AUCD works on several major initiatives in partnership with Federal agencies. These include:

AUCD-NCBDDD Cooperative Agreement: A collaborative initiative with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen the nation’s capacity to carry out public health activities in the areas of primary and secondary prevention for birth defects and developmental disabilities, and health promotion for people with disabilities.

Act Early Network: The Act Early Network is a collaborative initiative that supports you and the work in your state to improve early identification of autism and other developmental disabilities. The Act Early Network comprises three parts:

  • Act Early Ambassadors: Early identification champions in 29 states and one organization. Click here to read more.
  • Act Early State Systems Projects: 10 funded projects for improving early identification. Click here to read more.

The Network is a joint effort of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). CDC’s "Learn the Signs. Act Early." program is the foundation of the Act Early Network. For more information visit: or

Combating Autism Act Initiative (CAAI): The purpose of the Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center (ITAC) on Autism and Developmental Disabilities at AUCD is to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents who have, or are at risk for developing, ASDs and other developmental disabilities. The Center accomplishes this by providing technical assistance to interdisciplinary training programs (i.e., the LENDs and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) programs) to better train professionals to utilize valid and reliable screening tools to diagnose or rule out and provide evidence-based interventions for children with ASD and other developmental disabilities.

LEND Audiology: There are currently 10 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) programs that receive supplemental awards to expand and augment their pediatric audiology training efforts. The supplemental funding to the LEND programs was made possible through HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The contract also funded this LEND Pediatric Audiology Training Resource Site for all LEND Pediatric Audiology Programs.

National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP): A partnership between the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, AUCD, and the Corporation for National Service to implement a comprehensive program of training, technical assistance, and dissemination designed to increase the participation of individuals with disabilities in National Service.

Children's SSI Initiative: From 1999-2008, AUCD operated the Children's SSI Initiative in collaboration with the SSA. In the first seven years the project included efforts to: conduct interdisciplinary assessments for infant, school age and age 18-disability claimants; implement collaborations with state Disability Determination Services; preparing and presenting training for adjudicators at all levels of the agency; and create tools and protocols for state agency decision makers. These efforts laid the groundwork for the most recent two-year Pediatric Medical Unit (PMU) initiative, which recently concluded its work to further SSA's efforts to improve the childhood disability determination process ensuring that the best decisions are made as efficiently and as early as possible for childhood disability adjudications.

ADA International Fellowship Program: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' Professional Fellows Division, this program supports 20 mid-career professionals from Brazil, Kenya, Peru, and Tanzania, selected through a competitive process, to participate in a five-week intensive fellowship program at a university-based research and education center for disabilities in the U.S. The program is focused on inclusive education and seeks to strengthen education access for people with disabilities globally.


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