Collaboration addresses disparities in autism diagnosis for Black families, increases understanding of providing equitable care

Researchers from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD) and Meharry Medical College (MMC) are collaborating to better understand the diagnostic experiences of Black and African American families with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Though it is now possible to identify ASD in children as young as Read More »

VKC UCEDD Trainee Spotlight: Brittney Goscicki

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VKC UCEDD) trainee Brittney Goscicki is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Special Education. Her work has focused on parent and student advocacy, sex and gender differences in autism spectrum disorder, and how families of children with disabilities and schools can form effective, collaborative school partnerships Read More »

VKC UCEDD hosts policy advocacy training and shares stories from Tennesseans with disabilities on housing goals and experiences

Educate to Advocate: Building Relationships Each year, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center UCEDD Public Policy team hosts Educate to Advocate (E2A), a community training event that provides strategies and tools to promote disability policy education and advocacy. Conducted virtually in 2022, E2A focused its programming on the topic of building relationships. The evening began with a Read More »

What do we mean by “inclusion?”

A new editorial* published in the journal Autism and written by faculty and staff of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center examines the importance of terminology when discussing approaches to community engagement. The editorial outlines popular approaches that organizations often take to support inclusion of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and argues that many of Read More »

VKC UCEDD Trainee Spotlight: Michele Schutz

Michele Schutz is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Special Education, studying under faculty advisor Erik Carter, Ph.D. Her work with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has focused on improving transition and employment outcomes for youth with significant disabilities. In this interview, Schutz discusses why she became a UCEDD trainee, outlines her current research and Read More »

VKC at AUCD Conference: Award winners and poster round-up

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) faculty, staff, and trainees joined more than 1,000 participants at the 2021 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Conference, sharing research, training, and model services. Held virtually on Nov. 15-17, the annual conference focused its content on work that connects research and lived experience. Read about poster presentations and two Read More »

UCEDD Community Advisory Council crafts and approves VKC equity statement

During a 2020 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) Community Advisory Council (CAC) meeting, VKC Director Jeffrey Neul asked the group to help come up with a plan to increase the diversity of the VKC in a manner to better reflect the communities it serves. The CAC moved Neul’s charge forward and formed a Diversity Workgroup, chaired Read More »

VKC UCEDD trainee spotlight: Kara Charpentier

Kara Charpentier is a Peabody graduate student working on a master’s degree in Special Education on the Severe Disabilities track under Vanderbilt Kennedy Center UCEDD co-director Erik Carter, Ph.D. She is a 2021 Vanderbilt Consortium LEND trainee graduate and is now taking part in the UCEDD trainee program. Charpentier is currently developing her master’s thesis Read More »

Re-election of CAC officers and welcoming new members

Re-election of CAC officers and welcoming new members The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) is pleased to announce Tina Prochaska has been re-elected Chair of the VKC Community Advisory Council (CAC), and that Bryshawn Jemison has been re-elected CAC Vice-Chair. Prochaska (sibling, retired educator) and Jemison (self-advocate, Next Steps at Vanderbilt graduate) are driven by both Read More »

VKC CAC advises IDDRC, develops new conversation series on research in intellectual and developmental disabilities

A workgroup of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) Community Advisory Council (CAC) is focused on advising the leadership and research programming of the VKC’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC). The IDDRC workgroup provides input on disabilities research activities, including encouraging the inclusion of people with disabilities in clinical research* and developing a new Read More »