2020 AUCD Lifetime Achievement Award

Stephen L. Rock, PhD

December 16, 2020

The AUCD Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to individuals making a lifetime commitment to serving people with developmental disabilities and their families.


Stephen L. Rock, PhD

Former Director, Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities, Reno, NV

"Dr. Rock's work in the field of disabilities has truly been aligned with the AUCD Mission of individuals with disabilities being fully included in their communities. His experience has included direct services, advocacy, community and family support as well as helping to better prepare educators and others service providers who will work with and serve individuals with disabilities. As the Nevada UCEDD Director for a total of 23 years, prior to his retirement in November 2020, Dr. Rock had been a long-time and active member of AUCD. Dr. Rock began working with children with disabilities in 1970 in Arizona. He received his bachelor's degree in 1972 in Psychology, followed by his Master's degree in 1976 in Learning Disabilities and Emotional Handicapped and his Ph.D. in 1985 in Special Education. He worked as a classroom teacher before moving on to become an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Teacher Education. Dr. Rock really is a champion for individuals with disabilities in schools, in the community and across Nevada. His scope and outreach very much exceeds the duties of a director and professor.  Dr. Rock came to the University of Nevada, Reno in 1990 when he was hired to be the Director of the Research and Educational Planning Center (now the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities). In his 30 years at the University, he has worn many hats. He had been the NCED Director, Department Chair, served as the College of EducationActing Dean, was Chair of the Faculty Senate and has served on over 20 different University boards and committees in his tenure. Currently, Dr. Rock continues to support several of the projects in the Center as a part-time employee. In addition to his University roles, Dr. Rock has served on numerous external committees and boards, including the Nevada Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities andthe Nevada Advocacy and Law Center where he collaborates with stakeholders to improve statewide services and policies for people with disabilities."