Building Bridges II

Friday, September 28, 2012

Developmental Disabilities in Racially, Culturally, and Linguistically Diverse Communities

First Baptist Church
2709 Monument Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23220

Building Bridges was a one of a kind conference that explored developmental disabilities in multicultural communities. We will continue the dialogue in Building Bridges II. Nationally recognized presenters will explore models and best practices for working with these populations.


  • Understand the role of culture and language in racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Explore the unique challenges faced by immigrants and refugees and their perception and understanding of disabilities.
  • Network with other professionals who are looking to address these issues in their organizations.

$25 Registration Fee
Register at (upcoming events)

Registration deadline: September 24, 2012

Training Topics:

  • Natural Supports in Multicultural Communities for Families and People with Disabilities
  • Opportunities and Barriers for Immigrant Communities in Developmental Disability Services
  • Essential Approaches for Providing Disability Services and Supports to Diverse Communities.
  • Screening for Autism in Diverse Communities
  • What would you do? An Exercise in Program Planning

Speaker Bios

Roula Choueiri, MD, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, Center for Children with Special Needs, Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Choueiri is the Co-coordinator of the Massachusetts Act Early/ Early Identification task force; the group is currently testing a pilot model for autism screening and early diagnosis with collaboration between pediatricians, Early Intervention providers and autism diagnosticians. She also was one of four physician developers who collaborated in the writing of the MA Act Early guide entitled “Considering Culture in Autism Screening,” part of a culturally competent screening kit funded through a grant from the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP). Dr. Choueiri is also developing an autism clinical interactive assessment tool to better screen and follow the clinical progress of toddlers with ASDs. Dr.Choueiri is originally from Beirut, Lebanon where she trained and worked as a child-neurologist, before moving to Boston with her family, in 2001. She trained in neurodevelopmental pediatrics at the Children’s hospital in Boston, and was on staff at the LADDERS/MGH clinic for 3 years, before moving to the CCSN in 2008.

Dr. Choueiri has established thriving clinical practice that focuses on Autism, and mostly early autism screening and recognition. She has established Early Rapid Autism diagnosis clinics in Chelmsford and on the Cape: clinics that evaluate and assess toddlers, between the ages of 0-3 referred for concerns of Autism. Those clinics target underserved, and multicultural communities. She also is the co-director of a similar clinic at the Floating Hospital in Boston. Dr.Choueiri has presented and organized several workshops to pediatricians and Early Intervention providers about Early Autism screening in MA. Her other clinical research interests include looking at predictors for outcomes of autism in toddlers receiving early intervention.

Tawara D. Goode, Assistant Professor and Director, National Center for Cultural Competence Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development Ms. Goode is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She has been on the faculty of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD), for over 30 years and has served in many capacities. She has degrees in early childhood education and education and human development. Ms. Goode is Director of the National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) at GUCCHD. The NCCC has been in existence for the past 17 years during which Ms. Goode was the director for 15. The mission of the NCCC is to increase the capacity of health care and mental health care programs to design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems to address growing diversity, persistent disparities, and to promote health and mental health equity. Ms. Goode is recognized as a thought leader in the area of cultural and linguistic competence, and for building the NCCC into a nationally and internationally recognized and award winning program. Her work spans diverse audiences including health care, mental health, social services, early childhood and special education, community/advocacy organizations, professional societies/organizations, and institutions of higher education. Ms. Goode conducts research on cultural and linguistic competence and its role in addressing health care disparities. She is currently involved in a collaborative effort to create validated instruments to measure cultural and linguistic competence in health care settings.

Ms. Goode has published articles, book chapters, monographs, and policy papers on such topics as the evidence base and policies that support cultural and linguistic competence, the role of cultural and linguistic competence in addressing health and mental health care disparities, community engagement, and family-centered care, cultural and linguistic competence and the medical home, community-based service delivery models for diverse children at risk for and with developmental and other disabilities. Ms. Goode has in the past and continues to serve on numerous boards, commissions, and advisory groups at the local, regional, and national levels that include but are not limited to: National Project Advisory Committee, CLAS Standards Enhancement Initiative 2010-2012; Kaiser Permanente Institute for Culturally Competent Care, National Advisory Committee; Xavier University Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education; Council for Coordination and Collaboration and the Cultural and Linguistic Competence and Disparities Work Group, Child Adolescent, and Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Association of American Medical Colleges, Medical School Objectives Project on Health Literacy; Association of University Centers on Disabilities; and the National Quality Forum Steering Committee on Measuring and Reporting Cultural Competence in Health Care Quality. Ms. Goode and the NCCC have received awards, recognition, and commendations for scholarly contributions and exemplary leadership related to cultural and linguistic competence.

Aarti Sahgal, Diversity Consultant, Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, Real Communities Initiative. Aarti Sahgal works as a Diversity Consultant with Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities and works closely with the immigrant and refugee population in Georgia. Aarti has been invited by the Georgia Department of Education to develop training modules to promote diversity inclusion amongst teachers and administrators. She is a trainer for TASH workshop on Family Support, Culture & Disability. In fall, 2011 she completed a leadership program with Diversity Leadership Academy, Atlanta. Aarti holds a Masters of Business Administration degree in Marketing and prior to this avatar spent 14 years in the advertising field.

Aarti relocated to USA in 2005, from India when her husband, Amit was transferred to Coca Cola, Atlanta. She currently stays in Georgia with her husband, her 2 sons (Arjun & Angad) and their dog Abby. Arjun will be going to Colby College, Maine this fall and Angad will be transitioning to Middle school. Angad has Down syndrome.

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