CT ASPIRING LEADERS ACADEMY 2023-2024 Applications being accepted

May 5, 2023

The CT State Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education and The University of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) are accepting applications for the academy.

This academy is designed to assist in the preparation of future local special education leaders. The academy will prepare educators interested in special education leadership roles through a competency-based program as illustrated by state and national speakers, learning activities, and a capstone project. Expert and peer mentoring will also be available to participants. There is no cost to join this academy.

If you are interested in participating, please complete the application (link below), which requires including a recommendation from your special education director. If you have question, please contact Paula DeMichiel at demichiel@uchc.edu

The application link


Congratulations to the CT Aspiring Special Education Leader Graduates

April 3, 2023

On Saturday April 1st Cohort 1 of the CT Aspiring Leaders in Special Education Academy completed their yearlong competency based curriculum with capstone presentations. Rud Turnbull, John Eisenberg and Brian Klimkiewicz provided remarks on leadership qualities to the graduates.


CDC: Autism rates on the rise, especially among minorities

March 28, 2023

Autism rates across the country continue to climb, but for the first time, the demographics of children diagnosed with the developmental disability are starting to shift in a big way, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A report out on March 23rd  the federal agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that 1 in 36 children, or 2.8%, have autism.

#WorldDownSyndromeDay #LotsOfSocks March 21st

March 20, 2023

On March 21 we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day! This is a day to come together to celebrate Down syndrome and raise awareness. There are many ways to get involved with the National Down syndrome Society (NDSS) on World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD)

The odd socks campaign was conceived as the 3 strands of Chromosome 21 just happen to look like socks.

Use #WorldDownSyndromeDay to post on social media

Colorful socks

The World mourns the passing of Judy Heumann

March 9, 2023

The World mourns the passing of Judy Heumann, Disability Rights Activists

Judith “Judy” Heumann—widely regarded as “the mother” of the disability rights movement—passed away in Washington, D.C. on the afternoon of March 4, 2023. Judy was at the forefront of major disability rights demonstrations, helped spearhead the passage of disability rights legislation, founded national and international disability advocacy organizations, held senior federal government positions, co-authored her memoir, Being Heumann, and its Young Adult version, Rolling Warrior, and was featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary film, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution.

National Early Childhood Intervention Personnel Development Equity Center Awarded to UConn

February 21, 2023

‘At UConn inclusion and belonging is woven into everything we do’

UConn School of Medicine’s Mary Beth Bruder, Ph.D. has been awarded a $10 million federal grant by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education, to provide technical assistance to increase equity in the delivery of early childhood intervention services to infants and young children from diverse backgrounds who have disabilities or developmental delays.

The new Early Childhood Intervention Personnel Development Equity Center is national in scope, and will be working with state systems of early childhood intervention, and institutions of higher education (IHE) who prepare the workforce to provide these services.

$10 Million for National Early Childhood Intervention Personnel Development Equity Center Awarded to UConn


More than 1,000 people in CT with autism are on a waiting list for services. Could a change in the law help break that logjam?

February 15, 2023

"A bill introduced in the state House of Representatives is short and technical, but it could have major implications for people with autism, more than a thousand of whom are on a waiting list for state services such as housing and personal care.

The bill, "An Act Concerning a Definition for Developmental Disability," would add a definition of the term to the general statutes and change "intellectual disability" to "developmental disability."

Read here: More than 1,000 people in CT with autism are on a waiting list for services. Could a change in the law help break that logjam? – Hartford Courant