Ines Mghamba Kajiru will spend their fellowship at the University of Arizona Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities, also known as the Sonoran UCEDD.
The Sonoran Center is located in Tucson, Arizona and is home to many renowned inclusive employment initiatives. The center runs the state of Arizona’s Employment First Initiative and Project SEARCH program, which prepare youth with disabilities for success in integrated competitive employment and work with other stakeholders to create opportunities for them. Specific realms of expertise at the Center include person-centered approaches, medical home coordination, healthcare transition, support for Native American and rural communities, transitioning youth from school to adulthood, and addressing disability needs in foster care. The Sonoran Center has worked on several projects in collaboration with the Arizona Governors’ Planning Council. Additionally, since Arizona is a southwestern state, it is heavily engaged in assisting communities along the U.S.-Mexico border and provides supports such as heading screenings, aids, wheelchair fittings, and prosthetics.
Wendy Parent-Johnson is the Executive Director and Professor at the Sonoran Center. She recently moved here from the University of South Dakota, where she mentored two previous Professional Fellows, ADA Fellow on inclusive education Goodluck Chanyika from Tanzania (Spring 2017) and PFP-IDE Bernadette Muyomi from Kenya (Spring 2018). A veteran host of the PFP-IDE Program, Wendy visited Tanzania in late 2017 and contributed to a pilot project led by her first Fellow which introduced many inclusive education resources to Tanzania. She currently leads a project funded by the Kessler Foundation called Just in Time Employment Supports, which uses texting to provide job coaching in rural and Native American reservation communities. She and Ines share an interest in curriculum development and university experience.