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Diversity and Disability Scholars

Disability and Diversity Fellowship Program

The purpose of the WVU CED Diversity & Disability Fellowship is to increase knowledge of disability services and supports and increase the diversity of leadership and staff across the disability field. The Fellowship Program recruits graduate and professional level students from diverse backgrounds to include individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, individuals with limited English proficiency, individuals from underserved geographic areas (rural or urban), different disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals as defined by AIDD. Two graduate students from diverse backgrounds are selected each year to complete our Diversity & Disability Fellowship starting in the spring semester of 2016 continuing through the summer of 2016. Fellows receive a tuition waiver and stipend for living expenses.

Fellows enroll in one of the two core courses taught by LEND mentors required for the WVU Interdisciplinary Certificate in Disability Studies program in order to increase knowledge relating to the field of disabilities.  The Diversity & Disability Fellowship program works in collaboration with the West Virginia Maternal and Child Health LEND program.  This collaboration provides the fellows with access to both on-line and in person training and clinic/observation experiences.  In addition to the coursework, fellows participate in no fewer than five clinic/observational experiences.  The clinic/observational experiences are designed to allow trainees to get supervised, real life experience working with individuals with disabilities and their families.  During the summer 2016 semester, the fellows will complete a 60-hour volunteer field placement with a community organization and complete a capstone project designed to make a systemic change to better serve individuals with disabilities and their families.  Upon completion of field placement, the fellows will create a portfolio of their fellowship experience and write a five-page paper applying principles learned, sharing how the knowledge learned will benefit the field of disabilities, and ways that they have and will continue to apply their academic discipline to improve the quality of lives for individuals with disabilities.  Fellows will prepare a presentation for WVU CED staff relating their entire fellowship experience to their field of study.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.