Announcement for Policy Forum on November 9, 2021.

Nov. 9 ICI Policy Forum: COVID-19 and vaccination rates among DSPs

This November 9 webinar will be based on a brief that contains findings from a recent study of COVID-19 and vaccination rates among DSPs. Conducted by ICI and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, the study showed significant variability in the timing and location of vaccination among DSPs from different racial groups. The study revealed multiple reasons why DSPs choose to receive the vaccine or not, such as accessibility, fear of vaccination, and cultural influence. While DSPs reported similar total rates of being fully or partially vaccinated, there was variability between White and Black DSPs in terms of access, timing, and culture associated with receiving the vaccine.

DSPs come from a wide range of backgrounds which may influence their ability and willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To advance a positive vaccine model, providers and State organizations need to emphasize the benefits of vaccination, while maintaining the visibility of DSPs of different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. Register for Nov. 9 Policy Forum.

Leroy Moore.

Back to the Community: My Life in Rap, Poetry, and Activism

Fresh off the high of two Sports Emmy awards for Rising Phoenix, the 2020 documentary about the Paralympics with a theme song by Krip-Hop Nation artists, Krip-Hop founder Leroy Moore is dreaming bigger. In this Impact article, Moore explains that he wants to build a cultural center, where students and the public can learn about Black disabled art and activism. Krip-Hop Institute will bring artists together to perform and will create a space to explore the political history of Black/Brown artists with disabilities. This fall at UCLA, Moore, who lives with cerebral palsy, will begin a doctorate program in anthropology, which he describes as the next logical step in creating the Institute. It has been a long journey for Moore, one that began to the sounds of soul, jazz, and blues from his parents’ vinyl collection, included a trip to the Paralympics himself, and saw him captivated by the early rappers of the late 1970s and 1980s.

"My audience is wide, but where I really want to bring this message is the Black community, to open up its mind and thinking around disability and hip hop and activism," he writes. "My second audience is the disability community, and my third audience is the media and, through it, the music industry. We see other industries today talking about inclusive policies and opening up to the disability community, but the music industry hasn’t budged."

"In the end, it all comes back to poetry. Most people could count one or two poets they’ve heard of, but if you get a following, put it to music and you’re all over the Internet, you have a voice. That’s a powerful thing. You can change culture in a way that people who are just academics can’t." Read more about Krip-Hop.

Kathryn Anderson.

Alumni Update: Kathryn Anderson, dentist

Kathryn Anderson (MNLEND, 2016–18), the first dental student to complete ICI’s MNLEND fellowship, is now a practicing dentist in the Minneapolis area, predominantly serving patients with complex care needs.

About 80 percent of Anderson’s practice is devoted to children and adults with physical, cognitive, and developmental disabilities who often require sedation, anesthesia, or alternative treatment approaches. Completing the MNLEND fellowship during dental school at University of Minnesota helped Anderson hone the interpersonal skills she needed to succeed in helping patients, she said.

“I’ve always been observant and an outside-the-box thinker, but the fellowship gave me the communication skills to help patients feel included in their care, and to work with family members and support staff,” she said. Read more about Anderson.