Left to right: Amy Hewitt, Enitan Onayiga (MNLEND 2023-24), and BiKe Ojomo. Onayiga is holding her certificate of completion. Hewitt is the Director of the MNLEND program and the Institute on Community Integration. Ojomo is the MNLEND program coordinator.

“Just The Beginning”: MNLEND Graduates Celebrate Success

ICI celebrated the accomplishments of nearly three dozen graduates of the Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (MNLEND) program on May 23. “I’ve learned a lot, and this is just the beginning, because there is more to come,” said Fanny Fernandez (MNLEND 2023-24) in a video made for the occasion.

Read more about MNLEND.

K. Charlie Lakin was pictured during his acceptance speech by University of Minnesota photographer Marjan Samadi.

Lakin Receives Outstanding Achievement Award

K. Charlie Lakin received the University of Minnesota's highest alumni honor. He helped create ICI as a beacon of research and training to improve the quality of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Lakin contributed significantly to the national shift from institutional care to community living.

"Much of what we learned from Charlie is ingrained in the soul and organizational culture of ICI today," said ICI Director Amy Hewitt.

Read more about Lakin.

Shannell, in a still from her appearance in one of the videos.

Knowledge is Power: ICI, Partners Launch New Sexuality Series for OPWDD

A powerful new video series, filmed by ICI staff, features adults with disabilities speaking frankly about sexual self-advocacy. Topics include clear descriptions of sexual terms, consent, and sexual self-advocacy. “Having information about sexuality helps us understand ourselves and what we want in our relationships,” Shanell Davis, an advocacy support professional, says in one video.

Read more about the videos.