Our first VIA Community Advisory Board event of 2019 was held at the UVA Colonnade Club on January 10th. It showcased VIA’s innovative new research collaborations with the Curry School of Education. Members of VIA’s Community Advisory Board, Board of Directors, numerous founders, friends and supporters, and UVA colleagues from Curry, the UVA Brain Institute, Developmental Pediatrics, and i.Lab at Darden attended.
UVA Curry Professor of Education Bill Therrien spoke about the value of the partnership to UVA’s special education programs: “In order for us train competent teachers and other professionals and conduct research that matters, we need partners like VIA who are committed to providing effective intervention to individuals with autism. You can’t learn how to be an effective educator or BCBA or conduct meaningful research by hanging out at the university. You need top-notch partners who are working day in and out to better the lives of individuals with autism and their families. Simply put, without VIA, we could not do what we do.”
The event showcased research initiatives now underway to develop water safety, social skills, and dental hygiene programs for children with autism, as well as studies of innovative new behavioral interventions.
As VIA President Ethan Long said in his remarks at the event: “We here in this room and all across the Charlottesville / UVA community have the experience, the qualifications, the passion, and the vision to do something truly transformative in the field of autism services. That prospect is incredibly exciting, and it is starting to take shape in the work we’re highlighting here today.”