AUCD 360 - May 2022

April 22, 2022

AUCDigest:Network News: UCEDDs, LENDs and IDDRCs
May 2022  |   Volume 7 Issue 5
AUCD 360, News from Around the Network, Facebook space 

  Central Office News

  Network Recognitions

  Network News

  Emerging Leaders Voices

  Global Impact

  Upcoming Events 

 AUCD Central Office News


AUCD 2022 - Call for Proposals & Conference Reviewers

Image of 5 women sitting in front of a table presenting to group of individuals at a conference. Text Submit a Proposal! #AUCD2022 I Nov 13-16, 2022 I Washington, DC

Save the Dates: November 13-16 in Washington, DC
Call for Proposals are live! Don’t miss this opportunity to highlight your work and connect with other disability leaders in the field. Choose the topic that best fits your presentation and submit a proposal to AUCD by June 20. AUCD is also seeking network members to serve as proposal reviewers. Learn more about being a reviewer and sign up by June 10. Read more...

AUCD for All Gala - Watch it Today!

Association of University Centers on Disabilities AUCD for All Gala Celebrating Leadership in Inclusive ScienceThank you to those who were able to join us for the 2022 AUCD for All Gala! We greatly enjoyed celebrating this year’s honorees alongside AUCD members, partners, and friends. We look forward to a future where people with disabilities are included in every step of the research process. Many thanks to Dr. Cook, Dr. Iezzoni and the many others who are leading the way! 

May 2022: Mental Health Awareness Month

Cartoon of a child in a yoga pose. Text Children's Mental Health Champions Present: Children's Mental Health Week May 1-7, 2022 Thank you for joining AUCD on social media all week long as we shared resources on children's mental health. AUCD National Center on Disability in Public Health

Children’s Mental Health Awareness week is celebrated during the first week of May every year! Mental health in childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. During Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, AUCD focused on the importance of mental health parity laws, suicide prevention, support, and social skills development of children and/or youth. In doing so we celebrated the work of the Children’s Mental Health Champions. Read more...

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  Network Recognitions

Center on Disability and Development receives 2022 Texas A&M University President's Meritorious Service Team Award

Image of a group of individuals dressed in professional attire standing on stage holding awards

The University President presented these prestigious awards to recognize 25 outstanding individuals, two outstanding teams and two supervisors for demonstrating their commitment to the Aggie core values of respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity and selfless service. Read more...

Aggieland Sustainability Alliance Awards Dr. Marcia Montegue as the 2021 Faculty Champion

Image of a white woman with long brown hair wearing a tie dyed dress holding an award. Text Sustainability Champion Faculty Marcia Montague, PhD Department of Education Psychology

The Aggie Sustainability Alliance is a campus wide program that encourages faculty and staff to participate in fostering a culture of sustainability. Individuals, offices, and student organizations are recognized for their voluntary contributions to major sustainable areas such as energy and water use, transportation, food and purchasing, waste minimization, and social sustainability. Dr. Marcia Montegue was awarded the 2021 Sustainability Champion Faculty . Please congratulate Dr. Marsha Montegue for achieving the top tier for the Aggie Sustainability Alliance certification. Read more...

Munroe-Meyer Institute Names New Director of Autism Center

Image of white woman with shoulder length hair and wearing a suit.

Seeing a perfect fit with her professional expertise and interests, Alice Shillingsburg, PhD, will join the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute as its new director of the integrated Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (iCASD). Dr. Shillingsburg’s hiring fulfills MMI’s goal to recruit a nationally recognized expert in autism to iCASD and its redesigned home in the new Munroe-Meyer Institute building. Slated to start at MMI in July, Dr. Shillingsburg is currently senior vice president of children’s clinical services and training at the May Institute, a Massachusetts nonprofit that serves individuals with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, brain injury, neurobehavioral disorders and other special needs. Read more...

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Welcomes Adithyan Rajaraman as new TRIAD Director of Behavior Analysis Research

Image of a brown skin man with short hair and beard wearing a suit jacket and shirt.

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Treatment & Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD) announces the hiring of Adithyan Rajaraman, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, as Director of Behavior Analysis Research. As an assistant professor in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a VKC investigator, Dr. Rajaraman will lead the research and dissemination of TRIAD’s innovative behavior analytic services and the growing portfolio of related projects. Read more...


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  Network News


When it Comes to the Rarest of Diseases, the Diagnosis isn't the Answer - it's Just the Starting Point

Image of four adults and three children standing with one toddler using a manual wheelchair sipping from a sippy cup in a office setting.Medical geneticist Melissa Wasserstein, MD, and neuroscientist Steven Walkley, DVM, PhD, explain how they established Gene Teams, in which parents, physicians, and interested scientists gather to share knowledge and experiences of Rare Disease. Two families - the Foglio family on the left and the Robl family on the right – meet at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine on Rare Disease Day 2020 to exchange experiences on building rare disease foundations. The Foglio's, who have a son with a rare variant in the SLC17A5 gene, created the STAR Foundation. 


Understanding Social Behavior in Autism: A Diverse World of Unique People

Image of a young child holding up a heart with puzzles pieces on it.Dr. Julia Parish-Morris at the Center for Autism Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia—one of AUCD’s Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRCs)—discusses the importance of working with autistic people to develop meaningful research and practical supports that help individuals achieve their goals—like making friends, getting a job, and establishing romantic relationships. Read more...


Maine UCEDD Celebrates the Achievements of 22 Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Graduates

Thirteen people standing outside on a patio for a group photo. Two of the people are college professors; the remaining eleven are college students wearing blue and white graduation stoles that signify their completion of a Disability Studies Minor.  Twenty-two University of Maine students were honored on April 26th during the 2022 Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Celebration of Achievement. Dr. Alan Cobo-Lewis, Director of the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (ME UCEDD) and Associate Professor of Psychology delivered the opening welcome. Read more...


Call for Participation: Understanding Parent or Guardian Perspectives on COVID-19 Testing in Schools

Kennedy Krieger Institute We invite you to participate in a research study being conducted by investigators from Washington University in St. Louis and Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. The purpose of this study is to identify the issues most critical to student COVID-19 testing in schools. Questions are asked about families' well being and children's school experience during the era of COVID-19. Read more...


Analysis of 47,276 Brain Activity Scans Reveals Genetic Variants Influencing Brain

Image of a brain scan.Researchers at AUCD's Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC), Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, analyzed resting-state functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) images from 47,276 individuals to discover and validate common genetic variants influencing intrinsic brain activity. They identified 45 new genetic regions associated with brain functional signatures as well as brain activity-associated loci associated with brain disorders, as reported in Nature Genetics. Read more...


Center Staff Awarded Aggie Green Fund Micro-Grant

Image of four women holding water bottles standing next to the water fountain.The Center staff, Dr. Jacqueline Turner, Tanya Baker, Jessica Dees and Aimee Day, were awarded a micro-grant from the Aggie Green Fund to replace the water fountain on the 6th floor of Harrington Tower with a Bottle Filling Water Station. Once the water station is installed, they will be promoting the bottle filling station by rewarding someone each month with an insulated reusable bottle. Read more...


Scientists Find Oleic Acid is Key to Activating the Brain's 'fountain of youth

Image of a brain activity scan with an arrow pointing with text CA1. Cognitive difficulties and learning disabilities are common in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual disabilities. While searching for new ways to prevent or treat these and other related conditions, a team at Baylor College of Medicine—one of AUCD's Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRCs)—and the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (Duncan NRI) at Texas Children’s Hospital identified a missing piece of the puzzle of how specific types of learning and memory are sustained and regulated in the brain. Read more...


Bold Beauty Project Hosts its First College Edition at the University of Miami

Image of a group of women standing on a stage with Bold Beauty Project: College Edition x Girl Up projected behind them.The Bold Beauty Project, founded by the Mailman Center for Child Development’s Leadership Training Initiatives Director Shelly Baer, LCSW, hosted its first college edition exhibition at the University of Miami on March 27, 2022. The event was held in collaboration with the University of Miami chapter of Girl Up, an international United Nations Foundation organization that seeks to empower at-risk girls around the world. Read more...


Collaboration between The Ohio State University Nisonger Center and Boundless Health, Inc

Image of a bald white man wearing a suit and smiling at the camera.The OSU Nisonger Center is helping Boundless Health, Inc create a dental program to increase access to dental care for individuals with IDD. Dr. Beetstra, the dental program director at the Nisonger Center, discusses how the relationship is a win-win-win for the institutions and the community. 
- Meet Dr. Stephen Beetstra 
- Why We Serve the I/DD Community

Columbia University Seeks Participants for Focus Group

Image of a group of women standing on a stage with Bold Beauty Project: College Edition x Girl Up projected behind them.Columbia University is seeking participants for a study that explores issues of trust in a type of medical research called “precision medicine research.” The study looks at a person’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle. It can help physicians improve prevention and diagnosis of diseases and develop new treatments. Participants will be asked to join a 2-hour online focus group to share their thoughts about precision medicineRead more...


Expecting Acceptance: A Parent's Perspective

Image of two young men standing in a parking lot in sports attire.Nine years ago, when my son first spent a week at the Munroe-Meyer Institute’s Camp Munroe, I hoped he would make a friend. My son -- who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum about 13 years ago -- is a member of his school’s JRTOC Corps. He is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout. He is maintaining, with educational supports, passing grades as he nears the end of his freshman year of high school. Read more...


"On My Way to Kindergarten:" Assessing Visually Impaired Children's Kindergarten Readiness

Image of the assessment timeline from August to April. Researchers from the UMKC Institute for Human Development partnered with the leaders at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, and other experts in education. Together, they explored the need for better measures of kindergarten readiness for children with visual impairment and the development of specialized decision-making tools. The purpose of the project was to provide solutions to guide teachers of the visually impaired, as well as kindergarten teachers, IEP teams, and personnel at receiving schools. Read more...


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  Emerging Leaders Voices

Promoting "Learn the Signs. Act Early" in Minnesota's Latinx Communities

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

Andrea Castillo is a Family and Caregiver Empowerment Specialist at CLUES (Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio) and University of Minnesota LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) fellow mentored by Dr. Jennifer Hall-Lande, CDC Act Early Ambassador to Minnesota. Andrea's LEND project was to promote the public health campaign "Learn the Signs. Act Early." (LTSAE) to improve early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Read more...

Everything I Needed to Know About Leadership I Learned from the NJLEND Cohort Crest Project

A rainbow infinity symbol with two of the curves meeting in the middle in the shape of hands. The left half  of the infinity symbol is made of the colors red, orange, yellow, and green. The top orange section has the symbol of nursing, which is set of open hands with a heart between them. The heart has a medical cross in the middle. The red section says

Of the multitude of meaningful didactic and experiential learning activities afforded by the NJLEND program, none is quite as unique as the Cohort Crest project. This project, which runs the span of the fellowship, entails the cohort working together as a group to create a crest, or emblem of some sort, which represents our communal identity as a cohort. While a seemingly simple idea, this activity serves several purposes (both overt and covert) that help us to strengthen and hone our skills as emerging leaders. Read more...

Listen to "Living That MI-LEND Life" from MI-DDI's podcast, Possibilities

Image of a white woman with should wavy length hair wearing a blazer and blouse. Text: Possibilities MIDDI a podcast by the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute

In this episode of Possibilities, listen to Lily Slavin, MI-LEND Cohort 2020-2021, (member) talk about her experience with the program and how it creates tomorrow's leaders in the disability community. Michigan Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (MI-LEND) is a two-semester training program that fosters the development of family-centered and culturally competent interdisciplinary leadership skills. Read more...

Kansas LEND Trainee Wins HRSA Public Health Award and is a Finalist at a Research Competition for Her Project about the Deficit of IDD Knowledge in Medical Education

Image of a young woman with shoulder length hair smiling at the camera.

As the older sibling to an intellectually and developmentally disabled (IDD) adult, Sydney Walls watched her family struggle to find providers who were competent and willing to support her brother. Sydney is a Kansas LEND Public Health Trainee and a Master of Public Health (MPH) student at the University of Kansas Medical Center. When Sydney’s brother aged out of pediatric care and began struggling with significant medical complications, it was near impossible for her family to find a primary care provider that was knowledgeable enough about her brother’s IDD to care for him and able to take new patients. Read more...

Indiana LEND Psychology Trainee Amani Khalil was Awarded the Division 33 APA Student Research Award

Image of a young woman with shoulder length hair wearing a short sleeve shirt.

Indiana LEND psychology trainee Amani Khalil was awarded the Division 33 APA Student Research Award and will present her poster at the APA conference in Minneapolis in August. Amani Khalil is a PhD Candidate in Counseling Psychology at Purdue University.  Her poster is titled “Help-Seeking Barriers for Racial-Ethnic Minority Caregivers Accessing Autism Interventions: A Systematic Review” and shares about work related to both her LEND leadership project and her dissertation. Read more...

WI LEND Adds Family and Disability Advocacy Peer Mentors to Training Team

Waisman Center

WI LEND, located at the Waisman Center UCEDD, introduced a new staff role of Peer Mentor at the beginning of the new grant funding cycle. Ida Winters and Stasia Wilson, both recent graduates of the WI LEND program, were hired to fill the roles of Family Peer Mentor and Disability Advocacy Peer Mentor, respectively. “Ida and Stasia were both standout trainees, and we are so excited to add them both to our staff,” said the Training Director, Gail Chödrön. “WI LEND has had trainees and staff in the family discipline for over 15 years, and added self-advocacy trainees 10 years ago. With the addition of Peer Mentors, we continue to expand family and self-advocate representation in our program.” Read more...

Minnesota LEND Fellow Engages with Local Hmong Community

MNLEND Fellow Julie Li Yang is wearing a facemask and standing next to a table with Help Me Grow children's books, toys, and paper resources.

This spring, MNLEND Community Fellow Julie Li Yang is engaging in outreach activities to promote Help Me Grow resources with the Hmong community in the Twin Cities and surrounding area. Yang is mentored by Dr. Jennifer Hall-Lande in the Minnesota LEND program at the Institute on Community Integration (ICI) at the University of Minnesota. By promoting early monitoring and early developmental screening resources at tabling events and through social media, Yang found that parents are often reluctant to discuss early intervention services due to the shame and stigma surrounding autism diagnosis, specific to the Hmong community. Read more...


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  Community Updates


WRP School Outreach Request

WRP Workforce Recruitment Program

Register for the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) to provide employment opportunities to your students with disabilities! This free program connects postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities to federal employers who are seeking to hire for internship and full-time positions. The WRP is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Defense. Read more...

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 Upcoming Events


 Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Conference

Image of two sets of hands holding one set of baby feet. Nurturing Relationships: The Magic of Early ChildhoodMay 2-31, 2022, Virtual Sessions
The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative* is excited to offer a virtual training series about Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. The purpose of this month-long May Event is to raise awareness and offer educational opportunities for professionals working with children 0-6 and their families. This critical workforce includes, among others, early childhood mental health professionals, early interventionists, early childhood educators, home visiting professionals, families, and caregivers. Read more...


Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities: 2022 Summer Learning

Image of teacher talking to a group of studentss.June 21, 2022 - August 1, 2022, Virtual
The Community and Professional Development Training Program offered by the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute is committed to providing evidence-based training across a broad spectrum of topics to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families. MCDD's 2022 Summer Learning Series will run from June through early August. Read more...


 2022 State-of-the-Science on Disability Statistics

Disability Statistics & Demographics Rehabilitation Research & Training CenterOctober 6-7, 2022, Virtual and In-Person
Out of concern for the health and wellness of our community, StatsRRTC has postponed the State-of-the-Science on Disability Statistics Conference to October 6 - 7, 2022. This hybrid event will be streamed online via Zoom and held in-person at the Holiday Inn, 550 C St SW, Washington, DC 20024. Registration will open after the Release of the Annual Disability Statistics Collection Webinar. 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 Community Living (ACL) 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.