The College’s Institute on Community Integration (ICI) has begun its 33rd year of operation with the appointment of a new director, and the award of renewed five-year funding. On July 1, Dr. Amy Hewitt became ICI’s director, the fourth to hold that position since ICI was established in 1985. The Institute also received renewed federal funding from the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which continues ICI’s designation as a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).
For more than 30 years, Hewitt has worked to improve community inclusion and the quality of life for children, youth, and adults with disabilities and their families. She has been ICI’s training director since 2002, and is the director of both the Research and Training Center on Community Living and the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (MNLEND) program, as well as co-director of the Rehabilitation and Research Training Center on Outcome Measurement. In the course of her work at ICI she has additionally directed numerous federal and state research, evaluation, and demonstration projects in the area of community long-term services and supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families.
A national leader in the disability field, Hewitt is president-elect of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and a past president of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). In Minnesota, she has served on the board of The Arc Minnesota, and several state level advisory and work groups, where she emphasizes community collaboration. She currently serves on the statewide advisory committee of the Minnesota Disability Law Center.
“I am honored, humbled, and looking forward to the opportunities and challenges to continue our mission-based work to improve policies and practices to ensure that all children, youth and adults with disabilities are valued by, and contribute to, their communities of choice,” Hewitt says. ICI’s renewed core funding as a UCEDD will support the Institute’s continued engagement in collaborative research, training, and outreach in partnership with service providers, policymakers, educators, advocacy and self-advocacy organizations, researchers, families, and individuals with disabilities around the world. The first year’s funding award is $547,000 in federal funds, with a $200,000 match from the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development.