A Communication Aid for Emergency Personnel

Images of Connecticut Partners in Policymaking 2020

A Communication Aid for Emergency Personnel

The UConn UCEDD center staff through a collaboration with the CT Council on Development Disabilities developed a flipbook for emergency personnel which supports people with unique access or functional needs.  UConn UCEDD staff and CT LEND students further enhanced this tool by creating a communication aid for emergency personnel. This communication aid enhances communication between first responders and children and adults with disabilities during an emergency. Through this work, firefighters, police officers, active members of ambulance services, emergency mobile psychiatric services personnel, and mental health crisis intervention services personnel are able to better meet the needs of a child, youth, or adult with disabilities when verbal communication might be hindered. Included are techniques for serving and interacting with those with autism spectrum disorder, cognitive impairment, and nonverbal learning disorders.  The bill requires emergency personnel to carry this communication aid in their vehicles beginning in January 2020.


This communication aid has been produced to meet the requirements of CT P.A. 19-147 and funded by The University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities through cooperative agreement #90DDUC0071-01-00 with the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Materials and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities or the Department of Health and Human Service's position or policy.


For more information please contact :

Heather Petit

Administrative Manager



IN OUR SHOES – PART II Partnering for Quality Healthcare with Persons with Disabilities

Images of speakers of IN OUR SHOES – PART II Partnering for Quality Healthcare with Persons with Disabilities

Join us for an interactive panel presentation with guest speakers who have disabilities.

Date: Monday, December 2, 2019

Time: 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Location: UConn Health Rotunda

Sponsored By:

The UConn Disabilities Interest Group, UConn Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), and the Connecticut Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (CT LEND).

Please register for this panel presentation at:


If you require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact the UConn Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at 860-679-1595 or jozef@uchc.edu by Monday, November 25, 2019. 

Please contact Tara Lutz at lutz@uchc.edu with any questions.


Drs. Ann and Rud Turnbull Speak at CT LEND Seminar

Images of Ann and Rud speaking with the LEND class

Drs. Ann and Rud Turnbull from the Beach Center on Disabilities at the University of Kansas presented at a recent CT LEND seminar. Drs. Ann and Rud Turnbull are national leaders on disability issues and spoke with LEND students about family quality of life as a critical outcome of early education and on the core competencies of disability policy, organizing principles, and the principle of dignity. We are so grateful for their time, expertise, and enrichment of our LEND program.

Now Enrolling: Interdisciplinary Training for Early Intervention Professionals Specialist Program

Three images of children playing

About the Interdisciplinary Training for Early Intervention Professionals Specialist Program (EISP)

EISP is a personnel preparation grant funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The focus of the program is aimed to increase the number of qualified personnel across disciplines who currently provide services in the Connecticut Birth to Three (IDEA Part C) system. The students who complete this free program are eligible to receive the Connecticut Infant, Toddler, Family Specialist Credential.


Requirements of the program will be individualized based on previous experience, education degree (Master’s/Bachelor’s) and current role in early intervention. The goal of these Master’s level courses is to enhance the knowledge and skills of professionals currently working in the field of early intervention.

Training Model:

  • Three web-based interactive Courses
  • Monthly Community of Practice Meetings
  • Applied training competencies and consultation

Training Format:

  • Twelve month long program
  • Three courses 15 sessions each
    -Family-centered Practices
    - Evaluation and Assessment
    - Intervention Strategies

Application Requirements:

To enroll in the program you must:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Currently be employed as an early intervention provider in Connecticut
  • Be providing services in high-need communities
  • Have access to a computer


If you are interested in enrolling in this program or if you have questions, please contact Gabriela Freyre-Calish at (860) 679-1563 or email at freyre@uchc.edu.

For more information including testimonials and a summary of previous student data please view the program flyer.

LifeCourse Planning: How Families Can Support Seamless Transitions from School to Adulthood

Please come join us for an intensive learning opportunity for families of individuals with disabilities age 14 and older
This training will help you plan appropriate steps toward your child’s future. This is an intensive four session learning opportunity, plus one additional session for follow-up*.
Session 1 – Wednesday, October 30, 2019 — from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Session 2 – Saturday, November 2, 2019 — from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Session 3 – Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Session 4 – Saturday, December 7, 2019 – from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
*Reunion in early 2020 – Date to be determined

Advance registration required by Wednesday, October 23, 2019
This training is free, however you will be expected to commit to attending all four sessions, plus the additional follow-up session.
Please register for this training at:

LifeCourse Planning Flyer

5th Annual Connecticut Secondary Transition Symposium: Every Voice Matters.


Friday, September 20 & Saturday, September 21, 2019
Central CT State University, New Britain
A conference designed to build the capacity of educators and other professionals, in partnership with middle and high school students with disabilities and their families, to improve secondary transition programming and services leading to successful post-school outcomes for students with disabilities.


Connecticut Secondary Transition Symposium flyer

Click on the link below to register!
Early Bird Registration by September 1, 2019 – $35 for both days!

LEND Graduate selected as AUCD Emerging Leader

Tom Cosker

Tom Cosker, LEND graduate has been selected as a AUCD Emerging Leaders.  Each leader requires actively listening to and respecting people with disabilities/disabled people and their needs and wants within our communities. Tom was selected for inclusion based on his contributions to the AUCD network, how he has demonstrated leadership, and values and commitment to diversity, inclusion, and respect for others. 

To read more about the selection please visit https://www.aucd.org/emergingleaders/Connect/2019_Emerging_Leader_Profiles#tomcosker

Dr. Cristina Mogro-Wilson appointed as Research Director for UCEDD

Cristina Wilson

Dr. Cristina Mogro-Wilson has been appointed Research Director at UConn Health, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).  Dr. Wilson will provide interdisciplinary leadership to the UCEDD, university, state and nation by identifying, developing, and evaluating research initiatives that benefit persons in Connecticut influenced and affected by developmental and other disabilities. She will work on developing, directing and implementing a wide variety of research and evaluation activities under the UCEDD’s five year strategic plan.