LEND Program


Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities

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UAB’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) is an interdisciplinary training program that operates within the Civitan-Sparks Clinics and CEDD with funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCH). UAB LEND is one of 60 programs located across the United States and territories (more information can be found at AUCD – LENDs). UAB LEND strives to improve the well-being and quality of life across the lifespan for individuals and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD). Activities include:

  • Providing interdisciplinary leadership education and training to graduate and postgraduate health and health related professionals
  • Implementing a training curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary, family-centered, culturally and linguistically appropriate, comprehensive health care in Civitan-Sparks Clinics and community-based sites
  • Offering distance LEND training opportunities for trainees at The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
  • Technical assistance and continuing education for providers across the state.

Information for Prospective LEND Trainees

UAB LEND trainees are enrolled in or have completed graduate training in their discipline (clinical disciplines and Public Health) OR have lived experience and background in advocacy and peer-to-peer activities (Family and Self-Advocacy). The UAB LEND curriculum supports trainee development across the MCH Competencies with a focus on ASD/DD, health equity/diversity, quality improvement and evidence-based practice, family-/person-centered care, public health/systems, cultural/linguistic responsiveness, use of technology/telehealth, research, transition to adulthood/lifespan issues, and emerging issues. Stipends may be available for long-term LEND trainees who complete 500+ hours in clinical and leadership training. Medium and short term training opportunities are also available associated with practicum or externship placements. In-service professionals in the community are also eligible for LEND training at UAB.

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Trainee Selection

UAB LEND trainees are selected by the Training Committee (LEND Director, Training Director, core faculty from each discipline, and proposed mentor), assessing each applicant’s potential for leadership, partnership, and scholarship in providing high quality care (i.e., screening, assessment, and/or intervention) and/or policy change and advocacy for children with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families, in addition to their interest in and appreciation for the interdisciplinary process. Applications are submitted to discipline coordinators and include:

  • A curriculum vita or resume
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members, clinicians, or others who can provide evidence of the trainee’s potential as an emerging leader in developmental disabilities
  • A two-page statement of purpose for LEND training at UAB
  • Official graduate transcript
  • Individual interview with discipline mentor(s) and possibly the Training Committee
  • Evidence of liability insurance coverage, as is typically provided by their school
  • Evidence of a background check
  • Additional information can be found on our training page.

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UAB Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities