The intellectual and developmental disability community is among the hardest hit by the ongoing pandemic. Families are experiencing fatigue and hardship due to limited access to many crucial support services, such as respite care. With an uncertain end to the pandemic, we must focus on supporting caregivers of adults and children living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Experts from across Travis County will explore the needs this community faces, offer tips for caregivers, as well as resources and activities to help adults and children with IDD thrive. We hope caregivers will join us for this important forum intended to provide support and tangible tools to help navigate this challenging time.
- Malika Pritchett, Ph.D., Behavior Analyst and CEO of Positive Enlightenment
- Barry Hamilton, LCSW, Clinical Director of Down Home Ranch
- Diane Kearns, parent, advocate and former board member of the Autism Society of Texas
Louise Lynch, Integral Care’s Provider Network and Authority Officer, will moderate the panel. Audience members will have an opportunity to submit questions in advance of the forum (during registration) and ask questions at the end of the discussion.
Louise Lynch, Moderator
Provider Network Authority Office
Louise Lynch serves as Provider Network Authority Officer at Integral Care where she implements expansion of the organization’s external network to enhance consumer choice and best value. She joined Integral Care in 1987. Lynch has an extensive background serving individuals with intellectual disabilities and is a lecturer and field faculty for The University of Texas at Austin. Lynch holds a Masters of Science degree in social work from The University of Texas at Austin and is a licensed social worker with advanced practice recognition. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and is past president of the Texas Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Parent, advocate and volunteer
Diane Kearns has a son with multiple disabilities. She is a community volunteer focusing on services for special needs children. She is a commissioner on the Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities, and previously served on a committee that advises the state on the establishment of a Medicaid managed healthcare program for children with special healthcare needs. Mrs. Kearns is a former Board Member and Chairman for Sammy’s House, which provides services in an inclusive environment for medically fragile and/or developmentally delayed children. She is a product manager at a national telecommunications company and lives with her husband and 3 children in Austin.
Malika Pritchett Ph.D.,
Behavior Analyst and CEO of Positive Enlightenment
Dr. Malika Pritchett has been a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) since 2010 and has worked in human services for municipalities, school districts, the State of Texas and universities. Dr. Pritchett’s experience includes work with adults with intellectual disabilities, children and adults diagnosed with autism, moderately to severely challenging behaviors, caregivers of abused and neglected children, and aging adults residing in nursing facilities. She received her Ph.D. in Health Services Research from the University of North Texas with a concentration in Behavior Analysis. She holds a degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders from Texas Woman’s University and an M.S. in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas. She is driven by a passion for helping others create positive changes in their lives.
Barry Hamilton, LCSW
VP of Operations at Down Home Ranch
Barry Hamilton has worked as a manager supporting IDD professionals in a variety of settings for more than 10 years. He is a champion for Direct Support Professionals, who coordinate and provide services to people with disabilities. These professionals help people with IDD integrate and engage in their community and reach their full potential. In his 5 years with Integral Care, he oversaw Crisis and IDD Services within a local authority setting. Currently, he is the VP of Operations at Down Home Ranch, an intermediate care facility and home and community-based provider in Elgin, Texas.
- Autism Society – activities and advocacy
- Food, rental, and other assistance through Austin Disaster Relief Network
- Food, transportation, and other assistance through CommUnityCare
- City of Austin COVID-19 FAQ – includes information about waccine transportation
- Autism Society – COVID-19 Toolkit with self-soothing activities, self-care
Information on Settings Rule
- The Arc of the Capital Area offers a virtual day education program for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, and virtual job preparation course
- Autism Society – COVID-safe activities
- Texas Parent to Parent – connect with other parents
- Vela – Offers support groups in both English and Spanish, resources and therapy ideas for at home