Welcome to the Sonoran UCEDD

Announcements

Introducing a New Four-Year Collaborative Project: Career Pathways to Arizona's Future

Career Pathways to Arizona's Future Logo

The Sonoran UCEDD is pleased to announce a new four-year project funded by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Rehabilitation Services Administration. 

Wendy Parent-Johnson, PhD, director of the Sonoran UCEDD and Susan Voirol, program manager of Employment First and Transition Initiatives, received the multi-year, multi-million dollar for a project focused on improving post-school outcomes and employment rates of high school youth with disabilities.  

This will be done through the delivery of effective Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS).

The project, implemented in collaboration with vocational rehabilitation, schools, and adult service providers across the state, will respond to this need using a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach.

A Statement from the Sonoran UCEDD

The recent tragic murders and continual assault on Black lives has brought to the forefront what Black communities have known and experienced for generations in this country. Racism exists and is pervasive in the policies and practices of our institutions. The justified anger, frustration and pain has led to civil action across the nation and real potential for systemic change.

Together as staff, we reflected on the impact of these events on us personally and in the context of our work. We engaged in difficult conversations about structural racism and our responsibility as a Center to address racial injustice. We see this as an opportunity for us to do better. An opportunity for us to play an active role in creating meaningful and positive change at the individual and systemic level.

We acknowledge that many people with disabilities and their families are confronted with the realities of racism whether in their everyday interactions or their ability to access and receive quality services and supports. Among the disability community, people of color are disproportionately impacted in the criminal justice, education, health and other systems of care. As disability advocates, we recognize that racial justice is also disability justice.  

As an organization, we are committed to amplifying the voices of individuals from marginalized groups. We will tackle racial disparities through our programs and initiatives to impact service delivery practices, policies, and outcomes. We will partner with communities and engage people with lived experience to inform and monitor our work. We will hold ourselves accountable through on-going assessment and community feedback. We will continue to intentionally engage in self-reflection and open, honest discussions as an organization, to address systemic inequities.

We stand with Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other communities of color in the fight for racial equity. We recognize the strengths and resilience of these communities. We are ready to listen, learn and take action together to achieve real change and justice.

In solidarity,
Sonoran UCEDD Staff

Understanding Distance Learning’s Impact on High Needs Students

A young Asian boy looking at a tablet device at a table.

A three-part webinar series is bringing together parents and guardians of high-needs students to share stories of their child’s distance learning experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal of the series is to provide families with a forum to share their experiences, challenges and successes with distance learning, to ask questions about what comes next, and to hear form Arizona education advocates and leaders about resources and self-advocacy.

Arizona school districts had to transition quickly to distance learning in March after Governor Doug Ducey closed schools through the end of the school year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The transition posed a challenge to educators as to how to deliver education to students and to families who had to facilitate learning at home.

Among the challenges parents and guardians faced were navigating the medley of different communication tools used by schools to conduct learning, limited one-on-one time for individual students, and the one-size fits all approach to teaching which posed challenges for students with high needs.