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CDCI Connects Newsletter – Issue 1 August 2018

Posted on the 08 August, 2018 at 3:29 pm Written by in News

Issue 1, August 2018

CDCI Connects: Welcome to our first issue!

We are thrilled to share the first issue of our new newsletter, CDCI Connects. The goal is to create a monthly publication to share news, events, and make connections between CDCI and our partners.

Each month we will:

  • Highlight a project, initiative, resource, or something else at CDCI.
  • Profile partners in the community and UVM.
  • Celebrate an achievement in accessibility or inclusion.
  • Share recent news and upcoming events.
  • Choose a theme connected to CDCI’s mission.

This month’s theme is the 28th anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). Passed on July 26, 1990, the ADA is a civil rights law for people with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, similar to protections made in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for “individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion” (from ADA National Network).

Last fall, UVM’s President Thomas Sullivan recommitted to the ADA by creating two taskforces to make recommendations for improving accessibility on campus. Jeanne Nauheimer, Ben Wimett, and I joined these groups recommending a strong connection with UVM’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence and that this work must be integrated into ongoing UVM operations. We were lucky enough to work with Amber Fulcher, UVM’s ADA/504 Coordinator and this month’s profiled UVM Partner, on these projects.

Thank you for connecting with us, and don’t hesitate to send ideas for future issues.

All my best,
– Jesse Suter, Director

Learn more about the ADA

CDCI Highlight: 5-Year Work Plan (2018-2023)

Every five years, CDCI creates a new work plan based on the needs of people with disabilities in Vermont and aligned with our mission and expertise. Our plan was written last year with input from CDCI faculty and staff, our Community Advisory Council (CAC), our partnering agencies, and community members. It was recently approved by our federal funding agency, the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), and the plan officially began on July 1!

Like the last, our work plan includes a broad goal for each of our 5 core functions: Teaching, Community Service, Research & Evaluation, Dissemination, and Infrastructure.

Whats new?
Based on feedback from the needs assessment there are several priority areas for the new work plan:

  • Support from Core: We now have coordinators for each of our five core functions to support our projects.
  • Embedding Inclusive Excellence: Promoting cultural diversity, equity, inclusion more explicitly in our work and developing our cultural and linguistic competency are priorities for each core function.
  • Annual surveys: We will gather info from CDCI personnel and our CAC each year to set priorities & evaluate progress.
  • Professional development: To support our growth, annual surveys will be used to target professional development needed.
  • Closer connections with our partners: It always comes down to relationships, and we are working on new ways to engage with our community and university partners.

I look forward to your questions and feedback on the new work plan, and I’m excited to get started!

Read our 5-year work plan

UVM Partner Profile:
Meet Amber Fulcher, UVM’s ADA/504 Coordinator

Amber has been connected to CDCI for many years through our Assistive Technology Tryout Centers. We were elated to find out last July that she was coming to the University of Vermont as the ADA/504 Coordinator within the university’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity. Amber is the kind of person you always want on your team. She has helped CDCI make changes to our office space to become more inclusive, and she has connected us with people and departments interested in improving accessibility around campus. Amber shared with us a little about her background and how she came to UVM, some of her current challenges, successes, and what she’s looking forward to in the coming year.

Read Amber Fulcher’s Profile

Community Partner Profiles: We want to hear from you!

We look forward to highlighting a community partner every month to help make more connections throughout Vermont. CDCI partners with many agencies and organizations to help improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities and to make our state and communities more inclusive to all.

In future issues, we will highlight partnerships with the Vermont Center for Independent Living, our DD Network counterparts the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council and Disability Rights Vermont, Voices of Vermont Children, and many more. If you would like to recommend a partnership or person to profile, let us know! You can email Jeanne Nauheimer with your suggestion.

Latest News

Wimett Receives 2018 Our Common Ground Staff Award

The Rutland-based Assistive Technology Access Specialist received the prestigious award for his commitment to inclusion and equity.

Read more about Ben’s award and the ceremony

Life Histories Project Releases Four New Videos

In collaboration with Green Mountain Self Advocates, CDCI’s Life Histories Project release four new, shorter videos about the lives of Vermonters who experience disability. Instead of highlighting the life of one Vermonter, this summer we released 2-3 minute clips about Vermonters with disabilities as they talk about topics affecting their daily lives. These videos discuss:

You can also watch these videos on CDCI’s YouTube Life Histories Playlist and see all of CDCI’s Life Histories at our Life Histories Archive.

St. Albans Boy Gets the Gift of Mobility

CDCI’s I-Team and Champlain Valley Union High School partner for a second time to remodel adapted power toy for early mobility.

Read More about the adapted toy and the project.

Accessibility Achievements

It’s been a busy year at CDCI in our pursuit of access and equity for all. We converted our bathroom from a three-stall women’s restroom to one that is powerchair-friendly and gender-inclusive. We broke out the measuring tapes and an ADA facilities checklist and started assessing our own space. We put up some new signs outside of Mann Hall to let people know where to find our accessible entrance. We even gave a presentation at [email protected] to encourage others to start making small changes in their office space in pursuit of Inclusive Excellence. Throughout all of our endeavors, we found other people around campus just as eager and interested in making changes. Now we want to hear about them!

We are in the business of celebrating the successes of our friends and partners, especially when they relate to making physical or digital spaces more friendly to all. Have you seen good work around accessibility or inclusion? We want to know about it! Please email Jeanne Nauheimer if you’d like to share the efforts of you or someone you know to make an environment more inclusive. We’d love to give you a shout out in an upcoming newsletter!

Disability in the Arts

There are growing opportunities to learn about the lives of people with disabilities through arts and media. Here we highlight a few that people are talking about at CDCI this summer.

At CDCI, the Life Histories Project shares the stories of Vermonters with disabilities told through speech, in writing, through art, or video, and saved for posterity. This partnership with Green Mountain Self-Advocates was started in 2011.

This year, CDCI will host a film screening of “Intelligent Lives” described as “a catalyst to transform the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation into a life of possibility for the most systematically segregated people in America.” (Date and location to be determined.)

Our community partners have held some amazing events in the past year. VSA and the Flynn Center partnered to showcase artwork by people with disabilities at the recently concluded Flourish Exhibit. Last May, Champlain Community Services held “Belonging: An Evening of Stories” with true stories and live music.

Two new podcasts share stories of people with disabilities who also identify as members of other marginalized groups. Their stories help us better understand diversity among people with disabilities, and the effects of having multiple identities and “intersectionality.”

UVM is also promoting Inclusive Excellence through the arts. 

  • Each year, incoming UVM undergraduates are given a book to read. This year that book is “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Written as a letter to his son, he describes his experiences growing up as a black man in the U.S. Members of the UVM community are encouraged to read the book and incorporate into their work this year.
  • UVM Diversity Partnership with Flynn Center. The Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs through the UVM President’s Initiative for Diversity and the Flynn Center offer $10 tickets to the UVM Community (UVM ID required) for 14 performances in the Flynn 2018-19 Season (see two in Upcoming Events below).

Upcoming Events

A selection of events hosted by CDCI, our partners, or others of interest to our community.

We’d like to let our readers know about the events of our friends and partners. If you would like to get the word out about an upcoming event, please email Jeanne Nauheimer.

Zoe’s Race: 1K, 5K, & 10K for Making Homes Accessible

Sunday, August 26
8:30 am – 1K FUN RUN • 5K RUN/WALK 10K RUN – 9:00am

Howard Center’s Zoe’s Race is a 1K fun run and 5K walk/run, and new this year an anniversary 10K option, designed to raise funds for Vermont families who are in need of creating accessible homes for their children. This event was started by our own Erika Nestor, Director of Major Gifts for the College of Education and Social Services at the UVM Foundation.

Pride Parade & Festival

Saturday, September 8, 2018, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Battery Street Park, Burlington, VT
The Pride Festival is one big party in Battery Park. It’s a place for the entire community – LGBTQ+ and ally – of all ages, races, and backgrounds to come together. Colorful, showstopping performers (Drag! Dance! Comedy! Poetry! Burlesque!) will be sure to entertain on stage while the park is filled with fabulous vendors with info and activities (and food!) for all.

Vermont Education Equity Conference

Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 8:30am – 4:30pm
Capitol Plaza, Montpelier, VT

Public Education That Works for All Children, Building an equity agenda for our schools, communities, and state. The purpose of the conference is to create a learning and contributing opportunity for educators, youth, parents, community leaders, policy makers, and advocates toward development of an education equity agenda. Learn more and register for the Vermont Education Equity Conference.

Podcast Storytelling – Stories From Vermont

September 20, 2018, 4:00pm – 6:00pm
John Dewey Lounge, Old Mill, University of Vermont
Want to learn more about how to share your work through storytelling and technology? Join host of podcast ‘Rumble Strip Vermont’ Erica Heilman and VPR’s managing editor for podcasts Angela Evancie as they discuss the art of audio storytelling.

Assistive Technology Makers’ Fair

Saturday, September 29, 2018, 8:00am-4:30pm
Concord, NH

The AT Makers’ Fair will inspire participants to become creative problem solvers, bringing together makers of all abilities to share ideas, develop new skills, and enhance innovations for persons with disabilities.

Spectrum Dance Theater: A Rap on Race

Saturday, October 6, 2018 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Flynn Center, Burlington, VT

A dance theater piece based on a 1970 conversation between writer James Baldwin and anthropologist Margaret Mead. Spectrum is composed of artists from diverse backgrounds and makes world-class dance accessible to all audiences. Sounds amazing and only $10 with UVM ID (sponsored by UVM President’s Initiative for Diversity). Purchase A Rap on Race tickets from FlynnTix.

Ping Chong, “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity”

Thursday, October 25, 2018, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Flynn Center, Burlington, VT

Beyond Sacred is an interview-based theater production exploring the social challenges faced by young Muslims— at school, at work, and anywhere else. The five young performers hail from diverse backgrounds, reflecting a wide range of Muslim identities. The performance culminates in a post-show talk. $10 with UVM ID (sponsored by UVM President’s Initiative for Diversity). Purchase tickets for Beyond Scared from FlynnTix.

College Inclusion Summit: Supporting Academic Success for Students with Autism and Related Learning Differences

November 5-7, 2018
Davis Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VTIn its second year, this is an intensive three-day gathering for professionals working with campus-based and independent programs that support degree-seeking college students with Autism and related learning differences. CDCI is co-hosting this event with Mansfield Hall and the College Autism Network. Learn more and register at the College Inclusion Summit website.

Copyright © 2018 Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, University of Vermont, All rights reserved.

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