Congratulations to Kiley McLean, WI LEND social work alumna, for being selected as the 2022 Anne Rudigier Award recipient from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)! This award recognizes commitment, leadership and potential in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. A quote from Kiley’s nomination reads, “Kiley is an unusually gifted scientist who is conducting rigorous, impactful research on one of the most important topics in the field.” Click here to read the AUCD article about Kiley’s award.
Kiley is currently a doctoral project assistant in social work, where she does research in the Aging and Health Equity in Autism and Developmental Disabilities (AHEADD) Lab under the direction of Dr. Lauren Bishop. She focuses broadly on improving the social and economic well-being of adults with developmental disabilities as they transition into adulthood and age, through inclusive and comprehensive anti-poverty policies. In addition to completely two years of training in WI LEND, Kiley was selected to participate in the AUCD Leadership Academy.
WI LEND is proud to celebrate the tenth anniversary of graduating disability advocates as LEND trainees! Thirteen trainees representing the disability advocacy discipline (persons with a disability) have completed LEND training since 2012. According to Anne Bradford Harris, the WI LEND Director, “The diverse perspectives from having multiple advocate and family Fellows in the WI LEND program has provided a rich, mutually beneficial training experience for all LEND trainees. It is so important to have the perspective of disability advocates represented in an interdisciplinary training program because as the saying goes, “Nothing about us, without us.” This quote, originally written by author James Charlton, continues to have relevance today and has become somewhat of a mantra. People with disabilities must be front and center as visible leaders with a platform to share their experiences and their voices. Read the full newsletter article WI LEND alumnus Danielle Gerber wrote about this momentous anniversary on the AUCD web page.
In 2022, WI LEND graduate Danielle Gerber was selected to be featured on the AUCD’s Emerging Leaders Map. Updated annually, the 2022 Emerging Leaders Map highlights the contributions of former trainees in supporting resiliency and self-determination for all. Read about all the recently selected emerging leaders on the AUCD web page.
In the 2021-2022 training year, recent WI LEND graduates Ida Winters and Stasia Wilson were hired to fill the roles of Family Peer Mentor and Disability Advocacy Peer Mentor, respectively. WI LEND has had trainees and staff in the family discipline for over 15 years, and added self-advocate trainees 10 years ago. Peer Mentors check in with family and self-advocate trainees throughout their LEND training experience, expanding the circles of mentorship and support around trainees in these disciplines. Ida and Stasia emphasize both the value of the Peer Mentor role and the importance of having staff representing a diversity of backgrounds and abilities in WI LEND. Read more about Ida, Stasia, and the new Peer Mentor role in the AUCD network news.
In 2019, WI LEND Public Health trainee Kali A. Kramolis and Robert A. Peterson Jr. of the Madison-based ABC for Health published “Robert A. Peterson Jr. and Kali A. Kramolis: Valuable child health care program is flying under the radar” in The Cap Times. HealthCheck is a federal Medicaid program that can provide critical preventive healthcare to Wisconsin children, but it is underutilized. “Historically, Wisconsin consistently fails to address and serve the health care needs of many vulnerable children. We can and must do better. And we will. That is why we are creating an action plan to help Wisconsin’s children.” The HealthCheck Task Force worked on developing accessible outreach to help ensure everyone is aware of this vital program. Click here for the full article.