Program Specialist - Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), Silver Spring, MD

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2019


Title: Program Specialist

Reports to: Senior Manager, Maternal and Child Health Technical Assistance

Organization: The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), a leading national disability organization, supports a national network of interdisciplinary centers on disabilities. Its members represent every U.S. state and territory, including: 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), 52 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training programs, and 14 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRC). Together, these organizations advance policy and practice through research, education, leadership, and services for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families and communities. Each year, more than 3,000 trainees graduate from AUCD member programs; as professionals, they continue to work in support of independence, productivity, and a satisfying quality of life for all.

Position Overview: AUCD is seeking a highly-qualified, full-time Program Specialist to provide technical assistance (TA) to over 125 interdisciplinary training and research programs/centers on disabilities in 56 states and U.S. Territories.  These programs train professionals to use valid and reliable screening and diagnostic tools, in addition to providing evidence-based interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD).  TA actively promotes continued improvement for individual programs and the fulfillment of broader workforce development goals outlined in the Autism CARES Act, which funds both LENDs and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) training programs. This position will contribute to the full range of AUCD TA initiatives to  build network capacity, with specific emphases on: (1) support for LENDs and DBPs through AUCD's cooperative agreement with MCHB's Division of MCH Workforce Development and (2) strengthening efforts to engage and promote collaboration among Emerging Leaders - current trainees, former trainees, and early career professionals from all disciplines.

The Program Specialist will report primarily to the Sr. Manager, Maternal and Child Health Technical Assistance. This individual will also contribute a small portion of their time to AUCD's UCEDD Resource Center under the guidance of the Sr. Manager, UCEDD Technical Assistance. Additional team collaborations involve communications, public health, and policy teams within AUCD. The AUCD office is located in downtown Silver Spring, MD, one block from the red line Silver Spring Metro station and next to a county-maintained parking garage. This is an in-office position that is supported by federal funds and is 

Job Responsibilities

Support for the Emerging Leaders Community

  • Coordinate all Emerging Leaders communication platforms (website, direct mail lists, social media, etc.) in accordance with AUCD protocols
  • Develop and promote the use of trainee orientation, leadership development, and career advancement resources
  • Work with two Emerging Leader Interns and staff to cultivate and leverage a network of Trainee Liaisons at each program/center
  • Support the annual application, hiring, and onboarding process for the Emerging Leader Interns
  • Liaise with federal and organizational partners in the coordination of networking activities in which Emerging Leaders are (or could be) involved
  • Play a significant role in the planning and coordination of in-person activities for Emerging Leaders at the AUCD Conference, Disability Policy Seminar, and other events

Online and print dissemination

  • Implement and maintain mechanisms for effectively engaging and promoting leadership among former trainees and early career professionals
  • Solicit, develop, and package content for newsletters, fact sheets, webpages, and other publications and resources
  • Collaborate with the AUCD communications team to develop and implement strategies for disseminating publications and resources to a variety of disability community and other stakeholders

Technical Assistance

  • Support in-person and virtual meetings, trainings, topical work groups and special interest groups, and the development of informational resources to meet the needs of LENDs, DBPs, and UCEDDs
  • Respond to requests for information, referrals, and assistance from member programs, federal project officers, people with disabilities and their family members, and others
  • Assist with program evaluation and quality improvement initiatives; provide individualized, targeted, and generalized TA to the network on best practice across these areas
  • Collaborate with organizational partners and coalitions on activities and initiatives that engage AUCD network members or are relevant to aspects of their work; as relevant, engage in work that helps new partnerships flourish
  • Carry out other assigned activities that further the mission and goals of AUCD

Required Qualifications

  • Completion of a bachelor's degree in a social science, education, administration, policy, or related field
  • Two (2) years of professional or graduate-level academic experience in human services, health sciences, disability, public health, or related fields
  • A professional and resourceful style; the ability to work independently and as a team player, take initiative, and manage multiple tasks and projects at a time
  • Passion for and commitment to AUCD's mission

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated strong communication skills across multiple mediums (including but not limited to: writing for various audiences and intentions, conference calls, webinars, online and in-person meetings, and public events)
  • Demonstrated group processing and collaboration skills
  • Demonstrated skills in planning and facilitating logistics for training events (e.g. webinars, meetings, etc.)
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Cultural and linguistic competence in interactions with trainees and professionals from around the world representing a wide range of abilities, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and cultural identities
  • Demonstrated proficiency using electronic tools (including but not limited to: e-mail, websites, and social media) to communicate and exchange information
  • Excellence in organizational, analytical, time management/productivity, and problem-solving skills
  • Proven record of being able to effectively manage multiple projects and priorities at once

 Desired Qualifications

  • Familiarity with the AUCD network and service systems for people with disabilities; prior participation in LEND, DBP, and/or UCEDD interdisciplinary training is preferred
  • Knowledge of issues, policy initiatives, research, and practice related to health and quality of life for people with disabilities of all ages, and their families and communities
  • Basic knowledge of program evaluation and quality improvement practices
  • Proficiency in at least one language other than English


AUCD provides an environment that emphasizes work-life balance; a competitive salary based on education and experience; generous health, dental, vision, disability, life insurance and retirement benefits; vacation, sick, and personal days; and paid holidays. This position provides a unique opportunity to exercise expertise, creativity and initiative in a fast-paced yet relaxed office atmosphere. AUCD is committed to an inclusive culture that values all types of diversity, and as such has experience accommodating a wide range of disability and related workplace needs.

Application Procedures

Please submit: (1) a letter of interest, (2) a resume of relevant experience, (3) names and contact information of at least three professional references, including at least one from a current/former supervisor, and (4) any accommodations needed for the application and interview process to Ben Kaufman ([email protected]) with "Application for Program Specialist" as the subject line. Applications will be accepted and reviewed immediately until the position is filled.

The online job posting can be found here:

For more information about AUCD, visit:


AUCD is an equal opportunity employer.
Persons from traditionally underrepresented or unrepresented cultural backgrounds
and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.