The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC
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2021 CIDD "Virtual" Community Talk Series

All are welcome! Join us to learn about recent advances in developmental disabilities. FREE!

Meetings via ZOOM - Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm FREE!

January 13, 2021

Darrin L. McNeill -President, Founder, Owner and Director of Serenity Therapeutic Group Home

Michael A. Morris -NCHR Talent Recruiter, HR & Sales Consultant, Parent

“Finding Serenity and Joy Through Collaboration and Compassion”

Our discussion involves the story about the intersection between the lives of two professional Black men and fathers in the IDD world and creating safe spaces for young people with IDD. Darrin will share about his journey from working in the correctional system to opening group homes for individuals with IDD. Michael will discuss his role as a father raising and transitioning a son with special needs. Together, Darrin and Michael will address racial and health disparities affecting people with IDD, their families, and how their unique partnership is making a difference in North Carolina.

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Click here to view the video

February 10, 2021

Linda Kendall Fields, M.Ed.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Cares Program at UNC–CH School of Social Work

“Making Alternatives to Guardianship a Reality in North Carolina”

Many individuals fall under full guardianship without consideration of their ability to make decisions with support. During this session, participants will be introduced to the state’s Rethinking Guardianship initiative and how people are avoiding unnecessary guardianships through supported decision-making strategies.

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March 10, 2021

Laura S. Hiruma, Ph.D.

Psychologist / Clinical Assistant Professor in the UNC Department of Psychiatry at the CIDD

“Evaluation and Treatment of Sleep Challenges Among Individuals with Neurodevelopmental Differences”

This talk provides a review of sleep-related concerns common among individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions in addition to strategies for evaluating and addressing sleep challenges.

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Click here to view the video

April 14, 2021

Ann Palmer, B.A. -

formerly of the UNC TEACCH Program, the Autism Society of NC, CIDD Faculty, Mother and Author/Co-Author of four books on the subject of Autism

Baiyina Muhammad, Ph.D. -

Associate Professor of History at NCCU and currently working to earn her MA from NCSU. She has a Certificate in Autism from East Carolina University and was a LEND Trainee at the CIDD.

"Changing Paths: Post-Secondary Options Pathways for Students with Disabilities"

The speakers, both parents of young men with ASD, will describe their sons’ college experiences - one in a program supporting students with I/DD, and one fully included with general campus supports. Discussion will include challenges students with autism or I/DD often face, how to access supports, the parent’s role in supporting the student, and how parents can prepare the student for a successful transition to college.

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May 12, 2021

Sigurdur (Siggi) Saemundsson, DDS, MPH, MBA, PhD

Professor and Pediatric Dentistry Graduate Program Director
Division of Pediatric Dentistry and Public Health
UNC School of Dentistry

“Dental Care for Children and Adults with Special Needs”

Siggi will talk broadly about dentistry for individuals with developmental disabilities, children and adults. He will touch upon topics such as how to find a dentist for your child, what challenges face a child, parent and dentist when a child with I/DD goes to the dentist, how to prepare for a visit and many more topics.

September 8, 2021


• Kenneth Kelty, Disability Advocate, Motivational Speaker
• Jackie Kelty, Mother of Kenneth and person living with Multiple Sclerosis
• Greg Boheler, OT and Autistic Self Advocate
• Cheryl Powell, NCEN Chair and Founding Member, NCCDD Council Member and
    Subcommittee Chair
• Curtis Hill, Disability Rights NC, Project ACCESS Director
• Jacob Bridges, Alliance for Disability Advocates, Community Engagement Coordinator
• Joshua Gettinger, MD, MAHEC Mission Health, NCCDD Member

"Individuals with I/DD and Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine – A Panel Discussion"

Panelists will share their knowledge and experiences getting the COVID vaccine, where you can get it, and resources that address fears and challenges. There will be time for Q&A.
Moderated by:

   Anna Ward – CIDD Director of Advocacy and Inclusion

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October 13, 2021

Cheryl Walfall-Flagg, BA -

Former LEND Fellow, ABLE BIPOC Outreach Ambassador, Parent Advocate

Brian Ingram -

Manager of Financial Empowerment/Employment, National Disability Institute & ABLE National Resource Center (ABLE NRC)

Sean Flagg -

2021 Graduate, Rolesville High School, ABLE Account Owner

“ABLE ACCOUNTS: A Key to Financial Stability for People with Intellectual, Developmental, or other Disabilities”

Presenters will discuss how ABLE accounts help increase the financial well-being of persons with a disability. They will review ABLE program implementation, what ABLE accounts are and how they can be used. The presentation and discussion will include examples of use by ABLE account owners, as well as resources for individuals, service providers and employers.

Click here to view ABLE Accounts slides
Click here to view ABLE Enrollment slides
Click here to view checklist slides
Click here to view the video

November 10, 2021

Brittney Black, MS, CRC, LCMHC, LCAS-A

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in Charge

Rebecca Evans, MEd, CRC, CPM

Vocational Rehabilitation Unit Manager

“Vocational Rehabilitation: What Families of Individuals with I/DD Need to Know”

Rebecca and Brittney will provide an overview of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services and discuss the various services that are available to middle and high school students.

Click here to view Vocational Rehabilitation slides
Click here to view DVRS 101 Promo Flyer
Click here to view DVRS 2019 Fact Sheet
Click here to view Skills Experience Options slides
Click here to view Value Realized slides
Click here to view the video

December 8, 2021

Donna Beckman

Advocacy and Outreach Director,
North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance

“Personal Empowerment: Having your Voice Heard from the Schoolhouse to the Statehouse”

Learn how to tailor your message to deliver it effectively and efficiently. Be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Click here to view slides
Click here to view the video

For more information, please contact:
Debbie B. Reinhartsen, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dissemination | Speech-Language Pathology Section Head
Associate Professor, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
2021 CIDD “Virtual” Community Talk Series
Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities

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