News around the Network
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   February 2024  I  Volume 10  I  Edition 2

   AUCD Office News

AUCD Association of University On Disabilities astho

Announcement of AUCD-ASTHO Grant Awardees
The Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) through a partnership with The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2024 grants for the Disability and Health Secondary or Existing Data Analysis funding opportunity. These grants will support three organizations to conduct timely analyses of existing data to answer targeted research or policy questions related to disability and health.  

Silloutte of the US Capitol. Text:Disability Policy Seminar

Disability Policy Seminar 2024
April 8-10, 2024, Washington, DC 

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

Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute and Michigan Vaccination Partners Accomplishments Highlighted in APHA's Thought Leadership Film Series
The American Public Health Association (APHA) selected the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute (MI-DDI) at Wayne State University and the Michigan Vaccination Partners project to be featured in the APHA 2023 Thought Leadership Film Series. The series profiles cutting-edge efforts to address public health issues being led by researchers, advocates and organizations across the country.

Shelly Baer, a white woman with shoulder length hair wearing a blouse and holding an award while smilting at the camera.

Shelly Baer Recognized as Exceptional Leader within the Community
Rochelle 'Shelly' Baer, LCSW of the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development, has been awarded the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's 2023 Community Partner Award. The Department of Public Health Sciences recognizes Shelly's exceptional leadership. Numerous public health students have benefited from collaborating with her in co-facilitating SALT and SELP initiatives.

   Network News

Image of two women sitting on the floor of a play room.

AR UCEDD, Partners for Inclusive Communities, receives $10M from AR Department of Human Services
Partners for Inclusive Communities (Partners), an outreach unit of the College of Education and Health Professions, has been awarded a grant for over $10 million to support children and families in Arkansas while furthering its mission to facilitate the inclusion of people with disabilities in community life. 

Two young, female college students. They are outside and are wearing name tags. One of the
students has an intellectual disability.

Higher Ed Grants Coming Soon
To boost college options for Minnesota students with intellectual disability, the MN UCEDD is collaborating with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as it implements a competitive grant process this spring. The grants will fund eligible Minnesota higher education institutions that provide meaningful graduation credentials to students with intellectual disability.

DSP Susan Pavao and a supported person prepare lunch in a kitchen.

Support Work: Realizing Inclusion
Despite decades-old federal law and a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring that people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) receive support services in the most integrated possible setting, crisis-level worker shortages have made inclusive community living unachievable for far too many people. The Direct Support Workforce Solutions group at the MN UCEDD works with employers, state officials, and related stakeholders to recruit and retain direct support professionals.

Rural Institute For Inclusive Communities

Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities: Removing barriers to vaccine access with rural Spanish speakers with disabilities
The Administration on Community Living (ACL) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are funding local trusted disability and aging partners to build vaccine confidence. In Montana, ACL/CDC funding supports the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, the Montana Developmental Disabilities Council, Disability Rights Montana, Montana Centers for Independent Living, Area Agencies on Aging, and Aging and Disability Resource Centers. 

A child's drawing of four kids a dog and a heart.

New Issue Released of Review of Disability Studies: Extended Volume on Disability and China (Vol 18, No.4 & Vol 19 No. 1)
The The Center on Disability Studies, College of Education, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, is pleased to announce the release of the Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal Special Issue on China and Disability. The 595-page issue (Volume 18, Issue 4 & Volume 19, Issue 1) was guest-edited by Drs. Luanjiao Hu, The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, Brandeis University, and Fengming Cui, Harvard University.

Sergiy Sydoriv, back row second from right, with pre-service teaching students who have been
reading to children during the war in Ukraine. Some of the students are holding Valentine's Day cards.

To Survive, and to Laugh

Air-raid sirens interrupt classes and rip through other aspects of daily life in western Ukraine. For Sergiy Sydoriv, an education professor at Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, life outside the heavy bombardment area comes with blaring reminders that life is still far from normal.

Graphic of a headset. Text: BOGGS CAST A podcast the Boggs Center on Developmental

Episode 24 of BoggsCast Now Available: Person-Centered Supervision with Gina Brelesky
The Boggs Center is excited to share the latest episode of 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.In this episode, Gina Brelesky, MPA, Founder and Lead Coach at Experience Human, discusses person-centered supervision of Direct Support Professionals.

Headshot of Beth Malow, a white woman with chin-length red hair and blue eyes, in front of a brown background. Dr. Malow is wearing a magenta cardigan and camisole set and a necklace
of black beads.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Researcher Beth Malow Receives Grant to Mount Sleep Program for Children with Autism
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) member Beth Malow, MD, MS, has received a three-year, grant from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to mount a community-based educational program for improving sleep in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Focusing on both urban or rural communities in Tennessee, Georgia and Colorado, the project aims to reach families who have limited access to health care. The project builds on Malow’s prior research into behavioral interventions for sleep problems in ASD.

wheelchair and microphone icon with greem mountain in the background. Text"Green Mountain
Disability Stories

The Vermont UCEDD Releases Episode 21 of "Green Mountain Disability Stories" Podcast, Featuring Michele Streeter, A Mom to a Child with Disabilities and Family Resource Consultant (VM UCEDD)
Green Mountain Disability Stories is a series of conversations about disability and inclusion, by and with Vermonters with disabilities, and their family members, educators, and medical professionals. Michele Streeter is mom to Ocean and April Streeter, two siblings you met in Episode 20. Michele talks about what it’s been like to provide support and guidance for a child with a disability as they navigate the transition to adulthood, post-secondary education, and independent living. 

ATM Texas A&M University Coach to Communicate

Exploring the Intersectionality of Ability, Race, & Religion
Dr. Nicholas Wright and Maria Kemplin, staff at the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute, received a University of Kentucky Office for Institutional Diversity Award to support programs that are student-centric and foster collaboration through partnerships that address the important of diverse views and cultures. In partnership with the Martin Luther King Center and the Disability Resource Center, staff will explore the intersectionality of ability, and race.

WV Center for Excellence in Disabilities

West Virginia UCEDD Launches New West Virginia Autism Resource Directory (WV UCEDD)
This directory contains information on autism services and resources available to West Virginia residents. The list can be filtered by checking different boxes below. Resources are organized into three main categories: Therapy, Evaluations and Other. You can make the search more specific by selecting service types and counties. After selecting the resources you’d like to view, click the “Filter” button to see results.

UMKC institute for Human Development homepage of the new website.

Missouri UCEDD Launches New WebsiteThe University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Institute for Human Development, the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for the state of Missouri, has just launched its new website at The site showcases the breadth and depth of programs and resources that IHD offers to individuals with disabilities, their family members, service providers, and other professionals.

ATM Texas A&M University Coach to Communicate

The Coach to Communicate Program at Texas A&M University Continues to Offer Training at No Cost to Texas Parents and Caregivers
The Coach to Communicate program at Texas A&M University continues to offer training at no cost to Texas parents and caregivers of children up to age 22 with core features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents and caregivers will learn how to improve their child's communication skills. The Coach to Communicate (C2C) program is provided by a research grant sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Enrollment is open year-round, so parents are welcome to register and begin at any time that is convenient for them. 

   Emerging Leaders Voices

AUCD Globe

New Emerging Leaders Community Listserv

Subscribe by Friday, March 1, 2024

This new system will allow us to share relevant updates and a monthly newsletter with each subscriber. You will continue to receive updates from this list until the end of the month. Email for any questions.

Project leader Jessica Simacek working in teleoutreach.

Video Podcast Series: Life After LEND!

Meet Sharon Williams, LEND Class of 2019-2020

In this episode, meet Sharon Williams, LEND Class of 2019-2020. Sharon was a LEND trainee from the US Virgin Islands. She lives on the island of St. Croix with her husband and daughter Sharon joined the Virgin Islands UCEDD (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) in 2012 and is the Assistant Director of Assistive Technology.  

Project leader Jessica Simacek working in teleoutreach.

Transforming the Landscape of Behavioral Health Access for Geographically Dispersed and Military-Connected Children and Families across the Midwest
Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, this project will use teleoutreach to improve outcomes for children and adolescents with developmental, emotional, or behavioral health needs. Led by Jessica Simacek, a former MN LEND fellow.

Image of Daylan Bachick, a young white man speaking to the camera with a couch in the

PATHS graduate, Daylan Bachik shares his transition experiences on the TEA Website.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) video series captures real-life examples and recommendations for transition planning. In this video, Daylan Bachik shares his story of his successful transition to a career in education. Daylan is a 2023 PATHS graduate, graduating Magna Cum Laude. His chosen track of study was as a Direct Support Professional - Paraprofessional.  

EHDI Annual Conference

2024 LEND Audiology Workshop at EHDI Conference
Sunday, March 7, 2024
This workshop will introduce LEND pediatric audiology trainees to the various challenges associated with effectively serving deaf/hard of hearing children (including those with additional disabilities) from clinical practice and systems perspectives. It is a unique, interactive learning opportunity that brings together trainees and faculty from across the country. 


AUCD Leadership Academy participants standing/sitting in front of a mural.

Apply Today! AUCD Leadership Academy
Deadline: March 1, 2024
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, IDDRCs 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.

AIRP Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health

Call for Abstracts: National Virtual LEND Trainee Research Conference

Deadline: March 11, 2024

AIR-P and the UC-LEND are hosting a National Virtual LEND Trainee Research Conference on May 2, 2024, 4-6pm PT. Submit an abstract by March 11 for an opportunity to present your research at this event! All topics are encouraged, including: unpublished work in progress, research recently published, and research presented at other scientific meetings. View Flyer

   Upcoming Events


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 Sprectrum Disorders

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

Despite thousands of published articles on FASD, limited research focuses specifically on adolescents and adults with FASD. As individuals diagnosed with FASD age, the "need to know" across a broad spectrum of areas continues to be critically important for identifying clinically relevant research questions and directions that will impact their day-to-day function and health outcomes. With a prevalence rate of 1 in 20 in the United States, FASD is highly relevant to addiction treatment providers. 

US PLAY coalition A partnership to promote the VALUE OF PLAY thoughout life

The 2024 National Conference on the Value of Play: THE FUTURE OF PLAY
April 16-18, 2024, Bloomington, IN

The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together leading play researchers, educators, health scientists, park and recreation professionals, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians, and parents from across the globe.

National Center for Start Services Institute on Disability University of New Hampshire.

2024 START National Training Institute (SNTI)
May 6, 2024, Philadelphia, PA

The annual START National Training Institute (SNTI) serves as the premier hub for the exchange of innovative best practices in IDD-MH (intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs) grounded in the philosophy and principles of the START model (including assessment, treatment, and crisis prevention and intervention services). The SNTI brings together a diverse community including but not limited to professionals & providers, researchers, policy makers, people with lived experience of IDD-MH, and family members.


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

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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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