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Disability Centers - AUCD

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), funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD)

35 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND), funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)

19 Developmental Disability Research Centers (DDRC), funded by the 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
  • Academic training
  • Basic and applied research
  • Training and technical assistance to schools, communities, and all levels of government
  • Policy advocacy
  • Program evaluation
  • 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.

What is a Developmental Disability?

As defined by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-402), the term "Developmental Disability" means a severe, chronic disability of an individual that:

1. is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or a combination of mental and physical impairments;

2. is manifested before the individual attains the age of 22;

3. is likely to continue indefinitely;

4. results in substantial functional limitations in 3 or more of the following areas of major life activity: self-care, receptive and expressive living, and economic self-sufficiency; and

5. reflects the individual's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized support, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.

When applied to infants and children, "developmental disability" encompasses individuals from birth to age 9, inclusive, who have a substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired condition and may be considered to have a developmental disability without meeting 3 or more of the criteria above if the individuals, without services and supports, have a high probability of meeting those criteria later in life.


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State Resources

Local support groups for families, advocacy organizations, treatment centers, and funding sources.

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Jeff, Age 35