Developmental Disabilities: An “Untapped” Audience”

Jeannette Rea Keywood at NAE4-HA Conference, Indianapolis, IN, November 14, 2017
Jeannette Rea Keywood at NAE4-HA Conference, Indianapolis, IN, November 14, 2017

Providing opportunities for educators to learn how to effectively engage individuals with developmental disabilities in their programming is essential to Extension’s diversity and inclusion mandate. Such training will help break down barriers and perceived differences, reduce apprehension, and build confidence for educators and volunteers working with this clientele.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Diversity & Inclusion Issue Corps participants are proud to highlight some accomplishments of the Programming for Clientele with Developmental Disabilities Professional Development Series.

  • Presented at the National Epsilon Sigma Phi conference in October 2016.
  • Received the state and regional Mary W. Wells Memorial Diversity Award from the National Extension Association for Family & Consumer Sciences in October 2017.
  • Presented at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents annual conference in Indianapolis in November 2017.
  • Has been selected as an oral session at the 2018 JCEP conference in Orlando.
  • Was invited by eXtension’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Community of Practice to be presented as a webinar on March 8, 2018.

This recognition points to the growing awareness among Extension professionals that there is a large, untapped audience of youth and adults with developmental disabilities that would benefit from Extension programming if educators and volunteers felt knowledgeable and secure enough to meet any special needs. We applaud our colleagues for their interest in learning the necessary competencies to serve this underserved population.

Please contact Michelle Brill at or 609-989-6831 or Jeannette Rea Keywood at or 609-827-0199 if you would like to host this professional development series at your institution or in your community.