UNE LEND team engages community through events and outreach

Kim Humphrey, Lindsay Spencer and Melissa Ward led the discussion of the film Bottom Dollars
Kim Humphrey, Lindsay Spencer and Melissa Ward led the discussion of the film Bottom Dollars

April 24, 2018

The Maine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND)  program at the University of New England has been engaging the community through a variety of events. LEND is federally-funded project aimed at expanding resources to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (ND) in the state.

Maine LEND held its first Game Day event on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Innovation Hall on UNE’s Portland Campus. The families that trainees have been working with throughout the year attended, along with other families of children or family members with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Both trainees, faculty and family members enjoyed spending an afternoon connecting and playing games with one other. “Our first Game Day event was a spectacular success and I’m proud of all our trainees and faculty.” Said Eileen Ricci, PT, D.P.T., M.S., PCS, LEND program director.

“It was a ton of fun to see some new faces and the faces of some folks we already knew,” said speech and language pathologist and LEND trainee, Alex Busack. “Today’s event was such a wonderful celebration of all that our trainees have accomplished with the families that they followed this year.”

Just a few days later, The UNE Interprofessional Education Collaborative and Maine LEND co-sponsored a viewing of the movie, Bottom Dollars, by the Rooted in Rights group. More than 40 students and community members attended movie screening, which addresses the social justice issues around work for people with disabilities. The movie was followed by a discussion led by LEND Trainees Lindsay Spencer (M.S.O.T., ‘18); Kim Humphrey, M.P.H., and family member trainee Melissa Ward.

Members of the LEND team also visited the famed Madison’s Café in South Berwick, which is staffed by people with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The team met with co-owner, Nicole Grant-Mcoomb. The café is named after Grant-McCoomb’s daughter. The café has been nominated for Southern Maine Small Business of the Year and won 2017 Southern Maine Employer of the Year.

To learn more about the University of New England’s Westbrook College of Health Professions visit www.une.edu/wchp

To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions

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