The VIUCEDD is housed inside and works in conjunction with the University of the Virgin Islands School of Education (SOE) under the leadership of Dr. Linda Thomas who is the Dean of the School of Education.
The Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD) is a University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). Since 1963, University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD) have been working to accomplish a shared vision that foresees a nation in which all Americans, including Americans with disabilities, participate fully in their communities. Independence, productivity, and community inclusion are key components of this vision. The VIUCEDD is one of sixty-seven UCEDDs in every state and territory are located in a university or medical school setting.
UCEDDs have played key roles in every major disability initiative over the past four decades. Many issues, such as early intervention, health care, community-based services, inclusive and meaningful education, transition from school to work, employment, housing, assistive technology, and transportation have been directly benefited by the services, research, and training provided by UCEDDs. UCEDD’s conduct our work on conjunction with our DD network partners.
Kimberly R. Mills, Ph.D., BCBA-D - Senior Executive Director, VIUCEDD
Dr. Kimberly Mills, Senior Executive Director for The Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD) has over 20 years of executive management, direct service, and university special education experience. She is an Affiliate Faculty with the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Hawaii, a participating faculty member with the Westchester Institute for Human Development, and is a Doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has been principal/co-investigator, co-writer and/or contract manager for a range of federal, international and/or local government contracts and grants. She is currently the principal investigator on funded governmental research initiatives emerging out of the VIUCEDD. She was the Vice-Chairperson for the Council on Research and Evaluation (CORE) in association with University Centers on Disabilities. Her research agenda includes best treatment practices for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), technical assistance evaluation, phenomenon surrounding the school-to-prison pipeline, cultural and linguistic competence through a behavioral analytic lens, disability employment, health disparities research and disaster preparedness.
Dr. Mills has worked on several national and international policy initiatives including helping to rewrite the Georgia Juvenile Justice Legal codes, advising on changes to special education regulations in the state of Georgia, helping to ensure that nonprofit organizations in the country of Bermuda exercised practices in adherence with best international standards and indicators of civic wellness, participation with the National Governors Association of juvenile justice reform efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands and participated as an article reviewer for the largest worldwide study of effective autism treatments.
Dr. Mills helped establish the first TriCare Autism Demonstration Project in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is the creator of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (ADDRC) at the University of the Virgin Islands. She holds a faculty appointment with the University of the Virgin Islands School of Education and is an Affiliate Faculty with the University of Hawaii Center on Disabilities Studies. Dr. Mills participates as a Professional Fellow with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment (PFP-IDE) which supports mid-career professionals (Fellows) from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. She is a Visiting Professor and Research Center Fellow with Langston University. Her civic and university leadership responsibilities include participation with the University of the Virgin Islands Institutional Review Board, participation as an advisory board member with the Virgin Islands Department of Education New School Construction Advisory Board and participation as a member of the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Council.
Shelley Timmons DPT, ATP
Shelley Timmons DPT, ATP
Dr. Shelley Timmons is a licensed physical therapist and RESNA certified assistive technology professional (ATP) . She has over 20 years of practice experience in hospitals and varied practical and clinical settings, including her own private physical therapy practice where she practiced for nearly a decade. She joins our VIUCEDD team with knowledge and experience in mobility and accessibility for people with physical disabilities. She received master’s and doctoral degrees in physical therapy from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI, and A.T. Still University in Mesa, AZ. Dr. Timmons has dedicated her life to improving the quality of life for people with pain, disabilities, and varied needs.
Dr. Timmons has enjoyed teaching on health, wellness, and disability-related topics at all levels, including human science workshops in grade-school and high-school settings; Human Anatomy and Physiology as an adjunct professor at the collegiate level; and community education on topics relevant to preventing, addressing, and accommodating physical disability. At the governmental level, Dr. Timmons has experience promulgating regulations and standards governing the practice of physical, occupational, and speech therapy, and has advocated at a Congressional level for improvements in Veterans’ healthcare.
Dr. Timmons’ assigned role at VIUCEDD includes assistance in developing and managing clinical programs. She is designated by UVI to actively participate in the Leadership Excellence in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program, through partnership with Westchester Institute of Human Development and New York Medical College where she serves as faculty and a project team leader in the Seminar in Evidence-Based Methods (SEBM) course. She is also responsible to assist VIUCEDD in writing grants and performing research to aid the VIUCEDD team to achieve their collective vision, mission, and goals.
Sharon Williams, MS
Ms. Sharon A. Williams is the Assistant Director of the Virgin Islands Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (VITRAID), the Virgin Islands Assistive Technology Foundation, Inc. (VIATF) as well as the Virgin Islands iCanConnect program, and is responsible for the territory-wide implementation and day-to-day management of the activities. These programs provide eligible individuals with the ability to access needed AT devices, and services to support their independence, participation, and community inclusion. Services provided include training, technical assistance, device demonstrations, and AT assessments. She is also the editor of VIUCEDD’s quarterly newsletter, Harambee, which is disseminated both locally and nationally.
Shamika Thomas, MPH, CCHW – Program Coordinator
Ms. Shamika Thomas currently serves as the Program Coordinator for Research and Community Engagement and is responsible for the development of activities and community outreach at VIUCEDD. Ms. Thomas' role is important, as she interfaces with all facets of the programs from development to implementation. Ms. Thomas will work on all promotional activities including management of VIUCEDD’s website to ensure that accurate and timely information reaches our consumers and partners.
Gideon Jagrup, MBA - Program Coordinator
Mr. Gideon Jagrup serves as the Program Coordinator at the St. Croix office of VIUCEDD. Mr.Jagrup is an accomplished and energetic Program Coordinator with a solid history of achievement in Non-Profit Coordination. Mr. Jagrup is responsible for analyzing resources for development of training curriculum, project-related services and training modules for individuals with developmental disabilities and the VIUCEDD staff. With a strong technology background, Mr. Jagrup plans to deliver professional development regarding access technology for education, assistive technology processes and implementation.
Khalifa Thomas, BA – Office Manager
Ms. Khalifa Thomas is the VIUCEDD’s Administrative Specialist. She provides administrative and fiscal support for both the St. Thomas and St. Croix offices. She processes requisitions for purchases and travel, and prepares vendor payments and financial reports while working as a liaison with the Accounting Department.
Mr. Jose Negron serves as the Assistive Technology and Information Technology Specialist for VIUCEDD. Mr. Negron works directly with the VITRAID by providing information and training on AT devices and services. He also supports the day to day IT needs of the VIUCED. As the AT and IT Specialist, Mr. Negron provides specific support for video conferencing, desktop, preparation of equipment set-up, live streaming of events, and technical support.