A New Year for the IOD’s Leadership Training Programs

In September the NH Leadership and NH-ME LEND programs kicked off their program years.

The NH Leadership Series Class of 2019 has gotten off to a fantastic start in September. Since the start of the new year, they have hosted three sessions. In the first, one of New Hampshire’s most beloved advocates, Freda Smith, honored the class with her presence during the History Session.  In the 1980’s, Freda organized people to take a stand against the Laconia State School and institutions that warehouse and segregate individuals with disabilities. 

During the Vision session, Leadership participants heard from internationally renowned advocate and Ford Fellow, Judy Heumann (via video conference) about her life and accomplishments.  Dan Habib shared his family’s story to a riveted class as they learned about the importance of having a vision to create positive outcomes. 

Most recently, the NH Leadership class met for the Organizing, It Starts With You session presented by Linda Quintanilha, a former Leadership graduate, group leader, and member of ABLE NH, where participants were challenged and stretched beyond their comfort zone to create positive change.

NH-ME LENDThe NH-ME LEND program welcomed the newest cohort of 23 trainees, 17 from New Hampshire and six from Maine to the yearlong leadership training preparing them to enter the field of maternal and child health and improve the lives of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. This year’s cohort includes trainees from varied backgrounds, including self-advocates, parents, siblings, and extended family members, as well as those from the fields of community health, communication sciences and disorders, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, social policy, sociology, and social work.  Profiles for each member of this talented cohort can be found on the IOD website. The program held their annual team building day at the beginning of September, one of the few when all trainees are in the same room. The trainees have begun their clinical and leadership field placements across NH and Maine, and are excited for the upcoming year.