Mitchell Levitz (WIHD-NY) to Serve on National Down Syndrome Research Consortium

October 14, 2011

Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, applauds the selection of Mitchell Levitz, by the Eunice Kennedy Shiver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health (NIH) to serve as committee member of the Down Syndrome Consortium.  As a self advocate with Down syndrome, Mr. Levitz has been instrumental in working on disability issues throughout the Hudson Valley and has been a speaker at conferences across the country.

Mr. Levitz has been an employee at WIHD since 2002.  He teaches WIHD graduate students about self advocacy, coordinates a self advocacy group, and is a member of the WIHD self- determination research team.  He has co-developed the WIHD curriculum for My Health, My Choice, My Responsibility and he conducts workshops on health and self- determination. On a national level he is an active committee member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), including serving as a member of AUCD's Council of Community Advocacy (COCA) steering committee.  He has contributed to numerous books and articles on disability issues and self-advocacy including co-authoring the book Count Us In: Growing Up with Down Syndrome.

The Down Syndrome Consortium at NIH has been formed to provide a forum for discussion regarding current research on Down syndrome and continued implementation of the NIH Research Plan on Down syndrome.  Consortium members represent a range of stakeholders committed to research on Down syndrome, who will be encouraged to contribute opinions and views of research needs and opportunities from their unique perspectives.

Dr. Ansley Bacon, President and CEO of WIHD commented, "This invitation to serve on the Down Syndrome Consortium is the kind of opportunity that WIHD envisions for all people with disabilities. We are thrilled for Mitch and are confident that he will make a significant contribution."