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NMC Representatives Featured at National Disabilities Meeting (April 9, 2015)

Representatives from the Northern Marianas College’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) recently presented at a national meeting of UCEDD leaders in Washington D.C.

David Attao, Dean of Administration and Resource Development, and Floyd Masga, UCEDD Director and CDI Acting Director, led a discussion on the efforts and services that are provided in the Marianas to promote equal opportunity, independence, productivity, self-determination and support for individuals with developmental disabilities. Their presentation was made at the 2015 UCEDD Directors Retreat and Technical Assistance Institute.

“This was a great opportunity to share the College’s progress in providing training, technical assistance, and information-sharing sharing especially in terms of building capacity,” said Attao.

More than 90 UCEDD directors and representatives from all over the United States participated. This was the first time for CNMI UCEDD to be invited.

Masga added, “We also highlighted the expertise and diverse resources available in the UCEDDs of the outlying territories, how we network and engage assets to continue to grow our collective capacity, and the existing and potential partnerships or collaborations we have built over the years.”

As a result of the CNMI’s participation in this meeting, there was significant discussion regarding the potential of the UCEDD at NMC becoming independent. Currently, the UCEDD at NMC is part of the University of Hawaii system.

“We have been working and preparing ourselves to become an independent Center of Excellence that will allow for direct funding and direct management of programs and grants,” Attao added. “We are only a few key steps away, and we thank the University of Hawaii for its guidance and mentorship and once the opportunity fully presents itself, we will work with our key officials including our U.S. delegate’s office to ensure the CNMI has its voice for individuals with disabilities and their families.”

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