Missouri's UCEDD and LEND programs partner to develop ACCESSIBLE, the Podcast

March 9, 2022

Topics across the disability field, including best practices, supports and services, advocacy, and leadership are part of the discussion in the new podcast, "Accessible".

“The idea for a podcast grew from a conversation about how we, at the UCEDD, could support the Missouri Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities prepare students for work in the field of developmental disabilities,” George Gotto, director of IHD, said. “We also want to educate other professionals in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) field who may not know the full extent of the existing support systems in Missouri.”

To create a path for approachable and convenient content to reach those interested and invested in IDD, the UCEDD, Missouri’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, at the UMKC Institute for Human Development (IHD) joined leaders at the University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

"In a world where information is coming at us from all angles, we need engaging and efficient avenues for sharing information about our work. Podcasts fill this need perfectly," Connie Brooks, director of the LEND program, said. "We want to highlight the LEND partnership with IHD to illustrate how our organizations support one another, and a podcast is a good way to do that."

Brooks said the podcast is also a different take on clinical training for providers working with children with IDD.

"I have learned so much from the podcast series," Sarah de Marchena, a LEND trainee, said. "I had a big aha! moment when Dr. Lowery, the occupational therapist, talked about thinking from the lens of 'how can I be with you in care vs. what can we do for you?' It changes the dynamic, and it makes care a collective responsibility. I loved that.”

Season one of “Accessible” currently features four episodes, with four more to come by the end of April. The available-now-to-listen podcasts include:

“Training Future Leaders in the Field” with Connie Brooks, Missouri LEND director. Brooks talks about her professional journey in the field of disabilities, and her views on women in leadership.

“Using Occupational Therapy to Build Community Inclusion” with Lea Ann Lowery, a LEND faculty member. Lowery talks about her journey in the occupational therapy field and how occupational therapy supports community inclusion for people with disabilities.

“Understanding Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council and Emergency Preparedness” with Vicky Davidson, executive director of the Missouri Developmental Disability Council.

“Ensuring Meaningful Life, Work, and Play for People with Disabilities” with George Gotto, Missouri UCEDD director.

Out mid-March on "Accessible" is an interview with Jeff Johnson, a Missouri self-advocate and president of People First of Missouri. Johnson will share insights on his journey as a self-advocate, his work educating others about the school-to-prison pipeline experienced by students with disabilities, and his connection to that work.

Accessible the podcast is available to listen to on Listen Notes, Spotify, iTunes, and Google Podcast.