The Rededication of the Koch-Young Resource Center Celebrated Parent-Professional Partnerships
Earlier this year, Lanterman Regional Center celebrated nearly 20 years of parent-professional partnerships by rededicating the Koch-Young Resource Center which has been a resource for people with developmental disabilities, families with children who have special needs, professionals and community members, offering ongoing learning opportunities, leading edge information on all areas of developmental disabilities and assistive technology, and support.
As part of this rededication to the Resource Center’s mission, the growing importance of technology for individuals with developmental disabilities was highlighted through a presentation by Dr. Maja J. Mataric, director, Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems, University of Southern California, who spoke on “Assistive Robotics for Children with Autism.”The rededication event also featured a book reading and signing by Author and Parent Vicki Forman of her book “This Lovely Life: A Memoir of Premature Motherhood.”
In attendance as guests of honor were one of the Resource Center’s namesakes – Dr. Richard Koch – as well as Asenath Young’s son Dr. Steve Young. Dr. Koch is an internationally recognized expert on PKU (phenylketonuria), a metabolic disorder which causes mental retardation, one of the founders of the regional center system in California, and the first director of the Childrens Hospital Regional Center (later to become Lanterman Regional Center).
About the Koch-Young Resource Center
Established in 1994, the Koch-Young Resource Center is an integral part of Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center, providing information, education and support through a multimedia multilingual library collection of approximately 7,000 disability-related materials, a community resource directory, a HelpLine linking people to community resources related to developmental disabilities, a variety of support groups, a Peer Support Partner program, and knowledge and skill development through various training opportunities. The Resource Center also offers support and education in the area of assistive technology through the Assistive Technology Project. And the Resource Center’s newest addition - a toy loan program and playgroups.
The Resource Center is named in honor of Dr. Richard Koch and Mrs. Asenath Young – two pioneering individuals who were instrumental in the creation of the community-based regional center system, and who were very involved during the early years at Lanterman Regional Center, encouraging the development of community-based support systems for people with developmental disabilities and championing family-professional partnerships.
“Following in the footsteps of its namesakes, the Koch-Young Resource Center empowers individuals to become active partners in providing lifelong support for people with developmental disabilities by enabling them to make informed choices regarding supports, services and life options,” says Diane Anand, executive director of Lanterman Regional Center. “Through our various services and initiatives, we strive to nurture and develop our most valuable resource – people – into future leaders.”