Congratulations to Our Aspiring Leaders!

June 17, 2024

The Connecticut Aspiring Leaders Academy’s concluded last week when the second cohort participants presented their capstones!

Congratulations to all of this years graduates!

If you would like to view their capstones, you can click here!

Connecticut Early Childhood Leadership Academy Meeting

June 11, 2024

Yesterday members of our Connecticut Early Childhood Intervention Leadership Academy met.
 
The objectives for the meeting were to: Identify the steps of strategic planning; identify what is needed to scale up and implement the practice, program, or policy, in multiple locations, service sectors or populations with fidelity as documented through an evaluation plan; and identify steps to sustain the scaled-up practice(s), programs, or policies with fidelity, fiscal accountability, and positive evaluation outcomes for all eligible infants and young children with risk conditions, delays, and/or disabilities and their families who represent diverse backgrounds.

 

June is Pride Month!

June 3, 2024

June is Pride Month! Each year, Pride Month is celebrated in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, which set into motion the fight for gay rights in the United States.

Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, you can celebrate Pride by attending fun, pride events, donating to an LGBTQ+ supporting charity, or even reading books or listening to podcasts about the history of Pride and gay rights.

Denzel Closs Awarded Goodwin University’s Community Service Award

May 23, 2024

A big congratulations to Denzel Closs, our summer intern and LEND Trainee, for receiving Goodwin University’s Community Service Award! The Community Service Award is presented to a student in recognition of their support of the mission of Goodwin University through dedication to community service.

The following words were said about Denzel by the presenter of the Community Service Award:

“While challenges can be daunting, individuals like our very own remind us that embracing our differences can lead to profound moments of self-discovery and validation. His work with the AFC provides a safe space for autistic youth and their families, where they feel valued, seen and supported. His journey inspires us to celebrate our differences, embrace our strengths, and create a world that values and uplifts all individuals. Our entire team is proud to recognize Denzel and all his hard work”

Way to go Denzel, we’re proud of you!

UConn UCEDD at the 9th Annual Connecticut Secondary Transition Symposium

May 14, 2024

On Friday May 10, 2024, we were honored to be a part of the 9th Annual Connecticut Secondary Transition Symposium. Our Consumer Advisory Council Co-Chair, Emily Ball, was featured in a breakout session, speaking about “Live Your Best Life: Planning your Future and Developing Your Vision for a Great Life.” Thank you to the State Education Resource Center (SERC), Connecticut State Department of Education, and Regional Educational Service Center for hosting such a wonderful event!

Celebrating National Volunteer Month

May 1, 2024

Picture of Michael Deckers

We concluded National Volunteer Month by asking Michael Deckers, our front office staff and volunteer at the UConn Health Information Desk, what volunteering means to him. Michael has been volunteering for over 20 years.

“I enjoy giving back,” he says. “When you’re volunteering, you’re helping someone and not expecting to receive anything. I do it out of kindness.” He offers an example of a time he helped someone in need while volunteering at UConn Health: “One time at the hospital I helped a woman get home after not having her cellphone set up and being unable to contact anyone. Two hours later after helping her set up her phone, she was able to go home. She was so thankful, it was so rewarding to help somebody in need.”

Thank you to Michael and all volunteers for offering their help everyday! Although it is no longer National Volunteer Month, we continue to celebrate and extend our gratitude to volunteers year-round!

Autism: Raising Awareness at the Connecticut State Capitol

April 30, 2024

Members of the UConn UCEDD had a great time at the Autism: Raising Awareness at the Connecticut State Capitol! We heard from CT state legislators and many advocates. Thank you to The Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity for hosting such a wonderful, informative event!

     
Gentleman giving a speech to a crowd Gentleman giving a speech to a crowd

This-Ability Art Exhibition

April 23, 2024

The UConn Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities celebrated the opening of the This-Ability art exhibit at UConn Health. The exhibit features art created by artists from Art Connection Studio (ACS), a vocational art program for people with disabilities. We were joined by Bruce T. Liang, M.D., CEO of UConn Health, Jeffrey Hines, M.D., Chief Diversity Officer of UConn Health, and Andre Rochester, UConn Health’s Art Curator and local artist, who spoke about the exhibit. Thank you to the artists, staff, and supporters who joined us for a lovely evening celebrating this beautiful artwork!

         

This-Ability Art Exhibition at UConn Health

April 10, 2024

As part of a collaboration between Art Connection Studio (ACS) and the University of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UConn UCEDD), the new This-Ability art exhibit has been installed at UConn Health. This exhibit displays art created by members of ACS, including a 15 ft. mural painted by the ACS artists and Emida Roller, a renowned local muralist. ACS is a vocational art program that is part of Vinfen Connecticut, an organization that provides services to adolescents and adults with mental health conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and behavioral health challenges. ACS teaches art skills to participants and helps them use their artistic skills to generate income. Artists are encouraged to express themselves through their art while building a long-lasting, supportive community with one another.

The exhibit can be viewed at UConn Health in the hallway connecting the Connecticut Tower and the University Tower. An opening reception will be held Thursday, April 18th from 4:30-6 PM, click here to RSVP for the reception!