The National Training Initiatives on Critical and Emerging Needs (NTI) offer a unique opportunity to broaden the UCEDD network's capacity to address topics of need identified by AIDD. NTIs are competitive supplemental grants to existing UCEDDs, and are intended to fund training intitatives related to the unmet needs of people with disabilities and their families. 

Embedding Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence: A Guide for UCEDD Curricula and Training Activities

This project is designed to research, develop, and disseminate a set of resources for the national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) to embed cultural diversity and cultural and linguistic competence (CLC) in their curricula and training activities. The project builds the capacity of network programs to embed widely accepted CLC policies, structures, and practices across the four UCEDD core functions of pre-service training and continuing education, community services, research, and information dissemination. The project has a special focus on unserved and underserved communities in the United States, its territories, and tribal communities. - Project Website -

Project outcomes include:

  • The first national UCEDD inventory and report of CLC training and diversity resources, developed specifically for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, that have been vetted for quality and consistency using criterion based on widely accepted CLC frameworks.
  • A set of national recommendations for the UCEDD network that will serve as a foundation and establish a standard for curricula, training, faculty and staff development, and community engagement across all core functions.
  • A matrix to apply proven organizational and behavioral change strategies for the work of increasing diversity and advancing and sustaining CLC.
  • An array of consultation, professional development, and technical assistance activities for the UCEDD network on how to use resources / tools developed by the Embedding Project to advance cultural diversity and CLC and sustain change in curricula and training activities.

Resources (Environmental Scan):

Resources (Vetted Resources):

Resources (Tools for Practical Implementation):

UCEDD Diversity Fellowships

The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), a part of The Administration on Community Living (ACL), awarded National Training Initiative grants to University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) to develop diversity fellowship programs to support recruitment and retention of diverse trainees, and build cultural and linguistic competence within their Centers.

Designed as a pipeline grant, the goals of the diversity fellowships are to:

  • Improve the recruitment and employment of underrepresented groups, including people with disabilities, within the UCEDD and in the workforce
  • Increase the diversity of leadership, staff and governing bodies across the DD network
  • Build cultural competence capacity with the leadership, staff, and governing bodies across the DD network
  • Increase the number of persons with disabilities from underrepresented groups and disadvantage backgrounds who benefit from AIDD supported programs

2017-2018 Cohort RESOURCES

2016-2017 Cohort RESOURCES

2015-2016 Cohort RESOURCES

ucedd minority serving institution (MSI) Planning partnerships 

AIDD anticipates that these partnership planning grants will develop a joint action plan that will provide a foundation for future collaborative work that could lead to the following:

  • Use of a variety of strategies to exchange and transfer knowledge between the UCEDDs and the minority-serving institutions, community colleges and/or other training program(s) such as faculty and student exchanges, course exchanges, joint course offerings, joint course development, joint research, collaborative community-based training, joint service projects; and or undergraduate internships, mentorships and or pipeline opportunities.
  • Increasing understanding of faculty and students from minority-serving institutions, community colleges and/or other training program(s) to the benefits of interdisciplinary research, training (e.g., pre-service, continuing education, community-based), and service;
  • Increasing understanding of faculty and students from more UCEDDs to the importance of culture, custom, and tradition in reaching out to and seeking the involvement of minority individuals with disabilities across the lifespan and their families in initiatives that could affect their lives;
  • Increasing knowledge of faculty and students from a greater range of minority-serving institutions, community colleges and/or other training program(s) to the range of funding opportunities that UCEDDs pursue and how to do the same, especially through partnerships;
  • Providing UCEDDs with assistance of faculty and students from minority-serving institutions, community colleges and/or other training program(s) to recruit from minority populations with disabilities to: (1) obtain greater minority participation in on- going UCEDD research, training (e.g. pre-service, continuing education, community- based), and/or service project(s);
  • Creating a basis for future collaboration between members of a partnership;
  • Sharing experiences from the partnership with other UCEDDs and minority-serving institutions;
  • Sustaining efforts through the development of a sustainability plan for continuing the MSI Partnership that will further development of cultural competence between the UCEDD and the partner organization to employ traditional and non- traditional methods for marketing and maintaining the project over time in collaboration with national organizations, including the UCEDD Resource Center and the network of UCEDDs; and
  • Building a pipeline for undergraduate and graduate training program.

2017 -2018 Cohort RESOURCES

2016 -2017 Cohort RESOURCES

  • Supplemental grant FOA
  • Partnership Descriptions
    • The Sonoran UCEDD at the University of Arizona will partner with Tohono O'odham Community College, a tribal college in the Tohono O'odham Nation in Southern Arizona. - Partnership Description 
    • The Institute for Disability Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi, will partner with the Office of the Mayor of Hattiesburg Youth Leadership Council - Partnership Description 
    • The Northern Arizona University UCEDD will partner with the Navajo Technical University - Partnership Description 
    • The University of Tennessee, Boling Center UCEDD will partner with Le Moyne-Owen College(LOC), a local minority serving institution(MSI) to create sustainable partnerships that benefits each partner through cultural exchange. - Partnership Description


  • National Gateway to Self-Determination Web Portal
  • UCEDD Self-Determination Self-Assessment Checklist:

    The purpose of The UCEDD Self-Determination Self-Assessment Checklist is to provide the UCEDD with a straightforward tool and process to determine the degree to which its policies, practices, and personnel, at a given point in time, are promoting self-determination for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families. The result will be a profile of the organization's performance that can be used to identify areas to strengthen, and to suggest resources and strategies for desired improvements.

    The Checklist, field tested by ten UCEDDs, was viewed as highly effective in stimulating discussion and generating ideas for projects that promote self-determination. The self-assessment process guides the UCEDD through a systematic review, by core function, of current organizational strengths in advancing self-determination, and identifies opportunities for future improvement and productive activities.