About NIRS


The web-based National Information and Reporting System (NIRS) is a collective effort by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), its member programs, and their federal partners.  

Centers enter their data directly into this national database; the database allows network members to manage their own Center data while enabling AUCD to present a picture of the network's activities using aggregate data. NIRS is designed to describe the outputs and outcomes of the network, provide the public with access to the projects and products of the network, and assist the following Centers comply with their federal (and other) reporting requirements:


UCEDDs receive their core funding from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) and the LEND, LEAH, and PPC Programs receive their core funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).  

UCEDD and LEND network-wide data collection dates back to 1987.  In 1987, amendments to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) included a provision requiring ongoing collection of comparative data that would reflect the national impact of the UCEDD network.  A plan was proposed and endorsed at the October 1987 Annual Meeting (AUCD was known at that time as the American Association of University Affiliated Programs) for implementing the network's first national data collection standards; the proposed plan resulted in the 1990 publication, National Information Reporting System for University Affiliated Programs.

Every year, modifications are made to enhance the system; however, since its inception, NIRS has undergone several notable iterations:

  • A substantive revision of NIRS occurred with the introduction of a fully web-based NIRS on August 1, 2002 (the FY03 dataset).  With this FY03 revision, NIRS not only employed web-based data collection and management strategies, it incorporated (a) the new UCEDD data collection requirements outlined in the DD Act of 2000 and (b) the integration of data elements required by MCH for its LEND Program grantees.  
  • The FY06 version of NIRS included substantial modifications necessary to assist Centers respond to changes to AIDD and MCHB reporting.  In late FY05 MCHB introduced the Electronic Hand Book (EHB) interface for annual reporting and NIRS data and AUCD began to electronically transmit to the EHB on behalf of the LENDs. Starting with the FY06 data year, UCEDDs began using an annual report function in NIRS to electronically report on their progress to AIDD.  
  • The LEAHs and PPCs began using the NIRS Trainee dataset to manage their trainee and trainee survey data begining with the FY06 data year, and in FY08 began using all of the NIRS datasets.


NIRS continues to support the collection of a national data set that is credible and that accurately represents the work of AUCD network programs.

For more information, please contact NIRS help desk at [email protected] or 301-588-8252.