Mentoring the Mentors: Training Professionals to Empower Neurodiverse Lives

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Discover the surprising truth about the VA Lend program for disabilities and how it’s impacting lives in unexpected ways. This eye-opening conversation with the director of VA Lend will challenge everything you thought you knew about supporting individuals with disabilities. Get ready to be amazed by the behind-the-scenes insights that will leave you wanting to know more. Stay tuned for the big reveal that will change your perspective on disability support forever.

Matthew Bogenschutz, the director of the VA LEND program at Virginia Commonwealth University, is a seasoned professional with a deep-rooted passion for supporting individuals with disabilities. With a robust background in social work and a lifelong commitment to advocating for those in need, Matthew’s journey has encompassed deinstitutionalization efforts and the championing of inclusive, person-centered services. His dedication extends to training professionals across various disciplines, equipping them with the tools to provide exceptional support to individuals and families affected by neurodevelopmental disabilities. Matthew’s impactful leadership and extensive experience continue to shape the landscape of disability services, making a positive difference in the lives of those he serves.

Matthew Bogenschutz, director of the Virginia Leadership Education and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (VA LEND), shares his lifelong journey of being surrounded by individuals with disabilities, stemming from his parents’ direction of a summer camp for kids with physical disabilities. This early exposure ignited his passion for supporting individuals with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives within their communities. Throughout his career, Matthew has worn multiple hats, from being a mental health counselor and disability advocate to now serving as a professor of social work at Virginia Commonwealth University. His commitment to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities led him to initiate the VA LEND program, addressing the critical need for qualified professionals in various disciplines to serve people with disabilities. Through his experiences and dedication, Matthew’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of early exposure in shaping one’s lifelong mission and purpose.,Matthew Bogenschutz, the director of the Virginia Leadership Education and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (VA LEND), embarked on his journey of advocacy and support for individuals with disabilities from a young age. Growing up with parents who directed a summer camp for children with physical disabilities, Matthew’s formative years were immersed in an environment that fostered empathy and understanding. This early exposure instilled in him a deep-seated passion for empowering individuals with disabilities to thrive within their communities. With a diverse background as a mental health counselor, disability advocate, and now a professor of social work at Virginia Commonwealth University, Matthew’s unwavering commitment to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities culminated in the creation of the VA LEND program. Through his unique experiences and dedication, Matthew’s story exemplifies the profound impact of early exposure in shaping a lifelong dedication to disability advocacy and support.

Autism is so diverse. If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. The next person with autism who you meet may be completely different, and that’s another thing that we try to impress upon people. – Matthew Bogenschutz

Every person is more than their diagnosis, and everyone carries their identity differently. If we’re going to be providing great support to people, we need to start where every person is at and understand how they make sense of their own life. – Matthew Bogenschutz

  • Virginia Lend program website – For more information about the Virginia Lend program and its offerings, visit their official website by searching Virginia Lend on any search engine.
  • Virginia Lend Facebook page – Stay updated with the latest news and updates from the Virginia Lend program by following their official Facebook page.
  • AUCD.org – To find out about other Lend programs across the United States, visit aucd.org and click on the Lend map in the upper left corner to access a list of all Lend programs throughout the country.
  • Matthew’s upcoming book – Keep an eye out for Matthew’s upcoming book about his life experiences. Stay tuned for updates on its release and availability.
  • Virginia Commonwealth University – To explore more about the educational and research opportunities at Virginia Commonwealth University, visit their official website for detailed information.
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Mentoring the Mentors: Training Professionals to Empower Neurodiverse Lives
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