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Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
"What is AUCD?
AUCD is a network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities. The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs.
Network members consist of:
67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), receiving core funding from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD)
43 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Programs receiving core funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)
15 Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers (IDDRC), receiving core funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD)
These programs serve and are located in every U.S. state and territory and are all part of universities or medical centers. They serve as a bridge between the university and the community, bringing together the resources of both to achieve meaningful change.
AUCD supports this national network through:
Leadership on major social problems affecting all people living with developmental or other disabilities or special health needs
Advocacy with Congress and executive branch agencies that fund and regulate programs used by people with disabilities
Networking and partnering with other national organizations to advance the network's national agendas
Promoting communication within the network and with other groups by collecting, organizing, and disseminating data on network activities and accomplishments
Technical assistance provision on a broad range of topics
What does AUCD do?
Through its members, AUCD is a resource for local, state, national, and international agencies, organizations, and policy makers concerned about people living with developmental and other disabilities and their families. Members engage in a range of interdisciplinary activities including:
Exemplary services for children, adults, and families
Basic and applied research
Training and technical assistance to schools, communities, and all levels of government
Dissemination of best practices and new information
AUCD programs also train the next generation of leaders in disability-related research, training, service delivery, and policy advocacy to insure that this essential work continues.
How does AUCD do it?
All of our member programs have unique strengths that they share with each other and the greater disability community. Some of our members are exemplary educators. They train professional leaders, individuals with disabilities, and family members in areas such as early care and education, primary health care, special education, and innovative housing and employment programs. Other members excel in basic and applied research, model demonstration programs, systemic reform, and policy analysis. Because these programs work collaboratively, innovations from one program can be rapidly implemented in communities throughout the country—thus affecting more lives than any one program could touch.
By working together, programs engage in significant research that informs national policy and best practices. The network emphasizes national and international implementation of innovations in disability-related education, health care, and supports and services. It offers leadership on major social problems affecting all people with disabilities or special health needs.
Currently, AUCD represents 67 UCEDDs across the country with at least one center found in every state and territory in the U.S. Each UCEDD is affiliated with a major research university. AUCD also has established 43 Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs, and 15 Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRC) which serve to meet the needs established in the original President's Panel on Mental Retardation.