AUCD Invests Over $4M In Act Early Network Response to COVID-19

September 16, 2020

In September 2020, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) expanded its National Center on Disability in Public Health efforts with an investment of over $4M in the Act Early Network through an Act Early Network-wide Response to COVID-19 made possible by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC's Act Early Initiative
 promotes collaboration among early childhood programs in states and territories so children with autism or other developmental delays and disabilities can be identified early and referred to appropriate services and supports. The Act Early Ambassador Program is a collaborative effort of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau and AUCD.

Funding of 43 Act Early/COVID-19 Response Teams

43 State and Territorial Act Early/COVID-19 Response Teams have recently been awarded a one-year grant opportunity for Support for Early Childhood State Systems Through the Act Early Network. This nationwide initiative is focused on support for early childhood state systems through the Act Early Network to support recovery and strengthen resilience skills, behaviors, and resources of children, families, and communities.
This support opportunity is expected to bolster and evaluate the integration of parent-engaged developmental monitoring using "Learn the Signs. Act Early." (LTSAE) in at least one high-reach statewide program serving families with young children (birth to age 5), as well as advance the promotion and distribution of relevant, existing tools, materials, and programs to improve resiliency among families with young children during COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts.

Act Early Ambassador Program Expansion

This month AUCD also expands the footprint of the Act Early Ambassador Program with seven new Learn the Signs. Act Early. Ambassadors: Angela Scott (Arkansas), Elaine Eclavea (Guam), Lori Orr (Illinois), Synthia Britton (Michigan), Sharon Loza (North Carolina), Claire Niday (Texas), and Jackie Newson (West Virginia). 60 Act Early Ambassadors now represent every state in the nation in addition to several territories. Act Early Ambassadors expand the reach of the Learn the Signs. Act Early. program and support their respective state/territory's work toward improving early identification. They serve as a regional point of contact and promote the adoption and integration of Learn the Signs. Act Early. resources into systems that serve young children and their families.

Please contact Danielle Webber at [email protected] with any questions.