Archived News


Archive: What's New



AUCD's Public Health Team Launches Prepared4ALL Initiative

The Prepared4ALL initiative, offered by AUCD's new Technical Assistance and Training Center, is excited to announce the launch of their online training, "Prepared4ALL: Whole Community Inclusive Emergency Planning". This free self-paced online training aims to help disability organizations increase their knowledge about emergency planning so they can begin or continue to get involved in these efforts in their local community while also building sustainable partnerships with their local emergency and public health professionals. This training is centered around the Prepared4ALL process, a strength-based model which helps organizations creatively and flexibly navigate inclusion and accessibility issues.



Call for Requests for Assistance

Assistance to Support AUCD Network Members to Participate in the Morehouse School of Medicine National COVID-19 Resiliency Network's Regional Community Coalitions

The purpose of this opportunity is to provide funding to cover administrative and personnel costs incurred by AUCD network member participation in the Morehouse School of Medicine National COVID-19 Resiliency Network's Regional Community Coalition.



ICI Welcomes Julie Bershadsky, Ph.D., as Director of Community Living and Employment

Julie Bershadsky, Ph.D., will join the Institute on Community Integration on January 27 as the director of ICI�s Community Living and Employment area and co-director of the Research and Training Center on Community Living. Dr. Bershadsky spent the past eleven years with Human Services Research Institute, a longtime partner of ICI, providing analytic and methodological guidance and expertise to numerous agencies, organizations, and systems.



Watch Plenary and Awards Ceremony Videos from the AUCD 2020 Conference

AUCD is pleased to provide video recording of our conference plenary sessions, "Opening Plenary: What is Equity and What does it Mean for the Disability Community,","Leading Change to Achieve Equity: Conversations We Need to Have," and the Closing Plenary: Engaging with Congress to Achieve Equitable Communities."



AUCD 2020 Virtual Conference Statistics



Closing Plenary: Engaging with Congress to Achieve Equitable Communities

AUCD2020 Closing Plenary

Join us on Wednesday during the conference for the pre-recorded Closing Plenary: Engaging with Congress to Achieve Equitable Communities to learn about the legislative work and priorities of elected disability advocates in Congress. This year, we are pleased to announce that Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Senator Bob Casey (Pennsylvania), Senator Patty Murray (Washington), and Legislative Assistant Gil Ruiz with the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (New York) have pre-recorded their parts for the plenary. John Tschida, AUCD's Executive Director, and Rylin Rodgers, AUCD's Director of Public Policy, are the co-moderators for the discussion. In prior years, we have heard from leaders on both sides of the aisle, including Senator Bob Casey (Pennsylvania), Senator Steve Daines (Montana), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), Congresswoman Deb Haaland (New Mexico), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington) and Senator Patty Murray (Washington).



What is Equity and What does it Mean for the Disability Community?

AUCD2020 Opening Plenary

What is equity? What does it mean in the disability space? We as a network, and the broader disability community, have yet to answer these questions and define equity. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act and look toward the next decade, achieving equity is our highest priority. Join us for a dynamic and thought-provoking presentation and dialogue designed to help define equity and the path forward.



AUCD Applauds Congress' Passage of Autism CARES Act

AUCD applauds Congress' passage of the Autism Cares Act of 2019, a bipartisan bill to expand research and coordination, increase public awareness and surveillance, and expand interdisciplinary health professional training to identify and support individuals with autism and their families. Passage of the bill, which occurred by voice vote, has been championed by Senators Enzi (R-WY) and Menendez (R-NJ) and Representatives Smith (R-NJ) and Doyle (D-PA), which reauthorizes CARES programs at NIH, CDC, HRSA, and IACC over the next five years.

Andy met with President Rosevonne Pato and Vice President Lina Scanlan and Tafaimamao Lefu Tua Tupuola, UCEDD Director at American Samoa Community College.


AUCD's Andy Imparato Visits the Pacific

For the past ten days, AUCD Executive Director Andy Imparato has been visiting disability organizations and meetings in the South Pacific, hosted by Tafaimamao Lefu Tua Tupuola and Kiriko Takahashi of the American Samoa UCEDD (Ucedd Ascc). He has met with people with disabilities, families, and numerous staff working on disability issues throughout the South Pacific.


AUCD Webinars



2021 Disability Policy Seminar

April 19-22, 2021 - A Virtual Event

The Disability Policy Seminar offers the opportunity for passionate advocates, self-advocates, experts, and professionals in the field to come together and learn about key issues that affect them most. After two days of training and learning, attendees head to Capitol Hill for a day of meetings with their Members of Congress.


Public Health is for Everyone

Image of AUCD awards


Recognize Exceptional Leadership

The annual AUCD Awards gives us an opportunity to recognize individuals, programs, and organizations that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made outstanding contributions. We honor leadership, advocacy, research, policy, and practice that further diversifies and creates more inclusive communities for people with disabilities and their families. Comprised of 10 categories, the AUCD Awards represent the exemplars within our network, and local, state, and federal partners. We know the depth, breadth, and expertise of our trainees, advocates, professionals, and partners is extraordinary and deserving of recognition. In preparation for this year's conference, we invite you to nominate someone who truly inspires you in the spirit of the conference theme: Achieving Equity: Leading the Way in the Next Decade. Submit a Nomination by September 4.



Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Launches Prepared4ALL Initiative

Together with its partners, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is launching a new initiative, Prepared4ALL, mobilizes disability organizations and their local networks to get a seat at the emergency planning table.



Creating Change in the Homeless Community During a Pandemic

Pursuing work in the community during a global pandemic most certainly can pose unique challenges; however, this did not stop trainees in Cincinnati, Ohio from promoting positive change in their local homeless community. Trainees Sue Ram (occupational therapy), Emily Witt (social work), Julius Freeman (psychology), and Nora Lascell (speech-language pathology) are a part of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training program in collaboration with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence (UCEDD).



Dr. Meagan Orsag Recieves President's Meritorious Service Award

Dr. Meagan Orsag, of the TAMU CDD, has received the Texas A&M Presidents Meritorious Service Award. In order to be eligible for this award, nominees have to have demonstrated their commitment to the school values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service. Dr. Orsag is the associate director of the TAMU CDD, an active member in multiple AUCD councils and special interest groups, and an active member in the state and local communities of Texas.



Families with IDD Praise State's Vaccination Clinic

The high risk that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face from COVID-19 is well-documented. During the COVID-19 pandemic, UNMC's Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) has been working to address the need for vaccination opportunities for people with IDD, as well as their parents and caregivers.



Mailman Center for Child Development Faculty Awarded Dual Grants to Improve Language Skills for Children with Hearing Loss

Investigators Dr. Lynn Perry and Dr. Daniel Messinger at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology have been awarded federal funding to study the development of children with hearing loss at the University of Miami's Debbie Institute, which is affiliated with Mailman Center for Child Development. Children with hearing loss are less likely to read at grade-level than their typically hearing peers'a gap that exists as early as preschool.



Mailman Center for Child Development Faculty Awarded Dual Grants to Improve Language Skills for Children with Hearing Loss

Investigators Dr. Lynn Perry and Dr. Daniel Messinger at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology have been awarded federal funding to study the development of children with hearing loss at the University of Miami's Debbie Institute, which is affiliated with Mailman Center for Child Development. Children with hearing loss are less likely to read at grade-level than their typically hearing peers'a gap that exists as early as preschool.



April 2021: Autism Acceptance Month

April is widely recognized as Autism Acceptance Month. AUCD, our members, and partners have used this as an opportunity to share information relating to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).



Call for Coaches and Implementors: Implementing the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan

AUCD's UCEDD Resource Center is accepting applications for 3-5 coaches and up to 35 implementors as part of a technical assistance initiative to implement the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan.



2021 AUCD Emerging Leaders Map Nomination Survey is Open!

Deadline: April 12, 2021

AUCD is excited to announce that recruitment is now open for the 2021 AUCD Emerging Leaders Map! This year's theme is "Promoting Health Equity: Identifying Access Barriers and Protecting Rights to Services for People with Disabilities."



COVID-19 Vaccination and Reaching People with Disabilities (PWD)

Webinar Series brought to you by AUCD, ASTHO and NACCHO

Join our organizations, state-level jurisdictions, and CDC guests to hear about promising practices on how states are reaching people with disabilities.



Care Connection Campaign

AUCD partner, GT Independence, has launched a unique initiative to combat the impacts of social isolation from the pandemic. The "Care Connection Campaign" began March 1st to raise awareness of the effects of social isolation and b) engage members of the public with storytelling about their plans for a future �Connect Day' with loved ones that are isolated. AUCD members are encouraged to participate in the campaign! You can use the tips shared on social media to check-in on older individuals and those with disabilities in your family, neighborhood, and community.



Westchester Institute for Human Development Leading the Way to Vaccinate People with IDD

A year ago we were trying to figure out what this virus was all about and how/if it would affect our lives. Now, just a year later, the Westchester Institute for Human Development began vaccinating people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities against this deadly virus. This was made possible through the tremendous work of WIHD to advocate for and persist in becoming an approved NY State vaccination site, turning our lobby into a state of the art vaccination site, training registrars and vaccinators, and assuring that people with IDD are in a vaccine priority category.



Narrative Advocacy: Valuing Parents as Experts and Teachers

For over 30 years, Maggie Hoffman has worked to strengthen and support families of children and adults with disabilities and special health care needs. She is a co-founder and former executive director of Project DOCC - Delivery of Chronic Care: a medical education curriculum developed by parents to teach pediatric doctors in training about living with illness and disability.

Stephen Beetstra, DDS, MHSA


33rd Annual Special Care Dentistry Association is Coming to Columbus!

Stephen Beetstra, DDS, MHSA - Director, Dental Services at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center is President of the Special Care Dentistry Association. The 2022 National meeting of the Special Care Dentistry Association will be held in Columbus, OH in May 2022.



Congratulations to the 2021 Think College Policy Advocates

For more than 40 years, there has been a Disability Policy Seminar (DPS) in the nation's capital, organized and hosted by numerous disability organizations. Until last year! And this year it's all virtual.... It doesn't make it any less important or impactful, though. This unique seminar has offered the opportunity for passionate advocates, self-advocates, experts, and professionals in the field to come together and learn about key issues.



Getting a COVID 19 Vaccine Social Story

The COVID-19 workgroup, as part of the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities, has developed a social story about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. You can follow the other great work this group is doing on facebook and twitter @thinkequitable

Sheryl Larson, principal investigator for RISP


Vital Statistics: ICI Supplies Key Housing Data

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites data monitored by the Institute on Community Integration (MN UCEDD) in its Healthy People 2030 objectives. The CDC has set a target for reducing the percentage of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) living in congregate settings serving seven or more people with disabilities to 11.5 percent in 2030, down from the current baseline of 22.7 percent.



Mark your calendars - AUCD's Prepared4ALL townhalls: 4th Wednesday of every month, 1pm ET

AUCD's Prepared4ALL townhalls are open to all of our existing Prepared4ALL Affiliates and Partners or any interested disability organization. These townhalls serve as a place to receive support from our center's team, learn about new resources, and collaboratively problem solve with others when making inroads with local emergency preparedness efforts.



National Home Visiting Summit Hosts Its First Ever Presentation on Parents with I/DD by the Georgetown UCEDD

During the last week in February, the Georgetown University Parenting Support Program (PSP), a DC Health-funded home visiting program under the UCEDD umbrella, gave a groundbreaking presentation at the National Home Visiting Summit. It was the first presentation about home visiting services tailored to address the needs of parents identified as having intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) ever at this Summit.



Rural Institute Executive Director Moderates Together We Grow Forum

Together We Grow (TOG) is "a consortium of modern food and agriculture companies, NGOs, members of academia and the government who have united to focus on building a skilled, diverse and inclusive workforce to make American agriculture a leader for generations to come." AUCD is an original member of the Together We Grow consortium.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) introduces 2021 issue of Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability: Direct Support Professionals

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) is proud to introduce its latest issue of Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability, dedicated to telling the stories of Direct Support Professionals in Tennessee.

Photo of three people gathered around a white grand piano. On the left sitting on the piano bench, Nazli Khazirova, a woman with a purple head covering and a navy blue outfit smiling widely. Her arm is extended toward Mustafa Rfat on the right, a man


Podcast: Refugees with Disabilities

Disability Visibility Project Podcast had a conversation with LEND Trainee Mustafa Rfat from West Virginia University about his journey as a refugee with disabilities. Mustafa came to the U.S. as a refugee from Iraq in 2011.

Miya R. Asato MD


Two LENDS Collaborate to Help Trainees

By Jennifer Drummond

Striving to train the next generation of child and maternal healthcare leaders is more than a slogan for Va-LEND (Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities). It is an ideal, which includes innovative ways to make training more effective. One such example is the collaboration between another LEND program.



Building Futures Together Prepares Paraprofessionals to Provide Specialized Care in Response to Opioid Epidemic

The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability (IOD) a $2.4 million grant for Building Futures Together, a program seeking to prepare 98 paraprofessionals in healthcare and school settings to provide specialized enhanced care coordination to children, youth and their caregivers whose parents are impacted by opioid and other substance use disorders. With cost posing a significant barrier for many paraprofessionals seeking further training, the grant allows the program to be offered at no charge as well as provide stipends to participants.



Care Coordination Implementation and Best Practice: A Comparison of National and Nebraska Standards

Emily Costello, Munroe-Meyer Institute on Genetics and Rehabilitation

Emily Costello, a UCEDD Trainee from the Munroe-Meyer Institute in Omaha, NE outlines elements of best practice for care coordination, based on a review of recent literature, and compares national standards to that of Nebraska.



Care Coordination Implementation and Best Practice: A Comparison of National and Nebraska Standards

Emily Costello, Munroe-Meyer Institute on Genetics and Rehabilitation

Emily Costello, a UCEDD Trainee from the Munroe-Meyer Institute in Omaha, NE outlines elements of best practice for care coordination, based on a review of recent literature, and compares national standards to that of Nebraska.



Georgetown UCEDD Awards Washington Post Journalist Award for Disability Inclusion and Storytelling

In Washington DC, the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (GUCEDD) is proud to announce that journalist Theresa Vargas was awarded the 2020 Geraldine P. Waldorf Making A Difference Award. Working for The Washington Post, Vargas wrote 38 articles advocating for individuals with developmental and other disabilities and their families last year.

The Heart of Texas Gear Up Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs



Drs. Linda Castillo and Marcia Montague, at Texas A&M University, received a Heart of Texas GEAR UP Partnership grant, and launched GEAR UP programs in partnership with Bryan ISD and Hearne ISD. The partnership will use grant funds to develop and implement a longitudinal support system for the students and families in the class of 2026.



2018 PATHS Program Graduate, Terence Elder

Since earning his ParaProfessional Certificate from the PATHS Program in 2018, Terence is in his 3rd year at his school and doing an outstanding job. He is now the proud owner of a new BMW! He now drives himself to and from his work. He answered a few questions about the PATHS Program and what this program has meant to him.



Act Early/COVID-19 Response Teams Complete Rapid Needs Assessment

In Fall 2020, 43 State and Territorial Response Teams and their identified key informants who lead early childhood programs, organizations, or systems (i.e. Part C, WIC, Home Visiting) conducted a rapid needs assessment as part of the Act Early Response to COVID-19 project. This needs assessment aimed to 1) measure engagement in each of the four steps of early identification and 2) understand the emerging strengths, needs, barriers, and opportunities related to the four steps of early identification of developmental delays and disabilities among children birth to age five during the COVID-19 pandemic, across early childhood systems and programs.



Dr. Dalun Zhang was recently elected as Vice President for the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Dr. Dalun Zhang was recently elected as Vice President for the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities The term of four (4) years will run from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2025. Over this term, Dr. Zhang will serve one year each as Vice President, President-Elect, President, and Past President. These leadership positions are held in the oldest and multidisciplinary disability organization in the U.S., with members from 55 countries.



Interdisciplinary Training Clinic Meeting Needs 360

Sara Clancey, PhD., MOTR/L, IMH-E

The Interdisciplinary Training Clinic (ITC) operated by the Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona University (NAU) offers comprehensive evaluations and recommendations to families and educational agencies serving said families at no cost to the family. The clinic serves as a training experience for graduate students in a number of different disciplines learning about interdisciplinary practices. Graduate student teams supported by faculty mentors from their respective disciplines provide the services offered by the clinic.



New Postsecondary Education Program: Horticulture Options in Plant Sciences (HOPS)

The HOPS Project is a two semester (approximately 32 weeks) training program whose purpose is to provide instruction and support individuals with disabilities to gain the necessary skills and experiences in work readiness in order to successfully transition into competitive integrated employment in the horticulture industry. Students have the option to become certified on the state/national level.



Jump Start Evolves in Response to COVID-19

In early 2020, the world changed immeasurably. Among myriad ways in which we all had to change with it, one of those was adapting our programs to serve the highest need communities in a meaningful way through a global pandemic. The Jump Start program sprung to action in March 2020 to overhaul our services and meet the greatest community needs. Typically, and at its core, Jump Start is an infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC) program that provides services at the program-level (i.e., by working with directors), classroom-level (i.e., by working with teachers), and child-level (i.e., by working with parents or other primary caregivers) in childcare centers and family childcare homes.



Low-income and students with learning disabilities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 learning loss, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) expert says

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, school closures and the shift to remote learning have disrupted educational progress across the nation, disproportionately affecting students from low-income communities and those with learning disabilities, according to faculty experts from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, including Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) researcher Autumn Kujawa, Ph.D.



New Executive Director Named of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Sally Gould-Taylor, PhD has been named Executive Director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, College of Education and Human Development, effective January 1, 2021, after serving as Interim Executive Director since March 2020. She has also been appointed as a faculty member in the College of Education and Human Development as Research Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning.



Voting and Guardianship in Oklahoma

Wendy Spoon, Oklahoma LEND, Parent/Family Intern

Wendy Spoon, Oklahoma LEND, Parent/Family Intern, talks about Guardianship laws in Oklahoma and how it takes the civil right to vote from persons with disabilities. 2 photos included of Lindsey Spoon, an Oklahoma Self-Advocate. One on the day she registered to vote, and one using assistive technology to vote.



AUCD 50th Anniversary - Share your story!

Do you have an interesting image, video or story that relates to AUCD's history? We are calling on persons with disabilities, our network centers, and affiliated partners to share stories related to your and AUCD's past. These can be important milestones, celebrations and hallmark moments that impacted people with disabilities and their families. AUCD will feature some of this content at the Virtual Gala and in other ways throughout the year as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary.



Emergency Preparedness Resources for People with Disabilities

This project provides insight into local hazards and how people living with disabilities can best prepare for them, as well as best practices surrounding disaster preparations and planning.



The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Joins National COVID-19 Network to Build Resilience Against Pandemic Among the Disability Community

Nearly 40 national partner organizations band together to bring communities culturally appropriate information and health services.

Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) joined Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)'s National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN) of partners to inform community-driven response, recovery, and resiliency strategies for addressing the impact of COVID-19 on communities. In response to the needs of the disability community, we have established a communications strategy to support the development of linguistically and culturally competent messaging and materials by representing plain language as an accessible format and bringing awareness of COVID-19 vaccine information



OR Institute on Development & Disability Supports COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

The Institute on Development & Disability at Oregon Health & Science University is working with our broader OHSU health system and community partners including Port of Portland, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the local Red Cross to offer a drive through vaccination site for people with disabilities and their caregivers.



Sharing Stories of Individuals with Disabilities: Vanderbilt Consortium LEND's Collaboration with Saddle Up!

By Tatum Gross, Family Discipline LEND Trainee at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Consortium LEND's trainees have been split into groups to work on interprofessional collaboration group projects. My group is working with Saddle Up!, a therapeutic horseback riding program in the Nashville, TN, area. Saddle Up! provides Adaptive Riding, Therapy Services, and an Equine Assisted Learning Program to individuals with disabilities ages 2-26.



Preschool During the Pandemic: Early Childhood Education in Extraordinary Times

It's been said that "necessity is the mother of invention". When the pandemic struck last year, practitioners in early education and early childhood special education, and parents came together to support young children and their families through remote service delivery. This multi-part video series, produced by Larry Edelman and sponsored by the Early Childhood Technical Assistance center (ECTA) features preschool staff and families from five states and illustrates their working together to use technology to make the virtual learning experience exciting, effective and engaging for young children.



Kansas LEND Partners to Disseminate PCIT Across Kansas

Kansas LEND partnered with another HRSA grant, Telehealth ROCKS (Rural Outreach to Children of KS)/ KANDO, to take the first step in disseminating Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) throughout the state. PCIT is an evidence-based intervention that has been shown to be effective in improving behavior, language, social skills and play in young children with neurodevelopmental disabilities (ADHD, Autism) and trauma.



MN LEND Fellow Brings Trauma-Informed Care to Children

Alice Kraiza (MN LEND Fellow, 2017-18) is a project coordinator for the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc., where she is helping bring evidence-based children's mental health treatments to schools to improve the quality of care for students who are recovering from trauma



New Staying Safe at Work Training

Employment Safety Training supports the needs assessment process designed to address gaps, deficiencies, and unmet occupational safety and health training needs. The IOD's Employment Safety Training program provides attendees with critical job-safety tools for teaching those with IDD the skills they need to be safe at work through a train the trainer model.



Project BEST

Project BEST (Basic Employability Skills Training) is set to begin its first pilot of the BEST Curriculum. The curriculum is based on employment skills trainings that were identified as important and necessary in both the literature and through community based surveys. Due to COVID-19, both a digital course and a paper based course, as well as workbook materials, were created for teachers to use to support employment skills training for their students.



AUCD Policy Fellowship 2021

The purpose of the Fellowship is to provide significant experiences in national level activities related to policy and legislative development, advocacy, program development, technical assistance, and AUCD administration. The Fellowship in Disability Policy is envisioned as a mutually beneficial arrangement between the Fellow, the Fellows community, and the AUCD central office.



Diversabilities' Employee Resource Group

Ashlee Leslie, Nisonger Center Disability Career Specialist with the TOPS Program; provides leadership in helping establish the 'Diversabilities' Employee Resource Group to promote and support disability inclusion, highlight best practices and provide education to The Ohio State University and Wexner Medical Center by bringing employees and resources together to provide support for individuals with disabilities, allies and their caregivers.



Great Cartoon Giveaway!

In collaboration with UVM Libraries, CDCI is proud to announce the Great Cartoon Giveaway! The Center for Digital Initiatives now holds the complete set of cartoons created by Dr. Michael Giangreco with the assistance of artist Kevin Ruelle. This collection, titled Absurdities and Realities of Special Education has more than 300 cartoons, including some of the pair's most recognized works



HDI recieves Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Grant

A team of HDI staff including Dr. Chithra Adams, Jason Jones, Lindsey Mullis and Abby Marsh have received $50,000 through Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundations 2020 COVID-19 Quality of Life grants program, funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living. Their proposal, Recharging Resiliency Together-Virtual Retreat will help people with paralysis recharge their resilience and provide the necessary connections and supports that are needed to navigate in a COVID-19 environment.



Holly Roberts, PhD, Takes Part in National HHS Panel

by John Keenan, UNMC Strategic Communications

Holly Roberts, PhD, associate professor at the Munroe-Meyer Institute's Department of Psychology, was an invited panelist in a national Health and Human Services Telehealth Innovation Summit with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in late December. In its invitation, HHS told Dr. Roberts that the summit was designed for leaders in the telehealth community to share what they have learned and to discuss challenges and opportunities in reimbursement, best practices, public-private partnerships, health care resilience, biosecurity and the future of telehealth.



Self-Care for Caregivers

Wendy Spoon, Oklahoma LEND Trainee, Parent/Family Discipline

Caregiving can be hard. Being a caregiver to a child, friend, or family member with a disability or a chronic illness can be stressful at times. I am sure that you've heard the old adage that, "You must take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else." Easier said than done, right? It may sound like an out dated platitude, but as caregivers, we need to carve out time for ourselves. It can be as little as five minutes in your day to do something to boost your spirits so that you don't feel overwhelmed.



Working Well with a Disability Workshop Added to Healthy Community Living

Working Well with a Disability has been added to the Healthy Community Living program, alongside the existing workshops and trainings Living Well in the Community, Community Living Skills, and the Facilitating Groups training. Healthy Community Living is a program that is facilitated by staff from disability service organizations, such as Centers for Independent Living. HCL licenses are $500 per year and give access to up to five facilitators.



Working Well with a Disability Workshop Added to Healthy Community Living

Working Well with a Disability has been added to the Healthy Community Living program, alongside the existing workshops and trainings Living Well in the Community, Community Living Skills, and the Facilitating Groups training. Healthy Community Living is a program that is facilitated by staff from disability service organizations, such as Centers for Independent Living. HCL licenses are $500 per year and give access to up to five facilitators.



Changing Needs of Individuals with Disabilities in Miami in the Time of COVID-19

The Family Navigator Program (FNP) is designed to assist families of individuals with disabilities, chronic health conditions, mental health issues, and other special needs in navigating the complex system of services. Based out of the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami, the program is free and available to all families. The FNP is funded by a grant from The Taft Foundation. Navigators work to connect families with appropriate resources based on their needs. Since mid-March 2020, following the implementation of COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders, the FNP has worked with families to address their changing needs.

A screenshot of the Co-VidSpeak app for children with complex communication needs


University of Delaware's Center for Disabilities Studies and Software Developer Adapt Video Conferencing App for Students with Complex Communication Needs

Remote instruction poses significant obstacles for children with complex communication needs, including difficulty accessing Zoom, Google Classroom and other popular speech- and text-based communication apps. To give educators an alternative, the University of Delaware's Center for Disabilities Studies (CDS) became a beta tester for Co-VidSpeak, a video conferencing app originally designed for intubated hospital patients. Co-VidSpeak combines video with preset icons, words and phrases displayed around both conversation partners' screens, called "boards." Users can communicate by indicating the icons, words or phrases with their eye gaze.

2016 EHDI scholarship recipients pose for a photo together


2021 EHDI Conference Scholarships for LEND Audiology Trainees

Application deadline: February 22, 2021

AUCD has made available 25 scholarships of up to $225 each to support LEND audiology trainees in attending the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Virtual Conference on March 2-5, 2021. All current LEND audiology trainees, including those in their externship year, are eligible to apply. However, priority will be given to trainees from programs that do not currently receive supplemental funding and trainees that have not attended the EHDI Conference in previous years. Application deadline: February 22, 2021.

Image of 2 people wearing masks standing next to Santa and elf in masks


Developing Professionals Standards of Inclusion for Community Settings

At the Cincinnati Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) program, one of our research projects involves creating a comprehensive set of standards for inclusion that we can use to help public venues become more inclusive. Although public venues are required to meet accessibility standards under the ADA, many individuals and families with disabilities still do not have true access to inclusion.

Zero Project Award Winner 2021


Vermont Wins Second International Innovative Public Policy Award for Supported Employment

The Vermont Transition and Post-Secondary Education Initiative is a collaborative effort between organizations throughout the state including the Developmental Disability Services Division, the Agency of Education, and post-secondary organizations including Think College Vermont, at Vermont's UCEDD, the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion. It promotes college education and industry-based career training for transition-age youth with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities and promotes access to lifelong learning for adults.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Produces Two New Toolkits on Goal-setting, Puberty and Sexuality for Teens and Young Adults with Autism

Author: Elizabeth Turner

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC)(TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) has added two new online toolkits to its collection of free resources, providing helpful information for teens and young adults on the autism spectrum on topics such as goal-setting and sex, sexuality, and puberty.Both toolkits are comprised of online courses as well as complementary booklets available to download or print to accompany the coursework. To take part in either online course, register for a free account at



What is your "Silver Lining"?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about countless changes and struggles to our day to day life. Change is not always easy, but it has been shown that finding the good in difficult situations can have a positive effect on our mental health. What has been a recent positive change in your life? Take MI-DDI's "Silver Linings" survey to share your story!

Image includes a person giving a child a piggy back ride


Wisconsin Resource for Families

Waisman Center

During COVID-19, the UCEDD at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison has regularly updated its website to include family and self-advocate friendly materials that change daily as new information and resources emerge. The UCEDD's Constituent Advisory Committee members provides guidance on what is most helpful and how to present information to maximize the user experience.



PATHS Program

Application Deadline Extended: February 28, 2021

PATHS Program Now Accepting Applications The PATHS Certificate Program is your path to a successful career as a: Direct Support Professional working with people with disabilities, Para-professional working with schools, or Child Care Professional working with children.



Plain Language: Medicaid Services for People with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities - Evolution of Addressing Service Needs and Preferences

New Medicaid Services for People with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities Resource in Plain Language from Health Management Associates and AUCD. This resource provides comprehensive information about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the Medicaid program policies and services that support their needs.



UCEDD Tip Sheets

Tip Sheets are intended to provide guidance and share peer practices of specific aspects of UCEDD operations, grant management, and core grant application development. Tip sheets clarify requirements outlined in the DD Act, related federal regulations, and/or AIDD's Quality Review System processes as appropriate; and also share experiences and recommendations from network peers.



AIR-B Network Distributes COVID-19 Resources in English, Korean and Spanish for Families and Educators

The year 2020 was filled with unexpected changes to the whole world as well as to the Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioral Health (AIR-B Network; PI: Kasari), which includes UCLA, UC Davis, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, Drexel University, University of Kansas, University of Washington, and each university site's community partners. Since 2008, the AIR-B Network has conducted research that aims to increase equity in access to effective interventions for children with ASD and hosted numerous events and presentations for under-resourced communities. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic led the research-community partnership to cancel its annual tradition looked forward to by many - the free autism conference for families taking place every March. Instead, the AIR-B partners - now meeting on Zoom instead of their monthly get-together at the Healthy African American Families office - decided to start an initiative to accommodate immediate needs of families struggling with distance learning.



Human Rights Depend on Democracy: Protect it

Disability is a bipartisan human-rights issue, and the stakes for people with disabilities are huge if democracy is compromised in any way.

A video clip circulated on social media last week showing people with disabilities being forcibly removed by police from a congressional hearing. The caption, clearly designed to garner outrage: "Disabled Trump supporters get arrested for storming U.S. Capitol." Two days later, Reuters ran a fact-checking piece that identified the clip as a 2017 Senate hearing on the Affordable Care Act, where about 200 disability rights activists protested a proposed amendment to the legislation that would have made significant cuts to Medicaid.



2021 Autism CARES Meeting Update

Due to the ongoing pandemic, travel restrictions, and the concern for the safety and well-being of grantees, the 2021 Autism CARES Meeting will be held virtually in Summer 2021. This virtual event is an opportunity for HRSA-funded CARES grantees (representing research, training, and state systems) to share information about activities within their respective networks, discuss emerging trends, and facilitate meaningful collaboration. Grantees will be asked to be engaged in the planning process for this event (as requested) and participate in all virtual activities.



AIR-P (MGH-scheduled to sunset)

The AIR-P (MGH-scheduled to sunset), is led by Karen Kuhlthau, PhD. The key goals for the AIR-P Network from 2015 to 2020 were two-fold: To conduct multi-site research on evidence-based interventions that improve physical health of children and adolescents with ASD and developmental disorders, especially underserved populations. To transform AIR-P into a multi-site Autism Learning Health Network (ALHN) which will provide a collaborative laboratory for developing and testing evidence-based interventions and accelerating the adoption of effective interventions and system management approaches into practice.



AIR-P (UCLA-initiated 9/1/20) Updates

n September 2020, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) had the opportunity to assume leadership of the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) programming and activities under the direction of Dr. Alice Kuo. Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, the AIR-P is an interdisciplinary, multicenter research network for scientific collaboration and infrastructure to increase the life expectancy and quality of life for autistic individuals, with a focus on underserved/vulnerable populations. The AIR-P supports innovative life course intervention research in six areas (Research Nodes): (1) primary care services and quality, (2) community-based lifestyle interventions, (3) gender, sexuality, and reproductive health, (4) health services and systems, (5) neurology, and (6) genetics.



AUCD Central Office is Hiring! 

Interested in working for a national disability organization in the Washington, DC area?  Passionate about growing diverse and skilled leaders? If you or someone you know can answer "yes" to any or all these questions, consider working for AUCD!  



MCHB Minute - January 2021

Lauren Raskin Ramos, Director, Division of MCH Workforce Development

There are few words to share that adequately capture my appreciation and admiration for all of your work to care for children, youth and families with ASD and other developmental disabilities over the past year. I am grateful for your unwavering commitment to advancing training, research and systems development efforts in extraordinary circumstances, for your rapid implementation of innovative approaches, and your dexterity in responding to a changing environment. We end a challenging year with many CARES network successes, new models of care, and lessons learned that will strengthen the CARES network and advance shared goals, as well as a continued commitment to advancing health equity for the populations that we serve.



MN-LEND Project Responds to Opioid Crisis

What can you do if your baby, or a loved one's baby, has neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)? How can a toddler's development be affected by NAS? Where can Minnesotans find support? As part of their 2019-20 MNLEND fellowship experience, Bridget Winchester (pictured) and Catie Mapa are answering those questions, and more, through online content expected to be launched next month from the MNLEND website. The fellows created the content with support from ICI's Jennifer Hall-Lande and Rebecca Dosch Brown, LEND fellow Whitney Terrill, and the Institute's communications team.



National Autism Indicators Report- Health and Health Care

The National Autism Indicators Report: Health and Health Care is the sixth in the National Autism Indicators Report Series produced from the Life Course Outcomes Research Program area at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. It reports indicators of health and health care for autistic people across the lifespan. Topics covered include overall health, health services, medication, insurance, and accessing services. The report combines data from two national surveys about health, one national sample of hospital inpatient stays, and previously published findings from Kaiser Permanente Northern California patient records.



Recommendations for Weight Management in Primary Care for Children and Youth with ASD from the Healthy Weight Research Network

In response to the lack of training and limited resources to guide primary care providers on weight management for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the Healthy Weight Research Network, funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and coordinated by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at UMass Medical School, developed a set of recommendations for weight management in primary care for this population. The recommendations were published in the journal Pediatrics in April 2020. The recommendations include suggestions for screening, evaluation, prevention, and intervention, and provide practitioners with suggestions specifically targeted for working with children with ASD their families, allied health professionals, and school systems. They also include modifications to and expansion of the American Academy of Pediatrics guidance on managing childhood obesity, tailored for children and youth with ASD and their families.



Two Georgia University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) Launch the Georgia College Transition Partnership

The Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) at Georgia State University and the Institute on Human Development and Disability (IHDD) at the University of Georgia received a $100,000 grant from the Administration for Community Living to launch the Georgia College Transition Partnership (GaCTP). The goal of the GaCTP is to create a pilot program that supports Georgia's college students on the autism spectrum who are transitioning into employment or graduate school.



Updates from the State Public Health Autism Resource Center

2021 has arrived! Despite the challenges we have all faced during COVID-19, our Community of Learners have persevered and made excellent progress in their work. Most notably, the Iowa team successfully hosted the 2020 Virtual Peer to Peer exchange in the midst of a severe derecho. The theme for P2P was The Iowa Family Navigator Model: Providing Family-to-Family Support to Families of Children and Youth with ASD/DD. The virtual event took place over three days and was filled with engaging workshops and inspiring panel discussions with family leaders. Participants included the current grantees from North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as former grantees from Delaware, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Virginia.



From MN LEND to the National Institute of Mental Health

Institute on Community Integration (MN UCEDD/LEND)

A fascination with the brain and how it influences behavior began with a high school psychology class for Sunday Francis (MN-LEND 2014-16). It has brought her through the fields of neuroscience, engineering, genetics, and autism research at several prestigious universities.



AUCD Professional Fellows Alumnae Win Global Zero Project Awards

AUCD Professional Fellows alumni Gwaliwa Mashaka (Fall 2018) and Aneth Gerana (2020) from Tanzania have received 2021 Zero Project Awards, which honor the world's best innovations in disability inclusion every year. Gwaliwa and Aneth, who both have lived experience with disability, are being celebrated for leading historic inclusive employment initiatives in Tanzania that they developed with advice from senior faculty at the Nisonger Center and the UCLA Tarjan Center.



Homeless Heroes?

By Hibo Omer, University of Maine UCEDD Trainee and Rafia Tisha, New Hampshire-Maine LEND Trainee

As a newcomer to America, I always wondered how America could have homeless people? I imagined America as a heaven on earth, where everyone is well off and poverty is seen only in museums. Unfortunately, what I learned, and saw was beyond my expectation and left a scar in my heart. When I first moved to the state of Maine, my eyes caught a white woman who was, and still is, homeless. Throughout each season I encountered this woman pushing her belongings in a buggy. During the winter, I helped her to pull the buggy until I reached my destination, always wondering and asking myself many questions. How could this happen in America?



Plain Language Advisory Group

In 2020, the UCEDD Resource Center created a Plain Language Advisory Group. The group met to help the UCEDD Resource Center think about plain language and create plain language adaptations of resources. We want to share with the network about the importance of plain language and some lessons we learned from this work so far.



Supporting Families and Systems that Serve Young Children through the Act Early Response to COVID-19

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has expanded its National Center on Disability in Public Health efforts with an investment of over $4M in the Act Early Network through an Act Early Network-wide Response to COVID-19 made possible by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 43 State and Territorial Act Early COVID-19 Response Teams were awarded a one-year (September 2020-August 2021) grant opportunity for Support for Early Childhood State Systems Through the Act Early Network.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Researcher Documents How COVID-19 Multiplies Stress and Trauma for People with a Disabilities

In a article published in Rehabilitation Psychology, Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Ph.D., assistant professor of Human and Organizational Development and a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) member, reviews research on disabilities and COVID-19 to help rehabilitation psychologists mitigate the effects of the added stress of the pandemic. In addition, the work addressed how systemic discrimination against people with disabilities intersects with other forms of inequity.



#WhatsYourPurpose2021 Youth Transition Campaign

The Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) Transition to Adulthood Programs announce a new 2021 campaign, #WhatsYourPurpose2021. Throughout the year, transition leaders including youth/young adults with and without disabilities, their family members and those that serve them will be featured in short videos and social media posts promoting transition successes and challenging others to pursue their goals. Each video and post will highlight young adults and members of their support networks sharing their future life purposes.



A Virtual Mock Developmental Assessment: Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Leadership During COVID-19

The Alaska LEND Without Walls is a program that has embraced video teleconferencing as a method to reach faculty and fellows across the geographically vast state. During the current pandemic, the Alaska LEND program utilized a virtual environment for all activities. As part of the annual fall semester "face to face" seminar, interdisciplinary faculty and fellows participate in a mock developmental assessment.



Dr. Avila (VT LEND) wins the Vermont Public Health Association Public Health Champion Award

Dr.Avila (VT LEND) wins the Vermont Public Health Association Public Health Champion Award The Vermont Public Health Association's Public Health Champion awards are given each year to an individual and a team/organization who has made extraordinary contributions to public health within the state of Vermont. Dr. Avila, VT LEND Program Director, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont (UVM) Larner College of Medicine. She has been involved in numerous federal grants related to substance abuse prevention, mental health promotion, maternal and child health, disability and advocacy, and addressing & eliminating disparities and equities. She has provided state and national level consultation, training and technical assistance on cultural and linguistic competence, health equity, and social justice in healthcare. She has trained more than 10,000 professionals across 27 states in understanding the connection between racial, gender, social, economic, educational, and health disparities and the role social determinants of health play in populations' health outcomes. She has demonstrated commitment to advancing health equity and addressing and eliminating health disparities by inspiring collaboration through strategic partnerships to create a culture of health in Vermont.



Iowa's EPSDT "Care for Kids" Shares Beneficial Telehealth Tips

In Iowa, children and youth who are eligible for Medicaid receive their health care benefits through Iowa EPSDT Care for Kids. Iowa's Department of Human Services (DHS) manages these Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) benefits, and each year, DHS contracts with Iowa's UCEDD to offer information and training to the Medicaid providers who care for kids.

NH-ME LEND logo, Rylin Rodgers, Liz Weintraub and Lauren Blachowiak


Lived Experience and Leadership: Self Advocates and Family Members in the Disability Rights Movement

Each fall, the NH-ME LEND Program conducts a leadership intensive on the history of disability. This year, the session was reworked to cover the history of the disability movement. Trainees were asked to watch the 2020 documentary, Crip Camp, and to reflect upon how this innovative inclusive summer camp for teenagers with disabilities during the 1970's helped to mobilize a generation of disability rights activists and energize the independent living movement.



Planning Accessible Meetings Guide Updated

Planning Accessible Meetings and Conferences: A Suggested Checklist and Guide (PDF) is a free resource developed by the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (ME UCEDD) in partnership with Speaking Up for Us, a Maine organization run by and for adults who live with developmental disabilities.



South Dakota UCEDD Provides National Deaf-Blind Training for Educators

Through a collaboration with the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) and the Center for Disabilities Deaf-Blind Program, an online 4-course training series has been developed titled, Concentration in Deaf-Blindness and High Intensity Support Needs. This series provides an incredible foundation in deaf-blindness, training in communication strategies, assessment and instructional planning and life planning for educators working with students with deaf-blindness and/or students who have high intensity support needs.



Act Early Ohio Initiative

The UCCEDD was awarded a one-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build upon existing Ohio Act Early Ambassador activities. The goal of the initiative is to increase awareness about the importance of developmental screening in early childhood and tracking of developmental milestones with the support of the evidence-based Learn the Signs Act Early materials developed by the CDC.



CLD Researchers Explore the Effects of COVID Among People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Direct Support Professionals

The Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) at Georgia State University (GSU) received a $25,000 grant from the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) to conduct a mixed-method study exploring the ongoing effects of COVID-19 on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and the direct support workforce.



Delivering on the Promise of Employment First for Students with Significant Disabilities

The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute - HDI, the Kentucky Department of Education, and the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation are pleased to announce Delivering on the Promise of Employment First for Students with Significant Disabilities, a four-part webinar series designed to support Kentucky school districts in their efforts to create meaningful work experiences leading to competitive integrated employment for students with significant disabilities.



Disability and the Democratic Process

Co-authored by Maureen van Stone, Director, Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities

This election season highlighted the double disparity the disability community faces to engage in the democratic process, as this group is simultaneously fighting for both the right to vote and access to voting. These barriers to voting persist in large part because of the pervasive negative views of disability that challenge societal inclusion.



Disability Reads

Wendy Spoon, Oklahoma LEND Trainee, Parent/Family Discipline

Reading is something my family enjoys. Having a family member with a disability means that we enjoy seeing representation in our book choices. There are a lot of great disability reads out there. Here are just a few that we added over the holiday season.



In Memoriam - Terrence (Terry) Raymond Dolan

It is with profound sadness that we share news of the passing of Dr. Terrence Raymond Dolan on December 11, 2020.



Register Today for the New WV Project SCOPE ECHO Series

The WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) was awarded a national training grant to implement Project SCOPE: Supporting Children of the OPioid Epidemic (SCOPE). Project SCOPE is a training initiative intended to identify and train practitioners in current and emerging knowledge and evidence-based promising practices in screening, monitoring, and care for children diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) or neonatal opiate withdrawal syndrome (NOWS), or who are suspected of being impacted by opioid use and related trauma exposure. The WV Project SCOPE ECHO Series is implemented using the Project ECHO virtual professional development model. The series will run January - September 2021. Register today for one, several or all sessions.



TASH: Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion for People with Disabilities - announced the recipient of the Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports Award went to Daniel Crimmins, Director of the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State

TASH: Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion for People with Disabilities - announced the recipient of the Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports Award went to Daniel Crimmins, PhD, Director of the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University.



The Mailman Center's Dr. Robert Fifer Reappointed to the Florida Department of Health Early Hearing Detection Intervention (EHDI) Advisory Committee

Robert Fifer, PhD., Director of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at the Mailman Center for Child Development, was reappointed as the center's Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program representative. The purpose of this committee is to provide advice to Florida's Newborn Screening Hearing Program on potential mechanisms to achieve project goals, strategies, and objectives.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and Other Vanderbilt Disability Inclusion Programs Receive National Recognition

Several Vanderbilt University diversity and inclusion programs are being recognized by a federal office with a strong commitment to protecting workers, promoting diversity and enforcing nondiscrimination laws for government contractors. The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs website lists the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND), Next Steps at Vanderbilt, Frist Center for Autism and Innovation, Divinity Friendship House @ Vanderbilt, and InclusAbility initiative among its sample disability and inclusion resources that meet the agency's criteria.



Georgia State University, Emory Supporting 187 Georgia Nursing Homes COVID-19 Response via Project ECHO

As of Fall 2020, nearly one-quarter of the known COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been nursing home residents and staff. Advanced age, underlying frailty, and communal living conditions make nursing home residents especially vulnerable, and their reliance on nursing home staff members put these essential workers at high risk. The CDC and State of Georgia have prioritized nursing home residents and staff members to be the first to get the vaccine.



Call for Applications: Project SCOPE

Applications are due February 15, 2021.

The purpose of this national initiative is to train interdisciplinary teams in targeted states on emerging knowledge and evidence-based practices in screening, monitoring and interdisciplinary care for children impacted by neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), trauma, or related exposure. The initiative builds on the effective ECHO virtual training model and is run by the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities partnered with the Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.



Bronx UCEDD Publishes Mapping of ASD Rates in Children by Language and Socio-Demographics in NY State

The Rose F Kennedy UCEDD's Research Coordinator, Ms. Katie McGrath, MSW, 'ABD' led this spatial analysis of data from the NY State Department of Education. In contrast to prior research on ASD prevalence, school districts with higher proportions of Black and Hispanic students had the highest rates of ASD.



Disability and Health Journal: The importance of seasonal influenza vaccination for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Co-authored by Georgina Peacock, A. Blythe Ryerson Ram Koppaka and John Tschida

A large proportion of Americans have at least one disability and yet people with disabilities face inequities in health and health care access. Factors associated with underlying disability and health, how they perceive and interact with the world, and where they live, or work may increase the risk people with disabilities face for illness or severe outcomes from seasonal influenza. Given the need to reduce the burden of respiratory illness on a healthcare system already overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, maximizing seasonal influenza vaccination coverage is particularly important in 2020-2021. It is critical this season to ensure equitable access to influenza vaccination for people with disabilities. Providing influenza vaccination services in the unique places where people with disabilities are living, working, or receiving care during the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial, as well as communicating effectively to people with different types of disabilities.



MN LEND Fellow Challenges Disability Stigma in Zambia

More than 7 percent of Zambia's children have disabilities, and nearly half have never attended school. Many lack health services and experience isolation and stigma in their communities. Four the last four years, however, Renee Hepperlen (MN-LEND 2011-12) has been part of a multi-disciplinary team working to train local nurses, therapists, and other professionals in infant and child development, early intervention, daily living skills, positive language around disability, and disease prevention.



Will Members of Idaho's Disability Community Be Allowed to Safely Exercise Their First Amendment Rights In Person During 2021 Legislative Session?

The Idaho Legislation session is scheduled to begin January 11, 2021 and it is anticipated that there will be proposed legislation that could negatively impact services and the quality of life for those individuals in the disability community. The Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities and 30 other organizations sent a letter to the governmental leaders in Idaho expressing their concerns as well as the possible legal ramifcations if further safety measures are not in place to allow in person testimony for those with disabilities and their families. This article discusses the facts behind the letter, and the responses of the governmental leadership to date.