We’ll have more details after CPD Consumer Liaison Gordon Richins returns from Washington, DC, but you heard it here first—Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities wins the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) 2014 Council on Consumer Advocacy (COCA) Award!
Barbara Fiechtl, clinical instructor in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation and a faculty member for the Center for Persons with Disabilities’ (CPD) Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) project, presented a poster at the recent Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) conference.
The poster, titled “Parent-Directed Consultations via Videoconference: Participant Feedback,” examined a URLEND project designed to provide trainees with interdisciplinary experience, as well as the opportunity for direct experience with families.
“Not many of the other LENDs are doing something like this,” Fiechtl said. “With the poster, we tried to explain how we set it up so other places could do it.”
The project allowed LEND trainees in far-flung locations to work together with parents to offer treatment and intervention suggestions for their children with disabilities. Utah and Idaho each had trainees in two locations, while North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming each had one location. The sites were linked via remote connection, including computer, web cam, microphone and speakers, set up by Utah TeleHealth. The consultations ranged in length from 75 minutes to two hours.
“The trainees get a list of concerns from the parents about two weeks before the videoconference,” Fiechtl said. “The trainees then volunteer to find out the information.”
Trainees are learning communication skills, as well as learning how to interact with other professionals on a team. One trainee commented, “I really liked the ‘interdisciplinary’ feel of the whole process and that the comments and suggestions had relevance across the disciplines. I liked hearing what others had to say and what suggestions were being made and felt like it ended up being a session that had a ‘well-rounded’ feel with suggestions from a lot of perspectives.”
A parent said, “It was great to have so many people available with so many different specialties … Everyone involved seemed like they were prepared with information on our son and ready to give feedback and suggestions. Everyone seemed to genuinely care about us as a family even though they didn’t know us. Everyone was kind and empathetic.”
Fiechtl said when the project began six years ago, there was one videoconference scheduled each semester. Now, there are 10-12 each semester.
2012 marks the Center for Persons with Disabilities’ 40th year Anniversary.
We employ over 200 people who work on 79 projects that all focus on improving the lives of people with disabilities and their families through research, education, services and technical assistance. The CPD covers a 12-state area and has touched an entire generation of people with disabilities who have received services from our programs or have been affected by programs we actively support through training and technical assistance. An Annual Report outlines the accomplishments of the Center each year.
The CPD is also Utah’s University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).
UCEDDs were created in 1963 to support people with intellectual disabilities. Currently authorized under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and coordinated by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), UCEDDs are a resource for Americans with a wide range of disabilities.
The AUCD has compiled their 2012 UCEDD Brochure that outlines the functions and recent accomplishments and locations of the nation’s 67 UCEDDs.
The following are some of the accomplishments, on average, over the past five years, of the national
network of UCEDDs:
• Provided professional preparation for working in the disability field to over 2,000 students annually.
• Provided technical assistance and training each year to over one million health, education, mental health, and policy-making professionals, as well as people with disabilities and their families.
• Provided direct (clinical or other) services to more than 700,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and/or their families annually.
• Conducted nearly 3,000 research projects each year whose results may benefit people with disabilities.
• Developed and disseminated over 7,000 different publications annually to bring the most current information to professionals and the community.
The CPD is proud to be part of this valuable network.
A number of programs important to people with disabilities and families may be affected by federal budget cuts that are currently in debate in the House of Representatives. The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is concerned about the possible drastic cuts that could eliminate domestic discretionary programs that provide essential services to people with disabilities.
The AUCD is seeking personal stories that demonstrate how these cuts would impact people with disabilities, including specific impact statements that show the affect to districts, states and the nation. Impact stories/statements can be sent directly to Kim Musheno at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go online for further information about the discretionary funding cuts.
AUCD is part of a large coalition of disability, health, education, and research organizations banded together to advance policies and practices for and with people with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and their communities.