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Welcome to the Center for Disabilities Studies

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Our Mission

The mission of the Center for Disabilities Studies is to enhance the lives of individuals and families through education, prevention, service, and research related to disabilities. We promote independence and productivity so individuals and families can fully participate in the life of their communities in Delaware and beyond.

Did You Know?

The Center for Disabilities Studies (CDS) celebrated its 20th anniversary with a celebratory event. Rita Landgraf, Delaware Health and Social Services secretary, served as the event’s honorary chair and noted CDS’s “pivotal role” in matters of inclusion. Featured speaker Keith Jones, who runs the organization SoulTouchin’ Experiences, spoke of the ongoing need to change attitudes held by many individuals concerning people with disabilities. Watch the commemorative anniversary video or read more about the event in the UDaily article, “CDS anniversary celebration.”

Get Social

CDS is on Facebook and Twitter! Like us and follow us there and engage in what's important to the disability community!

CDS Facebook Page     

CDS in the News

CDS’s Phyllis Guinivan promotes new emergency preparedness website, app on WDEL radio

In an interview with WDEL news anchor Allan Loudell on Jan. 14, CDS’s Phyllis Guinivan discussed how the Center’s new allreadyde.org website can help people with disabilities better prepare for emergencies, and how its new delawaretips.org web app can aid first responders who assist people with disabilities. Guinivan, director of the Center’s Emergency Preparedness for Individuals with Disabilities Project, also recommended the 855-READY-DE helpline to WDEL listeners. Listen to the interview, read a transcript of the interview, and check out the radio station’s posting about the interview.

CDS Director Beth Mineo addresses new CMS rule, funding shifts in News Journal story

In this Dec. 1 News Journal story, Beth Mineo noted how more community living is on the way for people with disabilities. "People have been held back from being able to make choices about where they live and where they work," she said. But the new federal CMS rule and shifts in funding "will open up doors to new kinds of choices that people have never had before." Beth added that the new rule “reflects what a growing body of research has shown – that people with disabilities thrive in community settings and should have much more opportunity to determine their own course in life. Things people were saying 10 years ago are beginning to show up in policy," Beth said. "The work in self-determination is now embedded in the CMS rule."

News Journal, 6ABC, WDDE cover Artfest

Participant and volunteer at Artfest.

The annual creative workshop and community celebration hosted by CDS and Art Therapy Express attracted considerable media attention, with the state’s largest newspaper, broadcast TV and Delaware’s NPR station all reporting on the Oct. 25 event. Artfest drew more than 100 people with disabilities, their family members and friends, professional artists, and student volunteers from the University of Delaware (and a few from Temple University in Philadelphia). Read the News Journal story here. Read the WDDE article here. You also can read a report on Artfest that posted to UD’s UDaily website.

CDS’s Brian Freedman, state officials tackle unemployment in News Journal

In an Oct. 14 letter to the editor, CDS’s director of Transition and Employment Programs challenged community leaders to make employing people with disabilities a priority. Today. Only 30 percent of young adults with a disability currently participate in the workforce. Other signatories to the letter included Delaware Sec. of Education Mark Murphy, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Sec. Rita Landgraf, and Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Director Andrea Guest. Read the letter here.

Beth Mineo brings clarity to new CMS rule on News Radio 1410 WDOV and 1450 WILM

CDS Director Beth Mineo made the complex new federal rule that will boost community living and employment opportunities for people with disabilities understandable for her radio audience April 24. On News Radio 1410 WDOV and 1450 WILM, Beth explained that because of the new CMS rule, “Medicaid funding that used to go to paying for institutional care can now go to supporting people to live and work in the settings of their choice.”  Hear the entire interview, here: Beth Mineo Radio Interview. You can also read the text version of the interview.

CDS Town Hall on new CMS rule attracts News Journal coverage

News Journal reporter Beth Miller covered CDS’s April 21 Town Hall on the new federal rule that promises more integrative community living and better employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Read the news story here.

Andy Imparato speaking at Town Hall Event

Andy Imparato, executive director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and Jennifer Mathis, director of programs with the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, headlined the town hall.  Attendees from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C. also heard CDS Director Beth Mineo call the new rule “a real turning point.”

Brian Freedman discusses benefits of CLSC program in News Journal

In a March 12 story by Kelly Bothum, CDS's Brian Freedman discussed the UD program that allows people with intellectual disabilities, including individuals with Down syndrom, to explore their interests and potential careers in a university setting. Bothum’s story focused on positive news and advances involving individuals with Down syndrome. See the News Journal story here.

Beth Mineo and Jamie Wolf speak out on PBS

CDS Director Beth Mineo and former CDS Disabilities Specialist Jamie Wolfe were interviewed on PBS about the coming reforms to Delaware’s paratransit service. Several of the reforms could prove devastating for people with disabilities who depend on the service for transport to their chosen destinations. The piece aired on First, a program broadcast by local PBS affiliate WHYY, on Jan. 31, 2014, and is available for viewing on the WHYY website.

Support Us

As a research and public service center at the University of Delaware, the Center for Disabilities Studies relies on public and private support from individuals, corporations, foundations and state and federal entities to operate its programs.  All gifts to the Center for Disabilities Studies are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. Learn how you can help fulfill our mission by contributing to CDS.

More about CDS >>


Administration on Developmental Disabilities logo Association on University

What's New?


CDS 2013-14 annual report cover

See what CDS accomplished in the past fiscal year by viewing our digitally enhanced version of the Center's annual report. It features videos, slideshows, press reports, research, PowerPoint presentations and more. Visit the report here.


Jennifer Mathis at CDS's CMS town hall.

In March, Delaware will send federal officials its plan on how the state intends to comply with the new rule that increasingly steers Medicaid funding to home- and community-based settings and away from institutional settings. This UD video of a CDS town hall explains the “CMS rule” and explores how it will usher in authentic community integration for people with disabilities.


A participant and volunteer work together on an art project.

This joyous video of Artfest showcases creativity, community and inclusion. You can view the video of the CDS- and Art Therapy Express- hosted event, here.


Governor Jack MarkellGov. Jack Markell calls on employers to give people with disabilities a shot at jobs in this CDS video.

Disability Mentoring Day participant. The power of inclusive work environments
is on vivid
display in this
other CDS video.
Both videos were shot on Disability Mentoring Day in Newark.


THIS MOVING VIDEO features recipients of UD's Career and Life Studies Certificate. The students, exceptional young men and women with intellectual disabilities, will make you want to cheer them and their accomplishments. Click here to learn more about CLSC.

ANOTHER COMPELLING VIDEO showcases the iCanConnect program, which offers free communications technology and training to qualified people with combined hearing and vison loss. Please call 1-800-870-3284 or email rathel@udel.edu for more information.

What’s Next?

March 25 - Disability Day at Legislative Hall

April 9 - Lunchtime Learning: STEM education for students with disabilities at UD

April 29 - Transition to Adult Life Fair

Visit the Events Calendar for more information about these and other events.

Project Bridge Newsletter

Read about CDS projects, staff, and internal and external events in Project Bridge.

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

For past issues of Project Bridge, click here.

Resources & Links

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CDD) has a website about the critical importance of the Social Security disability, survivor and retirement insurance programs for people with disabilities and their families.

Guide to the Division of Develop-mental Disabilities Services in Delaware. See the "Want to Know How DDDS Works" page.

HealthCare.gov helps consumers take control of their health care. It includes a section for people with disabilities and a Spanish version of the site. Find more information about being healthy with a disability at GoHDWD.org.

For news and updates on the Commission on Community-Based Alternatives for Persons with Disabilities, visit the Commission web page.


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