2019 AUCD Conference Engages Leaders to Lead Change

AUCD CEDDERS CORE Developmental Disabilities

Over 1,100 people from around the United States and internationally participated in the 2019 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Conference in Washington D.C. from November 17th to November 21st, 2019. The theme, “Leading Change Together,” focused on how people with and without disabilities come together to celebrate the many ways to lead change as an organization that works with diverse communities and people through research, practices, and advocacy that impacts a broad spectrum of disabilities. The extensive pool of resources and knowledge in one setting ignited interesting discussions and generated ideas on how to implement new program services as well as to enhance existing services to better serve individuals with disabilities and their families.

During the conference, AUCD also hosted a meeting with Julie Hocker, Administration on Disabilities Commissioner, who provided insights on the administration’s initiatives: increasing life expectancy of individuals with disabilities, health education, healthcare, and post-secondary transition services.

The AUCD is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs. Network members consist of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) receiving core funding from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD); 43 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Programs receiving core funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB); 15 Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers (IDDRC), receiving core funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD). These programs serve and are located in every U.S. state and territory and are all part of universities or medical centers. They serve as a bridge between the university and the community, bringing together the resources of both to achieve meaningful change.

On November 21, AUCD facilitated a US Territories University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities in Education, Research, & Service (UCEDD) Directors’ meeting that was attended by UCEDD Directors and Staff Members from Guam,
Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the US Virgin Islands. Pictured from the front row (LR) Carol Pagan, Puerto Rico UCEDD Director; Jennifer Castro, Saipan UCEDD Director; Kimberly Mills, Virgin Islands UCEDD Director; Pamela Sablan, Saipan Developmental Disabilities Center Director. Second row (L-R) Michelle Aguigui, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director; Shamika Thomas, Virgin Islands UCEDD Program Coordinator; Dawn Rudolph, AUCD Senior Director of Technical Assistance & Network Engagement; June DeLeon, Guam CEDDERS Interim Director; Tafa Tua-Tupuola, American Samoa UCEDD Director.
On November 20, AUCD hosted a UCEDD Director’s meeting with ACL Commissioner Julie Hocker. US Territories’ UCEDD Directors are pictured with the ACL Commissioner. (L-R) June DeLeon, Guam CEDDERS Interim Director; Jennifer Castro, Saipan UCEDD Director; Julie Hocker, ACL Commissioner; and Tafa Tua-Tupuola, American Samoa UCEDD Director.

Guam Congressman Meets with Guam CEDDERS Leaders

AUCD CEDDERS CORE Developmental Disabilities

The “Hafa Adai spirit” and gracious welcome from Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas and his wife, Mrs. Kathy San Nicolas, could be felt in our nation’s capital as CEDDERS Interim Director June De Leon and CEDDERS Associate Director Michelle Aguigui visited the Congressman in his office in Washington D.C. during the AUCD Hill visits on November 21th. Surrounded by the classical ambiance of the “Tunnel Restaurant,” the afternoon was filled with networking and educating our Congressman on topics that were discussed during the 2019 AUCD Annual Conference, such as increasing life expectancy of individuals with disabilities, improving healthcare, and post-secondary education transition services. The Congressman also shared the various initiatives that he is working on to increase services for individuals with disabilities residing on Guam.

On November 21, CEDDERS visits Capitol Hill. (L-R): Michelle Aguigui, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director; Kathy San Nicolas, wife of Congressman; June De Leon, Guam CEDDERS Interim Director; and Michael San Nicolas, Guam Congressman.

AUCD Leadership Academy Shapes the Future of Disability

AUCD Developmental Disabilities

Guam CEDDERS Training Associate, Josephine Cruz, was one of 24 participants selected from across the nation to attend the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Leadership Academy.  The AUCD Leadership Academy was held at Georgia State University from June 28 through June 29.  The goal of the Academy was to cultivate 21st century leaders for the disability movement through a focus on strengths-based and authentic leadership that promotes collective impact.  The Courage and Renewal principles and practices were used as a framework for the training.  Participants had the opportunity to tour the National Center on Civil and Human Rights and to meet disability self-advocates who are at the forefront of the national disability movement including Liz Weintraub, You-Tube star of Tuesdays with Liz:  Disability Policy For All and Jeiri Flores, Self-Advocacy Discipline Coordinator.  In addition, participants were able to network and share leadership challenges with other leaders in the disability movement in their allied groups.  The Academy provided valuable learning experiences that will facilitate and sustain the leadership at Guam CEDDERS.

L-R: Dr. Valerie William, Director, Center for Learning and Leadership University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; Dr. Daniel Crimmins, Director, Center for Leadership in Disability; Josephine Cruz, Guam CEDDERS Training Associate; Andrew Imparto, JD, Executive Director, Association of University Centers on Disabilities.
L-R: Liz Weintraub, AUCD Senior Advocacy Specialist and You-Tube star; Josephine Cruz, Guam CEDDERS Training Associate.
AUCD faculty prepare for training. L-R: Matthew Williams, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Forum for Theological Exploration; Mark Crenshaw, MTS, Director of Interdisciplinary Training, Center for Leadership Disability.
AUCD Leadership Academy trainees, faculty, and guest speakers pose for a group photo after touring the National Center on Civil and Human Rights.

September 2015 Guam CEDDERS Advisory Council Meeting

AUCD Self-Advocacy
Photo of Guam CEDDERS Advisory Council Meeting on September 18, 2015.
The Guam CEDDERS Advisory Council held its quarterly meeting on September 18 at the GSAT Center. In addition to the regular agenda topics, the Council previewed two recently Guam CEDDERS produced videos: “Visitability,” and “Ta Fan Acompredi: 10 Tips for Communicating with People with Disabilities” which was produced in collaboration with Guam Legal Services Disabilities Law Center.
Attending the meeting were (clockwise, starting top left): Erlinda Tydingco, Chairperson; Josie Guerrero; Maria Bontogon; Mara San Nicolas; Rosanne Ada; Hank Parker; Therese Crisostomo; June De Leon; Dr. Heidi San Nicolas; Ben Servino; and Terrie Fejarang.

Territorial Reps Provide Overview During UCEDD Directors Retreat


Territorial UCEDD Reps Meet with AUCD Leaders



Representatives from territorial UCEDDs pose for photo.
Representatives from the University Centers on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) from the U.S. territories met with Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Board Members and staff after the association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. on November 13, to provide an orientation on each of the entities and to begin discussions on the collective and unique needs of the group. Seated (L-R): Tafaimamao Tua-Tupuola, American Samoa UCEDD Direcotor; Floyd Masga, CNMI UCEDD Project Coordinator; Leslie Cohen, J.D., Sonora UCEDD Director and AUCD President; Olivia Raynor, Ph.D., Tarjan UCEDD Director, UCLA & AUCD President-Elect; Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director. Second Row (L-R): Annie Alonzo Amador, PsyD, Puerto Rico UCEDD Director; June De Leon, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director; Carol Salas Pagan, PsyD, Puerto Rico UCEDD Associate Director; Rachel Paterson, AUCD Policy Manager; Tanisha Clark, AUCD Program Specialist; Kelly Roberts, Ph.D., Pacific Basin UCEDD Director. Back Row (L-R): Andrew Imparato, J.D., AUCD Executive Director; Yegin Habtes, Ph.D., Virgin Islands UCEDD Director; Dawn Rudolph, AUCD Director for Technical Assistance; Michael Gamel-McCormick, Ph.D., AUCD Associate Executive Director for Research & Policy.
People at meeting looking at presentation on screen.
Floyd Masga (standing) describes programs and services available in the CNMI during the Territories Meeting with AUCD Board and staff members.