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March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

See Me for Me!

During this month, we want people to share their stories, photos, and resources far and wide to expand the conversation of inclusion and accessibility. This year's theme is "See Me for Me!" To us, this means looking beyond someone's disability and seeing them as a person and not just a person with a disability.



President's Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

Analysis of the Impact on People with Disabilities

President Donald Trump on February 12 released his budget proposal to Congress for Fiscal Year 2019, which will cover October 1, 2018-September 30, 2019 (FY19). The entire budget can be found on the White House homepage. In general, President Trum's budget, titled "Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget," would dramatically impact Americans with disabilities, with cuts far deeper than any ever enacted. The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) examines the budget's cuts to the national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs, key disability programs, research, and a broad set of public services critical to the lives of people with disabilities.



In Memoriam: Gordon Richins (UT UCEDD)

Gordon Richins, Consumer Liaison at the Center for Persons with Disabilities in Utah and former 2-term COCA Co-Chair, passed away on February 11. He leaves a hole at the CPD, and in many other places where his influence was felt.



PCPID Releases Report on Direct Support Workforce

President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) chaired by and includes several AUCD members

The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) has released its 2017 report, America's Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities and the U.S. Economy. Direct support professionals (DSPs) provide services and supports that empower people with intellectual disabilities to live in the community. In the report, PCPID notes that DSPs promote participation in the U.S. economy "by helping people with an (intellectual disability) get jobs and by enabling family members to work." The report describes the current state of the DSP workforce as a "crisis," noting that the average DSP wage is $10.72, most work two or three jobs, and the average annual DSP turnover rate is 45%.

2017-2018 Alaska LEND Without Walls Cohort


AUCD Trainee Updates: News from the North (AK LEND)

Submitted by LEND Trainee Kelly McBride

Alaska's LEND Without Walls, part of the Center for Human Development at the University of Alaska Anchorage, is building capacity. 2017-2018 LEND trainees have had a variety of experiences so far, including time with host families, field experiences, and clinical observations.



Easi-CRISPR Recipe Outlined in Nature Protocols (NE UCEDD/LEND)

By Elizabeth Kumru

Earlier this year, Dr. Gurumurthy, associate professor of developmental neuroscience at UNMC's Munroe-Meyer Institute, announced his breakthrough in genome engineering with his up to 100 percent accurate way to genetically alter a mouse. The method is called Easi (Efficient additions with ssDNA inserts)-CRISPR. The highly efficient knock-in and gene replacement method uses long single-stranded DNA donors in mice to genetically custom engineer animal models. Scientists can now create these much-needed animal models at previously unheard of rates rapidly and at significantly lower cost.

AFARI Mobility Aid in Access+Ability Exhibition


Mobility Aid Invention by Gilson and DePoy in Access+Ability Exhibit at Smithsonian Design Museum (ME UCEDD)

The AFARI Mobility Device, co-invented by University of Maine and Maine UCEDD professors Stephen Gilson and Elizabeth DePoy, is part of the current Access+Ability exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. The exhibition, which runs through September 3, 2018, features over 70 innovative designs and �explores how users and designers are expanding and adapting accessible products and solutions in ways previously unimaginable.�



Registration Open for 2018 Disability Policy Seminar and AUCD Trainee Policy Summit

The Disability Policy Seminar hosted by The Arc, UCP, AUCD, AAIDD, NACDD, and SABE is the premier opportunity to cultivate champions on Capitol Hill and advance the grassroots movement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The event is packed with informative sessions from experts in the field, and opportunities to discuss key issues with others from your state. Armed with valuable information, attendees then converge on Capitol Hill to speak directly to their representatives about the issues that affect them most. All AUCD trainees are invited to a pre-DPS Trainee Summit on Sunday afternoon. Attendees will have exclusive access to Hill staffers and former trainees now working in policy, and learn from the experts how to best craft your message for Wednesday's Hill visits. An evening reception will provide a comfortable background for trainees to meet and network with over 200 peers from around the country.



AUCD is Hiring: bilingual (English/Spanish) Program Specialist

Applications now being accepted

This early career position will contribute to the full range of AUCD TA initiatives, with specific emphases on monitoring scholarly research, supporting efforts to identify and address gaps in disability research relevant to underrepresented groups, and developing content for communications emphasizing the impact of AUCD.



Senior Research Fellow Advising MA Commission for the Blind (MA UCEDD/LEND)

Dr. Susan Foley, a senior research fellow at the ICI, has been appointed to the statutory advisory board of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, or MCB. According to the MCB e-newsletter, "The Statutory Advisory Board [...] consists of five people, qualified by training, experience, or demonstrated interest in the services for individuals who are blind.



Stephanie Porter Receives Allen C. Crocker Award at Boston Children's Hospital (MA UCEDD/LEND)

Stephanie Porter, MSN, RN, a long-time ICI faculty member, has received the Allen C. Crocker Award from the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. Ms. Porter works with the ICI's LEND Program, a multidisciplinary training initiative focused on disability inclusion and based at Children's. The Crocker Award is presented annually to honor an individual whose work within the Division of Developmental Medicine demonstrates clinical excellence and advocacy.



APHA Disability Section Call for 2018 Awards Nominations

Do you have a colleague who has made an outstanding contribution to advance disability and health? Submit a nomination! Nominators do not need to be members of the APHA Disability Section. See the attached eligibility criteria for each award listed to determine the nominee's membership requirements associated with each particular award.

NIFE AR ambassador at the Live Healthy Event


Nutrition is for Everyone Ambassador Updates - Arkansas

Nutrition is for Everyone Arkansas (NIFE AR) hosted their third large-scale training, Train the Trainer's course, in Texarkana, Arkansas. During this course, NIFE AR educated disability facility employees on how to host and teach a 6-week adapted Cooking Matters class series. Each employee plans to begin offering a class in their facility. NIFE AR have now trained over 100 employees to teach the adapted Cooking Matters class! See a video of their training here. NIFE AR also began its first six-week adapted Cooking Matters class at Pathfinders, a local disability facility, in Jacksonville, AR.

NIFE LA Nutrition Ambassador


Nutrition is for Everyone Ambassador Updates - Louisiana

Special Olympics Louisiana has partnered with Nutrition is for Everyone Louisiana (NIFE LA) to begin a new program for their athletes and families. The 8-week pilot, running January to March, invites participants to engage in 30 minutes of physical activity and 30 minutes of nutrition education during weekly evening classes. Participants are encouraged to track their health behaviors at home in between classes.

Participants at NIFE MS first Nutrition is for Everyone education workshop


Nutrition is for Everyone Ambassador Updates - Mississippi

"Making my own snacks" was reported most often by participants as their favorite activity at Mississippi's first Nutrition is for Everyone education workshop. The nutrition workshop was held on January 25, at the Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center in Hattiesburg. Thirty participants attended, including members of the Institute for Disability Studies' TRIAD AmeriCorps project and Project SEARCH Southern Mississippi as well as members of LIFE of Mississippi, the state's independent living organization.

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