What’s New

Va-LEND Welcomes New Co-Training Directors

Jacqueline Robinson Brock and Meera R. Mehtaji have joined Va-LEND as the new Training Co-Directors for the program.  They will be bringing their complementary skills into the Training Director position which they will share. Va-LEND is in the process of implementing its revised curriculum that incorporates increased universal design and student engaged learning with a more diverse group of trainees. Jacqueline (Jackie) holds BSW and MSW degrees, and a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in

Meera J. Mehtaji, Jackie Robinson Brock

Meera R. Mehtaji, Jackie Robinson Brock

Non-Profit Management. She has worked for Virginia’s UCEDD (The Partnership for People with Disabilities) since 2012. There she serves as a Program Specialist in Early Childhood and Health which has provided the opportunity for her to direct or coordinate a number of grant funded projects.  Meera, a former Va-LEND trainee, is a Ph.D. candidate in Special Education and Disability Policy and is an instructor in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University in addition to her Va-LEND responsibilities.  The impressive talents and experience of Meera and Jackie make them a powerful duo to implement the training component of the Va-LEND program.

FREE FILM SCREENING – DEEJ- Inclusion shouldn’t be a lottery

Directed by Robert Rooy and produced by Robert Rooy and Deej Savarese, this film is a documentary about autism and inclusion . It is Brought to you as part of the nationwide DEEJ Inclusion Tour. There will be a question and answer period with a panel discussion, which includes nationally known speaker Cyndi Pitonyak. The screening will be held at Randolph Macon College, The Sun Trust Theater, Brock Commons Building, 2nd floor on November 12, 2017 from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm.  Register at eventbrite.com Deej

The event is sponsored by Randolph Macon College, The Arc of Hanover and disAbility Law Center of Virginia.

Children’s Assistive Technology Service (CATS)

Children’s Assistive Technology Service (CATS) will hold a benefit at Halligans Bar-B-Que Grill located on 2451 Old Brick Road, Glen Allen, Va from 4pm-6pm on November 19, 2017. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to CATS with the presentation of  CATS Flyer.

Va-LEND Trainees lead “Hot Topic” on

Genetic Diagnostic Odysseys and Testing Overview

at Clinic session.

Va-LEND Holds Annual FME Fall Picnic

Click to check out the Va-LEND 2017 FME Picnic

CATS- Children’s Assistive Technology Service
is Hosting an Equipment Drive and Scrub Event
September 23, 2017

Download CATS Flyer for more information!

Va-LEND Welcomes Second Generation Director

This past March, Jennifer Accardo, MD, officially stepped into her role as the new Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Va-LEND) Director, a job previously held by her father, Pasquale Accardo, MD. Dr. Accardo is a pediatrician board certified in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities. She graduated from medical school at St. Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri and did her general pediatrics training at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. She developed an interest in sleep problems in children with disabilities, which she pursued via a sleep

Dr. Accardo

Jennifer Accardo, MD

medicine fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania. She also earned a Masters in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics. Dr. Accardo worked on the faculty of Kennedy Krieger Institute and then moved to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Fall 2016 to prepare a variety of trainees interested in learning more about developmental medicine. Although Dr. Accardo’s time at Va-LEND is just beginning, “She is actively participating as Va-LEND continues to grow and we are looking forward to great things achieved through her leadership”, said Beth Bader, PhD, Associate Director of Va-LEND.  “I look forward to collaborating with trainees, faculty, and AUCD colleagues”, said Dr. Accardo.

Va-LEND Holds FME Celebration and Graduation Picnic

Va-LEND Trainees, faculty, families and friends came together at the ARC Park in Richmond April 29 to celebrate the end of the Family Mentoring Experience (FME) for this academic year. Soon to be Va-LEND graduates of the program were

recognized and received their “Almost” Certificates. They will receive their official ones in May. Former Va-LEND Director, Dr. Pat Accardo, received a certificate signed by the faculty in appreciation for his years of service and commitment to Va-LEND


Va-LEND Holds Annual Research Poster Fair

Click on a few of the pics of the Va-LEND 2017 Research and Poster Fair!

Read All About It!

 Click Here!

Virginia LEND Trainees Advocate for Improved Transition to Post-Secondary Education for Students with ASD