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In this issue:

CLD at AUCD 2013
Georgia Universities Awarded Inclusive Post-secondary Implementation Grants
Nationally Renowned Disability Advocate Judy Heumann Speaks to CLD Class
CLD on Campus 
GaLEND Spotlight : Trainees at AUCD 2013
Register now for the 2014 Georgia Winter Institute

     CLD at AUCD 2013
                                                                                                                                                          Images from Center for Leadership in Disability at the 2014 AUCD Conference in Washington D.C.

A team of CLD staff, faculty, and GaLEND Trainees attended the 2013 Association of University Center on Disabilities (AUCD) Conference in Washington D.C. in November. The annual event drew more than 600 professionals from University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) from across the country. Members of the CLD team presented in sessions and took part in panel discussions on topics including Technology in Education, Inclusive Post-secondary Education, Cultural Competence, the Autism Plan for Georgia, and Dissemination Strategies for Learn the Signs/Act Early. At the concluding AUCD Gala Awards, CLD Director Dr. Daniel Crimmins was presented with the Service to the Organization Award for his years of dedication to AUCD. 

The CLD attendees were a notable presence at the conference. They returned to Georgia energized and excited by new ideas and possibilities for our work here. 

Pictured above from top. First row: left  Mark Crenshaw presenting in "Neuroscience+Learning Psychology+ Education Technology = Education 3.0" Symposium, right Ryan Johnson with disability rights icon Judith Heumann. Second row: left CLD staff, faculty and GaLEND trainees congratulate Daniel Crimmins, on his award, right AUCD Awards Gala program. Third row: left Stacey Ramirez with Kennedy Fellow and Former GCDD Deputy Director Dr. Pat Nobbie, right Daniel Crimmins,  accepting his Service to the Organization Award from AUCD. Fourth row: left Susanna Miller presenting "Legislative Funding for Starting & Supporting Inclusive PSE Programs in Georgia", right CLD's Charleyna Gatlin speaking with Keynote speaker Dr. Joan Y. Reede, Dean for Diversity at Harvard Medical School. 
             Georgia Universities Awarded                Inclusive Post-secondary
         Implementation Grants 


Columbus State University and Fanning Institute logos

The CLD in collaboration with the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) and the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD)  announced the two recipients of its Implementation Grants through their project the Georgia Inclusive Post-secondary Education Consortium.  The University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute and Columbus State University were each  awarded $30,000 each to plan and implement inclusive post-secondary education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

These universities demonstrated their capacities in planning, providing and evaluating inclusive environments, adult learning, and participant-direction.  They also have proven knowledge of formal and informal supports and services for adult learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The awards provide the universities with funding for have ten months to plan and prepare for these programs.
Eric Jacobson, Executive Director of GCDD stated, “The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities is very excited that two universities have expressed interest in developing post secondary initiatives.  We know that college is often the place where people decide on careers and the next phases of their life.  We believe the same is true for students with developmental disabilities and these programs will join Kennesaw State University in offering opportunities for students to pursue their dreams.
For more information on inclusive post-secondary education visit
      Disability Rights Icon Judith Heumann              Speaks on History of Disability             Rights and CRPD to CLD Class

Experience in Disability class listens as Judith Heumann talks on CRPD and the history of rights of people with disabilities

CLD welcomed Judy Heumann to its “Experience of Disability in America” class via live-streamed video  on November 22nd. Ms. Heumann is the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State. She is a nationally recognized leader and lifelong civil rights advocate for people with disabilities. Advisor Heumann is at the forefront of national efforts to raise awareness of the importance of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also known as CRPD.

For more than 30 years, Ms. Heumann has worked toward advancing the rights of people with disabilities in the U.S. and internationally. She represented Education Secretary Richard Riley, at the 1995 International Congress on Disability in Mexico City. She was a U.S. delegate to the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. She has been active with Disabled Peoples’ International, Rehabilitation International and numerous Independent Living Centers throughout the world. She co-founded the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley California and the World Institute on Disability in Oakland California.

In the “Experience in Disability in America” course students examine disability in relation to civil rights, the arts, media, politics, and city planning. Students also discuss issues of accessibility in educational, professional and commercial settings. CLD Director and Professor Daniel Crimmins notes, “We are honored to have this disability rights icon speak to the class. The lessons she has learned from her national and international work in the disability movement offer valuable perspectives that our students will use professionally and personally in their futures.”

   CLD's Erin Vinoski and Daniel Crimmins, PhD with Pat Puckett
CLD's Research Associate Erin Vinoski and Director Daniel Crimmins, PhD pose for a photograph with Pat Puckett following her lecture in the "Experience in Disability in America" class. Ms. Puckett is the Executive Director of the Statewide Independent Living Council ( SILC) of Georgia. Her lecture focused on accessibility in architecture and the concept of "visit-ability" - having a home where all friends can enter regardless of their disabilities.



Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, MD, presented "Surveillance of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Autism" to the 2013-2014 GaLEND cohort.   Dr. Yeargin-Allsopp is a Medical Epidemiologist and Chief of the Developmental Disabilities Branch of the Centers for Disease Control. Her work in the field of developmental pediatrics and disabilities such as autism and cerebral palsy has resulted in the development of a population-based surveillance system to measure the prevalence of disabilities among school-age children.  


Dr. Christopher Atchison, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences, Dr. Franco Dispenza, Assistant Professor in department of Counseling and Psychological Services, CLD's Mark Crenshaw, and Dr. Deborah Shapiro, Associate Professor in the department of Kinesiology and Health pose for a photo following their Career Conversations panel at Georgia State University.  The panel, which was hosted by the Margaret A. Staton Office of Disability Services, discussed the possibilities that exist at the intersection of careers and disability.



Director of the Center for Healthy Development Dr. John Lutzker poses with Dr. Mark Chaffin and CLD Director Daniel Crimmins following Dr. Chaffin's lecture at Georgia State University. He presented  "Taking Evidence-Based Practice Models to Scale and Testing Outcomes in Community Settings" to faculty, staff, and students of the School of Public Health.

Dr. Chaffin is a psychologist and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center where he directs research in the Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.  His work has focused on developing, adapting, implementing, and scaling-up evidence based practice models in multiagency public health systems, including child welfare, developmental disabilities, early intervention, home visiting, community based parenting, and juvenile justice programs.


Full Radius Dance. Photo courtesy of Scott Nilsson Photography.
Full Radius Dance Photo courtesy of Scott Nilsson Photography

Earlier this semester, representatives from Full Radius Dance of Atlanta spoke to a class of about 90 Georgia State University undergraduate students about people with disabilities as artists and athletes. These undergraduates are students in the course titled, “The Experience of Disability in America.” These students are not disability studies majors; most of them have never been introduced to the concept of disability in a formal way.  The primary goal of the course is to expose students in various fields- from criminal justice to exercise science to economics- to disability-related issues, thus producing a cohort of well-informed, respectful citizens who will bring their knowledge of disability into all facets of their lives.

During the class, company founder and artistic director Douglas Scott and Ms. Laurel Lawson, a company member for 10 years, introduced the concept of disability and art. This was a new concept for the majority of the students. After watching a videotaped performance, students had a question and answer session with Mr. Scott and Ms. Lawson. Students were impressed and intrigued by the performance and discussion with Douglas and Laurel. Steven Francois, a senior studying Criminal Justice, reflected on the performance. “Before today, I never thought of people with disabilities who use wheelchairs as dancers. Unfortunately it’s just not a concept that is seen a lot in mainstream media,” he explained. “The representatives from Full Radius changed my perceptions of people with disabilities. They really showed us just how wrong some stereotypes about people with disabilities are. I wish more people could see it,” he explained.

Full Radius will present “New/Favorites: World Premieres and Reimagined Works: Memory, Energy and Instinct” on January 24th and 25th at the 7StagesTeahter in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit:


This year's 2013 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Conference explored how research,  education, training, and information dissemination efforts can be catalysts for community inclusion for all individuals with developmental and other disabilities and their families. Members of the 2013-14 GaLEND cohort were in attendance at the conference and had the opportunity to meet, listen to and network with leaders in the field of disability.  Five trainees offered us their reflections on the sights, sounds and sessions of this annual event.

Akilah Heggs- "Being at the AUCD conference actually gave me a great sense of pride to be a part of a network of people who are so influential in the work of supporting individuals with disabilities and their families. The conference gave me the opportunity to connect with trainees and the work that they are doing in their individual centers. It gave me a greater appreciation for the uniqueness of our GaLEND program and how our focus as it relates to disparities and individuals with developmental disabilities sets us apart. As far as our LEND is designed we get to spend a lot of time with our cohort members. It was good to spend time with them, trainees from other programs, and our GaLEND faculty members and get to know them better before."


Kelly MautzKelly Mautz- "This was my first AUCD Conference and, perhaps, my most fulfilling conference experience to date.  Aside from the wonderful information that was shared about model systems and best practices, I appreciated the message about the value of diversity and inclusion and felt the atmosphere reflected that.  From the conference staff to the AUCD network members to the guest speakers, everyone in attendance carried themselves with a sense of commitment and focus in their work.  The whole experience was invigorating and inspiring.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity."                                       


Nathan Held Nathan Held- "Attending the AUCD conference opened my eyes to the vast network that we are a part of as LEND trainees. I had not previously understood the implications of our GaLEND experience in the context of a national network. We have access to professionals around the US and will always be a part of this larger culture of people working for the rights of people with disabilities in the US.
Another realization that I had at the conference was that Georgia has a really top
notch, well-thought-out, LEND program. I really appreciate our focus on policy and advocacy compared to more clinically focused programs. Another advantage of our experiences is our work as a cohort. Where many programs are completely or partially online, our program encourages true interdisciplinary collaboration and bring in high caliber speakers through in person sessions. I highly prefer Georgia's model and was proud to say that I was a GaLEND trainee."

Matthew StegallMatthew Stegall- "It is not the sort of conference where you are going to learn the latest and greatest research. That is what I am used to. It is much more systemic, motivational and full of opportunities for networking. It has its finger on the pulse of the disability community. It is interesting to immerse myself in that and turn off my research side.  I am meeting people, connecting with people; and building  relationships for the future." 

Photo of Eve ShapiroI thoroughly enjoyed my experience at AUCD 2013. I had never been before and I was impressed with the breadth of topics covered by the presenters and workshops. The conference was a useful combination of educational and networking events, and I feel that I made many contacts which may be useful as I graduate from the LEND trainee program and begin to look for a job. I appreciate the opportunity to attend and I'm so glad there are such smart, ambitious people working towards improving the lives of people with disabilities.
                                                                                                                                                            Register for the 2014 Georgia Winter Institute at
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The Center for Leadership in Disability serves as a bridge between the university and community in support of evidence-based practices that improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The CLD is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD), and operates within the Center for Healthy Development and the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. 

CLD is an active member of Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) which represents the 67 UCEDDs and 43 Leadership & Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LENDs) across the United States. 

Initiatives of CLD are supported in part by Grant #90DD0662 from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities of the Administration on Community Living (USDHHS) and by Project #T73MC19939 from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Public Health Service Act, Section 399BB (e)(1)(A), as amended by the Combating Autism Act of 2006) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (USDHHS). 
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Copyright © 2013  Center for Leadership in Disability  All rights reserved.

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