Sonoran UCEDD Welcomes Newest Staff Member, Melissa Kushner

Sonoran UCEDD Updates
Melissa KushnerSpring 2017

The Sonoran UCEDD is pleased to announce that Melissa Kushner has joined the UCEDD as a Senior Program Coordinator. Previously, she worked for the Arizona Department of Economic Security for 21 years, 18 of which were with the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).  Her primary career focus has been working with and advocating for children and youth with developmental disabilities in the foster care system.  As the liaison between DDD and the Department of Child Safety (DCS), she was instrumental in the development and implementation of programs for youth with developmental disabilities aging out of the foster care system to prepare them for the transition to adulthood.  Melissa is certified in instructional system design and has devoted much time to training DDD and DCS staff, Arizona Assistant Attorney Generals, community groups and service providers.  Ms. Kushner has a bachelor’s degree in social work and sociology, and obtained her master’s from the Indiana University School of Social Work.

Melissa’s expertise in developing and implementing trainings and her experience with key service systems brings valuable assets to the UCEDD. She is the coordinator for three UCEDD projects highlighted in this issue: the Creating a “Picture of a Life” with Transitioning Youth with DD in Foster Care, the Future Care Planning Project, and Project I-AADAPT. Melissa is based in Phoenix, which has allowed us to continue to expand our reach throughout the state.

Please join us in welcoming Melissa to the UCEDD family!