AUCD-NCBDDD Cooperative Agreement Newsletter - Fall Issue

September 22, 2011

  view archiveemail friend   September 21, 2011 | Issue 2   


New Initiative: Act Early Ambassadors

New Initiative: Act Early AmbassadorsThe Act Early Ambassadors project is designed to develop a network of state-level experts to improve early identification practices.  It is a collaborative effort on behalf of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).  Eleven Act Early Ambassadors have been selected from a group of highly qualified applicants and will be working in the coming year to expand the reach of the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." program and support their states' work toward improving early identification.

Act Early Ambassadors will work with programs that serve young children and their parents, such as Head Start and Early Head Start, WIC, and home visiting; health care and child care professionals; and their Act Early state teams (some ambassadors are state team leaders) to improve early identification of developmental delays. Ambassadors also will promote the Autism Case Training (ACT):  A Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Curriculum. This case-based, facilitated curriculum is designed to teach pediatric residents and other trainees about autism identification, diagnosis, and treatment.  This year's cohort of Act Early Ambassadors are serving as the first pilot group for a one-year assignment for their state (June 2011-June 2012).

See if there is an Act Early Ambassador in your state. 

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Fellowship Reflections From Ismaila Ramon, AUCD-NCBDDD Disability Surveillance and Epidemiologic Research Fellow

Two Years at NCBDDD Working With the Disability and Health Team in the Division of Human Development and Disability (DHHD)
By Ismaila Ramon

Fellowship Reflections From Ismaila RamonThe AUCD-NCBDDD Surveillance and Epidemiology Fellowship offers fellows the opportunity to work at NCBDDD under the supervision of top experts in the field. My experience with the fellowship stands out as a life-changing one. The supportive environment at NCBDDD fosters mentoring and the training in public health and disability is filled with profound depth and breadth. The fellowship experience enhanced my competencies and taught me critical leadership skills.  I have been actively involved in projects that extend surveillance activities and increase understanding of the unmet needs of people with disabilities. I was able to harness health assessment skills; skills that are applicable in almost any public health initiative requiring formative evaluation. A prime example of this stems from my role in an international effort to improve health surveillance data on people with intellectual disabilities in the United States. I engaged in assessment activities that highlighted the needs and challenges of studying people with intellectual disabilities. I was involved in the dissemination of vital information through manuscript development and conference presentation. Through my work in data analysis, I was exposed to national surveillance systems. My deep involvement with the DHDD's Disability Policy, Intervention and Programs team presented unique opportunities to learn about policy development.


I was fortunate to be exposed to the intricacies of public health assurance. Key hands-on exposure includes my involvement in developing logic models and action plans for program interventions that are tied to measurable outcomes and impacts. This exercise enhanced my skills in program evaluation and performance monitoring; key public health measures that assist programs in becoming more effective and efficient in their day-to-day operations. 


This experience would not have been possible without the help of all those who made this opportunity so unique- AUCD and NCBDDD.  I am grateful for my former colleagues at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the University of Kansas Research and Training Center on Independent Living as well as the CDC health professionals.  Their expertise, guidance and mentorship were essential to my experience. It is my hope that this fellowship opportunity will continue to be available to provide young professionals with the training and mentorship needed to advance their career in the field of health and disability.  Read more about AUCD-NCBDDD Fellowship opportunities.

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AUCD-NCBDDD RTOI Update: Language and Behavioral Outcomes of Children with Congenital Hearing Loss Highlights

Training RI Early Intervention Sites on the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories

AUCD-NCBDDD RTOI UpdateDr. Betty Vohr (Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island) and her project team has been prospectively studying the language and behavior outcomes of children with hearing loss from birth to six years of age. The 18-24 month outcomes were presented in a poster entitled "The Effects of Maternal Stress and Child Language Ability on Behavioral Outcomes of Children with Congenital Hearing Loss" at the 2011 EHDI Conference and won the "Overall Outstanding Poster Award."

Their collaborative relationship with The Paul V. Sherlock Center and Part C Early Intervention has been expanded.  MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (MCDI) supplies were purchased and trainings conducted with all RI Early Intervention sites so that providers would become proficient in administering the MCDI assessment to monitor the language progress of Rhode Island children with hearing loss in Part C programs. Data will be entered into the state Kidsnet database. This is a big step in Rhode Island and the first time there will be consistent administration of a standardized language assessment at all of the Early Intervention sites.  

The team presented three prize winning posters, including one by our Paul V. Sherlock Center Fellow, at the Rhode Island Hearing Assessment Program's Annual Seminar. The team also presented a MCDI training workshop at the conference.

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AUCD Change of Address

Please update your contacts!

2011 AUCD Conference LogoEffective Monday October 3, 2011 AUCD will have a new address across the street from its current location in Silver Spring, Maryland:

Association of University Centers on Disabilities
1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1000
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

Please note that telephone and fax numbers as well as email addresses will remain the same.  Should you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Danielle Webber.

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The content presented has been generated by AUCD staff.  The content of this material does not necessarily reflect the views and policies of NCBDDD, CDC.  No official support or endorsement by the NCBDDD, CDC is intended or should be inferred.

For copies of this and previous issues of the AUCD-NCBDDD Cooperative Agreement Newsletter please visit the AUCD-NCBDDD Cooperative Agreement Page of the AUCD website

AUCD | 1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 920 | Silver Spring | MD | 20910