Va-LEND Leadership Projects

Throughout their training the Va-LEND trainees develop and implement their leadership projects.  These are innovative projects related to the field of disabilities  that the trainees have developed with the guidance from their faculty advisers. In the past few months several projects have been presented.

  • Kylie Lammers, trainee in genetic counseling,  wrote and submitted for publication an article for the PRISMS (Parents and Researchers Interested in Smith Magenis Syndrome) newsletter on her research  project: Siblings: of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities: An investigation  of well-sibling intra-familial relationships.
  • Katie Taylor, a psychology trainee conducted an  evaluation of the I-CAN Project related to protective orders of individuals experiencing abuse/neglect. (This is a project at the Partnership for People with Disabilities:
  • Jen Saddington, a physical therapy trainee, designed a motorized vehicle for a young child with motor impairment, and provided training for the child and family.

    Jen with the motorized car  with adaptations

    Jen and the motorized car with adaptations

  • Carter Tyrrell, a physical therapy trainee, researched, developed and disseminated  a resource guide for adaptable sports and recreational programs  for children with disabilities in the greater Richmond Metro Area. This guide is available under the Publications link.
  • Sarah Link, a law trainee, presented her research on  Examining Autism Models Across the Nation to Better Assist Families in Virginia to faculty at the Virginia Department of Education, Training and Technical Assistance Center at VCU (
  • Shannon Haworth, a family trainee, presented a poster  on Barriers to Autism Diagnosis and Treatment for African American Children at the Health Disparities Research  at the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Disability: A National Conference in Washington, D.C.
  • Elane Ellis, an Autism Fellow, completed and presented a literature review regarding the factors that influence how parents make decisions about supports and services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Lauren Andelin, an occupational therapy trainee, developed a family follow-up questionnaire to monitor use of assistive technology (AT), and wrote a grant to secure funds for the development of family training materials related to AT.
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