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The Focus on Family and Disability Seminar Series is a forum to educate diverse audiences from students and faculty to service providers, community stakeholders, and family members. 

Program topics include current issues, policies and research, and evidence-based approaches in health, education, and disability. 



Planning for 2021-2022 is underway. Please check back to see our new lineup!

Past Programs


picture of Sherry ThomasSeptember 8, 2020Navigating special education in light of COVID-19

Sherry H. Thomas

Learn everything parents with children who have disabilities need to know now about public education during COVID-19!



October 13, 2020Let’s Get Innovative: Cultivating a movement for engagement, empowerment, and community inclusion

picture of Kate Barrow

picture of Stacey HarwardKate Barrow and Stacey Harward, BSW

This session aims to help reframe the perspective of community members to a rights-based model for change that enrich the lives of all people.




picture of Mary Wise


November 10, 2020Infant and Early Child Mental Health

Mary Wise, LCSW

Mary will explore the impact of trauma and adversity on young children, from infancy through preschool age.



December 8, 2020Finding the Supports You Need — Panel Presentation

Panelists: Abbie Szymanski, Carol Cranford, Ginger Wilder

This panel discussion will highlight services and resources available to families with children who have special needs during COVID-19 and beyond.


January 12, 2021Diversity in Neurodivergence: Girls and Women with Autism

Caroline Garrett, MSW

This seminar provides participants with an overview of autism in girls and women, including an introduction to the neurodiversity paradigm and identity-first language.


picture of Taylor McDonaldFebruary 9, 2021Connections Matter: Building caring connections to improve resiliency

Taylor McDonald

Taylor will be summarizing information on linking early brain development, trauma, resilience and community, connections and resources.



March 9, 2021Parenting a Child of Color on the Autism Spectrum

Danyale Sturdivant, MSSW, LCSW

In this highly personal narrative, the presenter, a mother of a child with autism and a licensed clinical social worker, describes her own journey of adjustment to the reality of her child’s autism.




April 13, 2021Supportive Care Needs of Parents and Caregivers of Children who have Rare Diseases

Sharon King