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The CDCI Connects badge: Two linked cursive C's inside a dotted rainbow banner, with the CDCI logo at top left. The two C's are wearing a graduation cap at a jaunty angle because of course they are. Text: May 2022
CDCI Connects, Issue 20. May 2022: CONGRAD-ULATIONS!
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Congratulations to 2022's Think College Vermont graduates!

We want to wish our Think College Vermont students and mentors a heartfelt thanks for sharing their journeys with us this year. We learned a lot from each and every one of you, and enjoyed being along for the ride.

Please join us in congratulating Think College's graduating students: Emily Scott, Erin Watson, Shania Elias, Justin McQuiston, David George Mackey, Chace Yunker, Thomas Caswell and Bennett Townley.

And their graduating mentors: Grace Murphy, Hannah Buscher, Lily Poursoltan, Jocelyn Hewitt, Maddie McCarthy, Kristin Ketterman, Ella Justman, Jenny Koppang, Rachel Purcell, Emma Severn, and Gracie Butler.

We can't wait to see what you all do next! 

New podcast episode: Rachel Cronin & Melissa Cronin

“I think the biggest thing is for people who don’t understand disability, especially invisible disabilities, to try to listen to those who are struggling."

On this episode of the podcast, CDCI business manager Rachel Cronin sits down with her stepmother, Melissa Cronin, as they talk disability. Melissa Cronin is an author and journalist based in Vermont. Before she sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2003, she was also a neonatal intensive care nurse. 

The two talk about struggling with the idea of who qualifies as "disabled", espeically when it comes to your own identity, along with Melissa's experiences of having an invisible disability, and how that's shaped her post-accident identity.
Watch the full interview

Winnie Looby named as  2022 Jackie M. Gribbons Award recipient

A Black woman in her late forties, with long locs held back by a blue headband, smiles at the camera in front of a leafy, shaded tree. Text: 2022 Jackie M. Gribbons Award: Winnie Looby, PhD

Dr. Winnie Looby has been chosen as the recipient of the 2022 Jackie M. Gribbons Award at the University of Vermont. This award recognizes faculty in the College of Education and Social Services at UVM who demonstrate extraordinary leadership and service to the University and our community.

Dr. Looby works tirelessly as the coordinator of our graduate certificate in disability studies, in her many roles with other disability organizations, and as a committed mentor and colleague. Through her work, she changes the narrative around disability, ensuring that services are not just offered *to* people with disabilities, but are led *by and with* people with disabilities. Well deserved, Dr. Looby!

UPCOMING EVENTS a plain icon of a calendar


Brain Club: What Do You Wish School Was Like?

THURSDAY MAY 19 @ 5 PM EST (virtual)
All Brains Belong VT
Have you ever daydreamed about the perfect school day? A day when you were excited to go to school. What would your classroom look like? What would be for lunch in the cafeteria? Facilitated by Winnie Looby, PhD.

Identifying the Red and Green Flags of Social Media Use: Promoting Social Media Skills and Safety for Individuals with Disabilities

TUESDAY MAY 24 @ 2 PM EST (virtual)
Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD)
In this presentation, strategies to assist individuals with disabilities with the identification of dangerous and safe online situations will be presented. 

Switch Access 101

WEDNESDAY JUNE 1 @ 3 PM EST (virtual)
Vermont Assistive Technology Program (VATP)
Switches are devices that enable users to activate technology including computers, toys, environmental controls, communication devices, and more.  There are many different types that are suitable for users with differing strengths and preferences.  Join for a free online introduction to switch access and selection, and learn about switches and switch activated AT available to try out in Vermont from the AT4ALL lending library. 

Voices of Our Network: A Live Storytelling Event

FRIDAY JUNE 3 @ 7PM EST (Burlington VT)

Vermont Family Network 
An evening of powerful true stories told by families and self-advocates in our community. Live music will accompany this diverse group of storytellers as they share their experiences of disability, parenting, and more!

The Vermont Career Advancement Project

WEDNESDAY JUNE 8 @ 10 AM EST (virtual)
Vermont Family Network
Join us to learn about how HireAbility’s new Vermont Career Advancement Project (VCAP) creates quality career pathways for Vermonters.

What are Vermonters' attitudes toward disability?

A bar graph showing that 75% of Vermonters agree that non-disabled students benefit when they are in the same classroom as students with disabilities.
Each year, the UVM Center on Rural Studies surveys Vermonters about many different topics.

This year, they included disability as one of those topics. These are some results of the questions about Vermonters' attitudes toward disability.

A first look at the study findings reveals that most Vermonters who completed the survey agreed:

  • People with disabilities have a LOWER quality of life

  • When students with and without disabilities are in class together ALL students benefit

  • People with disabilities contribute EQUALLY to the labor force.

Full first findings from The Vermonter Poll



Communications Specialist

Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD)

Silver Springs, MD

Director of Development

Special Olympics Vermont
South Burlington, VT

Assistive Technology Access Specialist

Vermont Assistive Technology Program (VATP)
Barre, VT

Celebrating students & mentors at Think College Vermont

Director of the Think College Vermont program at UVM, Bryan Dague, made this commemorative video, documenting the events of the year, for students, mentors, and families. 

Additionally, Think College alum and professional CDCI photographer Stirling Peebles has shared a gallery of photos from this year's graduation ceremony. The ceremony was held in-person at the Davis Center, on the UVM campus in Burlington, on May 14, 2022. 
Visit the graduation gallery


As part of the CDCI's ongoing commitment to expanding and improving our services, we invite you to take this four-question survey about our website, and how it can meet your needs. 
UVM Center on Disability & Community Inclusion logo, featuring a reversed image of a university tower at left.
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Copyright © 2022 Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, University of Vermont, Licensed under Creative Commons 4.0

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Image credits: "Calendar" by Maxim Kulikov, via, CC-BY 3.0. "Job" by Adrian Coquet, via, CC-BY 3.0. Photos from the Think College Vermont graduation ceremony are by Stirling Peebles.