Module 1: Learn


Introduction to AUCD

This first video provides background information on AUCD, the network, our history, and our shared values.

Since your interdisciplinary training will largely focus on improving the outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with the disability rights movement. Some of the most important leaders of the movement included self-advocates and other individuals with disabilities. Take the time to listen to stories by the leaders in the self-advocacy movement to understand their perspective, history, and significance.

Meet the AUCD Network

Now you've had an opportunity to learn about AUCD's history and mission, this second video offers more detailed information about who exactly makes up the AUCD network. This includes which federal agencies fund your Program or Center, and where you fit in.

The federal agencies that administer funds to our core programs strongly share our vision and values to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Together, AUCD along with its collaborating partners, federal agencies, and allies, create a stronger national impact. Since all AUCD Trainees are federally-funded, this means trainees have additional access to resources, information, and opportunities for leadership, research, collaboration and more. Below is information related to our core funders and how you can take advantage of what they have to offer.

Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)
In addition to administering funds to Leadership Education Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) programs, MCHB administers funds to training programs such as Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics and fields related to adolescence, public health, and more. MCHB has a trainee resource page that contains more information on those other training programs, as well as organizational structures and trainee perspectives from those who have emerged as leaders. The "MCH Connects" mentoring program facilitates connections and improves collaboration among current and former trainees within and across maternal and child health ( MCH) training programs. If you're looking to connect with trainees and faculty from other programs across the country, check out the LEND Directory.

For a more complete understanding of MCHB, take a minute to learn about Title V block grant, the nation's oldest federal-state partnership that distributes funding for states to improve the health and well-being of women and children (including those with special health needs).

Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD)
The Developmental Disabilities (DD) Act authorizes the University Centers for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) as part of the DD Network. The UCEDDs are funded by AIDD, within the Administration on Disabilities to work with states and Territories, communities, and partners in the disability network to increase independence, productivity, and community integration of people with disabilities. A Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit developed for the UCEDD and other networks may help you or your organization implement strategies to become more diverse, inclusive, and culturally & linguistically competent. There is a UCEDD in every U.S. state and territory, so check out the UCEDD Directory to find one near you (or anywhere you're thinking about moving in the future).

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Take the time to explore NICHD's website to learn more about their mission, areas of research, and funding opportunities. If you're specifically interested in intellectual and/or developmental disabilities research, you can check out information about the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRCs). Together, these centers deliver a once-a-year summary (2016) of research that contains information to help improve developmental outcomes and provide families and communities with the tools they need.

AUCD Trainee Voices

In this third video, AUCD Trainees share their thoughts on the importance of interdisciplinary training, how they're using their experiences to make an impact, and how being an AUCD Trainee influenced the pursuit of their personal and professional goals. Listen to their stories and be inspired to begin (or continue) your own journey!


Once you're feeling inspired to take full advantage of the network, check out the leadership opportunities page to learn more about opportunities for involvement, skill building, and leadership. This includes general responsibilities and time commitments.