Sonoran UCEDD at the 2017 AUCD Annual Conference & Meeting

Sonoran UCEDD Updates
Winter 2017-2018

group of different cactus plantsBe sure to check out our lastest CACTI blogpost! Sonoran UCEDD interdisciplinary trainee, Clare Emmert, shares her experience at the 2017 AUCD Conference.

The 2017 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Annual Conference – Lift Your Voice – was held November 5–8 in Washington, DC. Sonoran UCEDD faculty, staff and trainees attended the conference participating in a wide range of concurrent session and poster sessions. Sonoran UCEDD Director, Leslie Cohen, JD, was a panelist in the session “UCEDD Partnership Planning Grants with Minority Serving Institutions” with other network leaders reflecting on the outcomes of a yearlong planning grant for three UCEDD programs. Sonoran UCEDD presentations at the poster sessions included:

  • trainee, Clare standing in front of posterPerson-Centered Planning for Youth with IDD Transitioning out of Foster Care: Through the Lens of Foster Youth and Facilitators
    Clare Emmert, Sonoran UCEDD Trainee; Jacy Farkas, MA; Lynne Tomasa, PhD, MSW
    Clare Emmert, Sonoran UCEDD trainee, presented a poster about how person-centered planning (PCP) can guide and support the transition to adulthood for foster youth with disabilities. To better understand the planning process and the impact on foster youth and facilitators, the Sonoran UCEDD conducted interviews as part of the preliminary data collection of the Picture of a Life project. The data highlighted important processes, relationships, and perceptions about PCP that can inform future research with diverse and vulnerable populations.
    To view this poster, visit
    Pictured right: UCEDD trainee and Undergraduate DD Certificate student, Clare Emmert, presenting her poster.
  • Picture YOUR Life Academy: Collaborative Effort to Assist Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities to Gain Advocacy and Independent Living Skills
    Jacy Farkas, MA & Melissa Kushner, MSW
    Melissa in front of posterJacy Farkas and Melissa Kushner at the Sonoran UCEDD presented a poster on a collaborative effort to assist youth with disabilities and in foster care to develop the necessary skills to transition to adulthood. It is essential that youth have the opportunity to learn and practice advocacy and independent living skills. Through collaboration with Arizona independent living centers and council, a Title V agency, and DD network partners, the Sonoran UCEDD coordinated summer academies for youth with disabilities and in foster care in two locales. They presented data collected from youth participants, lessons learned, and efforts for sustainability.
    To view this poster, visit
    Pictured left: Melissa Kushner presenting the poster to AUCD conference attendees.
  • Advancing Person-Centered Planning in Long-Term Care: Lessons Learned from the Sonoran UCEDD’S Collaboration with Arizona’s Medicaid Program
    Jaze Sollars, MPH; Julie Armin, PhD; Jacy Farkas, MA; Leslie Cohen, JD
    Jaze and Julie in front of posterJaze Sollars, former Sonoran UCEDD trainee and current Program Coordinator, and Julie Armin presented a poster on person-centered planning in long-term care. This presentation describes the Sonoran UCEDD’s process for partnering with AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid program, to create and implement a uniform system for person-centered service planning that is compliant with the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) regulations across the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) and Managed Care Organizations (MCO). The poster displays findings from the collection of stakeholder input to date, discusses its strengths and limitations, and outlines next steps.
    To view this poster, visit
    Pictured right: Jaze Sollars (left) and Julie Armin presenting their poster on the Sonoran UCEDD’s collaboration with AHCCCS