AUCD 360 - January 2021

January 13, 2021

AUCDigest:Network News: UCEDDs, LENDs and IDDRCs
January 2021  |   Volume 6 Issue 1
AUCD 360, News from Around the Network, Facebook  space

  Central Office News

  In Memoriam

  Network Awards

  Network News

  Emerging Leaders Voices

  Global Impact

  Upcoming Events 


 AUCD Central Office News


Supporting Families and Systems that Serve Young Children through the Act Early Response to COVID-19

Supporting families and systems that serve young children through the Act Early Response to COVID-19The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has expanded its National Center on Disability in Public Health efforts with an investment of over $4M in the Act Early Network through an Act Early Network-wide Response to COVID-19 made possible by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 43 State and Territorial Act Early COVID-19 Response Teams were awarded a one-year (September 2020-August 2021) grant opportunity for Support for Early Childhood State Systems Through the Act Early Network. Read more... 


5th Annual AUCD Leadership Academy

AUCD Leadership Academy Shaping the future of DisabilityThe AUCD Leadership Academy is seeking 24 participants from UCEDDs, LENDs, and their disability partners to join its fifth cohort for a year of exploration. The academy is grounded by a week together of study, shared experiences, self-evaluation, and skill development. The cohort will be held virtually as a series of webinars, videos, and online meetings. Participants will also continue to engage with their cohort, academy staff, local coaches, and national allies in the year following the experience. Read more... 


Disability and Health Journal: The importance of seasonal influenza vaccination for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

 	Disability and Health Journal: The importance of seasonal influenza vaccination for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic Co-authored by Georgina Peacock, A. Blythe Ryerson Ram Koppaka and John Tschida

A large proportion of Americans have at least one disability and yet people with disabilities face inequities in health and health care access. Factors associated with underlying disability and health, how they perceive and interact with the world, and where they live, or work may increase the risk people with disabilities face for illness or severe outcomes from seasonal influenza. Given the need to reduce the burden of respiratory illness on a healthcare system already overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, maximizing seasonal influenza vaccination coverage is particularly important in 2020-2021. It is critical this season to ensure equitable access to influenza vaccination for people with disabilities. Read more...

Plain Language Advisory Group

 Icon of two silhouettes talking to each other. The first face has a messy swirled line in its brain. The line connects to the other head where it is a neat, swirl. Image represents communicating confusing information in a way that makes it clear.
AUCD is committed to being an accessible organization and making sure that everyone knows what is being talked about, either by speaking or writing so all people can be included. As part of this, AUCD created the Language and Communications Access plan. This plan outlines steps to further AUCD's language accessibility. Read more...


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  In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Terrance (Terry) Raymond Dolan

In Memoriam - Terrence (Terry) Raymond Dolan It is with profound sadness that we share news of the passing of Dr. Terrence Raymond Dolan on December 11, 2020. Terrence "Terry" R. Dolan, PhD, fostered significant research accomplishments and substantial growth of the Waisman Center during his 20 years as director. During his time at the Waisman Center, Terry Dolan also served in leadership roles at the national and international levels, including as president of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. Read more...

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  Network Awards

Dr. Avila Wins the Vermont Public Health Association Public Health Champion Award

Dr. Avila (VT LEND) wins the Vermont Public Health Association Public Health Champion Award Dr. Avila (VT LEND) wins the Vermont Public Health Association Public Health Champion Award The Vermont Public Health Association's Public Health Champion awards are given each year to an individual and a team/organization who has made extraordinary contributions to public health within the state of Vermont. Dr. Avila, VT LEND Program Director, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont (UVM) Larner College of Medicine. She has been involved in numerous federal grants related to substance abuse prevention, mental health promotion, maternal and child health, disability and advocacy, and addressing & eliminating disparities and equities. She has provided state and national level consultation, training and technical assistance on cultural and linguistic competence, health equity, and social justice in healthcare. Read more...

TASH: Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion for People with Disabilities - announced the recipient of the Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports Award went to Daniel Crimmins, Director of the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State

TASH: Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion for People with Disabilities - announced the recipient of the Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports Award went to Daniel Crimmins, Director of the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State TASH: Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion for People with Disabilities - announced the recipient of the Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports Award went to Daniel Crimmins, PhD, Director of the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University. This award acknowledges Dr. Crimmins' significant and extraordinary contributions to promoting and developing positive behavior supports in lieu of aversive and coercive strategies for persons with severe disabilities. TASH is so grateful to for the commitment and tenacity to this critically important work! Read more...

The Mailman Center's Dr. Robert Fifer Reappointed to the Florida Department of Health Early Hearing Detection Intervention (EHDI) Advisory Committee

Image of a older white man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera. Robert Fifer, PhD., Director of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at the Mailman Center for Child Development, was reappointed as the center's Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program representative. The purpose of this committee is to provide advice to Florida's Newborn Screening Hearing Program on potential mechanisms to achieve project goals, strategies, and objectives. Dr. Fifer was originally appointed in 2016 and will continue to serve until December 31, 2024. His commitment to early hearing detection and intervention on state and national levels is noteworthy.  Read more...

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and Other Vanderbilt Disability Inclusion Programs Receive National Recognition

Image of a group of individuals standing in front of a building smiling at the camera text next Steps at Vanderbilt.Several Vanderbilt University diversity and inclusion programs are being recognized by a federal office with a strong commitment to protecting workers, promoting diversity and enforcing nondiscrimination laws for government contractors. The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs website lists the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND), Next Steps at Vanderbilt, Frist Center for Autism and Innovation, Divinity Friendship House @ Vanderbilt, and InclusAbility initiative among its sample disability and inclusion resources that meet the agency's criteria. Read more...


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  Network News

Georgia State University, Emory Supporting 187 Georgia Nursing Homes COVID-19 Response via Project ECHO

Project ECHO

As of Fall 2020, nearly one-quarter of the known COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been nursing home residents and staff. Advanced age, underlying frailty, and communal living conditions make nursing home residents especially vulnerable, and their reliance on nursing home staff members put these essential workers at high risk. The CDC and State of Georgia have prioritized nursing home residents and staff members to be the first to get the vaccine. Read more...

Lived Experience and Leadership: Self Advocates and Family Members in the Disability Rights Movement

NH-ME LEND logo, Rylin Rodgers, Liz Weintraub and Lauren Blachowiak

Each fall, the NH-ME LEND Program conducts a leadership intensive on the history of disability. This year, the session was reworked to cover the history of the disability movement. Trainees were asked to watch the 2020 documentary, Crip Camp, and to reflect upon how this innovative inclusive summer camp for teenagers with disabilities during the 1970's helped to mobilize a generation of disability rights activists and energize the independent living movement. Read more...

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Researcher Documents How COVID-19 Multiplies Stress and Trauma for People with a Disabilities

Image of a black woman with her hair pulled back using a wheelchair with a servic og sitting besides her.

The COVID-19 pandemic has induced stress in everyone this year, but for those marginalized by disabilities, and especially those already dealing with social inequity and poverty, the pandemic has dealt additional blows. In a November article published in Rehabilitation Psychology, Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Ph.D., assistant professor of Human and Organizational Development and a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) member, reviews research on disabilities and COVID-19 to help rehabilitation psychologists mitigate the effects of the added stress of the pandemic. In addition, the work addressed how systemic discrimination against people with disabilities intersects with other forms of inequity. Read more...

Delivering on the Promise of Employment First for Students with Significant Disabilities

UK Human Development InsistuteThe University of Kentucky Human Development Institute - HDI, the Kentucky Department of Education, and the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation are pleased to announce Delivering on the Promise of Employment First for Students with Significant Disabilities, a four-part webinar series designed to support Kentucky school districts in their efforts to create meaningful work experiences leading to competitive integrated employment for students with significant disabilities. The webinar series will present learning from work with schools, employers, vocational rehabilitation counselors, parents and families, and will include tools and processes to support students with significant disabilities in obtaining competitive integrated employment. Read more...

Planning Accessible Meetings Guide Updated

Planning Accessible Meetings and Conferences cover imagePlanning Accessible Meetings and Conferences: A Suggested Checklist and Guide (PDF) is a free resource developed by the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (ME UCEDD) in partnership with Speaking Up for Us, a Maine organization run by and for adults who live with developmental disabilities. The checklist is designed to help any person, group, or organization plan a meeting or conference that is inclusive and welcoming. Its purpose is to provide practical suggestions that promote meaningful participation for everyone. Read more...

Iowa's EPSDT "Care for Kids" Shares Beneficial Telehealth Tips  

Image of a child holding a tablet showign a doctor smiling with a stethoscope to a toy bearIn Iowa, children and youth who are eligible for Medicaid receive their health care benefits through Iowa EPSDT Care for Kids. Iowa's Department of Human Services (DHS) manages these Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) benefits, and each year, DHS contracts with Iowa's UCEDD to offer information and training to the Medicaid providers who care for kids. The contract funds a multidisciplinary team that includes a developmental pediatrician, a general pediatrician, a family medicine physician, a nurse practitioner, and a social worker.  Read more...

South Dakota UCEDD Provides National Deaf-Blind Training for Educators

Unversity of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Center for Disabilities

Through a collaboration with the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) and the Center for Disabilities Deaf-Blind Program, an online 4-course training series has been developed titled, Concentration in Deaf-Blindness and High Intensity Support Needs. This series provides an incredible foundation in deaf-blindness, training in communication strategies, assessment and instructional planning and life planning for educators working with students with deaf-blindness and/or students who have high intensity support needs. Read more...

Bronx UCEDD Publishes Mapping of ASD Rates in Children by Language and Socio-Demographics in NY State

Image of a young white woman with shoulder length hair wearing a blouse and smiling at the camera.

The Rose F Kennedy UCEDD's Research Coordinator, Ms. Katie McGrath, MSW, 'ABD' led this spatial analysis of data from the NY State Department of Education. In contrast to prior research on ASD prevalence, school districts with higher proportions of Black and Hispanic students had the highest rates of ASD. Karen Bonuck, PhD (UCEDD Co-Director) and Mana Mann, MD (develomental-behavioral pediatrician) were co-authors on this paper which appeared in a special issue of the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders featuring the work of IDDRCs and affiliated programs. Read more...


#WhatsYourPurpose2021 Youth Transition Campaign  

Image of a group of masked individuals wearing refelctive vests holding garbage bags and grabbing implements. Text We are TRIAD AmeriCorps Members and Volunteers making a differenc in our community through service. What's Your Purpose?The Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) Transition to Adulthood Programs announce a new 2021 campaign, #WhatsYourPurpose2021. Throughout the year, transition leaders including youth/young adults with and without disabilities, their family members and those that serve them will be featured in short videos and social media posts promoting transition successes and challenging others to pursue their goals. Each video and post will highlight young adults and members of their support networks sharing their future life purposes.. Read more...

Act Early Ohio Initiative 

Outliine of the state of Ohio with three figures of children -text reads ACT EARLY OhioThe UCCEDD was awarded a one-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build upon existing Ohio Act Early Ambassador activities. The goal of the initiative is to increase awareness about the importance of developmental screening in early childhood and tracking of developmental milestones with the support of the evidence-based Learn the Signs Act Early materials developed by the CDC. Read more...

Register Today for the New WV Project SCOPE ECHO Series

Project SCOPE

The WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) was awarded a national training grant to implement Project SCOPE: Supporting Children of the OPioid Epidemic (SCOPE). Project SCOPE is a training initiative intended to identify and train practitioners in current and emerging knowledge and evidence-based promising practices in screening, monitoring, and care for children diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) or neonatal opiate withdrawal syndrome (NOWS), or who are suspected of being impacted by opioid use and related trauma exposure. The WV Project SCOPE ECHO Series is implemented using the Project ECHO virtual professional development model. The series will run January - September 2021. Register today for one, several or all sessions. Read more...

The U.S. "Japan Business Leadership Institute on Youth Disability Employment" Webinar Seriess

Inclusion Matters

This year, the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston (ICI) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) will present a 5-part webinar series featuring U.S. Japan panels with business leaders, educators, and young professionals with disabilities. This effort extends the work ICI's Heike Boeltzig-Brown and Miwa Tanabe have done over the past 8 years in Japan around building capacity in disability, higher education, and employment. Specifically, the webinar series continues and deepens the dialogue with key stakeholders that was launched at the October 2019 "Inclusion Matters" symposium organized by ICI and held at the Nippon Foundation Headquarter Office in Tokyo. Read more...

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  Emerging Leader Voices

A Virtual Mock Developmental Assessment: Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Leadership During COVID-19

Screenshot of 5 individuals on a video telecomferenceThe Alaska LEND Without Walls is a program that has embraced video teleconferencing as a method to reach faculty and fellows across the geographically vast state. During the current pandemic, the Alaska LEND program utilized a virtual environment for all activities. As part of the annual fall semester "face to face" seminar, interdisciplinary faculty and fellows participate in a mock developmental assessment. This experience showcases the disciplines of occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), speech therapy (ST), and developmental pediatrics. Read more... 


Homeless Heroes?

Homeless hereos?By Hibo Omer, University of Maine UCEDD Trainee and Rafia Tisha, New Hampshire-Maine LEND Trainee

As a newcomer to America, I always wondered how America could have homeless people? I imagined America as a heaven on earth, where everyone is well off and poverty is seen only in museums. Unfortunately, what I learned, and saw was beyond my expectation and left a scar in my heart. When I first moved to the state of Maine, my eyes caught a white woman who was, and still is, homeless. Throughout each season I encountered this woman pushing her belongings in a buggy. During the winter, I helped her to pull the buggy until I reached my destination, always wondering and asking myself many questions. How could this happen in America? Why isn't she getting help? Where is her family? Recently, I overheard this disabled, homeless woman showing someone her ID card that showed she was a veteran. That hit me hard! How could a veteran who served her country be homeless? How could those in power allow this to be? History will be the judge. Read more...


MN-LEND Fellows Climb a Virtual Hill

Image of a black woman with shoulder length hair wearing glasses and a white coat smiling at thecamera.Better pay for direct support professionals, more post-secondary educational opportunities for young adults with disabilities, and continuing funding for interdisciplinary programs that promote the inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) were among issues on the table as a group of fellows from the Institute on Community Integration met this month with members of Minnesota's congressional delegation. Read more... 


Disability Reads

Icon fo StateCapitol

Wendy Spoon, Oklahoma LEND Trainee, Parent/Family Discipline

Reading is something my family enjoys. Having a family member with a disability means that we enjoy seeing representation in our book choices. There are a lot of great disability reads out there. Here are just a few that we added over the holiday season. Read more... 


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  Global Impact

AUCD Professional Fellows Alumnae Win Global Zero Project Awards

AUCD Professional Fellows alumnae & Zero Project Award recipients, Gwaliwa Mashaka and Aneth Gerana AUCD Professional Fellows alumni Gwaliwa Mashaka (Fall 2018) and Aneth Gerana (2020) from Tanzania have received 2021 Zero Project Awards, which honor the world's best innovations in disability inclusion every year. Gwaliwa and Aneth, who both have lived experience with disability, are being celebrated for leading historic inclusive employment initiatives in Tanzania that they developed with advice from senior faculty at the Nisonger Center and the UCLA Tarjan Center. Aneth and Gwaliwa both lead organizations which help women with disabilities in Tanzania develop employability skills and market themselves successfully. Read More...

Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development Completes Child Protection Specialist Training for Abu Dhabi, Early Childhood Authority

Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development Touching Lives, Making a Difference AFaculty from the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD) trained over 100 Child Protection Specialists for the Abu Dhabi, Early Childhood Authority (ECA) over Zoom. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic plans to provide on-site training to child protection specialists in Abu Dhabi were quickly adapted to be conducted remotely. The program, Child Protection Specialist Training, is a component of an ambitious certification training program for all child protection specialists in Abu Dhabi. The United Arab Emirates enacted the Child Rights Law, in 2016 following the tragic death of a young child. Under the law, all children under the age of 18 years have the right to life and safety and are entitled to an education. Read More...

MN LEND Fellow Challenges Disability Stigma in Zambia

MN LEND Fellow Challenges Disability Stigma in Zambia More than 7 percent of Zambia's children have disabilities, and nearly half have never attended school. Many lack health services and experience isolation and stigma in their communities. Four the last four years, however, Renee Hepperlen (MN-LEND 2011-12) has been part of a multi-disciplinary team working to train local nurses, therapists, and other professionals in infant and child development, early intervention, daily living skills, positive language around disability, and disease prevention. Read More...

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 Upcoming Events

UNC Autism Fathers Conference

Association of University Centers on disabilities AUCD for All - Celebrating 50 Years.

Saturday, January 23, 2021, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

The 2021 UNC Autism Fathers Conference is a 3-hour virtual event for fathers who have children with autism spectrum disorder, featuring keynote speaker Joe Mantegna. Joe currently stars in the hit CBS drama Criminal Minds as FBI Special Agent David Rossi and will share his experience as the father of a young adult with ASD. Read more...

Virtual Release of Annual Disability Statistics Compendium

Annual Disability Statistics Compendium

Tuesday, February 9, 2021, Virtual

During this event, experts will present three web-based tools (Compendium, Supplement, and State Report) that make finding and using disability statistics easier for individuals working on legislative and other matters relating to persons with disabilities. Read more...

Save the Date! 2021 AUCD for All Gala

Association of University Centers on disabilities AUCD for All - Celebrating 50 Years.

April 14, 2021, Virtual

The 2021 AUCD for All Gala will take place virtually on April 14, 2021. The Gala theme will focus on the AUCD 50th Anniversary and the important work being done around the AUCD network to meet the needs of people with disabilities and their families. Read more...

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Image of a button with an image of a document. News items may be submitted for consideration via the AUCD 360 Submission page. Submissions are due on the 4th Friday of the Month.

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This newsletter is in part supported by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) through a technical assistance contract for the URC, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) through a technical assistance contract for the ITAC, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a National Professional Organization for Persons with Developmental Disabilities. The content of this material does not necessarily reflect the views and policies of any federal agency. No official support or endorsement by federal agencies is intended nor should be inferred.