Welcome to the Sonoran UCEDD


Congratulations, Class of 2021!

We wish the graduating members of the 2020-2021 cohort of Sonoran UCEDD Trainees all the best for their hard work and accomplishments over the past year. They faced extraordinary challenges but met them head on.

From left: Kayla Tilicki, Jordan Gotwalt, Daniel Hernandez, Laasya Vallabhaneni, Leah Guerrero, Mahkyla Howes, Kai Glahn, and Haley Arnold


Haley Arnold

Kai Glahn

Jordan Gotwalt

Daniel Hernandez

Mahkyla Howes

Kayla Tilicki

Laasya Vallabhaneni



Leah Guerrero

To see some of what they worked on over the past year, please watch the trainee presentations from the 3rd Annual Trainee Symposium. Our graduating trainees and their peers did a fantastic job.

Congratulations, Class of 2021! We look forward to seeing what you will do next.

Arizona’s UCEDDs Collaborate, Provide Support for National Events

April 30, 2021

Arizona’s University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) helped support two virtual conferences, the 2021 African American Conference on Disabilities (AACD) and the 17th Annual American Indian Disability Summit.  

Both events were highly successful and attracted interested attendees from across the United States! 

The University of Arizona Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities and Northern Arizona University’s Institute of Human Development worked with conference and summit organizers to implement virtual versions of typically in-person events. 

Both the Sonoran UCEDD and the Institute for Human Development are thrilled to continue to collaborate to support the DD community in Arizona and across the United States.  The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our lives in countless ways, but both Arizona UCEDDs are committed to leveraging new opportunities for wider collaboration and increased support, based on the needs of the DD community.  

We know that our strength comes from our interconnectedness—both with each other and with the people and communities that we support. 

2021 African American Conference on Disabilities 

Congratulations, Yumi Shirai!

Yumi Shirai - An smiling Asian woman with long, dark hair wearing glasses. April 27, 2021

ArtWorks Director Yumi Shirai was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Research Fund this year. In collaboration with the Creative Arts Interest Network of the American Association of Intellectual and Development Disabilities, ArtWorks is partnering on the project conducting a mixed methodology study on technology use in creative art organizations who support people with IDD.  

Yumi recently shared some thoughts about her upcoming research and why creative expression is so important.  
Q: As an award recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Research Fund, what will your research project be about? 

Yumi: With the funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, we are extending our study with colleagues from the Creative Arts Special Interest Network at the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Michelle Thompson, MS, OTR/L and Tamara Shetron, PhD where I am serving as the chair. This project is titled Role of Technology in Creative Activities of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Access, Inclusion, Visibility, Connection, and More.