Council on Research and Evaluation (CORE)



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The CORE serves as a focus for the identification and discussion of issues regarding research and evaluation; serves as a representative voice of the research and evaluation activities within the AUCD Network; and influences the development and implementation of initiatives relevant to achieving and sustaining appropriate research and evaluation activities to guide the development of national policies.


How CORE Relates to AUCD and Its Work

The CORE fulfills its purpose and the mission of AUCD and its constituent membership by serving as a conduit for technical assistance, providing input into policy, and engaging in other support activities deemed necessary to advance the mandate for research and evaluation. The Council helps the association to:

  • Set and accomplish its research goals specified in the AUCD Strategic Map.
  • Carry out training activities to inform network members on important and emerging research and evaluation topics.
  • Develop the research capacity of each network member to conduct quality research and sound evaluation activities.
  • Identify topics of common interests to network members and develop recommendations to the AUCD Board.
  • Lead the Network in involving people with disabilities and their family members to participate in research and evaluation activities.



The Council on Research and Evaluation, known as CORE, is made up of individuals whose work is related to or who is interested in research and evaluation. CORE members are from each Center and program across the AUCD network. Membership is open to anyone in the AUCD network who chooses to join the CORE by selecting the CORE in their AUCD Directory. Each network member can also designate an individual representative who will cast one vote when a matter before the Council requires such an action. Members of the CORE are expected to attend the membership meeting during AUCD Annual Conferences and quarterly conference calls.


2018 Focus Areas

The 2018 CORE annual plan includes:

  • Involving individuals with disabilities as researchers in research teams by developing recommendations for working with university IRBs, by sponsoring a Driving Change session on this topic during the 2018 AUCD Conference, and by editing a book focusing on participatory research.
  • Providing training to Network members on how to evaluate the UCEDD core grants.
  • Develop recommendations to the Network on accessible methods of data visualization for people with disabilities.

CORE Leadership

Chair: Rodney Samaco, Ph.D.

Email: [email protected]

Vice Chair: Vanessa Hiratsuka, Ph.D.

Email: [email protected]

Secretary: Katey Burke, Ph.D.

Email: [email protected]

Trainee Rep: Conner Black

Email: [email protected]


NEW on the CORE
Web Pages



Friends and Family Campaign

As we move into the fall and winter, we'll see our friends and families on special occasions. Our "Friends and Family" Campaign shares tools on how to keep encouraging vaccine confidence in non-judgmental ways. Ask a friend or a family member that you may have who is in a local community or civic group and reach out together to listen to any questions or concerns and share information in a kind way.



Congratulations to Mrs. Melina Cavazos on her passing dissertation Defense on a topic about school psychologists' involvement in transition planning

Mrs. Melina Cavazos will be graduating with her doctoral degree in school psychology from Texas A&M University in December 2021. She has just defended for dissertation titled Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) Involvement in the Assessment and Planning of Postsecondary Transition in Texas.



PATHS Virtual Open House

The PATHS Certificate Program at Texas A&M University will be hosing a virtual open house on Thursday, December 9, 2021 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. PATHS stands for Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services



The PATHS Program application is now open and available for applicants to apply for the 2022-2024 cohort!!

The Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) Certificate Program prepares individuals for jobs as Direct Support Professionals and Child Care Professionals. Upon completing the two-year program at the Center on Disability and Development, participants earn a certificate that combines classroom instruction with hands-on career building experiences.



Alumni Update: Deeqaifrah Hussein (MN LEND, 2017-18)

Deeqaifrah Hussein (MN LEND, 2017-18) is the interim executive director of special education and health services for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), the district recently announced.



CAC Chair Receives Wisconsin Diehard Award

Maria Nogueron, the Waisman Center's Constituent Advisory Committee (CAC) Chair from 2015-2021, was awarded the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities Diehard Award in October.



Charting the LifeCourse Nexus Ambassador Badge Academy

In the summer of 2021, Charting the LifeCourse Nexus piloted the Ambassador Badge Academy courses with a select group of LifeCourse Nexus Coaches. And, after a successful pilot run, the Ambassador Badge Academy courses are now available to all certified Charting the LifeCourse Ambassadors.



Coordinated and Integrated Data System for the Early Identification (CIDSEI) of Young Children with Developmental Delays or Disabilities

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has expanded its National Center on Disability in Public Health efforts with a one-year project to identify states or territories with coordinated and integrated data systems for the early identification (CIDSEI) of young children with developmental delays or disabilities and to use this information to develop and pilot tools, materials, and resources to support additional states and territories in the development of a CIDSEI.



CORE Meeting Minutes November 2021

pdf File CORE Meeting Minutes November 2021 final.pdf [download]


GAIPSEC Receives 'Access to Education' Award

The Georgia Inclusive Postsecondary Education Consortium (GAIPSEC), a project of the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) at Georgia State University, was honored at the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) Soiree of Stars Gala on October 21, with the Access to Education award.



Grants to Help Parents/Future Parents with Disabilities

The University of Cincinnati UCEDD's Associate Director, Kara Ayers, is the co-investigator for two research centers that will help improve the experience of parenting and pregnancy for people with disabilities. These grants will fund research that address gaps in support and challenges that parents with disabilities may face.



Hitting New Strides

Tonya Hinrichs was just cold-calling, really. Her 3-year-old son, Bentley, has pachygyria, a rare genetic brain disorder, and she was looking for intensive therapy options when she dialed the Munroe-Meyer Institute and left a message for Sandy Willett, PhD, director of the physical therapy department.



Introducing BoggsCast: A Podcast by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities (NJ UCEDD/LEND)

Introducing BoggsCast: A Podcast by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities (NJ UCEDD/LEND) The Boggs Center is excited to introduce BoggsCast, a podcast where faculty and staff explore best practice, showcase success stories, and help listeners envision possibilities for innovation through interviews with state and national experts.



Iowa's Center for Disabilities and Development Publishes Its Post-COVID Annual Report

At the end of 2019, while working on the new strategic plan for the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD, Iowa's UCEDD), we had no idea what lay ahead. We began 2020, challenged by tightening resources, and the ongoing need to build capacity to meet the demand for clinical services and community supports. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we responded with even more dedication to that mission, working together so that people with disabilities and their families enjoy healthy, independent lives in the community



Mailman Center Associate Director Dr. Jeffrey Brosco to Lead Population Health Initiative

Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D., professor and associate director of the Mailman Center for Child Development in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been appointed the department's inaugural associate chair of population health.



MHDD EDI Webinar on Intersectionality of Mental Health, Disabilities, and American Indian Culture

The MHDD EDI webinar from October 2021 highlights what AUCD is working on during November - Native American Heritage Month. It is a great way to learn more about these intersections and improve your cultural competency.



Michael Baca Named Administrator of Iowa's Center for Disabilities and Development

Michael Baca was recently named administrator of the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. CDD is home to Iowa's UCEDD and it's the state's tertiary level diagnosis and evaluation center for people with disabilities. Baca serves as a member of the core faculty for Iowa's LEND program, also based at CDD, and as administrator of its newly awarded IDDRC.



Partners in Maine DD Network Collaborate on COVID-19 Vaccination Video PSAs

Partners in the Maine Developmental Disabilities Network (the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, Disability Rights Maine, Maine Developmental Disabilities Council, and Speaking Up for Us) collaborated with Gray Media Group (WAGM-TV) to design, produce and broadcast seven video public service announcements (PSAs) to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among people with disabilities and direct support professionals; the individuals who support people with disabilities where they live and work.



Putting Faith to Work: How Faith Communities Can Support Employment for People with Disabilities

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) researcher and VKC UCEDD co-director Erik Carter, Ph.D., collaborated with Bill Gaventa, M.Div., for a guest blog post on the Administration for Community Living (ACL).



Registration for the National Training Institute on Effective Practices: Addressing Challenging Behavior 2022 is now open! Register today!

The National Training Institute provides an in-depth learning experience built around the #PyramidModel. The Institute, sponsored by Florida Center for Inclusive Communities and the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (OSEP) brings together experts from around the country who skillfully present three-hour workshops and 1-hour toolkit sessions offering practical, ready-to-use information on systems and practices to promote social-emotional development in young children.



Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

The first video in a series of the Worth The Shot Campaign by the Mississippi Developmental Disabilities Network is now available to view at The video is available in long format and a 30-second format that will air on local television stations.



The Indigenous Communities Workgroup

The Indigenous Communities Workgroup will be meeting December 8 4-5pm ET. This meeting provides a space for programs to collaborate on effective and culturally competent indigenous engagement.



The NCED Family Navigation Network: Mapping the Maze

By Marcia O'Malley, Family Resource Coordinator

As most parents know, mapping out healthcare when you have a child with a special health care need is anything but simple. Located with the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities, the Family Navigation Network offers family-led healthcare system navigation. Staffed by family members of children and youth with a variety of health conditions, we support other families in their own leadership and advocacy journey, and we promote family-centered care and family/professional partnerships.



The Ohio State University Nisonger Center's Behavior Support Services provides training to OSU East

The Ohio State University Nisonger Center's Behavior Support Services is now working with OSU East to provide training to nursing staff on working with individuals with developmental disabilities and challenging behavior while they are hospitalized. They will also be available to provide case specific consultation as needed.



Virginia UCEDD Announces New Executive Director

Dr. Parthenia "Parthy" Dinora has been named the new Executive Director of the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Dinora has spent her career in the disability field administering direct service projects focused on community participation for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, conducting research and evaluation studies focused on disability services and supporting families, and generating new focus areas at the UCEDD.



WVU Expands Options for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

This fall six new West Virginia University students with intellectual and developmental disabilities are paving the way for future students to be able to go to college, live on campus and gain academic and career preparation.



AUCD and ecoAmerica Partner to Bring Disability Perspective to Climate Justice

By Adriane Griffen, DrPH, MPH, MCHES and Rebecca Rehr, MPH

"We look forward to partnering to proactively work on these issues. People with disabilities need to be engaged at every level of climate justice. We must work with climate and health partners to foster connections, build trust, create sustainable relationships," says John Tschida, AUCD's Executive Director. "Our work is to help partners identify opportunities for disability inclusion in local planning and show how to take action."



Translation of the Survey of Well-being of Young Children (SWYC) into Tagalog, Samoan, and Chuukese

The California-Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (LEND) Program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, directed the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)-funded Health Professional Support Program for Children with Zika Virus Infection in American Samoa and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Basin. After working with American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam and traveling to American Samoa, the CA-LEND team collectively identified that developmental screening tools were not available in languages that are commonly spoken in the islands



LEND Representation in the Arkansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Elizabeth Cleveland, PhD, CCC-SLP, Director of Training for the AR LEND, has been elected as the Arkansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association President-Elect for the 2022 calendar year. Dr. Cleveland was also recognized earlier this year as a Distinguished Early Career Professional through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Center.


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