MIND Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disabilities focuses on inclusion for all

MIND Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disabilities focuses on inclusion for all

In-person and virtual event is for families, providers and individuals with autism, ADHD, Down syndrome and more


Inclusion for individuals with autism, ADHD, fragile X syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disabilities is the focus of a summer event planned by the UC Davis MIND Institute. The annual MIND Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disabilities is July 28 and will feature both in-person and virtual options.

A group of 10 people poses outside for a group photo. Some have Down syndrome or other disabilities. Many have arms around each other.

The annual event is for educators, health care providers, individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities such as autism, ADHD and fragile X syndrome, students, families, and caregivers. The goal is to share the latest resources, research advances and best practices for assessment, treatment and support.

Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

• “Inclusion and Belonging: Powerful Discussions to Engage our Community”
• July 28, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• In person at Hiram Johnson High School, 6879 14th Ave., Sacramento
• Virtual option offered
• Spanish translation available
Learn more and register here

The Summer Institute is an opportunity to learn and connect. It includes a keynote presentation on lifelong inclusion and panel discussions with people who have lived experience. Breakout sessions will also be led by community partners, panelists and MIND Institute employees.

Spanish translation will be offered for both virtual and in-person attendees.

“I am looking forward to meeting new people and learning about people’s experiences with inclusion in different areas of life so we can support innovation in this area,” said Aubyn Stahmer, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Stahmer is also the director of the MIND Institute’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, which hosts the event.

A focus on meaningful inclusion

This year's theme is "Inclusion and Belonging: Powerful Discussions to Engage our Community." The focus is meaningful inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in many areas, including housing, health care and employment.

“It is our hope that this event creates a platform for important discussions and dialogue related to inclusion and how as a community we can continue to learn from one another and work together to create positive changes,” said Amber Fitzgerald, a program manager and trainer at the MIND Institute who is co-coordinator of the event.

Amber Fitzgerald
It is our hope that this event creates a platform for important discussions and dialogue related to inclusion and how as a community we can continue to learn from one another and work together to create positive changes.” Amber Fitzgerald, program manager and trainer, UC Davis MIND Institute

First hybrid Summer Institute

This will be the 18th Summer Institute event and the first hybrid one, offering both in-person and virtual attendance. In-person sessions will be held at Hiram Johnson High School at 6879 14th Ave. in Sacramento.

An elementary-aged African American girl in a wheelchair, wearing a pink shirt and blue shorts and holding a tablet, sits in front of a table, around which six students and one teacher sit and talk.

The event runs from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. The first part of the day will include a research talk about inclusion and a panel of people with disabilities and their caregivers who will share their experiences about inclusion. The in-person portion will include lunch and breakout discussions about different aspects of inclusion. These discussions will not be part of the virtual option. 

Summer Institute was an in-person event for many years, but for the last three, it was completely virtual due to the pandemic. Thanks to the online format, about 1,000 people from nearly 20 countries registered for the event each year.

“I am looking forward to bringing people together to learn about inclusion in this new hybrid model,” said Kelly Heung, a program manager at the MIND Institute and co-coordinator of the event. “In-person attendees will have the opportunity to make meaningful connections with other participants, and virtual attendees will have the flexibility to participate in an accessible way, thus allowing a broader reach of participants.”

Registration is now open.

A preview of what to expect at Summer Institute:

  • Keynote presentation titled “Inclusion: Always and for All” by Amy Hewitt, director of the Institute on Community Integration and director of the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota
  • Panel discussion, “Personal Stories on the Impact of Inclusion,” featuring self-advocates, family members, mentors, community members and more
  • Small group breakout sessions in Spanish and English on inclusion in medical settings, education, employment, higher education and more

“I am especially excited about hearing from our panel members as they share their own experiences of inclusion,” Fitzgerald said. “The presentation and panel discussion will create a great foundation for our community members to engage personally with one another, taking the time to listen, connect and hear about the lived experiences of others as we discuss the importance of inclusion. Summer Institute is an opportunity for the MIND Institute to both give back and learn from the community.”

Costs are as follows:

In person (includes continental breakfast and lunch):

  • $125 for parents, caregivers, family members, people with disabilities and students
  • $175 for professionals

Remote only (does not include breakout sessions):

  • $30

There are two different registration links for the event:

  1. If you or a family member is a client of Alta California Regional Center and would like to attend the event using regional center conference event funding, please use this link.
  2. If you are an individual who is planning to pay for the event personally, please use this link to register.

The UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, Calif. was founded in 1998 as a unique interdisciplinary research center where families, community leaders, researchers, clinicians and volunteers work together toward a common goal: researching causes, treatments and potential prevention of challenges associated with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The institute has major research efforts in autism, fragile X syndrome, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Down syndrome. More information about the institute and its Distinguished Lecturer Series, including previous presentations in this series, is available on the Web at mindinstitute.ucdavis.edu.