National Leaders in the Mental Health Aspects
of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Spotlight on Inclusion
This year's SNTI theme, "Value in Us All: Advancing Inclusive Practices," focuses on the dignity and inclusion of service recipients and their families. Inclusive practices value the unique cultural identities, positive characteristics, hopes, and dreams of individuals and their families. As a community-based model, START is committed to inclusive practices and cultural competency which is reflected in all START efforts. The 2019 SNTI features more self-advocates and family members as invited presenters who will share their wisdom, experience, and knowledge with the START network.
Our program on Wednesday May 8th will feature a keynote address by Tawara Goode, Director of Georgetown's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities & National Center for Cultural Competence, that will explore the meaning of inclusion from diverse perspectives and in diverse cultural contexts. Following the keynote, Dr. Diane Jacobstein will lead a panel on best practices, research, and families’ rights in inclusive education. Two self-advocates and advocacy specialists are featured in Wednesday's program- Liz Weintraub and Andy Arias.
Wednesday’s Program Keynote: Inclusion and Belonging: Implications for Individuals with IDD-MH
(Pictured from left) Tawara Goode, MA, Director of Georgetown's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities & National Center for Cultural Competence; Andy Arias, ADA and Policy SME; Liz Weintraub, Sr Advocacy Specialist, AUCD; Marya Laviste, Program Coordinator, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services
This keynote panel will explore the meaning of inclusion from diverse perspectives and in diverse cultural contexts. It will explore exclusion and how it manifests within the social fabric of our communities and the nation. This keynote will offer an authentic dialogue about how the START network conceptualizes and practices inclusion and hear from people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (and their families) about their lived experiences of inclusion vs. belonging.
Inclusive Education Panel
(Pictured from left) Diane Jacobstein, PhD, Clinical Psychologist/ Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development-UCEDD (Moderator); Liz Weintraub, Sr Advocacy Specialist, AUCD; Sue Swenson, MA, President, Inclusion International; Dan Baker, PhD, NADD-CC, Positive Support Compliance Specialist, MN Department of Human Services
This panel will explore best practices, research, and families’ rights in inclusive education. One panelist, Liz Weintraub, will relate personal experiences of both successful inclusion and exclusion within “inclusive” settings, illustrating values that go beyond the usual attention to class grouping. The next panelist, Sue Swenson, will bring a dual focus, as the mother of a son with profound disabilities who was educated in inclusive settings, and as a federal policy maker, and national and international disability advocate. Relevant federal laws and policies will be reviewed. Since the ultimate outcome of educational inclusion is inclusion in the community as an adult, transition to work is an important process of preparing youth with disabilities to have good, included lives as adults. Another panelist, Dr. Dan Baker, will describe best practices in transition and Community-Based Instruction (CBI), and offer suggestions on how to best advocate for an effective transition process. Finally, the panel moderator, Dr. Diane Jacobstein, will summarize evidence on benefits of inclusive education in the context of current data from START participants.
Liz Weintraub has a long history of leadership in self advocacy, and has held many board and advisory positions at state and national organizations. She is a full time member of the AUCD's policy team and also the host of Tuesdays With Liz: Disability Policy For All, where she attempts to make polices in accessible language so policies is accessible to all. Liz also had a fellowship with Senator Casey of Pennsylvania. Liz was also invited to be a witness in the Kavanaugh hearing in the US Senate Judiciary committee
Prior to coming to AUCD, Liz worked for the Council on Quality & Leadership (CQL). Liz is a past trainee alumni from Georgia State University. Liz was a past chair of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. Liz received the Dr. Cathy Pratt award for Professional of the Year award.
Andy Arias has been an advocacy professional for over seven years. He has worked as a System Change Advocate and Program Manager for Orange County & Los Angeles. He is member of many boards and commissions related to creating greater visibility and advancement for diverse communities, especially the disability community. Andy is often hired to speak and train at universities, high schools, and Congressional leaders on ADA compliance and the inclusion of people with disabilities and others from diverse backgrounds and communities. He has received several awards for his presentations on LGBTQ diversity and disability equality.
Andy's experience and leadership gave him skills to develop and implement youth programs that served over 150 young adults in Southern California helping them reach their dreams for independence. The curriculum for this program is utilized today by specific County agencies. Andy excels in teaching students that nothing can get in the way of their dreams, as long as they use their disabilities as an asset. Andy advocates in the entertainment industry by creating visible pathways as an actor and stand-up comedian. As an actor, Andy has had the pleasure of working with Tom Hanks, Mark Ruffalo and Hilary Swank on projects. He is often asked to consult with producers and directors to create greater media visibility of people with disabilities. He has also produced several small projects that have brought attention to persons with disabilities and the LGBTQ community. Andy’s expertise extends to Federal government and corporate levels. His goal is to marry his policy work with his work in the entertainment industry to create a systemic lasting change.