The Special Hope Foundation awarded a grant to JFK Partners UCEDD and LEND at the University of Colorado last February to help a student group, Disability Dialogue, expand their program.
The group, which is committed to examining health care disparities affecting individuals with developmental disabilities, engages speakers in all medical disciplines, community support organizations, parents and individuals with varied physical and intellectual disabilities.
Laura Pickler, MD, MPH, Associate Professor Family Medicine and Pediatric Genetics At Colorado Children’s Hospital, is the director of the program, and provided this heartwarming update:
On Wednesday September 24th, the Disability Dialogue student group had its first meeting of the 2014-2015 school year. Our speaker was Darryl Williams who came to speak to health professional students and ARC ambassadors about service dogs.
Darryl was accompanied by his service dog, Ivy, and by Lyn Manton Krueger, a service dog trainer at Canine Partners of the Rockies. Darryl discussed how having a service dog has impacted his life, giving him greater freedom and autonomy to live a full and satisfying life even after doctors told him that he would not be able perform certain functions essential for independence.
Darryl and and Lyn took the time to answer questions from students, ranging from what service dogs do to how to interact with owners and their service dogs in a public space. The students had a lot of great questions and Darryl and Ivy were able to demonstrate a few of the services Ivy was trained to perform for Darryl. The meeting was very well attended with over 150 present from all health professions schools as well as ARC Ambassadors from the community.
We have three more Disability Dialogue sessions planned this semester.
Thank you, Laura. We are anxious to here more!