Sonoran UCEDD at the 2014 AUCD Annual Conference & Meeting

Sonoran UCEDD Updates
Winter 2014

The 2014 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Annual Conference – AUCD Unleashed: The Power of Engagement – was held NovLeslie Cohen receiving the 2014 Presidents Awardember 8-12 in Washington, DC. The Conference presented a great opportunity for Sonoran UCEDD faculty and staff to learn about the latest research and innovative practices in the disability field and to network with colleagues from across the country and territories.   A highlight for the UCEDD was the 2014 Presidents Award presented to Sonoran UCEDD Director Leslie Cohen, the outgoing President of the AUCD Board of Directors.

The Sonoran UCEDD presented as part of two concurrent sessions, three poster symposia, and two poster sessions as detailed below.  For a look at the full conference program and available conference materials, please go to

Sonoran UCEDD Concurrent Session:

Engaging bi-national communities to support a social business manufacturing medical devices: training, employment, and leadership opportunities for individuals with disabilities
Burris Duncan, MD, ProfeDuke Duncan presentationssor of Pediatrics & Public Health, Sonoran UCEDD
Heidi Pottinger, MA, MPH, DrPH candidate, UA College of Public Health
Francisco Kiko Trujillo, ARSOBO, Nogales, Mexico and Karin Shipman, ARSOBO

This session addressed the creation and sustainability of a cross-border innovative social business in Northern Mexico, ARSOBO. ARSOBO trains/employs individuals with disabilities to manufacture medical devices they use: all-terrain wheelchairs constructed by wheelchair riders, prostheses fabricated by amputees, and high quality hearing aids with solar-powered hearing aid battery re-chargers assembled by the hard-of-hearing. Each is sold for what families can afford to ensure pride of ownership and maintain dignity.

Healthcare Transition Updates from the Field
Ilka Riddle, PhD, University of Cincinnati UCEDD/LEND; Adriane Griffen, MPH, MCHES, AUCD
Steve Sulkes, MD, and Lisa DeLucia, DDS, Rochester NY UCEDD/LEND
Leslie Cohen, JD, Sonoran UCEDD

This session featured presentations from three Special Hope Foundation Grantees, including the Sonoran UCEDD on efforts to improve the health care transition for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Sonoran UCEDD Poster Symposia:

Transforming Training, Teaching and Outreach to Engage Diverse Stakeholders: Components of A Successful Interprofessional Learning Activity
The Active Engagement Among Health Science Students, Faculty, and Persons with DisabilitiesLeslie Cohen presenting poster
Lynne Tomasa PhD, and Leslie Cohen, JD

The University of Arizona Sonoran UCEDD was involved in the design and evaluation of an interprofessional activity for law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social work students since 2007. The activity was revised yearly based on an online evaluation and comments from students, faculty, and staff. The data demonstrates students have increased understanding and comfort levels with individuals with disabilities as a result of the activity.

Making It Real: What Research Tells Us About Social Inclusion
Parent-Mediated Interventions and the Effects of Maternal Sensitivity on Joint Attention Skills and Social Responsiveness in Young Children with Autism
Ann Mastergeorge, PhD; Chandni Parikh, Family Studies & Human Development (FSHD)

Parent-mediated interventions for young children with autism are considered to be an effective evidence-based treatment. This current study contributes to our understanding of targeted parent-mediated interventions as well as the influences of joint attention strategies that appear to influence maternal sensitivity. The findings suggest that as maternal sensitivity increases over time, children's joint attention and early language skills as well as responsiveness to social cues in the environment are enhanced.

Improving the Hand-off: A Collaborative Approach to Transitions Throughout the Lifespan
Creating a "Picture of a Life": Empowering and Supporting Foster Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities toward Positive Futures
Jacy Farkas, MA and LJacy presenting at AUCD conferenceynne Tomasa, PhD Sonoran UCEDD
Melissa Kushner, MSW, AZ Division of Developmental Disabilities

Youth with disabilities in foster care are at a severe disadvantage in moving toward successful adulthood. Through a collaborative initiative with the Arizona DD agency and independent living centers, the Sonoran UCEDD is implementing a statewide program for foster youth with I/DD, offering person-centered plans (PCP) and self-advocacy workshops. This initiative evaluates the efficacy of PCP, facilitator behaviors, and cross-systems collaboration to improve outcomes of transition to adulthood.


Sonoran UCEDD Poster Session:

An Automated Language Environment Analysis (LENA) For Understanding Language Profiles in Young Children with Down Syndrome, Autism, and Typical Development
Chandi Parikh, AZLEND trainee, FSHDAnn Mastergeorge and Chandi Parikh sharing thier poster
Payal Anand, FSHD, Down Syndrome Research Group (DSRG)
Jamie Edgin, PhD, Sonoran UCEDD, DSRG, Psychology
Ann Mastergeorge, PhD, Sonoran UCEDD, FSHD

Understanding language profiles in young children with developmental disorders is critical for targeting early intervention. The use of the Automated Language Environment Analysis (LENA) provides information related to sixteen hours of vocalizations for each child with Down Syndrome, autism, and typical development. A description of LENA, developmental language profiles and implications these analyses have for engaging families in targeted language interventions were discussed in the poster.

Arizona's Annual African American Symposium on Disabilities: Engaging Underserved Populations, Increasing Meaningful Statewide Partnerships, and Taking it National!
Jacy Farkas, MA, Sonoran UCEDDJacy Farkas and Matthew Wangeman of NAU in front of poster
Renaldo Fowler, BS, Arizona Center for Disability Law
David Carey, BS, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living

The African American Symposium on Disabilities has been a one-day conference providing culturally relevant information and resources to self-advocates, families and professionals. What started as an Arizona DD Network and Independent Living Center collaboration, has grown to include individuals, local organizations, and state agencies related to disability and from the greater community. The poster shows its humble beginnings, strategies to engaging underserved populations, measuring success, and national expansion.