Arizona UCEDDs Awarded AIDD Grants to Increase Diversity and Cultural Competency in the Disability Field

Network Partner Updates
DDNN Winter 2016/17

The Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) awarded Fall 2016 National Training Initiative funding totaling over $1 Million to 22 UCEDDs. The grants seek to build cultural competence capacity within and increase the diversity of leadership, staff, and governing bodies across the DD network. They also seek to increase the number of people from underrepresented communities who benefit from AIDD-supported programs and to improve the recruitment and employment of people from underrepresented communities within the UCEDD network. The two UCEDDs in Arizona received two of the four Minority Serving Institution Planning Partnership Grants, and IHD received one of 17 Diversity Fellowship Program grants.

Sonoran UCEDD and Tohono O’odham Community College Partnership
Sonoran UCEDD
University of Arizona

Tohono O'odham Community College logoThe Sonoran UCEDD and Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC), a tribal college located on the Tohono O’odham Nation in Southern Arizona, is developing a disability information, education and student exchange partnership. The goal is to forge a sustainable partnership to increase knowledge and skills of both UCEDD and TOCC students and faculty on disability, culture, services and supports benefiting diverse communities.  In addition to developing a plan for a well-defined partnership to achieve education and student exchanges, other objectives during the next year include facilitating student exchanges by bringing UCEDD trainees to TOCC to learn about the role of culture, custom and tradition and by creating mechanisms for TOCC students to participate in disability internship/trainee experiences with the UCEDD; conducting disability topic workshops with TOCC faculty, students and community on the Nation; and developing a curriculum and sustainable on-line disabilities studies course suitable for use by TOCC and other tribal colleges.   Adam Murry headshotAdam Murry, PhD (pictured right), Sonoran UCEDD Research Associate, is coordinating the project. Dr. Murry is a member of the Ft. Sill Chiricahua Apache Tribe, and he has worked with tribal communities on a variety of research and educational projects, most recently in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. His research interests include organizational development and mixed methods research to improve educational, employment, or health outcomes for Native American youth and adults.

IHD Receives Diversity Fellowship and Community Partnership Grants
Institute for Human Development (IHD)
Northern Arizona University

Diana Del Cid headshotThe Institute for Human Development was recently awarded a diversity fellowship grant to enhance efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented groups in the disabilities workforce.  The Institute will work with university departments on campus to recruit a first–year graduate student who is interested in a profession in the field of disabilities who is also a member of an underrepresented group.  Following these efforts, the Institute selected Diana Del Cid (pictured right) who is a first-semester graduate student in school psychology.  Through the fellowship, Del Cid will participate in university and state leadership events. She will continue her work with the IHD/Puente de Cuentos research project, which aims to enhance kindergarten readiness of young Spanish-speaking English language learners through the implementation of a dual language curriculum. Del Cid hopes that her involvement with the IHD will bring more awareness to the realities of mental health and disability issues within the community.

Navajo Technical University logoThe Institute also received a complementary award from AIDD that will establish a partnership between the Institute for Human Development and Navajo Technical University (NTU) in Crownpoint, New Mexico, with the intent to engage Navajo scholars in the field of disabilities.  This is an exciting opportunity, and staff and faculty at the Institute are looking forward to working with NTU to develop this partnership.