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August 2013 
Five years have passed since the Center for Leadership in Disability became a part of the Georgia State University family. Since that time we have grown in size and scope and have been a leader in effecting change in the lives of people with disabilities. We look forward to continuing to serve as a bridge from research to practice for with innovative supports, services, and research.

In this issue:

GaLEND Welcomes 2013-2014 Trainees 
Disability Focused Courses for Fall 2013
CLD Presents Grand Rounds 
Community Advisory Committee Welcomes New Members
CLD Launches New Website 

GaLEND Welcomes 2013-2014 Trainees


The start of fall semester also signals the start of a new cohort for CLD's Georgia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (GaLEND) program. The program is a one-year interdisciplinary training experience that prepares future leaders to provide coordinated, culturally competent, and family-centered care to children and their families. Members include university students representing various disciplines and members of the community who work together to promote positive change. 

The program uses didactic and experiential learning in classroom, clinical, and community settings to further develop the skills of participants within their own disciplines, as well as to work together toward the greater goal of improved public health policy and systems. 

In addition to the new class of trainees, four trainees are returning from the 2012-13 cohort to explore more in depth work in their chosen disciplines.

Mark Crenshaw, Director of Interdisciplinary Training for the program remarked, " It is my hope that this cohort of trainees and fellows learns about complex systems that children and families living with disabilities are required to navigate in Georgia. Our goal is for GaLEND participants to learn to be allies with these families and that they gain the tools and relationships to reform these systems to make them more responsive to the needs of children and families."

 2013-2014 GaLEND Trainees are

Laura Nadine
Ryan Mercer (2nd Year)

Clinical Psychology
Lauren Bradstreet

Nasra Mirreh
Leah McLeod (2nd Year)
Sarah Kriseman

Leyna Palmer

Physical Therapy
Krista Penninger

Public Health
Tina Sarkar (2nd Year)
Eve Shapiro 
Akilah Heggs 
Suhana Alan

Rehab Counseling
Kelley Mautz
Angela Denise Davis

Social Work
Breanna Kelly (2nd Year)
Nathan Heald
Jessica Drennan
Whitney Wilson

School Psychology
Matthew Segall 

Special Education
Crystal Payne

Emily Dreschel

The GaLEND Program operates as a program of CLD at Georgia State University (GSU) in collaboration with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). GaLEND also works in collaboration with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other community partners. 

Disability Focused Courses Offered to GSU Graduate and Undergraduate Students

This fall CLD will be offering university courses to undergraduate and graduate students that engage the topic of disability as it intersects with health promotion, policy, law, and advocacy. These courses are taught by CLD faculty and staff. The intent is to expose students to the perspectives of persons with disabilities and to allow these experiences to educate and motivate students to build a more inclusive world. 

For the Fall 2013 semester undergraduate students are offered “Experience of Disability in America”. In this course students will study inclusion as it is seen in the arts, media and city planning. Students will also examine issues of accessibility in educational, professional and commercial settings.  

"Perspectives 2002: Global Perspectives on the Science of Autism" is also available to undergraduate students. This course provides students with a global view of the science of autism spectrum disorders to assist in students’ understanding of disability across cultures. Students gain knowledge about cross-cultural perspectives on the diagnosis criteria, prevalence rates, etiology, and treatments for autism spectrum disorders.

      For graduate students three courses are offered this semester. "Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health"  focuses on disparities in access to healthcare caused by racial, socioeconomic, and disability status.  "Intervention Strategies for Students with Learning Problems" provides students with knowledge of current methods of prevention and intervention for students with disabilities. Skills learned include assessing students  abilities and overcoming barriers to learning. The course  "Introduction to Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities" gives students an overview of causes, prevalence, and treatments of disabilities in this category. 

As the number of people living with disabilities grows, so does the need for understanding and support of this population in our communities. By offering these courses to students it is the goal of CLD to educate and inform the next generation of leaders on the importance of these perspectives. 

CLD Partners with Parent to Parent of Georgia to Present Grand Rounds 


This fall CLD will partner with Parent to Parent of Georgia (P2P) to present a Project Delivery of Chronic Care (Project DOCC) Grand Rounds session.  Project DOCC connects pediatric residents with families that have a child with a disability who is medically fragile.  Residents spend time in the homes of these families to experience a glimpse of life with a loved one who has on going medical needs.  The Project DOCC parents mentor the residents about the importance of communication and partnering with patients’ families to build relationships that foster ongoing supports and care.  In addition to mentoring, the parents are asked to present their perspectives at an esteemed grand rounds. This is a formal hospital meeting for medical education to an audience consisting of doctors, residents and medical students. 
The Project DOCC Grand Rounds will take place on November 14th from 8:00 – 9:00am, at the Steiner Building on the Grady Hospital Campus. Ann Hazzard, Ph.D., coordinator for the Emory resident's clinical experiences, will also invite residents from the Morehouse School of Medicine to attend.  A panel of 4 Project DOCC parents will  present with Dr. Jen Zubler, who is a CLD faculty member, board certified pediatrician and graduate from CLD's GaLEND program. Topics to be covered are diagnoses, daily living needs, family dynamics, and the financial impact on families.  

Stacey Ramirez, Director of Individual and Family Supports says, "Judging from the conversations that have been had in preparation for grand rounds, this promises to be a powerful panel of parents who are sure to influence medical professionals in understanding the importance of family centered care."

The mission of P2P is to support Georgia families and individuals from the ages of birth to 26 impacted by disabilities or special health care needs.  For more information on their work across the state visit their website at

Community Advisory Council Welcomes Three New Members

CLD's Community Advisory Council (CAC) has added three new members to its list of leaders and advocates in the disability community. These new members are David Blanchard, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD),  Tangye Teague, Special Populations Coordinator for the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA)  and Paige Tidwell, Vocational Preparation Services Coordinator for the GVRA. 

These new members bring with them many years of experience and new perspectives on methods of empowering and supporting people with disabilities and their families. Susanna Miller, Community Support Specialist with CLD commented, “I am excited that DBHDD has announced a new representative for our Community Advisory Council and that we have added another important state partner, GVRA. These new members will enhance the already collaborative nature of the CLD and provide valuable advising to the work that we are doing.”

The Community Advisory Council ensures that the perspectives of people with developmental disabilities, family members, providers, and policy makers are included in the work of CLD. For more information on the CAC at the CLD visit

CLD Launches New Website


CLD is pleased to announce the launch of its new website. The new website is a one-stop for viewers seeking information about CLD programs, research and events. We hope users will find the home page and menu options more user friendly, accessible and easy to navigate. Be on the lookout for more video and other interactive elements int eh near future.

Communications Specialist Maria Pinkelton commented, "We believe that the new website will enhance our online presence and allow us to connect with the community in innovative ways. Our social media presence is strong and we are excited about the impact CLD can have in the digital world of disability"

Visit the new site at and send us feedback and suggestions and tell us what you think of the new look.
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 Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University. 

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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Center for Healthy Development , Center for Leadership in Disability 
College of Health and Human Sciences  - Georgia State University 
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