Amy Hewitt and John Smith.

ICI Expands Workforce Consulting Service

Responding to dire shortages in staff supporting people with disabilities, ICI has expanded its national workforce consulting work, leveraging its longstanding position as a key thought leader in the disability field. Direct Support Workforce Solutions, led by ICI Director Amy Hewitt (pictured at left with colleague John Smith), will combine organizational analysis and in-depth training for direct support professionals into a comprehensive strategy to help organizations recruit, train, and keep their best staff. Read more about Direct Support Workforce Solutions.

The new "Art for All" exhibit in the entrance of ICI's new home.

My Arts Career: Stephen Wiltshire

Born with autism in London in 1974, Stephen Wiltshire’s extraordinary talents have produced accurate depictions of cities, skylines, and street scenes from memory after viewing them only briefly. The Queen named him a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to art in 2006. Discovered at age nine, he was called “possibly the best child artist in Britain” by Sir Hugh Casson, president of The Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Wiltshire's career spans more than 35 years and has given him much acclaim, along with numerous documentaries, articles, commercials, and endorsements. His first commissioned artwork, to a Prime Minister, was later sold at Christie's auction house in London. His work is currently displayed in the Empire State Building in New York. His advice to other artists? “Do the best you can and never stop.” Read more about Wiltshire.

Alumni Update: Deeqaifrah Hussein, MNLEND Fellow

Deeqaifrah Hussein is the interim executive director of special education and health services for Minneapolis Public Schools, the district recently announced. 

Hussein (MNLEND, 2017–18) was named a special education director in 2019 and serves on the board of the Autism Society of Minnesota. She chairs the Somali Parents Autism Network, among other community roles, and is the mother of two sons with autism. “MNLEND brought people together,” she recalls. “It brought us to consider first what the child wants.” Read more about Hussein.