What’s New

  • Trainees Present Leadership Project (1/10/2018)

    This past December 2017, Gail Kim, Hannah Rustin, Janice Stovall and Yu-Yu Du each presented their Leadership Project and received their Certificate of Completion from the Va-LEND (Virginia Leadership in Education Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) program. Congratulations!

    Va-LEND Graduates

  • Va-LEND Welcomes New Co-Training Directors (1/8/2018)

    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.

  • Children’s Assistive Technology Service (CATS) (11/1/2017)

    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.

  • FREE FILM SCREENING – DEEJ- Inclusion shouldn’t be a lottery (11/1/2017)

    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 CollegeThe Arc of Hanover and disAbility Law Center of Virginia.

  • Va-LEND Holds Annual FME Fall Picnic (9/10/2017)
  • Equipment Drive and Scrub Event (9/5/2017)
    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 Trainee presents at the July 2017 Autism CARES meeting (7/17/2017)

    Research Poster

    YuYu Du

  • Va-LEND Trainee Receives 2017 OAR Research Grant (6/15/2017)

    Heather Coleman

    Heather Coleman, who received her certificate of completion from Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Va-LEND), Program this past May also received a $2000 Research Grant from The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) to support her dissertation research. Coleman’s was among 26 proposals submitted to OAR, a national non-profit organization formed and led by relatives of children and adults with autism and Asperger Syndrome. A doctorial student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Coleman’s study is titled Parent Implemented Communication Intervention for Young Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. She has 18 months to complete her research and will work directly with parents and their children with autism. Click on link to read entire article

  • Va-LEND Welcomes Second Generation Director (5/4/2017)

    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 (4/15/2017)

    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