Each year, NH-ME LEND trainees are challenged to expand their leadership skills and advance their knowledge of the system by partnering with disability organizations across New Hampshire and Maine. This year, 5 of 17 leadership projects are situated within the Institute on Disability (IOD) in New Hampshire and the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) in Maine. Both organizations are members of the national network of University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and are home to the NH-ME LEND program.

At the IOD, multiple trainees are engaged in leadership activities connected with grant-funded projects. Krista Gilbert (family discipline) is working with Stacy Driscoll on Raising Awareness to Influence Safety in Employment (RAISE) to develop and implement a supplemental training that includes accommodations and assistive technology for persons with disabilities in the workplace. Sierra Riley (social work) is collaborating with Heidi Cloutier (Center for Excellence in Children’s Behavioral Health) on Creating Connections State Youth Treatment Implementation for Youth and Young Adults with Substance Use Disorders and Co-Occurring Disorders (SUD/COD). She is developing resources and tools to grow family support within the substance abuse recovery community in New Hampshire. 

At UNH-4U, a two-year residential Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, trainee Jade Doherty (occupational therapy) is engaging with faculty, working with the inaugural cohort and their peer mentors, and learning firsthand about successful postsecondary transition.

At CCIDS, Maine trainee Anita Tevanian (family discipline) is impacting the lives of people with disabilities by learning to support policy topics through conducting research, creating and providing testimony from her parent perspective, and following up with constituents.

Over the past two years, the IOD and CCIDS have jointly partnered with numerous NH-ME LEND trainees to develop their skills in program development and evaluation through NH-ME ECHO SCOPE (Supporting Children of the Opioid Epidemic), a National Training Initiative delivered virtually through a telepractice model known as Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO). The NH-ME LEND trainees are fortunate to experience these rich collaborations with their state UCEDD as a core component of their LEND experience.

To learn more about these important projects and their work, click on the embedded links above.