worldwide audiences have been made. Reading through this issue, it is easy to see how the VKC thrives despite challenges associated with COVID-19."

The transition to virtual workspaces, though undoubtedly unexpected, was made smoother thanks to an already established VKC telepresence in many of the programs and projects faculty and staff administer. To meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families, educators, and providers in rural and underserved sectors of Tennessee, many projects were already using telemedicine and telehealth platforms to do things like assess the risk for autism, train teachers and health care providers, and disseminate information about the disabilities research conducted by our members and investigators.

The VKC's unique tele-experience and dedicated staff and faculty, coupled with Vanderbilt University Medical Center issuing Zoom licenses to all employees, meant faculty and staff were set to begin adapting to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families from a distance.

Discovery is available for viewing as a magazine-style flipbook or as an accessible PDF. To read the latest issue of Discovery, click here.

Author: Elizabeth Turner is associate director of VKC Communications and Dissemination.