Georgetown UCEDD Names New Information Dissemination Coordinator

June 17, 2022

What is the story behind your UCEDD? How does your UCEDD make you feel? What are the messages your UCEDD is sharing? How does your UCEDD promote the voices of lived disability experience among your community?

Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (GUCEDD) developed a five-year plan to respond to these questions and hired a new Information Dissemination & Product Development Coordinator to lead this effort in partnership with disabled persons, their families, and the communities in which they live in the District of Columbia. The GUCEDD will support persons with developmental and other disabilities to share their stories, their lived experiences, to inform policy makers, legislators, and other constituency groups to promote change within the current system of supports and services in DC.

A perfect fit with her professional expertise and interests, Jalyn Marks will join the GUCEDD as the new Information Dissemination Coordinator, starting in July. Marks recently graduated from Georgetown University with a Master degree in Communications, Culture & Technology, and is one of the first students ever to graduate Georgetown with a graduate certificate in Disability Studies.

“I’m a disabled person who believes in the power of storytelling. When I share my story, I’m inviting my listeners to learn about my experience, find compassion, and share their own stories. These stories connect us to each other and contribute to a welcoming, comfortable world for people with disabilities,” Marks said.

Tawara Goode, GUCEDD Director and Past-President of the Board of Directors of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), applauded Marks’ hiring. Goode said “Jalyn brings a fresh perspective, energy, creativity, a love for teamwork, a personal experience with disability, and many other talents to her position and our UCEDD.”

Before working with the GUCEDD full time, Marks worked part-time on a project designed to promote confidence in COVID-19 vaccines among persons with disabilities in the District of Columbia. Marks partnered with persons with the lived experience of disability, family members, and GUCEDD staff and faculty to create COVID-19 public health messages that were accessible and culturally and linguistically competent ⎯ responsive to the diverse populations that reside in DC. 

Prior to joining the GUCEDD, Marks worked for three years as the administrative assistant for AUCD, where she produced the YouTube series Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All.

“The disability community is broad and ever-changing, which is why we need to do our best to reach everyone, and to represent everyone. Our UCEDD partners with members of the community to elevate people’s voices and be an advocate,” Marks said.

Alt text: A headshot of white woman wearing a plain blue shirt and gold wire framed glasses. She has shoulder length curly reddish light brown hair and is outside. Leaves and tree branches make up the background.