MN LEND Manual

MN LEND Fellow Training Manual | 2022-2023 Cohort

MN LEND  Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
2019-20 MNLEND cohort standing together (plus some Leadership Team members).

Welcome!

This manual includes details about LEND, introduces you to people who are part of our program, and holds other information that will be helpful for you throughout the year.

What is MNLEND?

The MNLEND Program is a leadership education program funded by the US Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It is one of 60 LENDs across the nation. We collaborate with over 13 departments and centers at the University of Minnesota to train fellows in MCH Competencies .  

LEND provides interdisciplinary leadership training annually to Fellows of UMN graduate programs, its post-doctoral centers, and from the community-at-large. Being selected as a LEND Fellow is an honor and a privilege. Since its inception in 2009, MNLEND has supported over 230 long-term Fellows. Many Fellows have gone on to serve in prominent leadership roles in disability-related fields across Minnesota, the nation, and the world.

Your Fellow Cohort

Your MNLEND Fellow Cohort represents 16+ academic and experiential disciplines and a range of life backgrounds. This will be publsihed after orientation.

MNLEND Leadership Team

Amy Hewitt

MNLEND Director | Amy Hewitt, PhD, MSW

Professor Amy Hewitt, PhD, MSW, is Director of MNLEND and Director of the Institute on Community Integration (ICI), A University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). Dr. Hewitt serves on doctoral and master’s committees for students across a wide variety of academic and professional departments. Her responsibilities within the UCEDD include outcome and data reporting on the effectiveness of the UCEDD training program and post training leadership roles of ICI Fellows. She also directs several federal and state research, evaluation and demonstration projects in the area of direct support staff workforce development and community services. She has an extensive background and work history in intellectual and developmental disabilities and has worked in various positions over the past 30 years. Dr. Hewitt lives with an adult family member who has a diagnosis of autism and for whom she coordinates Consumer Directed Support Services through Minnesota’s Home and Community-Based Waiver Services. 

Jennifer Hall-Lande

MNLEND Associate Director | Jennifer Hall-Lande, PhD

Jennifer Hall-Lande, PhD, is a Research Associate with the Institute on Community Integration. She is currently the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s Act Early Ambassador for Minnesota. Dr. Hall-Lande’s principal research and community outreach activities have been focused on screening, assessment, and interventions for children at risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities. Additional areas of focus have been ASD prevalence rates in diverse Minnesotan populations and policy issues around children and adult ASD waivers. Further, Hall-Lande has a focus on outreach to culturally and linguistically diverse communities with an end goal of increasing screening rates and reducing the age of diagnosis for children from culturally and linguistically diverse communities across Minnesota.

Andy Barnes

Medical Director | Andrew (Andy) Barnes, MD, MPH

Andrew (Andy) Barnes, MD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he directs the fellowship program in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Barnes’s clinical work with children and families focuses on helping children gain mastery of their own mind-body interactions. Some of the ways that he helps children become more competent in this regard includes teaching them how to use biofeedback, mindfulness, and self-hypnosis to help themselves better regulate their own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Dr. Barnes’s research focuses on promoting resilience in children under stress and on the interplay between behavior and biology. His current work focuses on the health and self-regulation of children growing up in homeless families. Dr. Barnes also enjoys teaching pediatric trainees about self-regulation and the fundamentals of early child development and behavior, and he helps direct professional training in pediatric clinical hypnosis. He frequently presents and teaches on these topics at local and national symposia and conferences. 

Frank Symons

Acting Research Director | Frank Symons, PhD

Frank Symons, PhD. His research emphasizes understanding the severe behavior problems of children and adults with primarily developmental disabilities and emotional or behavioral disorders. For these two groups, much of his research has focused on self-injurious behavior and classroom aggression, respectively. The majority of his research has been observationally based, theoretically grounded in behavioral principles, and driven by a commitment to meaningful, functional outcomes. He has two current specific areas of interest. One is the development, assessment, and treatment of challenging behavior among children and adults with a range of neurodevelopmental and emotional and behavioral disorders. The other is the problem of pain among children and adults with significant cognitive impairments and associated developmental disabilities. Related areas of interest include observational research methods.

Rebecca Dosch Brown

ICI Director of Interdisciplinary Education | Rebecca Dosch-Brown, MFA

Rebecca Dosch Brown serves as a MNLEND faculty-mentor under the Family discipline. She also directs MNLEND data analyses, reporting and quality improvement (QI) efforts, especially in equity and inclusion. Rebecca further directs the UMN Disability Policy and Services graduate certificate program and leads its core course, OLPD 5356. 

Her larger ICI role is as an interdisciplinary education director. In this role, she helps develop interdisciplinary courses and spurs innovative research and training collaborations with UMN campus and community partners. 

Rebecca came to ICI in 2015 after 20+ years in higher education as a lecturer, teacher trainer, editor, and adviser both overseas and stateside. She is currently a PhD candidate in the UMN Humphrey School of Public Affairs, with a focus on youth policy at the intersection of race and disability. She is also the parent and active ally of her adult son who has a diagnosis of autism. Her work goal is to co-design and participate in transformative anti-ableist and anti-racist efforts, so as to build a more inclusive and just world for all

Emma Jackson

Program Coordinator | Emma Jackson, MPH 

Emma directs program operations for MNLEND trainees, faculty, and staff. She helps coordinate data collection for required funder reports and supports the OLPD 5356 course as well. As a former LEND fellow, she is excited to be supporting current fellows as they engage with LEND and continue to grow in their leadership journey. Emma has experience in program development, data analytics, and using art to build community. She also supports data collection for the ADDM Project. 

Macdonald Metzger

ICI Director of Outreach, Education and Training | Macdonald Metzger, MS, PhD

Macdonald Metzger, MS, PhD, has a Master's degree in Human Services and a specialization in Nonprofit Management and Leadership and a PhD in Public Administration. He has over five years of hands-on experience providing quality services and supports to people with disabilities in residential, vocational, and community settings. His personal connection to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, underscored by the memory of his elder brother, Amagashie, can be seen in every aspect of the passion, willingness, and commitment he has shown towards advocating for programs and services that promote the quality of life for people with disability. He has over ten years of work experience as a multimedia journalist. Previous employers include Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, MN Department of Human Services/MSOCS, Catholic Charities New York City, and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL Radio) as a Broadcast Journalist. Macdonald has also consulted and volunteered for various local and international nonprofit organizations including the International Center for Transitional Justice (New York/Liberia Program), Afrobeat Radio (WBAI 99.5 FM New York), and KFAI 90.3 FM (Minneapolis).

MNLEND Core Faculty

Core faculty members are faculty from affiliated departments who serve as liaisons between MNLEND and their home academic departments. Many will speak with you during Thursday Sessions this year.

Accommodations

If a fellow has a disability or health/life situation which impacts their participation in the MNLEND program, work with the inclusion counselors at University of Minnesota’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) for confidential disability advice and for seeking a formal accommodations letter.

Commitment to Diversity and Equity

The MNLEND program is committed to exploring, sharing, and embracing diverse Fellow, community, and faculty perspectives, working together through a range of varied viewpoints, and highlighting critical arenas where equity is not present.

We seek to train Fellows of all racial, ethnic, economic, disability, gender and sexual orientation, immigrant, religious, and educational backgrounds, etc., so that we may work together to reduce disparities and increase equity across NDD communities. Such diversity of cultures, languages, perspectives, and lived experiences enriches the learning experiences for all of us in MNLEND and helps us build excellence and innovation in NDD leadership in our disciplines and communities.

MN LEND fellows engaged in conversation with faculty member.

Types of Trainees

  1. Long Term Trainees (LTT) = Paid Predoctoral and Community Fellows
    • Must complete minimum of 320 hours of training and learning
    • See other requirements listed below
  2. Postdoc Long Term Trainee (LTT) = Paid Postdoctoral Long Term Trainees
    • Complete minimum of 1,788 hours between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022
    • Engage in 46 weeks of full-time training and professional development
    • Hours and traineeship stipend will be prorated to any later agreed-to start date and/or if the postdoc agrees to a lower FTE% appointment. This Postdoc level traineeship is considered to be a long-term trainee appointment by our funder, the U.S. MCHB, as in paid per NIH funding rates.
  3. Unpaid Medium Term Trainees (MTT)
    • Choose from the below components, based on interests, skill-level, and availability, through the design of an individualized leadership learning plan
    • Total commitment will range from 75-299 hours for the LEND year (July 2021 to June 2022)
    • Receive an MTT-level MNLEND certificate of completion (non-credit bearing) at the close of a successful training year, with proper documentation of training hours.
    • MTT are unpaid and are considered to be part-time trainee appointments by our funder, The U.S. MCHB.
  4. Unpaid Short Term Trainees (STT)
    • May join appropriate Thursday sessions virtually at the discretion of leadership team

Project List

Core Training Components

We will guide all Trainees through their requirements and options, step-by-step, with your strengths, skills, and interests at the center.

Canvas Page

The MNLEND Canvas Page is where we organize all of the content of your LEND year. You can access prep materials (readings, videos, podcasts, etc) for Thursday sessions here. It also has other important documents, like links to sign up sheets for conferences, documents you may want to reference again, and discussion boards. You will receive an email once the page is published and has been shared with you.

LEND Orientation

REQUIRED for LTT | Optional for MTT

Location:

Orientation will be held over two days and cover:

  1. Person- & Family-Centered Thinking Training; Human-Centered Design Session 1
  2. Orientation and Introduction to LEND Core Program; Meeting Leadership Team and Project Leads; Community building

MN LEND fellows attending a weekly session.

LEND Weekly Sessions

ALL REQUIRED for LTT | Optional for MTT

Thursday Mornings from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

These sessions will take place both in-person and via zoom, but an option to attend virtually if needed will always be available. See your LEND 22-23 Year Calendar in Google. LEND LTT are expected to attend all Thursday sessions. Exceptions must be pre-approved.

Each session features guest speakers who share a range of perspectives and time for interdisciplinary discussion. These sessions are the primary opportunity for LEND Trainees to share and discuss ASD/DD topics and process their interdisciplinary learning with each other and with the guests and faculty.

LEND Weekly Discussion Posts/Recordings

Each week you will also engage with materials to prepare for the session. These will be posted on canvas. You will write or record a reflection about what you learned from these pre materials on canvas to share your thoughts with other fellows. Instructions for how to record a video response using Flipgrid can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions document.

Individual Leadership Learning Plan (ILLP)

REQUIRED for LTT

Creating an ILLP gives you time to be thoughtful at the beginning of the year about what you will do as a LEND fellow to grow as a leader. And how you will incorporate the components listed here into your schedule. We will work on this together during our first Thursday session. You can also use this throughout the year to track your progress toward your goals.

Documentation of Training Hours

REQUIRED for LTT and MTT

All LEND trainees are required by our funders to complete a certain number of hours (see types of trainee section for exact number of hours). Throughout the year you must document what you spend time on by recording your hours. This helps us track what you are learning and how you are making an impact on our community. LEND hours might include research, community- based activities, observations at clinical sites, policy and advocacy work, Thursday session attendance, conferences, and self- directed learning. You will start recording your training hours in October. Details on how to record your hours and what to record can be found in the ‘LEND How-To Overview’ document.

LEND Project

REQUIRED for LTT | MTT need pre-approval to join any project

You will work on a project throughout this year. This could be from the list of projects included in the "Project List" Section of this manual or, if we have enough support for you, a project that you design. There will be a ‘project lead; who will guide and mentor you on this project. To help you choose a project, you will have the opportunity to meet with project leaders during orientation and your first Thursday session.

After learning about the projects, each fellow will rank 1-3 projects, and explain why the project matches well with their LEND goals. Project leads will select 1-3 fellows based on these explanations if any project proves too popular.

Note: If your assigned LEND Project Lead is NOT also your Faculty-Mentor as well, then their role is to focus on your project team(s)' work only. Project-Leads serve as guides on the specific projects and will not often know how to answer your questions related to LEND requirements.

CITI’s Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training may be assigned depending on the Project type you select. Consult with your Project-Lead to see if any RCR Core training is needed. It may not be needed for your project, but is an option free to you regardless in your LEND year.

Four MN LEND fellows on a zoom meeting discussing  books.

Interdisciplinary Clinic Observations

REQUIRED of LTT, visit 3 different sites minimum | MTT by pre-approval only

LTT must attend at least 3 different clinical sites minimum. Attending more clinical site visits are strongly encouraged for trainees who will be future clinical-based practitioners. One LTT visit must be to the Autism Spectrum and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (AND) Clinic (at the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain (MIDB)) and then LTT must select two different clinical sites to visit from the list.

Note: It is possible that supplemental online clinical training modules may be substituted for clinic visits for LTT, if time slots become limited for any reason.

Clinical site visits give LTT an exposure to assessment and practice in ASD/NDD across the disciplines. LTT will be engaged to think about the families’ experiences. LTT should complete the clinical observations throughout the academic year, beginning in October and finishing by early May.

Professionalism is expected during any in-person or online observational visits (i.e., LTT should never interrupt or speak in clinicians’ appointment during assessment time with families).

  • Dress professionally, stay off cell phones (and mute them), and do not wear perfumes or any scented products when attending in person (due to sensory sensitivities and/or allergies of children seen in clinic).
  • Discussion and questions to clinicians is often available after the family/patient departs, or you may follow-up with questions in a quick, polite email to the clinician. These visits are a privilege and our partnerships with clinicians are important to honor with utmost respect.
  • Proof of the two HIPAA modules’ completion must be shown in your online training log prior to signing up for any visits.

Sign up for visits are made available by a secure, private link to a google sign-up sheet typically in late September.

  • M Health Fairview Voyager Pediatric Specialty Clinicians
    • Dr. Robin Rumsey, ASD/NDD Clinic
    • Dr. Rebekah Hudock, ASD/NDD Clinic
    • Dr. Amy Esler, ASD/NDD Clinic
    • Dr. Andrew Barnes, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics
    • Dr. Hudock’s Therapy Groups (varies over the years: has been art therapy, ADHD parent support group, ASD support groups)
  • ICI Online Telehealth Lab
  • Other previous clinical observation sites have included:
    • St. Davids: Autism Day Treatment for East African Families
    • Pediatric Specialty Care Explorer Clinic (Genetics/Genetic Counseling)
    • Craniofacial/Cleft Palate Clinic
    • Julia M. Davis Speech-Language-Hearing Center
    • Audiology Lab
    • County pre-3/headstart
    • MPS Early Childhood Evaluations

LEND Mentoring

REQUIRED for LTT

LTT’s will meet with an assigned Faculty Mentor (possibly different from the Project Lead) throughout this year through a set number of informal conversations. Faculty-Mentors may be from our Core Faculty, Leadership Team, or (rarely) LEND Partners.

We aim to offer opportunities to build deeper relationships and learn from each other. Fellows will be provided with a list of possible questions/topics to guide the conversation - this will be available on canvas. Plan to meet with your mentor monthly, possibly in small groups.

Families and AdvocateS as Teachers (FAST)

REQUIRED for LTT | Optional for MTT

The Families and AdvocateS as Teachers (FAST) experience requires a minimum commitment of 10 hours of contact time for all LTT. Fellows will have some time to connect with advocates and families throughout the year through discussions integrated into Thursday sessions. Fellows may also potentially connect further with families if they wish.

(Un)Learning/Wellbeing Clubs

Optional for LTT | Optional for MTT

Fellows will have the opportunity to engage in conversations specifically around 1) self-care or 2) an (Un)Learning Club. You can choose which of these clubs you would like to engage with, possibly more than one. Fellows can attend as many of these as they wish but must complete at least 10 hours total over the year. This is an additional opportunity to build relationships with other fellows and expand your learning.

(Un)Learning Club

Create a group with your peers to engage with films, books, podcasts, or media of your choice. Meet every two weeks. All groups will begin by engaging with Alice Wong's Disability Visibility. You can read the book, engage with oral histories from the Disability Visibility Project, or listen to the Disability Visibility Podcast . Choose new books, movies, podcasts or other forms of media to engage with throughout the year.

Use the (Un)Learning Club Sign up sheet (find this in the ‘Sign Up Sheets section of canvas) to create your own group. You can find a time that works for you all. Plan to meet about once a month. More details on the how to document

MN LEND fellow displaying and reading a children's book.

Disability Policy and Services Course or Policy Advocacy Activities

REQUIRED for LTT | Optional for MTT

Each LTT is required to invest 60 hours towards the development of their understanding of core disability policies, services, and systems advocacy engagement.

Predoc LTT enrolled full-time in a graduate program at the University of Minnesota must register for the 3-credit Disability Policy and Services (OLPD 5356*) during the spring or summer semester. This is MANDATORY

All other LTT NOT enrolled as full-time graduate students at the University of Minnesota requirement can fulfill this requirement through one of the following options:

  1. Attend and participate in OLPD 5356* as an unregistered student with permission from the Instructor, Rebecca Dosch Brown, and then complete the course’s Policy Advocacy activity assignment only.
  2. Complete a Policy Advocacy activity assignment and also participate in a community-based learning experience (CBLE).
  3. Show documentation indicating either present or past participation in the “Partners in Policymaking” program sponsored by the MN Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.
  4. Enrollment as a continuing education (non-degree seeking) student in the Disability Policy and Services Certificate 12-credit program and registering with self-payment for the Disability Policy and Services course (OLPD 5356*) to receive graduate credit.

*The Disability Policy and Services Course (OLPD 5356) is offered through the UMN College of Education and Human Development in partnership with the Institute on Community Integration.

Credits: 3, Graduate Level Course

Time: Thursdays, from 4:40-7:20 p.m., beginning in late January until the first week of May. Also offered M-F, from 9:00 a.m. – Noon, as a summer semester two-week intensive session in mid-June each year.

Questions about the course and enrollment: Rebecca Dosch Brown: dosch018@umn.edu. See below for more information about the optional Graduate Certificate in Disability Policy & Services.

Self-study

REQUIRED for LTT | Optional for MTT

Many optional resources will be shared throughout the year that supplement the core components and help you reach your 320 minimum training hours. This arena is self-designed but may include:

  • Attending or presenting at conferences, workshops, events, or trainings
  • Reading, viewing, or listening to supplemental materials on NDD/Leadership
  • Participating in optional MNLEND book, film, podcast clubs
  • Completing online courses in anti-racism, anti-ableism, and on NDD skills, etc.
  • Presenting to communities (if not an integral part of your project)
  • Attending LEND, ICI, and AUCD-related networking and social events and conferences

Professional Development

LTT only

Professional Development Stipend

Professional Development stipend of $500 is available to all paid LTTs. You can use this to cover your registration for some of our suggested conferences, other conferences related to your LEND work, or other professional development opportunities. Detailed instructions for how to sign up for our suggested conferences, listed below, can be found in the how to document. It usually involved adding your name to a conference sign up sheet and filling out a registration form. If you find another conference you would like to attend, fill out this Professional Development Funding Request From. Requests are subject to approval and never guaranteed.

Fellows awarded additional travel stipends are also required to submit proof of attendance post-trip by emailing copies of conference registration receipts.

Ideas for interdisciplinary conferences and trainings that LEND encourages you to consider will be shared. We especially encourage Fellows to apply to present or have a poster at one of the spring conferences as a small interdisciplinary team. Spring conference proposals are often due in September or October of this fall, so they are possible deadlines you could meet if you work collectively as a team.

Suggested Conferences

  • Minnesota Gathering for Person Centered Practices
  • MNLEND Organized Hill visits (in conjunction with AUCD & DPS conferences)
  • Disability Day at the Capitol
  • AuSM Conference
  • Fall Conference: National Annual AUCD Conference*
  • Spring Conference: National Disability Policy Summit (DPS)*:

*Fellows are expected to use their $500 professional development extra funding for the fall or spring conference. If the Disability Policy Summit is in-person, a few competitive scholarships will be made available for travel. Under typical circumstances, both national conferences have been located in Washington D.C.

Hill Visits

Whether attending these events in-person or virtually, each Fellow must visit their congresspeople on the Hill (to be virtually arranged with MNLEND guidance and support) and complete other basic duties as MNLEND Fellow-representatives. It is expected that Fellows will fully engage, act responsibly, and attend to these duties with utmost respect and preparation. More information on these opportunities will be shared through umn.edu emails and at Thursday sessions. It is expected that trainees use their stipends to pay for any travel or registration costs. Reduced personal cost to attend either event this year could also come from organizing room sharing with your Fellow peers in an Airbnb (if in-person events are possible), volunteering at the AUCD conference, or applying for other national-level AUCD-wide competitive scholarships.

MN LEND fellows and faculty outside in front of the US Capitol Building.

Leadership Assessments

See how to document or early to-do list for step-by-step instructions on how to complete these trainings.

CliftonStrengths

Required for LTT only

The Maternal & Child Health (MCH) Competencies Navigator Assessment and 3 additional MCH Pre/Post Mini-assessments

All 4 assessments required for LTT | Only MCH Competencies Navigator Assessment required for MTT

Harvard Implicit Association Test

Required for LTT | Optional for MTT

Helps you begin to notice what’s in the subconscious mind from cultural and external conditioning. Implicit Biases come from a part of your mind you cannot control, but you can learn to slow down and disrupt them once you know you have them (and we all do).

VIA Character Assessment

Optional for LLT and MTT

Similar to CliftonStrengths, but with a more community-focused perspective.

Other Trainings Required by the University

You’re required to complete a few more trainings as a LEND fellow. Instructions included in how to document and detailed in the summer getting started list

Privacy and Data Security Training (HIPAA) Modules - Online

REQUIRED of LTT and MTT

To be considered compliant with the University’s HIPAA Training requirement, fellows must complete two 30 minute courses:

Preventing Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Retaliation - Online Training

REQUIRED for LTT

This is a required training for all UMN employees and LTT. As a new employee you will receive a email with a link to the required training.

Optional Learning Opportunities

ADOS 2 Introductory Training

OPTIONAL for Qualified LTT and MTT Only

Introductory training on the administration of the ADOS 2. ADOS 2 is a common assessment tool for practitioners who will work directly with children with ASD in school or clinical settings and will have a role in assessment. Amy Esler and Robin Rumsey (UMN Autism Spectrum Disorders and Related Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Clinic), LEND core faculty, offer these training sessions.

Some Trainees will not qualify for such specialized training (for example, you should be someone who might do ASD assessments in the future). We receive a special discount so make sure to let Emma know before you register. LTT may use your bi-weekly paid stipend to cover the reduced rate or contact the Program Coordinator to use your optional funds for professional development (Paid LTT only).

Graduate Certificate in Disability Policy and Services

OPTIONAL for LTT and MTT

The OLPD 5356 course is the mandatory core course required for the attainment of the interdisciplinary, graduate-level Certificate in Disability Policy and Services - an option available to all MNLEND trainees who have a completed undergraduate college degree. This is a 12-credit Graduate Certificate program, and its tuition is paid by the fellow.

The Disability Policy and Services Certificate is recognized by the Regents of the University of Minnesota and will appear on a UMN transcript as a credential after it is completed. Rebecca Dosch Brown, dosch018@umn.edu, is the ICI Interdisciplinary Education Director and lead for the Disability Policy and Services (OLPD 5356) course and Certificate program. She is available to assist you in the enrollment in the Disability Policy and Services course and/or the Disability Policy and Services Certificate program.

Tuition costs for this certificate and the OLPD 5356 course are NOT covered or paid for by MNLEND (per grant rules), but LTT could always save up and use their bi-weekly stipend toward this purpose of covering full tuition costs if they wish.

Community Outreach and Engagement Events

Required for LTT| Optional for MTT

Community outreach and engagement are important to our program and they are part of our funding directives. Disseminating and sharing information to families, communities and stakeholders is a critical role of all LEND programs. MNLEND Fellows are expected to participate in and attend at least some of the special community-based events offered throughout the year. In some cases, Fellows may be asked to present at or plan an event. MNLEND also has an ICI-wide community council who fully supports the MNLEND Mission. Fellows may be asked to present their LEND activities to this council.

Team Building Engagement

OPTIONAL for LTT and MTT

Building relationships with your MNLEND Fellows and other LEND Fellows across the nation is an important part of your leadership and networking skill development. You are encouraged to engage in outside team building. This can be done locally or through AUCD.

  • Connect with Institute on Community Integration (ICI) on Facebook
  • Join MNLEND social and networking events organized by LEND
  • Join ICI-wide training & events (MNLEND is housed at ICI). LTT are automatically added to ICI Listserv
  • Join Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Facebook and enroll as a virtual trainee
  • Attend the National AUCD Conference (Nov. 2022) or the Disability Policy Seminar in D.C. (Spring 2023)
  • Visit the trainees page on the AUCD Website
    • Resources tab has: updates from Emerging leader trainees (Fellows who work with AUCD staff to keep you informed and up to date), job opportunities within the network, and more
    • Sign up for the AUCD Trainee Listservto receive valuable information and national opportunities from across the network.

MN LEND fellows visiting MN senator?

Other important information

Stipends and Taxes

It is an honor and a great responsibility to be a MNLEND Fellow. We expect that you will take your commitment to serve the disability community with humility, a positive attitude, generosity, and hardwork. Paid fellows receive a MNLEND stipend biweekly through the University of Minnesota payroll system. For specific payroll questions, contact Amy Kurowski-Moen, the ICI Office Manager, at kuro0008@umn.edu. Also, if MNLEND funds your graduate student health insurance benefits, your student health coverage will end on June 30 next year.

Taxes are not removed, yet the stipend is considered taxable income by the IRS and they will expect you to self-report it and pay taxes on it as additional income. It is thus your full responsibility to understand the taxing implications of this stipend and to save for the taxes that will be due. Please review important tax information or see your award letter for helpful IRS links.

Holistic Mid-Year Review

If at any time the program requirements, its associated documentation, or ethical and professional behavior obligations are not being fulfilled, you could be asked to leave LEND. Your stipend and your title as Fellow would cease. Typically, Fellows participate actively and responsibly for the full year. A mid-year holistic review (in early January) will be conducted by the Leadership Team to ensure all Fellows are meeting their responsibilities and expectations. Fellows who do not meet key benchmarks may be counseled out of the program.

Clarity on some acronyms you might hear often:

What is ICI?

The University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration (ICI) is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). ICI is where MNLEND is housed administratively, and for your year you are technically a temporary employee of ICI. You are added to the ICI Listserv and you are invited to join staff training and events that interest you. ICI is largely funded through federal, state, and foundation grants and contracts and is part of a national network of mandated federal programs at major universities and teaching hospitals across the country.

ICI provides a comprehensive and integrated program of training, service, technical assistance, applied research, and dissemination to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. The ICI is connected with other UCEDD and LEND programs throughout the United States via the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) Network .

What is AUCD?

LEND - A National Network

There are a total of 60 LEND programs located in 44 US states, with an additional six states and three territories reached through program partnerships. Collectively, they form a strong national network that shares information and resources and maximizes impact. They often work together to address national issues of importance to all children and adults with disabilities and their families, to exchange evidence-based and promising practices, and to develop shared products. While each LEND program is unique, with its own focus and expertise, they all provide interdisciplinary training, have faculty and trainees in a wide range of disciplines, and include parents, family members, and self-advocates as paid program participants.

LENDs grew from the 1950s efforts of the Children's Bureau (now the Maternal and Child Health Bureau) to identify children with disabilities as a Title V program priority. They are funded under the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act, and are administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that is over the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).

The AUCD Network

Established in 1971, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a membership organization of university-based entities, to which ICI (and MNLEND) belongs. Membership in AUCD is open to University Centers of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs), LENDs, and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRC), and this includes their employees and Fellows. Through its members, AUCD is an excellent resource and network for local, state, national and international agencies, organizations and policymakers concerned about people with developmental and other related disabilities and their families. AUCD also includes a number of international affiliates and has strong relationships with a number of other national networks that address training needs and public health concerns.

What does AUCD do for Fellows?

AUCD is invested in the Fellows of its networks. After completion of their programs, UCEDD, LEND, and IDDRC Fellows often become leaders in the clinical, research, service, education arenas, as well as in policy administration. It is expected they will positively play an active role in improving quality of life outcomes of people with developmental disabilities.

By being a Fellow in MNLEND, you have access to thousands of people, jobs, and research opportunities nationwide. If you are interested in a topic that is not addressed at your Center, it is probable that experts in that topic are available at another program. Contact them and seek to collaborate. If you are looking to move to another part of the country, look for job openings through AUCD in your region of interest. Programs are always looking for graduates who have been mentored in the exemplary practices of a UCEDD, LEND, or IDDRC training model.

Group of MN LEND fellows.

Project List

Creating Inclusive 4-H Clubs for Youth with IDD in Anoka and McLeod Counties

Organization: UMN 4-H Extension Program and Institute on Community Integration

Website: https://extension.umn.edu/4-h/about-4-h & https://ici.umn.edu

Mission/Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop 4-H clubs that are inclusive of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities from diverse communities and to provide career exploration in the disability field for all youth in 4-H. 4-H is an out-of-school, hands-on learning program for youth in kindergarten through one year past high school. Youth choose a project of interest to them and explore it with peers and adults. 4-H clubs are groups of youth who want to learn together. Youth explore their own talents and interests, connect with other youth and caring adults, and develop life and leadership skills.

Project proposal overview: Based on their interest and expertise, fellows will work with a team to create and deliver training to 4-H volunteers and youth leaders in Anoka and McLeod Counties, collect and analyze training evaluation feedback, connect with community partners and families of potential participants, recruit youth with disabilities from diverse communities to join 4-H, mentor 4-H volunteers or families, assist in adapting developed trainings for delivery to statewide 4-H staff, and create impact and progress reports.

Desired skills: Passion for the social inclusion of youth with disabilities from diverse communities, including immigrants. Good written and verbal communication skills. Ability to connect with diverse families and organizational leaders who serve diverse families. Organized and dependable.

Opportunities provided: Fellows will receive experience in leadership, training, and making community connections. They will build professional connections with community leaders. Fellows will have the opportunity to apply strategies to include youth with disabilities in generic community groups.

Time commitment: MNLEND Fellows should plan to commit to 10-15 hours monthly from late September 2022 to late May 2023. Total estimated hours per fellow: 80 to 120 hours. Ideally, a team of fellows would work collaboratively with ICI and 4-H staff on this project.

Project timeline and description of activities/deadlines:

September

Plan training, team meeting

October

Training, analyze feedback, team meeting

November

Training, recruit 4-H members, team meeting

December

Training, recruit 4-H members, team meeting

January

Training, analyze feedback, recruit 4-H members, team meeting

February

Training, recruit 4-H members, team meeting

March

Training, team meeting

April

Training, analyze feedback, team meeting

May

Training, team meeting, and deliver 2 page summary of trainee/project accomplishments to MNLEND Program coordinator.

Project lead name and title: Sarah Hall, Research Associate, Institute on Community Integration  

Contact information: hall1964@umn.edu  

Partnering to Transform Health Outcomes with Persons with IDD (PATH-PWIDD)

Organization: University of Minnesota, Rush University, Villanova University, UIC, and St. John Fisher College

Website: ICI PATH Project Description

Website: Partnering to Transform Health Outcomes for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Mission/Goal of Project: Through cross-sector collaboration using the Collective Impact Model, the PATH-PWIDD Steering Committee and three Consortium Action Networks will develop and integrate high-impact and inclusive learning activities into inter-professional education (IPE) curriculum, with the goal of developing a more competent healthcare workforce better equipped to care for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This mission will be achieved through a series of steps, including an environmental scan of current curricula and related literature in the field, a gap analysis, the development of inter-professional partnerships, and insights from disability advocates.

Project Proposal Overview: In this collaborative, we will work with LEND fellows to complete a national/ international scan of current curricula and related materials designed to prepare healthcare students and professionals across different fields (e.g., nursing, OT, PT, medicine, etc.) to work more effectively with individuals with IDD. Based on our findings and a subsequent gap analysis, LEND fellows will be involved in the IPE curriculum development process. This process will involve our core university partners as well as the national Consortium Action Networks.

Desired Skills: Interest in healthcare services for people with disabilities, including effective communication strategies, accessibility of information, working with families, advocacy, etc. Interest in the IPE approach and in working with the project team to build on existing efforts in the various healthcare and disability-related fields. Good communication skills are an asset.

Opportunities Provided: LEND Fellow(s) will have the opportunity to collaborate with experts in the field at four partner universities. They will participate in IPE training, the environmental scan, conduction of a gap analysis and the curriculum development process. Fellows will have the opportunity to play an important role as part of a nationally recognized team in developing a curriculum for healthcare students and professionals to be better prepared to work with people with IDD.

Time commitment: MNLEND Fellow(s) should plan to commit to 10 hours monthly from October 2021 to late May 2022. Total estimated hours: 80 hours per Fellow. *If Fellows wish to team together on a project, we will delineate roles and hours for each Fellow.

Project Timeline and Description of activities/deadlines

September

Meet with project staff and learn about the project in detail; participate in IPE training

October

Participate in environmental scan and gap analysis

November

Participate in environmental scan and gap analysis; participate in a Consortium Action Network

December

Participate in gap analysis and initial curriculum development planning

January

Participate in gap analysis and initial curriculum development planning; participate in a Consortium Action Network

February

Participate in an IPE curriculum development

March

Participate in an IPE curriculum development; participate in a Consortium Action Network

April

Create a brief summary report of activities, learning reflections, and future directions. Send 2-page summary of work accomplished to MNLEND Coordinator

Supervising Mentor(s) for Project and Title: Renata Ticha, PhD, Research Associate; Brian Abery, PhD, Research Manager

Contact information: tich0018@umn.edu, abery001@umn.edu

RISP Data Bytes 2022-2023

Organization: Residential Information Systems Project

Website: RISP Home Page. Also see ICI Publications Policy Research Brief web page (Issue on Deinstitutionalization)

Mission/Purpose: RISP is a longitudinal study of residential and in-home supports for people with intellectual disabilities. It surveys state IDD agencies and large state-run IDD institutions annually and summarizes the status and trends in long-term supports and services in a technical report and in research to practice knowledge translation products.

Project proposal overview: MNLEND fellows will work with RISP project staff to create a series of 2 page Policy Research Briefs summarizing key RISP research findings. Each brief focuses on a single topic and includes three or four main points and 3-4 policy recommendations on the topic. Plain language text suitable for the general public will be used to describe the finding and its relevance to public policy.

Desired skills: Interest in long-term services and supports for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities of all ages. Interest in developing professional writing skills. Past professional writing experience, knowledge of public policies regarding Medicaid funded supports, and experience using Word, Excel and PowerPoint software are helpful.

Opportunities provided: Participants will learn about long-term supports and services, survey research, longitudinal studies, and translating research findings for people with disabilities, families, Legislators and Congress, the media, advocates and the public. They will co-author at 2 issues of Policy Research Brief, and will participate in a Public Policy Forum (web based) for each PRB. Time commitment: 15-20 hours per issue: 40 to 60 hours total per participating LEND fellow.

Project timeline and description of activities/deadlines:

September

Planning meeting to select topics for the series, Informational interviews with project staff and key informants; 30 years of Community Living. Introduction to the RISP project, technical report, PRB and the Policy Forum Series

October

Lit review and readings on topic 1

November

Draft and edit topic 1

December

Publish issue 1

January

Policy Forum Issue 1

February

Lit review and readings on topic 2

March

Draft and edit topic 2

April

Publish topic 2

May

Policy Forum Topic 2. Send 2-page summary of work accomplished to MNLEND Coordinator.

Project lead name and title:  Sherri Larson, Ph.D., Director and Principal Investigator of the Residential information Systems Project; Research Manager 3.  

Contact information: Sherri Larson, larso072@umn.edu, 612-624-6024 (once back in the office), 214B Pattee Hall.    

Learn The Signs - Minnesota Act Early Project

Organization: Minnesota Act Early Project

Website: Learn the Signs Act Early

Mission: Minnesota Act Early improves the well-being of young children through community outreach and education. MN Act Early is a statewide public health outreach campaign that reaches out to families, communities, and organizations to promote early screening and early identification of potential developmental delays. The Minnesota Act Early team educates about healthy child development, early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental delays, the importance of regular developmental screening, and early intervention when there is a concern.

Project Proposal Overview: MN LEND Fellow Project will work to integrate LTSAE materials/resources within a system or organization that serves young children and families (e.g. childcare, healthcare, preschool, parent group, ECFE classes, libraries, etc.) for educating families of young children and or child/care provides about importance of developmental monitoring/screening. LEND fellow can also suggest a setting for intervention or Dr. Hall-Lande can help generate ideas/opportunities. Past LEND fellow projects have involved libraries, childcare, pediatric clinics, community centers, social media, radio shows, etc.

Desired Skills: Interest in public health outreach with families with young children (birth to 5) around early child development, developmental milestones, and early developmental screening. Passion for serving families of young children with a focus on traditionally underserved communities. Good communication and connection skills.

Opportunities Provided: LEND Fellow will receive training, leadership experience, and title of MN Act Early Delegate. Fellow will receive training on child development, developmental milestones, and the importance of early developmental screening. LEND Fellows may have the opportunity to attend local early childhood/family focused events to promote MN Act Early campaigns. Fellows will build professional connections with early childhood professionals and community leaders. Opportunity to creatively apply ideas for outreach and systems-level change.

Time commitment: MNLEND Fellows should plan to commit to 5-8 hours monthly from late September 2022 to late May 2023. Total estimated hours during fellowship year: 40-60 total hours. *If more than one Fellow wishes to team together on our project, we will delineate roles and hours for each Fellow.

Project Timeline and Description of activities/deadlines:

September

Participate in MN Act Early training meeting/event

October

Develop Act Early outreach plan (along with Dr. Hall-Lande)

November

Promote Project and Begin Act Early community outreach

December

Continue MN Act Early community outreach and check in

January

Participate in MN Act Early mid-year training meeting/event. Revise goals if needed

February

Continue Act Early community outreach and check in

March

Continue Act Early community outreach and check in

April

Continue Act Early community outreach and check in

May

Create a brief summary report of activities, learning reflections and future recommendations. Submit this 2-page summary of your work to the MNLEND program coordinator.

Supervising Mentor(s) Jennifer Hall-Lande, PhD, LP, ICI Researcher 

Contact  hall0440@umn.edu 

Innovative solutions to addressing barriers to intervention access for children, youth, and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities and/or behavioral health needs through the TeleOutreach Center

Organization TeleOutreach Center at the Institute on Community Integration

Website TeleOutreach Center

Mission Identifying and reducing barriers to intervention access for children, youth, and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities and/or behavioral health needs

Project Proposal Overview Dr. Jessica Simacek and Adele Dimian investigate innovative solutions to addressing barriers to intervention access for children and adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities through the Telehealth Lab in the Institute on Community Integration. The MNLEND Project Proposal for 2022-2023 is a continuation of a multi-year project for Fellows to contribute to ongoing research, training, and technical assistance to better understand the barriers to intervention access experienced by children and adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities, and their families. Our team also focuses closely on several topics, including expanding access to support in rural locations, and research to understand and better treat self-injurious behavior.

The project will include opportunities for further identification of barriers experienced by children, youth, and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities and/or behavioral health needs, with activities and research centering on understanding the current state of this important issue. Priority will also be given to understanding the unique and often worsened barriers experienced by culturally and linguistically diverse children, adults and families who experience neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Examples of project activities from previous Fellows include: 1) conducting a literature review targeted to specific barriers/populations/circumstances, 2) conducting a focus group (s) to better understand community experiences of barriers, 3) conducting a survey of children, adults, families, providers, or other community stakeholder groups to better understand barriers, 4) preparing a small student grant application to better investigate these barriers, 5) developing community-based presentations to present. Our team also works closely with Dr. Amy Esler and clinical professionals at the UMN Autism and Neurodevelopment Clinic on several of these projects.

Desired Skills As the Fellows participating in the project will be working closely with our research team and community stakeholders, desired skills include the ability to work and collaborate as part of a team, with sensitivity and professionalism particularly when communicating with participant families or community stakeholders. A strong work ethic and openness to feedback would also be important skills to bring to our group. We support children with a variety of needs, including children who are non-speaking and use augmentative and alternative communication or children and youth who engage in self-injurious behavior, and such, an openness to learning about different lived experiences than one’s own is needed.

Previous research experience is not required; however, all Fellows are required to pass the IRB and HIPAA trainings and to present these certificates prior to observing or participating in any research activities. And, in order to be involved in more complex research tasks (e.g., data coding), Fellows would need to commit the time it takes for training on these measures, which can be extensive.

Opportunities provided Fellows will have the opportunity to learn about innovative intervention delivery through the use of telehealth, and will have opportunities to collaborate on a research team. If desired, Fellows may also have the opportunity to disseminate research information through activities such as conference presentations or manuscript preparation (although, creation of these kinds of research products often require additional time commitments).

Time commitment MNLEND Fellows should plan to commit to 8-10 hours monthly from late September 2022 to late May 2023. Total estimated hours: 70-80 hours. *If more than one fellow wishes to team together on our project, we will delineate roles and hours for each fellow. Our team hosts a weekly GRA/Trainee meeting on Wednesdays from 1-2, Fellows interested in research would be encouraged to attend these meetings. *Please note that the faculty mentors on this project are not available on the weekends, before 7am, or after 5pm to engage in Fellow meetings, so please ensure Fellow availability during workhours.*

Project Timeline and Description of activities/deadlines

Late September

Meet with Dr. Simacek to discuss goals and map out a general plan for the year. 

October

Complete planning protocol and participate in kickoff event for the project for the year

November-January

Execute Phase 1 of the plan (data/information collection)

February-March

Execute Phase 2 of the plan (analyze data/information) 

March-May

Execute Phase 3 (disseminate information into report/presentation for the research team and engage in supported research dissemination activities as desired (e.g., prepare for conference presentation or contribution to a publication/manuscript).

Late May

Send 2-page summary of work accomplished to MNLEND Coordinator.

Supervising Mentor(s) for Project/Titles Jessica Simacek, PhD, LEND faculty mentor. Adele Dimian, PhD, LEND faculty mentor

Contact information sima0034@umn.edu (612) 624-1450 dimia006@umn.edu    

Use of Caregiver-Child Interactions in Intervention Research for Young Children with Down Syndrome

Organization Finestack Child Language Intervention/Lab

Website finestackclil.com

Mission/Goal of Project One of the goals of the Child Intervention Lab is to identify effective and efficient intervention approaches to improve the language skills of children with language impairment, including children with developmental language disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and Down Syndrome. As both behavioral and pharmaceutical interventions are being developed for children with Down syndrome, research is needed to determine the effectiveness of the interventions. However, before large clinical trials can be conducted, it is necessary to identify appropriate measures to use to evaluate the intervention. Thus, we are currently examining the feasibility, validity, and reliability of caregiver-child interactions that can be collected independently and remotely.

Project Proposal Overview To support the goals of the Child Language Intervention Lab, the LEND Fellow project would entail assisting with the development of assessment materials and piloting the assessments with families with young children with Down syndrome.

Desired Skills Organized, Good Communication Skills, Desire to Work with Families with a Child with Down Syndrome, Work Well in Team.

Opportunities Provided LEND Fellows will receive training on child language development and language weaknesses typically experienced by children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Fellows will have the opportunity to work directly with families with children with Down syndrome and learn how to evaluate the language skills of young children.

Time Commitment MNLEND Fellow(s) should plan to commit 16 hours monthly (4 hours per week) from September 2022 to May 2023. Total estimated hours: 112-128 hours per Fellow. Fellows are welcome to work together as teams.

Project Timeline and Description of activities/deadlines

Late September

Meet with Dr. Finestack to discuss project details and create a general workflow timeline.  

October

Complete CITI and HIPAA trainings. Read over study materials. Begin recruiting families.

November

Enroll and complete protocol with 3 families. Begin analyzing interactions.

December

Enroll and complete protocol with 3 families. Begin analyzing interactions.

January

Enroll and complete protocol with 3 families. Begin analyzing interactions.

February

Enroll and complete protocol with 3 families. Begin analyzing interactions.

March

Analyze interactions

April

Analyze interactions

May

Analyze interactions. Send 2-page summary of work accomplished to MNLEND Coordinator

Supervising Mentor(s) for Project and Title: Lizbeth H. Finestack, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Contact information: finestack@umn.edu

ICI Policy Research Brief and Policy Forum

Organization: ICI

Website: Policy Forum and Policy Research Brief Examples

Mission/Purpose: Policy Research Briefs (PRBs) are a series of very short, focused, plain-language briefs summarizing recent research on crucial policy issues affecting persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The associated Policy Forums are web-based presentations and facilitated discussions exploring research published in the most recent issue of the PRB. The Forum aims to bring together people with disabilities, their families, direct support professionals (DSPs), advocates, policymakers, and researchers in timely conversations that can make a difference in people's lives.

Project proposal overview: The MNLEND fellow will work with ICI researchers and staff to develop and publish bi-monthly (every 2 months) issues of the PRBs and assist in planning and leading the Policy Forums. The fellow will be provided with content ideas and access to the source research; the fellow may also propose their own ideas. The fellow will be responsible for developing the content of the PRBs and working with the graphic design team to finalize the PDF and WebPub publication. Recent PRB issues highlighted low wages and racial disparities amongst DSPs and effect of pay increases on quality of DSP work life. The fellow will also be responsible for helping plan, organize and conduct Policy Forums to accompany publication of the PRBs.

Desired skills: Should have facility with and curiosity about data and telling stories through data. Good communication skills. Ability to write and communicate in plain language. Interest in and some familiarity with IDD policy issues. Basic analysis skills are desired but not required.

Opportunities provided: Fellow will gain knowledge of recent critical research conducted at ICI and how it relates to the broader IDD policy context and current issues. Fellow will have the opportunity to explore and incorporate their own ideas into PRB topics and issues. Fellow’s name will be listed on the PRB as the issue’s editor. Fellow will also have the opportunity to co-lead the Policy Forums.

Time commitment MNLEND Fellows should plan to commit 10-12 hours monthly from October 2022 to May 2023. Total estimated hours during fellowship year: 70-84 total hours. Up to 2 Fellows may join and share duties.

Project timeline and description of activities/deadlines:

September

Create and publish one issue of the PRB

October

Hold one Policy Forum

November

Create and publish one issue of the PRB

December

Hold one Policy Forum

January

Create and publish one issue of the PRB

February

Hold one Policy Forum

March

Create and publish one issue of the PRB

April

Hold one Policy Forum

May

Create and publish one issue of the PRB. Send 2-page summary of work accomplished to MNLEND Coordinator

Project lead name and title:  Julie Bershadsky, PhD, Director of Community Living and Employment, ICI 

Contact information:  bers0017@umn.edu

Autism Mentorship Program (AMP) - Evaluation of a Community Mentorship Program for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Organization University of Minnesota Autism and Neurodevelopment Clinic

Website University of Minnesota Division of Clinical and Behavioral Neuroscience

Mission Providing a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary center for the evaluation and treatment of autism, working closely with families and community outreach, and fostering clinical training and research efforts.

Project Proposal Overview Researchers from the University of Minnesota (UMN) are completing a project entitled Evaluation of a Community Mentorship Program for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This project evaluates the initial outcomes of the Autism Mentorship Program (AMP), a mentorship program that pairs adults and adolescents with ASD in 1-1 mentoring relationships. During 2022-2023, the AMP team will conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of AMP during the 2022-2023 school year in order to determine the effectiveness of AMP. We will enroll 40 autistic adolescents and 20 autistic adults to determine the impact of AMP in comparison to programming as usual.

Desired Skills We need people who are interested in promoting positive leadership roles within the community for adults with ASD and positive outcomes for adolescents with ASD. Fellows participating in this project will need to be reliable; be able to communicate with teens, parents, professionals and community members; have good organizational and communication skills; and have an interest in community-based research and program development.

Opportunities Provided You will learn about the AMP program and have an opportunity to participate in the continued development and evaluation of this innovative program through participation in community engagement efforts, data collection, and dissemination of results to community partners. Interested fellows may also assist with conducting participant interviews with participants and completing AMP programming tasks (e.g., weekly data collection, facilitating session activities, etc.). Fellows with previous research experience may have the opportunity to participate in manuscripts and/or conference presentations.

Time commitment MNLEND Fellows should plan to commit to 5-10 hours monthly from October 2022 to late May 2023. Total estimated hours: 30-50 hours. *If more than one fellow wishes to team together on our project, we will delineate roles and hours for each fellow.

Project Timeline and Description of activities/deadlines

September - October

Meet with Dr. Hudock and her team to discuss goals and map out plan for the year. Complete relevant research training. Conduct participant interviews.

October

Conduct participant interviews. Assist with AMP participant trainings.

November-December

Assist with programming tasks. Assist with preparation of community report and presentations.

December-January

Assist with participant interviews. Assist with preparation of community report and presentations.

February-March

Assist with preparation of community report and presentations.

April-May

Assist with participant interviews. Summarize preliminary results.

May

Create and present a summary report of activities or academic product and meet with Dr. Hudock and LEND mentor to discuss learning reflections and future recommendations. Submit a copy of this report/product to the MNLEND program coordinator.

Supervising Mentor(s) for Project and Title Rebekah Hudock, PhD, LP LEND faculty member

Contact information kale0040@umn.edu, 612-626-3538

Dr. Suma Jacob’s research lab conducts studies that examine effects of novel interventions on social functioning and repetitive behaviors for both children and adults.

Contact Rebecca Dosch Brown at dosch018@umn.edu if you are interested in this opportunity, it may not necessarily become a project but there also may be opportunities to visit the Lab.

Nation Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD)

Organizations University of Minnesota – ICI (Primary); Association for Higher Education & Disability (AHEAD); University of Oregon - National Technical Assistance Center for Transition (NTACT), University of Washington - Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, & Technology (DO-IT); Association for University Centers for Disabilities (AUCD); Florida A & M University, San Francisco State University; LaGuardia Community College (N.Y.)

Websites

Mission/Goal of Project The NCCSD is the only federally-funded national center in the U.S. designed specifically to support undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in institutions of higher education (IHE) or other post-secondary education program, as well as transition-age students with any type of disability, their families, and educators whether working in transition programs or IHEs. It is responsible for determining the degree to which young adults with disabilities students are participating in higher education and other post-secondary training, their retention and completion rates, support needs, and the extent to which their higher education experiences meet their needs. The Center is responsible for developing and evaluating the impact of inclusive education training for IHE faculty and staff as well as support for and evaluation of the Disability Rights, Education Activism, and Mentoring (DREAM) program a national organization for and by college students with disabilities. NCCSD and ICI staff are also working to update the accessibility and utility of all Center websites including the CeDaR database and National Clearinghouse and Resource Center.

Project Proposal Overview In this collaborative, we will work with LEND fellows to determine which of the many aspects of NCCSD work in which they are interested including: a) contributing to the development of inclusive education learning modules for IHE faculty & staff; b) evaluation of the DREAM program; c) data collection related to the participation, retention, and graduation of students with disabilities who take part in post-secondary education programs; d) and/or upgrading of the CeDaR and National clearinghouse databases. This process will involve our core university partners and include an analysis of the extent to which disability services and supports provided to post-secondary students with disabilities meet the needs of individuals from diverse, racial, cultural, linguistic, and gender backgrounds.

Desired Skills: a) Interest in the transition of students with all forms of disability to post-secondary education, including analysis the effectiveness of supports provided to members of this group; development of training to enhance accessibility and inclusion with higher education; and the extent to which the needs of students from diverse backgrounds with disabilities are being met; b) effective communication strategies; c) ability to work with young adults with all forms of disability and their families; capacity to work both independently and as part of a large center team to build on existing efforts to support post-secondary students with disabilities.

Opportunities ProvidedLEND Fellow(s) will have the opportunity to collaborate with experts in the field at both ICI partner universities/organizations. They will have the chance to contribute to the development of training/education designed to support faculty to more effectively support post-secondary students with disabilities; as well as to take part in the evaluation of existing programs designed to facilitate the participation, retention, and graduation of young adults with disabilities from IHEs and other post-secondary programs. LEND fellows are asked commit to 10 hours monthly from October 2021 to late May 2022. Total estimated hours: 80 hours per Fellow. *If Fellows wish to team together on a project, we will delineate roles and hours for each Fellow.

Project Timeline and Description of activities/deadlines:

September

Meet with project staff and learn about the Center

October

Select Center activities of greatest interest in which to engage; develop person-centered learning plans

November

Participate in initial outlining of faculty training; development of evaluation protocols; database improvements etc. based on interests

December

Participate in initial curriculum development; program evaluation; database improvements

January

Continued participation in curriculum development, database improvement or program evaluation activities

February

Continued participation in curriculum development, database improvement or program evaluation activities

March

Continued participation in curriculum development, database improvement or program evaluation activities

April

Participate in evaluation of activities as well as self-assessment based on person-centered learning plans. Create a brief summary report of activities, learning reflections, and future directions. Send 2-page summary of work accomplished to MNLEND Coordinator

Supervising Mentor(s) for Project and Title: Brian Abery, PhD, Research Manager; Renata Ticha, PhD, Research Associate;

Contact information: abery001@umn.edu; tich0018@umn.edu

Behavioral Parent Coaching for Families of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Organization Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain (MIDB) Clinic

Website https://midb.umn.edu/about/masonic-institute-developing-brain

Mission The Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain has the goal of advancing brain health from the earliest stages of development across the lifespan, supporting each person’s journey as a valued community member.

Project Proposal Overview Researchers from the University of Minnesota (UMN) are completing a project entitled Behavioral Parent Coaching for Families of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This project evaluates the initial outcomes of a virtual parent coaching program, which teaches common strategies for supporting young children with ADHD. We are piloting this program within the MIDB Clinic with 10-15 families during 2022-2023. We are also exploring opportunities to expand this program to rural settings in 2023.

Desired Skills We need people who are interested in supporting families who have young children with ADHD. Fellows participating in this project will need to be reliable; be able to communicate with parents, professionals and community members; have good organizational and communication skills; and have an interest in community-based research and program development. We will prioritize fellows who have an interest in co-facilitating this program.

Opportunities Provided You will learn about the development of the parent coaching program and common strategies to support children with ADHD and their families. You will have the opportunity to co-facilitate this program with members of the Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics and Autism & Neurodevelopment Clinic teams. You will also assist with collecting data to determine the initial outcomes from this program. There may also be opportunities for community engagement efforts with rural communities and opportunities to contribute to training additional facilitators who wish to implement the program. Fellows with previous research experience may have the opportunity to participate in manuscripts and/or conference presentations.

Time commitment MNLEND Fellows should plan to commit to 5-10 hours monthly from October 2022 to late May 2023. Total estimated hours: 30-50 hours. *If more than one fellow wishes to team together on our project, we will delineate roles and hours for each fellow.

Project Timeline and Description of activities/deadlines

September-October

Meet with program leads to discuss goals and map out plan for the year. Complete relevant research training. Observe/co-facilitate fall program sessions. Assist with data collection.

November-December

Assist with data analysis and reports of results.

December-January

Assist with preparation/revision of program materials. Assist with dissemination of results to the community.

February-March

Assist with expansion of the program. Co-facilitate spring program sessions. Assist with data collection.

April-May

Assist with data analysis and reports of results. Assist with dissemination of results to the community.

May

Create and present a summary report of activities or academic product and meet with Dr. Hudock and LEND mentor to discuss learning reflections and future recommendations. Submit a copy of this 2 page report to the MNLEND program coordinator.

Supervising Mentor(s) for Project and Title

  • Rebekah Hudock, PhD, LP LEND faculty member
  • Josh Chapman, MD, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow
  • Andy Barnes, MD, LEND Medical Director

Contact information

  • Dr. Hudock - kale0040@umn.edu
  • Dr. Chapman - chapm041@umn.edu
  • Dr. Barnes - drbarnes@umn.edu

Co-Lead Initiative to Collaboratively Work to Increase Culturally Responsive Inclusion and Access to Early Childhood Supports and Resources

Organization The University of Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities Program’s sub-project: Co-Lead Initiative (Collaborative Leadership Initiative)

Website none

Mission The overall goal is to deepen ICI’s and MNLEND community ties, increase access and improve culturally responsive supports and services systems that are designed by and for the community currently not as engaged in the systems as they could be if given the chance, and to recruit new community and academics to apply for MNLEND. There are two main goals of the MNLEND Co-Lead Initiative:

  1. Build more meaningful understanding and connections with historically oppressed communities and MNLEND faculty, staff, and trainees - so that together we can work for and alongside community members with disabilities, their families, and/or any children in need of early support and services.
  2. Increase knowledge about MNLEND within community-based organizations, so as to attract and support emerging disability leaders from Minnesota's culturally and linguistically diverse communities to the MNLEND fellowship.

Project Proposal Overview The Co-Lead Initiative will work alongside 10 different community organizations so that each can collaboratively complete the below five deliverables:

  1. Complete Onboarding, Meeting & Training with MNLEND (June - August 2022) (Completed)
  2. Co-design and Co-run a Community Project with MNLEND and their community to support full inclusion, early childhood outreach, and/or disability equity and belonging: a 2-3 hours a month effort (August 2022 - April 2023)
  3. Promote MNLEND Fellowship opportunity across their community through networks (Oct 2022 - Jan 2023)
  4. Host LEND Recruitment Event with organization’s community and MNLEND team (Oct 2022 - Jan 2023)
  5. Monthly Planning meetings with MNLEND CO-LEAD Project Team, 30 min (June 2022 - May 2023), culminating with a co-authored 2-page outcomes report.

We are looking for 2-5 Fellows who are fluent in Hmong, Spanish, Somali, Hindi, or Arabic, etc. and/or who are enrolled tribal nations members and who are also interested in building strong(er) ties with one of 10 community organizations (to be matched per your skillset and interest). Fellows will work with ICI staff/faculty, MNLEND alumni co-leads, and organizations to co-develop small iterative culturally-responsive projects to better serve at-large community members. The projects are aimed to be developed by using Human Centered Design (HCD) approaches so as to first locate and gather stories from community members currently less engaged and/or disengaged from formal service and support systems. The projects should address the need for increased culturally responsive inclusion of members with disabilities and/or increased access and supports surrounding early childhood development for children of families and kinship networks currently left out of formal systems. The innovations and assets occurring outside the formal systems will be used to co-design better systems to reach more community members per their needs and wants.

Desired Skills We need fellows who are interested in applying X human-centered design (HCD) approaches to find and listen respectfully to disengaged and unengaged community members (per the organizations’ goals), so as to develop innovations based on such community input and feedback. This initial step is critical to help the organizations, alumni co-leads, fellows, and the ICI team to co-develop small low-cost projects that will increase the meaningful inclusion of people with NDD in their communities of choice and/or increase families’ understanding of the early childhood development signs, increase access to early screening. We hope to ensure underserved members have the supports and resources available that are designed from the start to be both culturally responsive and useful to their needs and wants as a community (vs. offering them a one-size fits all system designed by high utilizers alone).

Fellows participating in this project will need to be punctual, reliable, comfortable communicating with community members from all backgrounds; have good organizational and communication skills; and have an interest in community-based collaborations around inclusion and/or early childhood development access. Being able to speak fluently in other languages besides English would be also very helpful to meet this project’s goals.

Opportunities Provided We hope these intentional collaborations with ICI, MNLEND alumni, Fellows, and Org leaders will apply key aspects of human-centered deign (HCD), so as to learn what cannot be learned by only listening to high utilizers of any service or organization. Such cyclical and iterative approaches to HCD take time, and the goal is to build trust and to listen to the organizations and their community members, as well as community members currently not engaged with the organizations. These engagement efforts, data collection, and development of low cost prototype tools and resources based on community input will allow for the co-lead teams to share results to community partners and learn from each other. Interested fellows may also assist with conducting community outreach, listening sessions, LEND recruitment events, and small projects in collaboration with community members and organizations. Fellows may have the opportunity to participate in conference presentations.

Time commitment MNLEND Fellows should plan to commit to 3-5 hours monthly from September 2022 to mid May 2023. Total estimated hours: 50 hours. *If more than one fellow wishes to team together on this project, we will delineate roles and hours for each fellow.

Project Timeline and Description of activities/deadlines

Late September

Meet with Co-Lead Team and learn about Co-Lead initiative. Be matched to a community org and alumni co-lead. Collaborate to design Human-Centered Design questions to ask org members.

October

Conduct informal in-person site visits to orgs assigned with co-lead alumni and hear from organization leaders and its active members, using HCD type questions. Compile their input on strengths, assets, and needs for the organization.

November-December

Co-plan with the organization a way to reach out to currently unengaged but potentially served community members for the organization (based on their Co-Lead goals), arrange for visits and Human Centered Design questions to these audience members on what they need and want (important to and for them). Compile results and compare with high utilizers data.

December-January

Co-plan and attend some MNLEND recruitment events, by sharing your LEND stories and encouraging historically underrepresented community members and U of MN graduate students to apply for LEND. Co-develop a small implementable prototype project based on org and unengaged feedback.

February-March

Collaborate with alumni co-leads, ICI team and organization leaders to test prototype project with community members for focused outreach. Bring back community feedback and adapt/revise prototype, test, and revise.

April-May

Collaborate with alumni co-leads, ICI team and organization leaders to test prototype project with community members for focused outreach. Bring back community feedback and adapt/revise prototype, test, and revise. Co-draft 2-page outcomes and findings report, sharing tool developed and tested out in community. Present to MNLEND and possibly at other venues.

May

Co-lead final meeting with organization and Co-Lead staff and alumni. Celebrate the wins. Send two-page project outcomes report to MNLEND Program coordinator.

Supervising Mentor(s) for Project and Title Erika Lamboglia, Co-Lead project coordinator and MNLEND alumni; Rebecca Dosch Brown, PhD, LP, LEND family faculty & ICI Interdisciplinary Education Director; Dr. Jennifer Hall-Lande, LEND Faculty-Mentor and LEND Asst. Director; Dr. Metzger Macdonald, LEND Policy lead and ICI Community Outreach and Training Director

Contact information Erika Lamboglia elambogl@umn.edu or Rebecca Dosch Brown dosch018@umn.edu

MN LEND Fellows on stairs at MN Capitol.