ACL Blog: ACL Awards Grants to 42 University Centers Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families

Blog Post July 10, 2017

ACL's Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities recently awarded five-year grants to 42 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs). The UCEDDs will receive a total of $22,974,000 a year to address issues, find solutions, and advance research in order to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families. ACL also awarded continuation grants to an additional 25 UCEDDs, to continue their five-year grant cycles.

UCEDDs conduct cutting-edge research and bring the latest knowledge to those who can put it to the best use. This includes individuals, families, professionals in the field, and the next generation of lawyers, engineers, educators, health professionals, social workers, and social scientists. UCEDDs unite faculty and students from multiple departments and disciplines within a university and serve as liaisons between academia and the community in every state and territory.

In Fiscal Year 2015, UCEDDs provided:

  • more than 275,000 hours of technical assistance
  • continuing education for nearly 110,000 professionals
  • pre-service training for over 57,000 students
  • community education programs for nearly 190,000 people
  • Direct model services to over 100,000 people

UCEDDs have developed many innovative programs and services, for example:

  • The Nisonger Center at the Ohio State University provides a complete range of oral health services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. The program also provides training for students enrolled in dental and dental hygiene programs, as well as postgraduate-level dental residents.
  • In addition to training and services, JFK Partners at the University of Colorado have produced a "Voices of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders" video.
  • The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities at the University of Wyoming offers a disability studies minor for undergraduates, assistive technology programs for individuals and families, and outdoor activities for veterans.