Featured

HDC Spotlight: Michael Curry

Michael Curry helps young adults with disabilities transition from high school into an independent life through the Human Development Center’s Postsecondary Apprenticeship for Youth, better known as the PAY Check program. Since joining the PAY Check team, Michael helped kick-start the first PAY Check program on the Northshore, which includes 4 young men from St. Paul’s high school.

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Louisiana LEND is now accepting applications

Strong leadership influences change in systems like Healthcare, Education, and Public Policy. To become a better informed professional, you need interdisciplinary skills and community-based learning. To transform society as we know it, you must be an effective advocate and leader.

Apply to Louisiana LEND now to acquire these skills! Deadline to apply is April 25, 2022! Click the button below that best describes you.

Please know that LEND is a stipend program that financially compensates you for your time and participation. Registration and travel to the national AUCD conference in Washington, D.C. is also covered when participating in the program.

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Register for the Interprofessional Preparation Program

Teacher and young student fist bump in the classroom.
Teacher and young student fist bump in the classroom.

Are you a graduate student in the Allied Health Professions and considering work in a school system after graduating? Get acquainted with this unique environment by participating in the Interprofessional Preparation Program.

Deadline to apply is May 31st. Please complete the application packet online.

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HDC Spotlight: Family-Centered Values at the ASDID Clinic

The Human Development Center is committed to increasing access to quality services for underserved families. One such way is through the Autism Spectrum Disorders Interdisciplinary Diagnostic (ASDID) clinic, which provides outstanding services to families of children suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As an interdisciplinary clinic, the ASDID team consists of the family and professionals from different disciplines who work together to engage in best practices for ruling in/ruling out an ASD diagnosis. The ASDID clinic also provides recommendations for services and support for families who have children with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD.

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Perspectives: Risk

Perspectives: Risk. Dignity of Risk by Dr. Philip Wilson

Perspectives is a blog inspiring change through different perspectives brought to you by our Constituent Advisory Committee (CAC), HDC staff, and local community. Our current theme is risk. If you have a perspective on risk as it relates to disability, email your idea to jrob44@lsuhsc.edu.

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HDC Spotlight: Courtney Bissonnette, RN, MSN

Ms. Courtney Bissonnette, RN, MSN recently began working at the Human Development Center (HDC) as a Health Specialist for HDC’s Early Head Start Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) project and a member of the core faculty of the Louisiana Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. Before joining HDC as a Registered Nurse (RN) and Health Specialist, Courtney worked as an acute care pediatric nurse on pediatric medical surgical units for five-years. She also spent a year at a pediatric primary care clinic as a pediatric triage nurse. Courtney left the hospital setting and earned a Master of Science in Nursing Education, while simultaneously working full-time as a nurse at a childcare center that served young children with special needs. Courtney has a personal relationship with developmental disabilities. She is the mother of a child with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Courtney’s professional training and life experiences make her uniquely able to notice small details that can impact a family or child’s health, wellness, and quality of life. Courtney uses this lens in her daily work to make sure that faculty, staff, teachers, families and children possess the wellness tools they need to reach their full potential.

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HDC Spotlight: Ray Leger, BA, CWIC

Because October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), this spotlight has a special focus on employment. Visit the NDEAM homepage to learn how you can help build an inclusive workforce.

Donald “Ray” Leger has worked as a Certified Work Incentives Counselor (CWIC) for the Human Development Center’s Work Incentives Planning and Assistance project (funded by the Social Security Administration) since 2006.  Ray is passionate about being of service to others and has loved every minute of his role helping people understand how work affects their benefits. Today, he is Project Manager of the West South Central Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WSC WIPA) program.

Donald "Ray" Leger

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HDC Spotlight: Maria Blanco, M.Ed.

Maria Blanco, M.Ed. has worked at HDC for 15-years. She designs projects that increase access to quality early learning experiences for young children and families; she supports early childhood staff to implement projects with a high level of excellence; and she represents HDC’s interests, and those of children and families, on state and local policymaking bodies. Maria is currently the Director for the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) and the Director for HDC’s newest program, Inclusive Practices in Early Childhood (IPEC).

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HDC Spotlight: Carmel Polk, MS, CESP

As a Transition Specialist, Carmel Polk helps PAY Check participants transition to life after high school by teaching them community and work-related skills that are crucial for independent life. PAY Check’s mission to nurture young people’s abilities for full community participation is what attracted Carmel to the position.

It is important that we ensure students have the tools and skills to live independently in society. We want young people to be the best version of themselves in every capacity.

– Carmel Polk, MS, CESP
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