Ms. Hewitt has an extensive background and work history in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and has worked in various positions over the past 28 years to improve community inclusion and quality of for children and adults with disabilities and their families. She is the Director of the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration and the Training Director for the MN LEND and UCEDD programs. She directs several federal and state research, evaluation and demonstration projects in the area of community services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Ms. Hewitt is a national leader in the area of workforce development and community supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She was a founder of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals and has been instrumental in the development of the NADSP national credentialing and accreditation program. Current projects include the College of Direct Support a national training curriculum development project that currently delivers training to 280,000+ direct support professionals each day throughout the United States and has delivered over 4 million completed hour of training to these Direct Support Professionals; CMS National Resource Center on Direct Support Workers, a national technical assistance center designed to provide states with technical support on issues related to direct support workforce challenges. Research and Training Center on Community Living the only NIDRR national research center on intellectual and developmental disabilities where she is involved in several research studies regarding consumer direction, active support, direct support training and employment services. MN LEND an interdisciplinary training program for pre and post-doctoral students across 11 disciplines in neurodevelopmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders.
Ms. Hewitt has authored and co-authored many curriculum, journal articles and manuscripts. A book she co-authored entitled, Staff Recruitment, Retention and Training published by Brookes publishing. She is a managing editor of Frontline Initiative a national newsletter for DSPs; a contributing editor for LINKS a newsletter of ANCOR and guest editor of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities a journal of the AAIDD. She is currently a Board member for the Arc Greater Twin Cities, one of the nations largest advocacy – only Arcs.