2022 Anne Rudigier Award

October 24, 2022

The Anne Rudigier Award is named for Anne Rudigier, a young woman who demonstrated that one individual's commitment, energy, love of life, and respect for all people can be shared and can persevere through others. The Award is presented by the Rudigier Family in loving memory of their daughter Anne and of the values she held in her life and in her work.

Kiley McLean

Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Madison, WI

"Kiley exemplifies the type of future leader that AUCD aims to invest in because of her engagement with the training programs, and her significant contributions to the dissemination of policy and research that has the potential to increase the inclusion of all people with developmental disabilities in the community. She is an unusually gifted scientist who is conducting rigorous, impactful research on one of the most important topics in the field."


Kiley McLean is a social work doctoral candidate and research assistant at the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work and the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kiley has completed two years of the Wisconsin Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program and was chosen this past year for the 2022 Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) Leadership Academy. During Kiley’s two years as a LEND trainee, she stood out as a trainee who is passionate about research and policy, and who is committed to be a champion for the needs of people with developmental disabilities. Because of her experience with research and policy, Kiley played a more advanced role as a trainee than most. As an 2nd year LEND trainee, she took on a leadership role in development and implementation of a new policy curriculum. She mentored trainees in the policymaking process and in how to educate policymakers in different ways about issues related to the disability community. She has published several times in the AUCD policy talk blog on pertinent policy issues and her policy curriculum continues to be in use today at the Waisman Center. Further, she has served as the lead graduate student on the LEND Outcomes Study. She has presented on her innovative policy curriculum and the LEND Outcomes Study findings at several conferences, including AUCD, and has contributed the development of one peer-reviewed manuscript focused on the efficacy of LEND training. 

At the Waisman Center, Kiley works in the Aging and Health Equity in Autism and Developmental Disabilities (AHEADD) Lab under the direction of Dr. Lauren Bishop. Their team uses a combination of linked administrative data, prospectively collected data, and qualitative data to characterize disparities in and develop strategies to improve health and wellbeing in partnership with autistic adults and adults with other developmental disabilities. Kiley’s research focuses broadly on improving the social and economic well-being of adults with developmental disabilities as they transition into adulthood and age, through inclusive and comprehensive anti-poverty policies. Her dissertation, which she intends to defend in Spring, focuses on better understanding health and healthcare utilization among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities using a combination of administrative data and qualitative data. More specifically, she uses nationally representative survey data and state Medicaid claims data to characterize trends and outcomes of adult Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities across race, ethnicity, and urbanicity. She has also interviewed nearly 30 autistic adults ages 18+ across the country, specifically targeting those who identify as BIPOC or are transgender and/or nonbinary. This work demonstrates her commitment to inclusive research methods and to including the lived experiences of disability in understanding health disparities and barriers to health promotion. She hopes this research will provide critical, policy-relevant information that will help ensure equitable healthcare access for all adults with disabilities.  

Kiley has over 15 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities in positions including direct support professional, case planner, special educator, Special Olympics coach, and disability advocacy fellow. Kiley serves as the lead instructor for advanced level master’s seminars in Social Policy, Macro-Practice Social Work, and Issues in Developmental Disabilities at the School of Social Work as well. The Issues in Developmental Disabilities course is one of the few offered in schools of social work throughout the country. These courses support students in analyzing current social welfare policies and systems and the differential impact they have on vulnerable communities, including those with disabilities. Through universal design and inclusive pedagogy practices, she introduces students to different ways in which they can be involved in the policymaking process and advocate for policies that directly impact communities they intend to serve. The ultimate goals of Kiley’s research, practice, teaching, and service are to advance human rights and social and economic justice for, and with, people with developmental disabilities.