News Around the Network
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 September 2023  I  Volume 8  I  Edition 9

 AUCD Office News

Image of 6 people smiling in front of the AUCD
banner, 2 hold awards.

AUCD 2023: Register Today!

Whether you're a newcomer to the field or a seasoned professional, the AUCD Conference provides countless opportunities to share with and learn from colleagues and peers. This premiere event features four engaging large group plenaries from high-level leaders, more than 220 concurrent and poster presentations covering a broad spectrum of disability topics, as well as innovative research, programming, and advocacy efforts. Register by October 27! For questions about accommodations during the event, please email Liz Schneider at

Image of 6 people smiling in front of the AUCD banner,
2 hold awards.

AUCD Brand Guidelines & Logos

We are excited to share AUCD's new brand guidelines! The brand guidelines include information about the AUCD brand, our new logo and colors, how to ensure accessibility across platforms, and more. We hope that you use the guidelines as a resource on how to promote the brand and how to engage people about the work of the AUCD Network. Please make note of the updated logo and color changes and update your Center's/Program's web pages and other materials accordingly.

Think College 2023 States' Legislative Updates:
Inclusive Postsecondary Education.

Think College Blog: What Happened During the States’ Legislative Sessions?

Check out the Think College blog from AUCD’s Caroline Jurisich, “What Happened During the States’ Legislative Sessions?”
The article discusses progress made this year with new laws and how you can be involved in making a difference in disability legislation for inclusive postsecondary education.

The Ohio State University Nisonger Center

UCEDD Resource Center ExceLens Series: The Ohio State University (OSU) Nisonger Center: All Smiles in Ohio: OSU Nisonger Center Dental Clinic

The ExceLens series highlights the valuable work of the UCEDDs within university systems, the community, and in the lives of people with disabilities across the lifespan and their family members. The dental program at The Ohio State University (OSU) Nisonger Center opened in 1971 as a program initially designed to care for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 Network Recognitions

Dr. Sanjeev Arora, Project ECHO Founder and Executive
Director, presents award to Canyon Hardesty, WIND Associate Director, with Dr. Karla Thornton, Senior Associate Director of Project ECHO

The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities Wins an Inaugural 2023 ECHO Excellence Award at the MetaECHO International Conference

The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND), an academic unit of the College of Health Sciences, is honored to have been awarded an inaugural ECHO Excellence Award for the University of Wyoming Project ECHO. WIND was recognized in September at the 2023 global MetaECHO Conference held at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The ECHO Excellence Awards recognize outstanding ECHO teams from around the world for their contributions to the ECHO global community.

Image of a white woman with long brown hair wearing a
blouse and smiling at the camera. UK Human Development Institute

Nugent Appointed to National Disability Rights Network Board of Directors

Austin Nugent has built bridges between many different parts of the disability community, and she’s about to put those connections to use. Nugent, who is a Disability Program Administrator at HDI, has been named an At-Large member for the National Disability Rights Network’s (NDRN) Board of Directors. That means that she’ll help provide oversight to an organization that protects and advocates for people with all sorts of disabilities nationwide, focusing on ensuring that people’s rights are protected.

Image of a young black man wearing a short sleeve
shirt smiling at the camera with his arms crossed.

Turner Appointed to Kentucky Employment First Council by Governor Beshear

In 2020, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order to create the Kentucky Employment First Council, which helps people with disabilities find meaningful employment. Morgan Turner, HDI Project Assistant, has accepted a position as Vice Chair on that council.

Image of a white man with facial hair wearing a
flannel shirt.

Institute for Disability Studies Names Brooks Self-Advocacy Coordinator

Gunner Brooks has been named self-advocacy coordinator at The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) Gulf Coast offices. Gunner is the second employee to serve in this role at IDS and the first on the coastal campus. This position highlights IDS' commitment to promoting self-advocacy in Mississippi with a focus on youth and young adults.   

 Network News

Close up of an adult hand holding a baby's hand.

Researchers to Identify Key Brain and Behavioral Changes in Aging Women with Premtuations of the Fragile X Gene, FMR1

First documented two decades ago among a small group of men who had grandchildren with Fragile X Syndrome, Fragile X-associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS) has more recently been identified in women. Researchers at the University of Kansas Life Span Institute (Kansas IDDRC) and colleagues now are working to learn more about its effects in women.

An African woman and a white, American man stand
under a sign for Minot State University, smiling. Text on the image reads: Spring 2024 Professional Fellow Hosting Opportunities! Apply by November 24, 2023,

Host a Fellow from the Professional Fellows Program

Is your UCEDD or LEND eager to drive global change in disability inclusion? Host a Fellow from the prestigious Professional Fellows Program (PFP)! The PFP supports mid-career disability rights professionals from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia to participate in a five-week Fellowship in the US in Spring 2024. As a host, we will match you with a Fellow whose professional interests and goals align with your organization to exchange disability-inclusive civic engagement knowledge and practices.

Portrait of Christopher Phillips, Utah State
University's accessibility officer

USU Marks Accessibility Progress, Thanks In Part to IDRPP’s WebAIM

Nationwide, just over 19 percent of the Department of Education’s accredited institutions have taken advantage of a digital documents course developed at the Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice. Faculty and staff from all the universities in the Utah System of Higher Education have taken the course, which helps them provide accessible digital materials to their students. 

REACH Lab Research, Engagement and Advocacy for
Community Participation and Health

Peer Support and Research Engagement for Transition Age Young Adults with IDD Resources

Informed by community members, including young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), the REACH Lab and Institute on Disabilities at Temple University developed free and easy-to-access resources about how peer support can help with successful transition and research. 


OHSU Institute on Development and Disability UCEDD Expands Impact of Sexual Health Education

The UCEDD at OHSU has implemented The Friendships and Dating Program, created by the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Human Development, in Oregon for the past three years. With its growing success, the FDP has received a grant extension and will continue for another year. 

A Planning Guide for IPSE Programs

A Planning Guide for New Inclusive Programs and Initiatives Serving College Students with Intellectual Disabilities

If you are considering starting a program or are in the early stages of program development, this guide is for you. A Planning Guide for New Inclusive Programs and Initiatives Serving College Students with Intellectual Disabilities by Cindi May aligns with the Program Accreditation Standards and structured around some critical questions developing programs will have, this guide includes information about common issues and challenges programs may face and resources to explore throughout the process of conceptualizing and creating a program for students with intellectual disability. 

A group of people in Rwanda discuss around a table.

Identifying Autism in Rwanda

In rural Africa, people with autism and other disabilities are stigmatized and routinely hidden indoors. This summer, the MN UCEDD trained community health workers in Rwanda on identifying the signs of autism in children and on principles for addressing the needs of people with disabilities in rural areas. 

Katrina Simmons an ICI community program specialist
who lives with cerebral palsy.

Prevalence: Extending ICI's Research

For years, researchers at the MN UCEDD have estimated autism prevalence among Minnesota school children. Now the researchers are also estimating the prevalence of cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy.

Graphic of swinging abacus. Text" IMPACT WV

WVU CED Expands Efforts to Improve Outcomes for Babies Born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Incidence rates of newborns diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome have rapidly increased in rural states as West Virginia continues to see a rise in opioid use and addiction, including pregnant women. For the past five years, the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVU CED) has tested and implemented models of care to strengthen services for West Virginia families with infants born exposed to substances in utero or diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

 Emerging Leaders Voices

Five conference participants standing arm in arm in
front of an AUCD Banner.

AUCD 2023 Emerging Leaders Conference Scholarships

Application Deadline Extended: October 6, 2023
AUCD is pleased to offer scholarships each year to support AUCD Emerging Leaders in attending the AUCD Conference. Scholarships are available to current trainees and former trainees presenting work conducted while a trainee.

Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Progrogram

Building our Movement: Opportunities for Emerging Leaders Now Open!

The Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program is a fully virtual 10-week program from October 10 - December 19. The program equips and engages young Black disabled individuals from ages 18-30 who want to grow as community organizers. We’re looking for our next cohort of leaders who are active and passionate about their communities, seeking professional development opportunities, that are team players, and innovative thinkers!


56th Annual Gatlinburg Conference 2024 / April 17-19, 2024, Kansas City, MO

Call for Proposals: 2024 Gatlinburg Conference Call for Proposals

Deadline: October 23, 2023

The 2024 Gatlinburg Conference continues its tradition as one of the premier conferences for scientists conducting research on intellectual and developmental disabilities. The University of Kansas Life Span Institute is excited to host another year of Gatlinburg Conference on April 17-19, 2024.

AMCHP Association of Maternal & Child Health Program

Call for Proposals: 2024 AMCHP Annual Conference

Deadline: November 6, 2023

The Call for Proposals for the 2024 AMCHP Annual Conference is now open! We highly encourage those working in community organizations and tribal entities, family leaders, students, and early career professionals to share their completed (or in progress) work under any of 10 subject-focused tracks.

Photo collage of a diverse group of people with disabilities.

All of Us Research Program

Disability is a part of life for people in every community, but people with disabilities have not always been included in health research. The All of Us Research Program is trying to change that.
By joining All of Us, you can help researchers learn more about what may improve health for all of us.

 Upcoming Events

Photo collage of a diverse group of children with disabilities and one adult sitting outside

Today! Mailman Center for Child Development 50th Anniversary Virtual Celebration

Friday, September 29, 2023, 1:00 - 5:00 pm ET
Join the Mailman Center for Child Development, (FL UCEDD/LEND) as they celebrate 50 years of innovation, impact, and connection. Hosted By F. Daniel Armstrong, Ph.D. Director, Mailman Center for Child Development.

 Baylor College of Medicine

24th Annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference: Transition from Pediatric to Adult-Based Care

October 26-27, 2023, Virtual

For all conference participants, there will be a discussion of primary and subspecialty care medical care during the transition years; discussions of models of transition programs and data to support their processes; the legal issues involved in healthcare transition; family and young adult perspectives. In partnership with Baylor College of Medicine, AUCD is happy to offer all network members discounts on registration for the October 26-27 virtual conference.

SOAR Conference 2023 To the stars through difficulty

SOAR Conference 2023

October 27-29, 2023, Overland, KS

The purpose of the SOAR Conference is to bring together self-advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities from around the Midwest to exchange ideas and learn from each other about advocacy. 

Emerging Leaders Shaping hte Future

AUCD Conference 2023

November 5-8, 2023, Washington, DC

The AUCD 2023 Conference will be held November 5-8 in Washington, DC. This year’s theme of Emerging Leaders: Shaping the Future recognizes and focuses on the thousands of Emerging Leaders that we welcome to the AUCD Network each year and how they continue to propel our Network forward, positively shaping the future. Join us by registering today!

Outline ofthe state of Texas. Text: Texas Transition Conference

2024 Texas Transition Conference

February 28 - March 1, 2024, Washington, DC

The 2024 Texas Transition is moving to Houston for 2024/2025! We will be at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria. We look forward to having you join us, live or online, on February 28 - March 1, 2024. We will cap the live registration at 500 participants. Please note that the sessions will not be recorded.


News 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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