CDC-AUCD-HRSA Leadership Opportunity

Act Early Ambassadors Cohort 2: State Liaisons to the Act Early Initiative

October 24, 2011


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Application deadline: November 18, 2011, 12 Noon PM, ET

This one year pilot will begin in January of 2012.  Up to ten (10) Act Early Ambassadors will be selected with a maximum of one award per state.   States in which an Act Early Ambassador was located in 2011 are not eligible for this opportunity.  Please check the Act Early Ambassador page for a list of states with a 2011 Act Early Ambassador.  Continuation funding is not guaranteed after the pilot year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) announce a one year pilot project to fund up to ten (10) state-level Act Early Ambassadors to (1) promote the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." campaign to improve early identification of autism and other developmental disabilities; (2) promote the "Autism Case Training:  A Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Curriculum;" and (3) serve as a liaison with Act Early teams.


CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." (LTSAE) program aims to improve early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities. The Act Early Initiative, a collaborative effort between CDC, AUCD, and HRSA, seeks to improve collaboration among state programs that identify and serve young children with developmental disabilities and their families.  CDC and HRSA work collaboratively on a variety of programs focused on early identification of young children.  CDC, AUCD, and HRSA, convened Act Early regional summits in all 10 HHS regions from 2007-2010. Act Early teams developed state plans at these summits and have initiated implementation of state plan activities.  Act Early teams are engaged in public awareness, education and training, collaboration, and advocacy at the state and local level. 


The one-year pilot, launched in June 2011, is implemented through Act Early teams, HRSA-MCHB Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Training Programs and LEND programs.  Ambassadors receive formal training related to all aspects of the Act Early campaign as well as ongoing technical assistance and feedback from CDC, AUCD, and HRSA, to support successful completion of their Act Early Ambassador activities.  For more information about the Act Early Ambassador project and to view a list of the2011 Ambassadors, visit the AUCD website:


To develop a network of state-level experts who will expand the reach of "Learn the Signs. Act Early." (LTSAE) campaign activities and support ongoing state awareness activities and improvement of early identification practices.

Act Early Ambassadors:

  • work with the network of state leaders, the national LTSAE program, MCH, AUCD, and Act Early teams to support national, state, and local activities. 
  • work with programs that serve young children and their parents, such as Head Start and Early Head Start, WIC, home visiting, health care and child care professionals, and others, to improve early identification of developmental delays
  • collaborate with state agencies and campaign partners to improve policy and programs for early identification and
  • promote the CDC-MCHB Autism Case Training (ACT):  A Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Curriculum, a  case based facilitated curriculum to teach pediatric residents and other trainees about autism identification, diagnosis, and treatment. 


Ambassadors will receive:

  • A $4000 stipend to support local travel and other approved expenses associated with conducting Ambassador activities.
  • Travel expenses to attend a two day required training will be funded, in addition to the stipend award
  • Technical assistance from CDC, HRSA and AUCD, the CDC-MCHB Autism Case Training (ACT): A Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Curriculum, and training and resource materials to support activities.


The responsibilities are broad, offering each ambassador the opportunity to exercise creativity and expertise to develop new initiatives through existing national health education campaigns. Ambassadors will gain knowledge about public health approaches to improving early identification through training, webinars, and calls with national experts and attend yearly training on LTSAE materials, working with the media, and campaign and research updates.


  • 12-month commitment to the Ambassador project (January 2012-December 2012);
  • Spend an average of 5-7 hours per month on activities required by this award;
  • Attend a two-day training at CDC in Atlanta on January 26-27, 2012   (Travel expenses will be reimbursed by AUCD and do not affect the Ambassador's stipend balance.)
  • Active participation on topical webinars (3 per year) and monthly Ambassador calls with CDC's developmental-behavioral pediatrician hosted by AUCD;
  • Participate in Act Early team activities, as appropriate;
  • Conduct activities such as: developing partnerships with state and local programs that serve young children and their parents, disseminating LTSAE materials through training at professional meeting and community presentations; conducting professional education using the ACT case study curriculum; and collaborating with state Act Early team partners;
  • Submit quarterly reports which include: activity updates, progress report and budget report to CDC, AUCD and HRSA


Criteria for Selection

  • Knowledge and expertise in child development and developmental disability.
  • Good presentation and communication skills and interest in teaching other professionals.
  • Familiarity with the Act Early Initiative (for example, attended an Act Early Regional Summit and/or be a past or current member of an Act Early team).
  • Familiarity with programs in the state that serve young children and their families.
  • Strong interest in furthering the goals of the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." campaign. 
  • Consideration will be given to individuals who are interested in expanding their involvement with their state's Act Early Team.

Please note that only one ambassador will be funded per state. Therefore, we encourage Act Early teams and training programs to discuss this opportunity among team members and nominate one Ambassador.

Most importantly, we are looking for individuals who share our commitment to improving systems and outcomes related to identifying young children with autism and other developmental disabilities so they and their families can get the help they need.


Fiscal Agent

The Ambassador stipend must be awarded to a fiscal agent who will receive the funds and be responsible for progress reports. Applications must include the signature of the fiscal agent representative.  The fiscal agent is expected to be a UCEDD, LEND or MCHB Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics training program; however, other fiscal agents can be considered and designated on an as-needed basis. Please direct questions concerning the Act Early Ambassador stipend or fiscal agent requirement to Adriane Griffen at AUCD.  Email:

How to Apply

The application can be found on the AUCD Act Early

Completed applications must be received by Adriane Griffen,, via email by 12:00 pm Noon Eastern Time on November 18, 2011. 


  • Information Call:  November 3, 2011, 2:00-3:00pm ET

Dial in: 866-951-1151, Code: 7307522

  • Application Submission:  November 18, 2011, 12 Noon ET
  • Acceptance Notification: December 9, 2011
  • Training: January 26-27, 2012 Atlanta, GA

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