Arizona's UCEDDs Collaborate, Provide Support for National Events

May 6, 2021

Arizona's University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) helped support two virtual conferences, the 2021 African American Conference on Disabilities (AACD) and the 17th Annual American Indian Disability Summit.

Both events were highly successful and attracted interested attendees from across the United States!

The University of Arizona Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities and Northern Arizona University's Institute of Human Development worked with conference and summit organizers to implement virtual versions of typically in-person events.

Both the Sonoran UCEDD and the Institute for Human Development are thrilled to continue to collaborate to support the DD community in Arizona and across the United States.  The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our lives in countless ways, but both Arizona UCEDDs are committed to leveraging new opportunities for wider collaboration and increased support, based on the needs of the DD community.

We know that our strength comes from our interconnectedness-both with each other and with the people and communities that we support.

2021 African American Conference on Disabilities

After the AACD's inaugural event year 10 years ago, the Sonoran UCEDD has been on the planning committee for nine years and an official sponsor for eight years.  Similarly, the Institute for Human Development has been a formal and informal sponsor of AACD since its inception.

AACD 2021 was hosted by the Arizona Center for Disability Law, Arizona's Protection and Advocacy organization, and the Arizona Center for African American Resources, a phoenix-area non-profit, with support from Arizona DD Network, disability organizations, and community businesses. Held throughout the month of February, the 2021 AACD featured 11 different sessions and workshops and addressed disability rights issues at the intersection of race and disability. The sessions and workshops were also streamed live and archived on the AACD Facebook page and ACDL's website.

The month-long conference witnessed:

  • 5,632 Zoom participants
  • 69,287 unique video views on Facebook
  • 16,384 engagements on Facebook
  • 342,636 impressions on Facebook

17th Annual American Indian Disability Summit

The 17th Annual American Indian Disability Summit was held March 26, 2021 and was hosted by several disability-related agencies and organizations including: Ability 360, the Arc of Arizona, Ak-Chin Indian Commission of Arizona, United Healthcare Community Plan and Banner University Family Care. The Institute for Human Development helped moderate the day's session.

The Sonoran UCEDD has been a planning committee member for the American Indian Disability Summit since 2016.

The summit's theme, Gathering Native Voices for Resiliency and Self-Care, focused on topics of self-advocacy, resiliency, and supported decision making, and brought together American Indians with disabilities and their families. Summit speakers represented organizations like the Native American Disability Law Center, Hopi Foundation, Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, and the Arc of Arizona. 

The daylong summit began with a keynote and was followed by three consecutive sessions that each contained two breakout topics.  

To carry on the theme of resiliency and self-care, the Inaugural American Indian Youth Disability Summit was held shortly afterwards, on April 2 and focused on the youth experience in American Indian communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together, the American Indian summits saw more than 500 attendees from 37 states across the country. Recordings of the general summit and youth summit are archived on the Sonoran UCEDD YouTube page.