The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) is a member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), a national network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities. AUCD publishes its monthly online newsletter, AUCDigest, which includes information about people and programs, activities and resources throughout the network. CDD regularly submits articles for publication in the Digest to share our news with other members of the network. Articles in the Digest are sometimes picked up and published by other news sources, including the Federal News Brief of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS). Following is a list of some articles recently published in the AUCDigest:

New Hippotherapy Program Benefits Iowa – January 2015

Title: New Hipppotherapy Program Benefits Iowa Children with Disabilities

Intro: Katie Jo Risma, a physical therapist at the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD-Iowa's UCEDD) recently completed her first year of providing hippotherapy, serving seven Iowa children with physical disabilities ages 3-13 over the course of three six-week sessions. Hippotherapy is a technique that utilizes the dynamic movement of a horse to assist patients in reaching their therapy goals. It is a billable service under both public and private insurance.

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Iowa Conference Provides Opportunity to Learn about Self-Advocacy – November 2014

Title: Self-Advocacy Movement Gains Momentum in Iowa

Intro: More than 100 attendees, exhibitors and volunteers from across Iowa participated in a self-advocacy conference entitled, "Make Your Mark," in Coralville, Iowa, from October 1 to 3. The conference provided an opportunity for Iowans with disabilities to learn and grow as advocates and agents for change. ID Action, a project of the Iowa DD Council, which focuses on citizen advocacy and civic participation, hosted the conference. Mike Hoenig, an advocacy program coordinator at the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), Iowa's UCEDD, served on the conference planning committee and provided technical assistance throughout the event. CDD also served as a conference sponsor and exhibitor.

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Iowa UCEDD Shares News of Entrepreneurs with Disabilities – October 2014

Title: Iowa Self-Employment Publication Showcases Successful Entrepreneurs with Disabilities

Intro: The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), Iowa's UCEDD, recently released "Thinking Outside the Employment Box," a publication that tells the stories of 18 entrepreneurs with disabilities and the diverse businesses they have created. Each story describes the genesis for the business, the resources brought together to support the business, and the benefits of business ownership for each entrepreneur.

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Iowa Partnerships Promote Consumer Inclusion in Public Health Planning – September 2014

Title: Iowa UCEDD Partnerships Result in Improved Consumer Inclusion in Public Health Planning 

Intro: Each of Iowa's 99 county health departments received a comprehensive list of community-based employment and supported living disabiltiy service providers in their county, courtesy of Iowa COMPASS, Iowa's statewide information and referral service, which is housed at the Center for Disabilities and Development.

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Iowa LEND Trainees Receive Leadership Award – July 2014

Title: Iowa LEND Trainees Receive 2014 Alfred Healy Leadership Award in Developmental Disabilities

Intro: The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), a part of the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, is proud to announce Kelly Schieltz, Ph.D., and Rachel Nash, MPH, are the 2014 recipients of the Alfred Healy Leadership Award in Developmental Disabilities.

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Iowa's Information and Referral Database Receives National Recognition – June 2014

Title: Iowa COMPASS Receives National Recognition as Model Website

Intro: Iowa COMPASS, a program of the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), Iowa's UCEDD, was recently recognized as a model website in a report produced by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), a national association that determines quality standards for information and referral agencies.

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Iowa Partnerships Support Paralympic Team USA – April 2014

Title: Iowa UCEDD Partnerships Help Bring Paralympic Gold to Team USA

Intro: When Team USA captured the sled hockey gold medal at the Paralympics in Sochi on March 15, veteran staff members from the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), Iowa's UCEDD, experienced a particularly strong sense of satisfaction. They recognized that in a small, yet significant way, the UCEDD played a part in this achievement. 

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Iowa Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council Hosts Summit – March 2014

Title: Iowa Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council Hosts Successful Policy Summit

Intro: The Iowa Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council hosted a day-long, statewide disability policy summit near Des Moines. Entitled "Preventing Disabilities and Ensuring Access to Care," the summit attracted nearly 130 government officials, consumers, family members, and private and public agency representatives. Participants worked together to identify priority needs in Iowa and offer consensus policy recommendations. 

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Partnerships in Iowa Sustain Mental Health First Aid Certification Training – January 2014

Title: Mental Health First Aid Certification Training Reaches Major Milestone in Iowa

Intro: Mental Health First Aid Certification provided by instructors at the University of Iowa began with funding from the Community Circle of Care (CCC) project. CCC is Iowa's first SAMHSA-funded Children's Mental Health Systems of Care grant. The Iowa Department of Human Services, Child Health Specialty Clinics (Iowa's Title V program for children with special health care needs) and the Center for Disabilities and Development (Iowa's UCEDD), partnered to provide consumer and family driven services in a 10-county region in northeast Iowa, which proved highly successful and cost-effective in meeting the needs of children with serious emotional disturbances. Though Federal funding ended in September of 2012, the model was sustained through funding from the Iowa legislature and the establishment of billable services.

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Psychologists Use Distance Technology to Deliver Training in Iowa – November 2013

Title: Telehealth Brings Behavior Analysis to Iowa Families

Intro: Psychologists at the University of Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), Iowa's UCEDD, are combining clinical expertise and distance technology to deliver applied behavior analysis (ABA) training for Iowa families of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities.

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Iowa LEND Director Recognized for Audiology Research – September 2013

Title: Iowa LEND Director Recognized for Newborn Hearing Screening Research

Intro: The 2012 Editor's Award for the American Journal of Audiology will go to a team of researchers led by Lenore Holte, Ph.D., CCC-A, Iowa LEND Director and Clinical Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa.

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Iowa Partners Host Self-Advocacy Event – July 2013

Title: Iowa DD Network Partners and Local Grassroots Organization Hosted a Successful Self-Advocacy Event

Intro: On June 13 and 14, Peer Action Disability Support (P.A.D.S.) hosted Iowa's first-ever self-advocacy summit. Nearly 60 self-advocates representing seven organzations attended. P.A.D.S. was one of the three organizations selected from among 17 applicants to receive an AIDD self-advocacy organizational development grant to provide peer-to-peer technical assistance to other self-advocacy groups in 2013.

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Iowa Fragile X Clinic Open House Offers Training – May 2013

Title: Iowa Fragile X Clinic Open House Offers Training While Fostering Peer Support

Intro: On April 13, the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), Iowa's UCEDD, hosted an open house for families of children with Fragile X syndrome. According to Dianne McBrien, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and medical director of the University of Iowa Children's Hospital Fragile X clinic, approximately 70 people, including many extended family members, attended.

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Iowa LEND Trainees Promote Disability Awareness – April 2013

Title: Iowa LEND Trainees Partner with Iowa Children's Museum to Heighten Disability Awareness

Intro: On March 2, four Iowa LEND trainees, 15 University of Iowa physical therapy students, and a group of community volunteers held a two-hour disability awareness event at the Iowa Children's Museum. Children participated in a variety of hands-on learning opportunities, which included navigating an obstacle course using a wheelchair, walker or stander, performing tasks or playing games while experiencing a simulated sensory impairment, interacting with therapy dogs, and reading and writing braille.

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Iowa's Used Equipment Referral Service Facilitates Community Inclusion – January 2013

Title: Iowa's Used Equipment Referral Service, a Program of the IA UCEDD/LEND, Saves Persons with Disabilities and their Families over $1 Million in 2012 while Facilitating Community Inclusion

Intro: Iowa's Used Equipment Referral Service (UERS) is an online listing service, which allows users to post free ads for adaptive equipment they wish to buy or sell. UERS is maintained by Iowa COMPASS, Iowa's statewide information and referral service for disability-related programs. Funds to support UERS come from the Iowa Program for Assistive Technology, housed at the University of Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development, Iowa's UCEDD. 

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Iowa LEND Trainees Engage in Community Service – November 2012

Title: Iowa LEND Trainees Gain Practical Experience through Iowa Mission of Mercy

Intro: Sixteen Iowa LEND (ILEND) trainees were among the hundreds of volunteers who assisted with this year's annual Iowa Mission of Mercy (Iowa MOM) free dental clinic in Davenport, Iowa October 5 and 6. As volunteers, ILEND trainees helped patients write thank-you notes and complete exit surveys, and served as interpreters for individuals with hearing impairments and those individuals whose native or primary language was one other than English. One trainee who served as an interpreter summed up her experience by saying, "I was able to talk with people from all over Iowa…I learned about their stories, struggles and their overwhelming gratitude for the health care they received at Iowa MOM. It was inspirational to watch dentists and students on their feet all day, providing high quality services to people who were otherwise unable to receive services and to hear people share their joy about their new smiles."

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Iowa LEND Program Partnership – August/September 2012

Title: Iowa LEND Program Creates a Promising Partnership with Upward Bound

Intro: An innovative partnership between the Iowa LEND (ILEND) program and the University of Iowa Upward Bound Project promises to increase the number and diversity of students who participate in ILEND training activities and go on to pursue careers in developmental disabilities. Through the partnership, ILEND trainees will have the chance to develop their leadership skills as they mentor Upward Bound (UB) students during the academic year, and the UB students will have the opportunity to learn more about the field of developmental disabilities and participate in job shadow activities with ILEND trainees and staff.

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Assistive Technology Legal Project – April 2012

Title: Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology Promotes System Change in Iowa

Intro: How many exceptions to policy does it take to change a system? Just a couple, if you're counting the number of times Iowans with disabilities, and their family members and advocates, have pursued formal cases for exceptions to Medicaid policy to cover the cost of enclosed beds to protect their health and safety. But according to Professor John Allen of the University of Iowa College of Law, it takes a lot more when you're "fighting from the margins" to change an established practice of exclusions and limitations of services.

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IPAT/UERS – March 2012

Title: Iowa's Program for Assistive Technology Grows through Innovation and Collaboration

Intro: The Iowa Program for Assistive Technology (IPAT) just completed its first year of sending weekly tips to hundreds of webmasters throughout the state. These web tips detail how to make websites more accessible and more usable for individuals with disabilities, and how to assure sites are 508 compliant. IPAT will re-offer the initial series of tips and begin work on a second, more advanced round.

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COMPASS – February 2012 ("Member Spotlight" feature)

Title: COMPASS – Iowa's New Disability Resources Database

Intro: People from Dubuque to Council Bluffs, Des Moines to Davenport, Sioux City to Iowa City, all really like Iowa COMPASS and its newly redesigned disability resources database. They like the new database website because it's so easy to navigate, even from their cell phones. They like using the new “Browse Categories” feature to search through thousands of services records in the database. They like knowing they can call a COMPASS Information Specialist to help them search if they need assistance. In fact, Iowa COMPASS is so likable, the disability resources database has more than 150 friends on Facebook! Iowa COMPASS is the state's one-stop resource for information about disability-related programs and services.

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SueAnn Morrow – November 2011

Title: Iowa's UCEDD Hires the Nation's First Employment Specialist for the Money Follows the Person Initiative

Intro: Continuing to support efforts toward becoming an Employment First state, Iowa's UCEDD has hired SueAnn Morrow as an employment specialist to support the state's Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. Nationally, she is the first employment specialist hired with 100% federal dollars to support a state's MFP program.

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Ann Riley – October 2011

Title: Ann L. Riley, MSN, Deputy for Administration at Iowa's UCEDD Joins National Advisory Board for Workforce Development

Intro: Most people who work at Iowa's UCEDD wear a variety of hats, and UCEDD Deputy for Administration, Ann L. Riley, is no exception. Recently, Ann has been wearing a new hat since she was recruited to join the National Board of Advisors for the College of Direct Support (CDS), an internet-based curriculum for direct support professionals. She joins representatives of other UCEDDs and organizations from around the country who serve on the National Board of Advisors to provide guidance to CDS in the development of new courses and tools for training and retaining the direct support workforce.

Read full article – August 2011

Title: Iowa UCEDD Launches Updated Training Information Website

Intro: The "face" of the Iowa Training Consortium has had a recent facelift. The website, Iowa's online resource for training and information on disability topics, not only has a great new look, but also features a number of dynamic new tools and resources to reaffirm its role as a mainstay of disability information dissemination for the state. The homepage of now includes recent news items of state, regional and national significance, featured training opportunities, and access to a variety of current and archived newsletters.

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Dr. David Wacker – July 2011

Title: Dr. David Wacker, PhD, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine (Iowa’s UCEDD), is This Year's Recipient of the College's Distinguished Mentor Award

Intro: Dr. David Wacker, professor of pediatrics and curriculum and instruction at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, is this year's recipient of the college's Distinguished Mentor Award. As Director of the Self-Injurious Behavior Specialty Team at Iowa's Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), and the Educational & Behavioral Consultation Service at CDD, Dr. Wacker has not only provided clinical services to patients at CDD and to individuals with challenging behaviors throughout the state, but also has worked with PhD students, UCEDD and LEND trainees, to train new generations of health professionals in this critically needed discipline.

AUCDigest July 2011
Article about Dr. Wacker’s award
More information about Dr. Wacker and his recent publications

Disability Resources Library – June 2011 ("Member Spotlight" feature)

Title: An Updated Learning Resource for All Iowans at Iowa’s UCEDD

Intro: The Disability Resource Library (DRL) at Iowa's University Center for Excellence on Disabilities has a brand new location and a 21st century attitude! The DRL recently moved to its new space just off the main lobby at the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD). Patients and staff now have easy access to the library's 4,500 resources in a state-of the art facility.

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