News around the Network
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   January 2024  I  Volume 10  I  Edition 1

   AUCD Office News

 Image of a globe with a burst of lines. Text: AUCD

Save the Date for AUCD 2024
The AUCD 2024 Conference will be held November 3-6 in Washington, D.C. Please note: the 2024 Conference was originally scheduled for early December. Due to the late Thanksgiving holiday this year, we have moved it to our typical early November time slot. Tuesday, November 5 will be Election Day in the U.S. Please plan ahead and request a mail-in ballot or vote early. We look forward to seeing you this November!

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A National Partnership to Advance Peer-Support Models for People Who Need Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is pleased to announce that the University Center of Excellence in Development Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), in partnership with CommunicationFIRST, has been selected as the recipient of a subaward to create a national partnership to develop an approach and plan to advance peer-support models for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) users. 

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Apply Today: AUCD Leadership Academy

Deadline: March 1, 2024, 5:00 PM EST
The AUCD Leadership Academy is a week-long intensive experience, paired with a year of pre and post interactions designed to enhance the skills of current and emerging leaders from disability networks to build coalitions to improve systems of supports and services. The Leadership Academy engages participants from UCEDDs, LENDs, and the wider community of disability partners to come together to immerse themselves for a week of study, shared experiences, self-evaluation, and skill development.

 Image of a globe with a burst of lines. Text: AUCD

Register Today: The Disability Policy Seminar
The Disability Policy Seminar is an annual federal legislative conference co-sponsored by The Arc, Autism Society, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, United Cerebral Palsy, and Self Advocates Becoming Empowered. The Disability Policy Seminar strengthens our federal advocacy efforts by providing training, learning opportunities, and updates, and opportunities to visit their Members of Congress.

   Network Recognitions
Extra-axial cerebrospinal fluid (EA-CSF) and perivascular space (PVS) segmentation on 24-month scan of a child who was diagnosed with autism. Credit: Dea Garic & Mark Shen.

Dr. Marcia Montague selected as the 2023-2024 Provost Academic Professional Track (APT) Faculty Teaching Excellence Awardee
Established in 2019 with a gift from the Marie M. and James H. Galloway Foundation, the Provost Academic Professional Track (APT) Faculty Teaching Excellence Award encourages, recognizes and rewards faculty recipients for exceptional teaching practices that create meaningful learning experiences for students.

Extra-axial cerebrospinal fluid (EA-CSF) and perivascular space (PVS) segmentation on 24-month scan of a child who was diagnosed with autism. Credit: Dea Garic & Mark

Indiana LEND's Dr. McNally Keehn awarded the Rising Trailblazer Award
Indiana LEND's Rebecca McNally Keehn, PhD was the winner of the Indiana University School of Medicine's 2023 Rising Trailblazer Award. The award recognizes outstanding early career faculty who are emerging trailblazers in the Department of Pediatrics.

Extra-axial cerebrospinal fluid (EA-CSF) and perivascular space (PVS) segmentation on
24-month scan of a child who was diagnosed with autism. Credit: Dea Garic & Mark Shen.

RISE To The Top!! USM Program Earns Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) Status
The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) RISE To The Top! inclusive postsecondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities has reached a momentous milestone by receiving status as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP). 

Still frame of former MI-DDI Director Barbara W. LeRoy, PhD. Barbara is centered in the frame
and is seated on a dark grey couch. To the bottom left hand side is a text graphic listing Barbara's credentials. The text reads "Director of DDI 1993-2015.

Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute Celebrates 40 Years as Michigan's UCEDD
Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute
(MI-DDI) recently celebrated 40 years as Michigan's UCEDD. To commemorate this achievement, the institute created a short film documenting it's past, present, and future.

   Network News

Three African women stand in front of three African men, all holding blue certificates from
the US Department of State,

University of Massachusetts Boston Institute for Community Inclusion Partners with the International Disability Alliance and the African Disability Forum on International Fellowship Program
The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston, in collaboration with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the African Disability Forum (ADF), has been awarded a grant from the US Department of State to launch the third round (FY 2023) of the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement.

A person sits in a hospital room receiving an EEG treatment.

Researchers Find Possible Neuromarker for 'Juvenile-onset' Batten Disease
New research from the University of Rochester Medical Center, an AUCD IDDRC, suggests an easy-to-measure brain process may be a target or biomarker in measuring treatment outcomes in clinical trials for patients with Batten disease.

A grid of headshots of the 2023-2024 Jean S. Garvin Research Fellows: Barbara Peabody
Collette, Jayson Capobianco, Kristabel Stark, John Pirone, Stasha Medeiros, and Alyssa Smith

2023-2024 Jean S. Garvin Research Fellows Announced
The UVM Center on Disability & Community Inclusion (CDCI) and the UVM College of Education and Social Services (CESS) are pleased to announce six new Jean S. Garvin Research Fellows for the 2023-2024 academic year. This year's fellows are planning to research a wide range of topics pertaining to the lives of students and young adolescents with disabilities in Vermont. 

After graphic of Abuse Happend, Tell Someone, Gather Information, What Hapened Next

Missouri's UCEDD Develops "After Abuse: Resources for Missourians with Disabilities"
The University of Missouri-Kansas City's Institute for Human Development, the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for the state of Missouri, in cooperation with the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council, has published a new online resource called After Abuse: Resources for Missourians with Disabilities to help people with disabilities learn about abuse and what happens when it is reported.

Two photos showing a 4-H banner at a community event. The photo on the left shows people at
the event with the banner over their heads. The photo on the right is a close-up of the banner.

ICI, UM Extension Partner For 4-H Youth
The MN UCEDD has created accommodation kits containing tools to better accommodate Minnesota 4-H members with and without disabilities. The training also shared tips about more fully including youth with disabilities

A blue tinted image of a statue of a jayhawak in front of a university. State of the States
in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Five-year Grant to Support KU Project's Goal to Make Disability Data Accessible and Inclusive for Broad Audiences
Numbers alone can’t tell a story. That’s the foundation of a project now based at the University of Kansas that takes volumes of raw federal and state expenditure data and distills that information for everyone—including policymakers, service providers and individuals with developmental disabilities and their families—to help them make the most informed decisions.

Derrick Willis, a black nan with beard presenting in front of a podium.

3rd Round of the ProFellows Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement Launched
ProFellows Derrick Willis, AUCD's President and Director of the University of Iowa’s Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), and Bakar Hamad, Executive Director of the Organization of Women with Disabilities in Zanzibar (JUWAUZA), joined esteemed dignitaries to celebrate 15 years of JUWAUZA's dedicated service to women with disabilities in Zanzibar! Dignitaries included the second Vice President of Zanzibar, the Hon. Hemed Suleiman Abdulla.

 Liliana Wagner, headshot of a white woman with long brown hair.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Receives DOD Grant to Study Telehealth Deployment Across Rural Areas of Tennessee
The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) has received a $3.1 million grant from the Department of Defense (DOD) to study telehealth deployment across rural areas of Tennessee. The grant builds on a recent study that showed autism profiles can be identified early with the TELE-ASD-PEDS (TAP) tele-assessment tool created by the VKC and Monroe Carrell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s Division of Developmental Medicine.

A group of community leaders stadning in front of the White House.

UCEDD Co-Director Visits White House for NYS Communities in Acton
Einstein and Montefiore Health System’s, Karen Bonuck, PhD, recently joined community leaders and elected officials at The White House’s Communities in Action: Building a Better New York event. Dr. Bonuck discussed the healthcare access issues faced by people with disabilities and why Long COVID is a mass disabling event.

   Emerging Leaders Voices

 Mikayla Heston, a white woman with cerebal palsy using a electric wheelchair smiling at the

Intern Perspectives: Reflections on OHSU UCEDD's Summer Internship Program Shaping Disability Advocacy
Each summer, the OHSU University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) offers internship opportunities to high school or early college students interested in pursuing a career in health care, with an emphasis on disability. It is a delight to watch these students progress and grow during the 8-week program which places students in different centers, clinic groups, and research labs across the Institute on Development and Disability. 

Blake Jakson, a black male with short hair with mustache wearing a red polo shirt, Texas A&M
University PATHS Certificate Program

Student Spotlight - Blake Jackson
Meet Blake Jackson, a resilient second-year student in the Direct Support Professional - General (DSP-G) track. As a proud member of the PATHS class 2024 in the fightin' Texas Aggie community, Blake is enrolled in the Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) Program, where he finds inspiration in Andrey Hepburn's timeless words: "Nothing is impossible, the Word itself says 'I'm possible!'"

Averie Lane, a woman with long brown hair and glasses wearing a blue blouse standing in front of the ocean.

PATHS Graduate Highlight: Averie Lane Class of 2019
Since 2019, PATHS graduate, Averie Lane, has been very busy! Upon graduation, Averie has completely immersed herself in caring for children both at the daycare where she works and as a traveling nanny. Averie now has her own babysitting business that has really taken off. The word has spread throughout the community about the amazing level of care that she provides for each child that she is responsible for.


IACC Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee

IACC Seeking Public Comments on
Co-Occuring Conditions in Autism

Deadline: February 14, 2024
The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) is requesting public comments on the impact of these co-occurring conditions, as well as research, services, and policy needs that may be helpful to consider in addressing issues related to these conditions. 

   Upcoming Events

Amplifying Voices of Disability Virtual Day of Learning

Amplifying Voices of Disability
Thursday, February 22, 2024, Zoom

The Institute For Human Development invites you to join them for a special virtual event: 'Amplifying Voices of Disability.'  A new virtual Day of Learning focused on timely, hot-button issues presented by disability activists & self-advocates! 


2024 Annual Disability Statistics Conference
March 28, 2024, Washington, DC and Hybrid

The Center for Research on Disability will be releasing the Annual Disability Statistics Collection, which fills critical gaps in national, state, and historic data related to people with disabilities by synthesizing complex data from numerous U.S. federal agencies into accessible formats. 

FASD United The National Voice on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

9th International Research Conference on Adolescents and Adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
April 11-14, 2024, Hyatt Regency, Seattle, WA

Come together with the network of advocates, families, and professionals to explore how CtLC weaves together personal growth, community engagement, policy advancements, and technological innovations to promote self-determination and good lives for all.


Items may be submitted for consideration via the AUCD Public Promotion Page. Submissions are due by the second Friday of the Month.

AUCD | 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1000 | Silver Spring, MD 20910

This newsletter is in part supported by the Administration on Community Living (ACL) through a technical assistance contract for the URC, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) through a technical assistance contract for the ITAC, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a National Professional Organization for Persons with Developmental Disabilities. The content of this material does not necessarily reflect the views and policies of any federal agency. No official support or endorsement by federal agencies is intended nor should be inferred.

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