Request for Letters of Interest: Phase 2 Act Early Summits

July 30, 2008

AUCD is pleased to announce the launch of the next phase of the Act Early Regional Summits Project. AUCD is again working with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) of CDC to bring together key state leaders from the early intervention and early childhood communities, children with special health care needs, education and other state agency representatives, parents, service providers, medical personnel, autism and other related disability organizations, and relevant university personnel for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of states to identify, assess, and provide evidence-based supports and services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related disabilities.

Two summits were carried out last year in Albuquerque, NM and Kansas City, Missouri. Information from those summits is available on the Act Early Summits Project main page.

In this second phase, we anticipate three regional summits will be held over the course of this year and the first half of 2009. Potential sites include all regions other than HHS Federal Regions 6, 7, or 5 for the coming year. Each regional summit will involve a UCEDD/LEND serving as host center to bring together teams from neighbor states in the region for a day and a half program with one to two overnight stays, depending on geographic distance for participants. UCEDD/LENDs from the participating states in the region will identify and bring together the teams for their respective states. AUCD staff will provide overall coordination and summit program development and will work with the host center to coordinate logistics and meeting shared tasks. For your information, we also hope to hold 3 or 4 summits in the following 2009-10 year so that by the end of 2010 each federal region will have had a summit.

The process for selecting summit regions and host centers is now underway by NCBDDD in partnership with AUCD. While a number of factors must be considered, key among them is the interest and availability of a UCEDD or LEND program to accept host center responsibility. To ascertain the interest of centers in the network, we are announcing this call for Letters of Interest (LOI) from UCEDD and LEND programs to host a summit in the coming year.

LOIs should not be longer than two to three pages. Guidelines for submitting this LOI are provided below. Please submit your LOI via email to Program Manager David Morrissey by August 29, 2008.

Please do not hesitate to contact AUCD Executive Director George Jesien, AUCD-NCBDDD Cooperative Agreement Director Sue Lin, or David Morrissey with any questions that arise as you consider this call for letters of intent. We are all available at (301) 588-8252.


Host Site Letter of Interest Submission Guidelines


Letters of Intent should address the following:

  • Provide brief highlights of recent state efforts in the areas of early identification, assessment, and coordination of service systems for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related developmental disabilities and their families.
  • Provide a concise description of your center's capacity to assist with local logistics coordination for the Summit, for which responsibilities may include: identification of meeting venue lodging selection and local transportation options; duplication of some meeting materials; and securing appropriate meeting A/V technology and reasonable accommodations (sign language, alternate formats, etc.) for attendees.
  • Provide a staff person for local logistics coordination who will maintain ongoing communication with AUCD staff throughout the Summit planning process. This liaison will also coordinate the identification of up to six UCEDD/LEND Trainees or center staff to serve as session note takers or facilitators.
  • Designate general period of preference to host summit from the following options.
    • Early December
    • Late February
    • March/April
  • In developing your LOI, please consider the following:
  • Summit sites must be accessible, have appropriate technological equipment and supports, be located in close proximity to suitable lodging and restaurant facilities, and have adequate parking and/or public transportation service.
  • AUCD will facilitate the development of meeting agendas through planning calls, secure and prepare speakers (and discussion group facilitators, if needed), and communicate relevant meeting and logistical information to attendees.
  • AUCD will manage payments for direct expenses related to the meetings, such as speaker fees, meeting technology, material preparation/duplication, meeting accommodations, and travel expenses. Some funds will be available to reimburse the host center for Summit-related expenses and staff time.


    Please complete the LOI Cover Sheet and attach to the body of your LOI for submission as an email attachment.

    Please submit your LOI via email to David Morrissey by August 29, 2008. The subject line of your email should read: "LOI Submission-Act Early Summit".