AUCD Network Members Provide Expertise to Develop Inclusion Principles and Guidelines for People with Intellectual Disabilities

April 11, 2018

On December of 2017, several members from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) network, along with other professionals from various backgrounds, convened to form the Inclusive Health Project Workgroup. The purpose of this workgroup was to assist in creating inclusion principles and guidelines for implementing health-related activities for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). These principles and guidelines would serve to support national-level organizations to adopt and promote inclusive approaches to health for people with ID, and provide useful information for organizations on how to foster inclusion of people with ID in national organizations. This exceptional workgroup, which encompassed of directors and specialists from University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), used both their professional and individual experiences in the realm of disabilities/ID to develop the Foundational Principles for Sustainable Inclusion of People with Intellectual Disabilities.

The start of this project began when Special Olympics International and its implementing partner AUCD, hosted the "Inclusive Health Forum" in May 2017 in Washington DC. The purpose of the event was to discuss how organizations can collectively have a profound impact on the health of people with ID by ensuring that people with and without ID have the same opportunities to be healthy. Later, Special Olympics partnered with AUCD and the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) to create inclusive health resources, where one of the resources identified to be developed were inclusion principles and guidelines. Prior to the workgroup, an environmental scan was conducted by AAHD to identify examples of existing disability inclusion principles, guidelines, and resources on including people with ID in health-related activities. The results of the scan provided the workgroup with an understanding of what resources were currently available and identified the gaps.

Workgroup members began working diligently to provide their feedback and advice on essential components they felt should be included in the principles and guidelines, along with supporting resources. One of the most common advice among the workgroup was to intentionally include people with ID in all aspects of programming (planning, implementation, and even evaluation). They also stressed the importance of including family members and support persons of people with ID.

In March 2018, the project concluded with the final draft document submitted to Special Olympics to be packaged and is expected to be available for the public in the near future.


Inclusive Health Project Workgroup Members


Jack M. Brandt, MS

Disability Policy Specialist
Partnership for People with Disabilities
Virginia Commonwealth University

Jack Brandt is the Disability Policy Specialist at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University, a position he has held since 2010. Mr. Brandt was a Disability Rights Advocate at the Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy from 2008 to 2010, and a Disability Policy Consultant for the State of Virginia from 2006 to 2008. He was also a Virginia Governor's Fellow at the Office of Community Integration for People with Disabilities in 2006. Mr. Brandt served on the Virginia Community Integration Advisory Commission and the Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council. He received the Colorado Award from the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services in 2013, the Participatory Action Research Award from The Arc of the U.S. in 2012, and the Jackie Crews Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities in 2006. Mr. Brandt was first appointed as a member of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in 2010 and he was appointed Chairman in 2016. Since 2016, he has served as Co-Chair of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities' Council on Leadership and Advocacy. Mr. Brandt received a B.A. from James Madison University and an M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Nell Coonen-Korte
Special Olympics MN Athlete/Ambassador and SONA Health Messenger
Special Olympics Minnesota

Nell has been involved with Special Olympics Minnesota for the past 13 years. Nell has completed many courses and emerged as one of Special Olympics MN top leaders. Her Global Messenger and Health and Wellness Ambassador training has taken her to Washington, DC to speak to executives within the healthcare industry, bringing awareness about the need for better healthcare for those with disabilities. Recently, she traveled to Atlanta, GA to speak to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to spread the message about the need for the healthcare system to be more inclusive for those with and without disabilities. Nell works at the Special Olympics Minnesota state office as a part-time receptionist. She enjoys giving speeches, advocating for others, reading, arts and crafts, and exercising. When she's not working, Nell likes to participate in swimming, bowling, track and field, bocce ball, and powerlifting. In addition to sports, she is also involved with the Athlete Leadership Program (ALPs).

Leslie Cohen, JD

Assistant Professor/Director
Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities
Department of Family and Community Medicine
University of Arizona

Leslie Cohen graduated with a bachelors degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a juris doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law. She practiced law in the area of civil litigation for many years in both the private and public sectors. Leslie's experience includes over ten years as Executive Director of the Arizona Center for Disability Law, Arizona's protection and advocacy system. She has been a long-time member of the Arizona's Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, including as Chair of its Public Affairs Committee. She has served as a consultant to organizations in Arizona and nationally on a wide variety of strategic planning, management and substantive disability issues and as a peer program reviewer for the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Center for Mental Health Services. Leslie is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and adjunct faculty at the Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona.

Sara Lyons, MPH, CHES
Program Analyst, Health and Disability
National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

Sara Lyons has lead the Health and Disability Program at NACCHO since October 2016. The program provides local health departments with the tools and resources needed to successfully include people with disabilities in all local health department activities. Sara has her Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University at Albany School of Public Health and her Bachelor of Science from the University at Buffalo. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

 

 

 

Ilka Riddle, PhD
Assistant Professor/Director
Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati /University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities

Ilka Riddle, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Director of the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCCEDD), housed in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. She received her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Delaware, with a focus on disability and its impact on families. Dr. Riddle is interested in systems change activities and health policy as they relate to accessibility and inclusiveness of individuals with disabilities in health care and recreational settings and health care transition of youth and young adults with disabilities. Over the last twelve years, she has been the principal investigator and co-investigator on numerous federally and state-level funded grants addressing health care access, health care transition, health promotion and disease prevention for individuals with disabilities and improving service systems for children and youth with special health care needs.

Lindsey Catherine Mullis, MS
Health & Wellness Director
Human Development Institute
University of Kentucky

Lindsey is the Health & Wellness coordinator for the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky and partners with the Kentucky Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities and the Centers for Disease Control Disability and Health branch to promote healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities and the communities that serve them across the state of Kentucky. She holds her bachelors in both psychology and exercise science from Transylvania University along with her masters in health promotion and a certificate in developmental disabilities from the University of Kentucky. Lindsey has worked with the HealthMatters Program team at the University of Illinois at Chicago to become an Advanced Certified Instructor for the HealthMatters Program. She is currently in the process of pursuing her PhD in Health Education Sciences with a planned dissertation on sexual health and sexuality of individuals with disabilities and serves on the University of Kentucky Sexual Health Promotion Lab. Lindsey is also a certified Health Promotion Clinical Director for the Special Olympics.

Derrick K. Willis, MPA
Associate Director
Iowa University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
Center for Disabilities and Development
University of Iowa

Derrick K. Willis, MPA, is the Associate Director of Iowa's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCED), Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), at the University of Iowa. Prior to joining CDD, Derrick served as Director of Urban Mission at the Institute for Human Development, Missouri's UCED, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Derrick has over 30 years of experience in working at non-profits, state government and higher education. Derrick's career has centered on at-risk youth and families from diverse backgrounds living in urban communities. Derrick has experience working in the areas of mental health, recreation, education, employment and Cultural Competency. He has experience in developing program, administration, and evaluation of grant-funded projects from local, state and federal funders. His work has been recognized nationally by The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), and The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) along with a host of other organizations in the state of Missouri.