This spring, Einstein's Children's Evaluation and Rehabiltation Center (CERC) hosted visitors from Russia participating in a half-day educational event as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The visit, which focused on sharing experiences with providing services that address special care medical needs, early intervention and advocacy for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, was organized by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the United States Department of State.
The visitors heard three presentations: First, Dr. Maris Rosenberg, interim director of CERC, gave an overview of the Rose F. Kennedy UCEDD/CERC program; Dr. Herbert Cohen, director emeritus of CERC, then discussed the history of early identification and intervention services for children with developmental disabilities; and Joanne Siegel, director of community, legislative and advocacy affairs, offered insights on the history of advocacy services at CERC. The group also enjoyed a tour of the center's Van Etten facility.
Einstein's Russian guests were particularly interested in learning about the legal framework and public policies supporting disability rights in our nation; the benefits of an interdisciplinary case management approach that advances the best interests of individuals with disabilities; how mass transit systems, public buildings and other facilities can accommodate people with disabilities; how employing people with disabilities benefits the school and the students; and how community-based organizations support the disabled.
"It was interesting to meet these leaders and advocates from non-governmental organizations in Russia,” noted Dr. Cohen. “Their concerns and objectives in trying to get better services for children and adults with disabilities were very similar to our own."
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the Department of State's premier professional exchange program, hosting nearly 5,000 international visitors each year. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience our nation firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants' professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.
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