HDC News

  • A Tribute to Amanda Clark (1984-2024)

    Amanda Clark headshot

    Amanda Clark (1984-2024)

    It is with profound sorrow that we report the loss of our beloved colleague and dear friend, Amanda Clark, following complications from heart surgery.  She is survived by her beloved husband, Ryan, and their two sons, Emmett and Sawyer. 

    Amanda joined HDC’s LASARD team in August of 2022 to support school parishes across Central and Southwest Louisiana in inclusive education. She holds dual certification in Elementary and Special Education (Mild/Moderate) and is a Nationally Certified Educational Diagnostician. Amanda’s previous roles as a music teacher, a special education teacher, and an Educational Diagnostician with the Pupil Appraisal team underscored here commitment to individualized and appropriate inclusive practices, building relationships, co-teaching and collaboration, and working to foster independence. Additionally, Amanda was actively pursuing a doctoral degree with a concentration on Exceptional Learners. Her absence will be keenly felt by all.

    Here are some tributes from her HDC family:

    “Amanda brought exuberance and passion into our LASARD workgroup. She connected quickly as a team member, seamlessly assuming the roles of “coach” and “presenter”(sure to always grab audience attention creatively). Problem solving was another attribute that Amanda had in spades, at home and in her work life…she didn’t let the rough spots get her down. It is rare to work on a team where the bond and commitment across members is highly valued. The loss of Amanda will ripple through each of us in the days to come because she made the effort to connect and bring 100% to the table.”

    “Amanda was one of the most passionate advocates for students that I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.”

    “She was vibrant and always present as a coworker and friend.”

    Further details can be found at: https://www.mourning.com/obituaries/Amanda-Clark-3/#!/TributeWall

    Instead of flowers, the family requests that donations be directed to Maddie’s footprint (https://maddiesfootprints.org/).

    During this difficult time, we ask that you keep Ryan and the rest of Amanda’s family in your hearts and thoughts.

  • A Convening by Families Helping Families NOLA

    Sponsored by IBM

    Positioning Ourselves for a Neurodivergent Workforce

    Greater New Orleans Foundation, 919 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

    Join us for an enriching and unique discussion on fostering a neurodiverse workforce with experts in the field!

    Attendees will receive valuable insights from industry leaders including IBM, Microsoft, DXC Technology, and others who will share their expertise and practical strategies for integrating neurodiversity into the workplace.

    Discover innovative and actionable strategies to champion Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within your company.

    Embrace the power of diverse perspectives and unlock the full potential of your team.

    Registration is free and available through Eventbrite: Register

    Information about program and panelist


  • The FASD Respect Act Passes the Senate HELP Committee

    The fight to address the importance of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) achieved a huge milestone on December 12, 2023, as it passed the Senate HELP Committee. The bill represents a major step in positively affecting the lives of individuals with FASD and their families. FASD United, the national organization sponsoring FASD education, reports that an estimated 1 in 20 children in the United States are affected by FASD, but the majority of cases are undiagnosed.

    Read the full press release from FASD United here.

  • Shaping the Future: LEND Scholar’s AUCD 2023 Experience

    Each fall, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) gathers their network members for a conference in Washington, D.C. Their shared goal is to advance policies and practices that improve the health, education, social, and economic well-being of all people with developmental and other disabilities.

    The Human Development Center is proud to participate in the conference by sending our Louisiana LEND and Interprofessional Preparation Program scholars as well as various HDC staff and faculty to connect, share, and grow with our national disability community. The 2023 AUCD theme was “Emerging Leaders: Shaping the Future.

    We asked LEND scholar and self-advocate Jakeel Abdullah to share his AUCD experiences with us.


  • Disability Rights Louisiana Seeks New Executive Director

    HDC’s partner in advocacy, Disability Rights Louisiana (DRLA), is seeking its next Executive Director. The job search is being handled by NPAG. Job seekers were encouraged to apply by October 13, 2023, but not enough were received, and the search is ongoing.