Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Claudia Avila-Lopez, Carolina Meyerson and Cecila Melo-Romie

Claudia Avila-Lopez, Carolina Meyerson and Cecila Melo-Romie

Disability Services and the Hispanic Community Conference Focuses on Down Syndrome

Updated on 11/18/2008 1:59:58 PM.

Source: Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Over 80 disability-service providers attended the 4th Annual Disability Services and the Hispanic Community Conference, held at the Knowles Senior Center on November 12, 2008.  The conference focused on information, treatment, and resources on Down syndrome relevant for service providers working with families and individuals with disabilities within the Spanish-speaking population in Tennessee. 

The conference was organized by Tennessee Disability Pathfinder Hispanic Outreach Coordinators, Carolina Meyerson, Claudia Avila-Lopez, and Cecila Melo-Romie (pictured in photo), and was co-sponsored by Tennessee Disability Pathfinder, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities.

The day began with a presentation of Camino Seguro, a resource database that provides statewide disability, mental health, and social services for the Spanish-speaking population in Tennessee. More on Camino Seguro

A panel discussion followed offering information, resources, and treatment options available to families and individuals with Down syndrome. Panelists included:

Karen Summar, M.D.
Director, Vanderbilt Down Syndrome Clinic
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University

Melissa Finney Webb
Coordinator, Vanderbilt Down Syndrome Clinic

María Villanova
Parent volunteer with Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee

Claudia Avila-Lopez
Hispanic Outreach Coordinator
Tennessee Disability Pathfinder

The day ended with a panel discussion focused on the psychological and logistical issues that might be present as families receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Panelists included: 

Sandra Velarde

Ashley Coulter
Program Coordinator for Community Outreach & Training, Tennessee Disability Pathfinder

Patricia Paez
Volunteer, Autism Society of Middle Tennessee

Carolina Meyerson
Hispanic Outreach Worker, Tennessee Disability Pathfinder

For more information on the 4th Annual Disability Services and the Hispanic Community Conference, or on other Hispanic Outreach activities, contact:, or call (615) 322-8529 ext. 11.

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