AUCD 360 - March 2021

March 17, 2021

AUCDigest:Network News: UCEDDs, LENDs and IDDRCs
March 2021  |   Volume 6 Issue 3
AUCD 360, News from Around the Network, Facebook  space

  Central Office News

  Network Awards

  Network News

  Emerging Leaders Voices

  Global Impact

  Upcoming Events 

 AUCD Central Office News


AUCD Joins National COVID-19 Network to Build Resilience Against Pandemic Among the Disability Community

Image of AUCD globe with sound way with Text AUCD Press ReleaseAssociation of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) joined Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)'s National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN) of partners to inform community-driven response, recovery, and resiliency strategies for addressing the impact of COVID-19 on communities. In response to the needs of the disability community, we have established a communications strategy to support the development of linguistically and culturally competent messaging and materials by representing plain language as an accessible format and bringing awareness of COVID-19 vaccine information. Read more...

Act Early/COVID-19 Response Teams Complete Rapid Needs Assessment

Image of an infant with finger in their mouth. Text Learn the Signs. Act Early. U.S. Department of health and Human Cervices Centers for Disease Control and Prevention In Fall 2020, 43 State and Territorial Response Teams and their identified key informants who lead early childhood programs, organizations, or systems (i.e. Part C, WIC, Home Visiting) conducted a rapid needs assessment as part of the Act Early Response to COVID-19 project. This needs assessment aimed to 1) measure engagement in each of the four steps of early identification and 2) understand the emerging strengths, needs, barriers, and opportunities related to the four steps of early identification of developmental delays and disabilities among children birth to age five during the COVID-19 pandemic, across early childhood systems and programs. Read more...

AUCD 50th Anniversary - Share your Story!

AUCD for All 2021 Virtual Gala: Celebrating 50 Years of Leadership: Looking Back, Moving ForwardDo you have an interesting image, video or story that relates to AUCD's history? We are calling on persons with disabilities, our network centers, and affiliated partners to share stories related to your and AUCD's past. These can be important milestones, celebrations and hallmark moments that impacted people with disabilities and their families. AUCD will feature some of this content throughout the year as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary.  Share Your Story Now!


Congratulations to the 2021 Think College Policy Advocates

Announcing 2021 Think College Policy Advocates, Sponsored by ICI, Think College National Coordinating Center and AUCDFor more than 40 years, there has been a Disability Policy Seminar (DPS) in the nation's capital, organized and hosted by numerous disability organizations. Until last year! And this year it's all virtual.... It doesn't make it any less important or impactful, though. This unique seminar has offered the opportunity for passionate advocates, self-advocates, experts, and professionals in the field to come together and learn about key issues. Read more...


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  Network Awards

Georgetown UCEDD Awards Washington Post Journalist Award for Disability Inclusion and Storytelling

Image of children and adults walking and wheeling together. Text Georgetown University Cetner for Child and Human Development Touching LIvies, Making a DifferenceIn Washington DC, the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (GUCEDD) is proud to announce that journalist Theresa Vargas was awarded the 2020 Geraldine P. Waldorf Making A Difference Award. Working for The Washington Post, Vargas wrote 38 articles advocating for individuals with developmental and other disabilities and their families last year. Read more...

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  Network News

Westchester Institute for Human Development Leading the Way to Vaccinate People with IDD

Image of two masked women walking through office doors carrying boxes.

A year ago we were trying to figure out what this virus was all about and how/if it would affect our lives. Now, just a year later, the Westchester Institute for Human Development began vaccinating people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities against this deadly virus. This was made possible through the tremendous work of WIHD to advocate for and persist in becoming an approved NY State vaccination site, turning our lobby into a state of the art vaccination site, training registrars and vaccinators, and assuring that people with IDD are in a vaccine priority category. Read more...

Vital Statistics: ICI Supplies Key Housing Data

Image of a white woman with short brown hair wearing glasses and a colorful blouse standingin front of a windown.

ICI has collected this data since 1977 under the Residential Information Systems Project (RISP), which is a Longitudinal Data Project of National Significance for the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. It is a study of the settings in which people with disabilities who get long-term supports and services live and how those settings differ by age. Read more...

Dream Come True

Image of the new Munroe-Meyer Institute

The people of the Munroe-Meyer Institute have imagined it many times, for many years - creating a space that does not exist anywhere else. They have dared to dream this dream for the individuals and families they serve. They have talked to these families, listened to what they needed, what they wanted. Now, here it is. As MMI opens its new home at 6902 Pine St., near the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Scott campus, "this is a dream literally come true," said MMI Director Karoly Mirnics, MD, PhD. Read more...

New Postsecondary Education Program: Horticulture Options in Plant Sciences (HOPS)

ATM Cetner on Disability and DevelopmentThe HOPS Project is a two semester (approximately 32 weeks) training program whose purpose is to provide instruction and support individuals with disabilities to gain the necessary skills and experiences in work readiness in order to successfully transition into competitive integrated employment in the horticulture industry. Students have the option to become certified on the state/national level. Read more...

Building Futures Together Prepares Paraprofessionals to Provide Specialized Care in Response to Opioid Epidemic

Imge of three figures holding up colorful cirlcles Text builidng futures together NH RecoveryThe Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability (IOD) a $2.4 million grant for Building Futures Together, a program seeking to prepare 98 paraprofessionals in healthcare and school settings to provide specialized enhanced care coordination to children, youth and their caregivers whose parents are impacted by opioid and other substance use disorders.  Read more...

Getting a COVID 19 Vaccine Social Story 

Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with DisabilitiesThe COVID-19 workgroup, as part of the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities, has developed a social story about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. You can follow the other great work this group is doing on facebook and twitter @thinkequitable. Read more...

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) introduces 2021 issue of Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability: Direct Support Professionals

Magazine cover with a collage of images of Direct Support Professiona. Text Tenessee Kindred Stores of Disablity 2021 Directo Support Proffesionals

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) is proud to introduce its latest issue of Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability, dedicated to telling the stories of Direct Support Professionals in Tennessee. A project of the VKC's Public Policy Team, each year the VKC and The Arc Tennessee collaborate to produce a collection of stories that highlight the challenges individuals with disabilities and their families face as they navigate service systems and supports. Read more...

National Home Visiting Summit Hosts Its First Ever Presentation on Parents with I/DD by the Georgetown UCEDD

Image of children and adults walking and wheeling together. Text Georgetown University Cetner for Child and Human Development Touching LIvies, Making a Difference

During the last week in February, the Georgetown University Parenting Support Program (PSP), a DC Health-funded home visiting program under the UCEDD umbrella, gave a groundbreaking presentation at the National Home Visiting Summit. It was the first presentation about home visiting services tailored to address the needs of parents identified as having intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) ever at this Summit. Read more...

Preschool During the Pandemic: Early Childhood Education in Extraordinary Times

Image of a child sitting with their blanket and stuffed animals participating virually in class with a laptop in front of them.This multi-part video series, produced by Larry Edelman and sponsored by the Early Childhood Technical Assistance center (ECTA) features preschool staff and families from five states and illustrates their working together to use technology to make the virtual learning experience exciting, effective and engaging for young children. Read more...

Rural Institute Executive Director Moderates Together We Grow Forum

Rurual Inistitute Inclusive Communities University of Montana Rural Institute A center for Excellence in Developmental DisablitiesTogether We Grow (TOG) is "a consortium of modern food and agriculture companies, NGOs, members of academia and the government who have united to focus on building a skilled, diverse and inclusive workforce to make American agriculture a leader for generations to come." AUCD is an original member of the Together We Grow consortium. Read more...

Two LENDS Collaborate to Help Trainees

Image of an Asisan woamn with shoulder length brown hair wearing blazer and scarf smiling at the camera.

Striving to train the next generation of child and maternal healthcare leaders is more than a slogan for Va-LEND (Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities). It is an ideal, which includes innovative ways to make training more effective. One such example is the collaboration between another LEND program. "The idea of the Pittsburgh LEND and Va-LEND originated from a regional LEND directors meeting at AUCD (Association of University Centers on Disabilities). Read more...

Emergency Preparedness Resources for People with Disabilities

UC UCEDD Cinicnattie Childrens's Changing the outcome together University of Cincinnatti

This project provides insight into local hazards and how people living with disabilities can best prepare for them, as well as best practices surrounding disaster preparations and planning.View all of the videos and guides here, Emergency Preparedness Resources for People with Disabilities - Read more...

New Executive Director Named of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

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Sally Gould-Taylor, PhD has been named Executive Director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, College of Education and Human Development, effective January 1, 2021, after serving as Interim Executive Director since March 2020. She has also been appointed as a faculty member in the College of Education and Human Development as Research Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Read more...

Low-income and students with learning disabilities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 learning loss, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) expert says

Image of a young girl wearing pigtails sitting at a desk with a opened laptop in front of her with her back to the camera.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, school closures and the shift to remote learning have disrupted educational progress across the nation, disproportionately affecting students from low-income communities and those with learning disabilities, according to faculty experts from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. Read more...

Dr. Dalun Zhang was recently elected as Vice President for the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Image of an Asian man with short hair and glasses wearing a suit and ties smiling at the camera.

Dr. Dalun Zhang was recently elected as Vice President for the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities The term of four (4) years will run from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2025. Over this term, Dr. Zhang will serve one year each as Vice President, President-Elect, President, and Past President. These leadership positions are held in the oldest and multidisciplinary disability organization in the U.S., with members from 55 countries. Read more...

Jump Start Evolves in Response to COVID-19

Jump Start Early Childhood Consultation

In early 2020, the world changed immeasurably. Among myriad ways in which we all had to change with it, one of those was adapting our programs to serve the highest need communities in a meaningful way through a global pandemic. The Jump Start program sprung to action in March 2020 to overhaul our services and meet the greatest community needs. Typically, and at its core, Jump Start is an infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC) program that provides services at the program-level (i.e., by working with directors), classroom-level (i.e., by working with teachers), and child-level (i.e., by working with parents or other primary caregivers) in childcare centers and family childcare homes. Read more...

Interdisciplinary Training Clinic Meeting Needs 360

Image of a white woman with long brown hair wearing a blouse with hearts and smiling at the camera.

The Interdisciplinary Training Clinic (ITC) operated by the Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona University (NAU) offers comprehensive evaluations and recommendations to families and educational agencies serving said families at no cost to the family. The clinic serves as a training experience for graduate students in a number of different disciplines learning about interdisciplinary practices. Graduate student teams supported by faculty mentors from their respective disciplines provide the services offered by the clinic.

33rd Annual Special Care Dentistry Association is Coming to Columbus!

Image of a white man with short grey buzzed hair wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera.

Stephen Beetstra, DDS, MHSA - Director, Dental Services at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center is President of the Special Care Dentistry Association. The 2022 National meeting of the Special Care Dentistry Association will be held in Columbus, OH in May 2022. Approximately 500 dentists, residents, and students attend this important national oral health conference. Read more...


Heart of Texas Gear Up - Gaining Early Awarness and Readniness for Undgrat

Drs. Linda Castillo and Marcia Montague, at Texas A&M University, received a Heart of Texas GEAR UP Partnership grant, and launched GEAR UP programs in partnership with Bryan ISD and Hearne ISD. The partnership will use grant funds to develop and implement a longitudinal support system for the students and families in the class of 2026. These supports will include: mentoring, academic assistance, and collaboration with teachers and families. Read more...

Narrative Advocacy: Valuing Parents as Experts and Teachers

Image of a white woman with cropped brown hair wearing glasses a blouse and sweater smiling at the camera.

For over 30 years, Maggie Hoffman has worked to strengthen and support families of children and adults with disabilities and special health care needs. She is a co-founder and former executive director of Project DOCC - Delivery of Chronic Care: a medical education curriculum developed by parents to teach pediatric doctors in training about living with illness and disability. Read more...

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  Emerging Leader Voices


MN LEND Fellow Brings Trauma-Informed Care to Children

Image of a young woman with long brown hair wearing a swater and smiling at the camera.

Alice Kraiza (MN LEND Fellow, 2017-18) is a project coordinator for the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc., where she is helping bring evidence-based children's mental health treatments to schools to improve the quality of care for students who are recovering from trauma. In her role at CHDI, she coordinates trainings and provides technical assistance for teams implementing Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and Bounce Back.  Read more... 


Voting and Guardianship in Oklahoma

IMge of a young woman sitting in a power wheelchair holding a sign that reasds Wendy Spoon, Oklahoma LEND, Parent/Family Intern, talks about Guardianship laws in Oklahoma and how it takes the civil right to vote from persons with disabilities. 2 photos included of Lindsey Spoon, an Oklahoma Self-Advocate. One on the day she registered to vote, and one using assistive technology to vote.


2018 PATHS Program Graduate, Terence Elder

Image of a young black man wearing a tshirt standing next to a car with his hand on the hood and smiling at the camera. Since earning his ParaProfessional Certificate from the PATHS Program in 2018, Terence is in his 3rd year at his school and doing an outstanding job. He is now the proud owner of a new BMW! He now drives himself to and from his work. He answered a few questions about the PATHS Program and what this program has meant to him. Read more... 


Care Coordination Implementation and Best Practice: A Comparison of National and Nebraska Standards

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When attempting to best serve individuals and families with disabilities, data shows that the Medical Home model leads to the most optimal outcomes for children with disabilities and their families. Additionally, the use of a medical home in a patient's care "improves health outcomes, enhances the patient and provider experience of care, and reduces expensive, unnecessary hospital and emergency department utilization" (Nielson, et. all, 2012, p.2).  Read more... 


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  Global Impact

Podcast: Refugees with Disabilities

Image of woman wearing a hijab and dress sitting at a piano holding hands with a man standing next to the piano with a baby laying on the piano in between them

Disability Visibility Project Podcast had a conversation with LEND Trainee Mustafa Rfat from West Virgina University about his journey as a refugee wtih disabilities. Mustafa came to the U.S. as a refugee from Iraq in 2011. You can hear Mustafa talk about his expereince as a refugee and his adjustment to life in the U.S. as a refugee with disabilities through this podcast. The podcast site offers the the entire transcript for those who are hard of hearing or dea. Read more... 

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 Upcoming Events

Mark Your Calendars - AUCD's Prepared4ALL Townhalls:
4th Wednesday of every month, 1pm ET

Icon of three figures sitting at a desk with text PREPARED4ALLAUCD's Prepared4ALL townhalls are open to all of our existing Prepared4ALL Affiliates and Partners or any interested disability organization. These townhalls serve as a place to receive support from our center's team, learn about new resources, and collaboratively problem solve with others when making inroads with local emergency preparedness efforts.You may attend as many or as few of these meetings as you like, but we recommend registering now to get these time slots on your calendar should you chose to join any/all of them. Read more...

Care Connection Campaign

Care Connection CampaignMarch 1-31, 2021, Virtual

AUCD partner, GT Independence, has launched a unique initiative to combat the impacts of social isolation from the pandemic. The "Care Connection Campaign" began March 1st to raise awareness of the effects of social isolation and engage members of the public with storytelling about their plans for a future ‘Connect Day' with loved ones that are isolated. AUCD members are encouraged to participate in the campaign! Read more...

AUCD for ALL 2021: Celebrating 50 Years of Leadership: Looking Back, Moving Forward

AUCD for All 2021 Virtual Gala: Celebrating 50 Years of Leadership: Looking Back, Moving ForwardApril 14,  2021, Virtual

Join us for our virtual 2021 AUCD for ALL Gala to celebrate 50 years of leadership as well as amplify the voices of current and future leaders. See the About page for more information on AUCD's 50th, the Sponsors page for our list of current Sponsors, and the Support AUCD page to learn how you can be a sponsor or support AUCD in other ways. The AUCD Virtual Gala is FREE to all. Register Today!!

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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.