Creating Hope: A History of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

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This documentary is the story of an institution that has been a world leader in the field of human development and developmental disabilities for more than half a century. Since its beginnings in the 1960s, the research and activism generated by the John F. Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt University has been creating hope for generations of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.

The documentary is narrated by Brian Dennehy (pictured below), a prolific U.S. actor, well-respected on both screen and stage, winner of a Golden Globe Award, two Tony Awards, and a Grammy. The documentary was produced in 2015 by Lyle Jackson, Media Content Producer, Research Office, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, for the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Center.

View Video Below [23:38 min]

Opening Doors, Transforming Lives

“Opening Doors, Transforming Lives” showcases ways in which the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has helped to improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their families over its 50-year history. (Produced by Kyle Jonas, 2015)

View Video Below [8:47 min]

Panel Discussion: Looking Back and Looking Forward: The Evolution of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Vanderbilt Student Life Center

Panel with VKC Current and Former Directors:
Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D. (2008-present)
Pat Levitt, Ph.D. (2002-2008)
H. Carl Haywood, Ph.D. (1971-1983)

View Video Below [48:31 min]

VKC celebrates 50th anniversary with Tim Shriver visit

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Friday, May 29th, The Peabody Rotunda.

On May 29, 2015, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center was held in the Peabody College Rotunda. The highlight of the event was a presentation by Timothy Shriver. The recording of the remarks are below, along with links to other news about the day.

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Celebrating 50 Years: The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Wednesday, January 7 Room 241, Kennedy Center/One Magnolia Circle

Robert Hodapp, Ph.D.
Professor of Special Education Director of Research,
VKC University Center for Excellence in Disabilities

Dr. Hodapp presented an overview of the 50-year history of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, within both national and local contexts.

View Video Below [27:54 min]

I'm Thinking College (Even with my Disability) (2013)

Students with intellectual disabilities enrolled in Next Steps at Vanderbilt talk about their experiences at college and highlight the need for more such programs in Tennessee.

View Video Below [8:06 min]

Stories of Hope (2012)

Family stories showing how research and science make hope possible for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

View Video Below [6:27 min]

Heart to Heart (2010)

Experience of the Academy of Country Music Lifting Lives Camp

View Video Below [4:16 min]

A Time to Learn: The Toddler Research and Intervention Project (1971)

This film documents a Kennedy Center research and demonstration program of integrated early education for toddlers with developmental delays and typically developing toddlers, 12-36 months of age. The Project was led by Drs. Diane and William Bricker. This model demonstration research program was among the first nationally to provide evidence that inclusive early childhood education benefitted young children with and without disabilities and thus provided a foundation for inclusive early childhood education, early intervention, and parent training.

In the Toddler Research and Intervention Project, parents received training in techniques for supporting their child’s development both in the classroom and at home. Included in the film are actual scenes in the classroom of various individual and group activities. The program emphasized language training, parent participation, and the inclusive education of young children with and without disabilities. Additionally the film deals with the feelings of parents and professionals in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities regarding the type of information usually given to parents who have just learned that their child has an intellectual disability. (“Mental retardation” and “mongoloid,” terms used in the 1970s which are in this film, are no longer used.) The film was intended for psychologists, physicians, educators and other professionals, parents of children with and without disabilities, and students. A major purpose of the film was to change attitudes of professionals who have initial contact with infants and their parents and who make recommendations for early intervention.

View Video Below [23:22 min]

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