VKC 50th Website Reflections

Here are reflections about the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center from trainees.

Christine Sartain - Parent, LEND Trainee, and Disability Advocate

The VKC has become a home to my family in the few short years since my daughter’s birth. We’ve benefited in countless ways from its research, professional training (I was a LEND Family Trainee), workshops, and other community programs. I also have the opportunity to learn and give back to the Center as part of the Community Advisory Council and the Public Policy Committee. The VKC has been an incredible resource to me as a parent but has also been critical in my development as a professional, helping me to become a voice for other families through special education advocacy. From both perspectives, I cannot overstate the importance of the Center’s role in creating more meaningful and productive lives for people like my daughter, and I am proud to be part of an organization that continues to lead this charge both locally and nationally.

Christine Sartain - Parent, LEND Trainee, and Disability Advocate

Amy Weitlauf - VKC Member and Former LEND Trainee

As a Postdoctoral Fellow, I was a trainee with LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities]. This experience was invaluable to my current work as a clinical psychologist who specializes in diagnosing very young children with autism. My LEND training enhanced my abilities to understand families’ perspectives, to collaborate across disciplines, and to maintain cultural competence, all of which helps me provide better care to children and parents at a very difficult moment in their lives.

Amy Weitlauf - VKC Member and Former LEND Trainee

I am the proud parent of four young children, one of whom has Down syndrome. Besides benefiting from their vast array of supports and services, I am currently receiving valuable research experience as a doctoral student in special education and receiving specialized disability-specific training through the VKC.

Thomas Boehm - Parent, Doctoral Student in Special Education, and VKC UCEDD Trainee

As a UCEDD trainee, the VKC has been very important to me. I have learned so much from contributing to many of its self-advocacy projects for people with disabilities, and I am proud to be a part of all they do in the Nashville community. As a graduate student in Peabody College, I feel that working with the VKC UCEDD has helped me to mature in ways that will make me a successful special education teacher.

Carrie Glover - Graduate student in Special Education and VKC UCEDD Trainee

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