Pictured at the Champions Gala are (from left) National Inclusion Project co-founder Diane Bubel, Steve Eidelman and his wife Rachel, and project co-founder Clay Aiken.

Award for inclusion efforts

University's Eidelman recognized by National Inclusion Project

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8:36 a.m., Oct. 26, 2012--The National Inclusion Project, which believes that “no one should sit on the sidelines” and that “kids with and without disabilities should be included together to experience all that life has to offer,” has honored a University of Delaware professor for his work in promoting equal access for people with disabilities.

Steven Eidelman, H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, was honored by the organization during its ninth annual Champions Gala in Washington, D.C.

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As one of the organization’s “champions,” Eidelman was lauded as “someone who has opened doors, knocked down barriers and has led the way to knowing that they and we can do better.”

Working along with a half-dozen national disability organizations, Eidelman has organized the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities, a partnership designed to train and develop the next generation of leaders for government and nonprofit organizations, serving people with developmental disabilities to ensure they have quality access in all aspects of their life.

The gala awards ceremony, held at the National Theatre on Oct. 20, featured remarks from National Inclusion Project co-founders Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel, as well as entertainment from comedian Arsenio Hall, pop icon Debbie Gibson and American Idol Ruben Studdard.

"It is an honor to be recognized,” said Eidelman, “but even more important to me is that ideas and research-based practices about inclusion of people with disabilities are entering the mainstream and are no longer considered to be fringe ideas."

In addition to receiving the honor from the National Inclusion Project, Eidelman recently learned he will receive a Special Recognition Award from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) at its annual conference in December. The AUCD is recognizing him in honor of his many generous contributions to the AUCD network and the disabilities field.

"I have been involved with the UCEDD (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service) network since I was a graduate student at the original UCEDD at Johns Hopkins,” he said. “The integration between service, research and practice is a valuable model for bringing the resources of major research universities to people in communities across the U.S."

Article by Christina Mason Johnston

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