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The Institute on Community Integration is the Minnesota University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD - pronounced U Said). We are one of a national network of UCEDDs in major universities and teaching hospitals across the country, known as the Association of University Centers on Disabilities or AUCD (see more below).
The mission of UCEDDs is to serve as liaisons between the academic expertise of institutions of higher learning and service delivery systems so as to positively affect the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by increasing their independence, productivity, and integration into communities. UCEDDs work with people with disabilities, members of their families, state and local government agencies, and community providers in projects that provide training, technical assistance, service, research, and information sharing, with a focus on building the capacity of communities to sustain all their citizens. UCEDDS have played key roles in every major disabilities initiative over the past four decades.
UCEDDs have evolved considerably during their history since 1963, when they were created. In the original law (PL 88-164), UCEDDs (formerly known as University Affiliated Programs) primarily served people with intellectual disabilities. Currently authorized through the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (PL 104-183), UCEDDs are now a resource for Americans with a wide range of disabilities.
While many UCEDDs provide direct services to individuals with disabilities and their families, the Institute's work is based on the premise that it can have its greatest impact by enhancing the capacity of existing agencies rather than providing direct services itself. To this end it collaborates with service providers, policymakers, educators, researchers, families, advocacy organizations, and individuals with disabilities throughout the world on research, training, evaluation, consultation, and information sharing activities.
Each UCEDD receives core funding from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), a unit of the Administration for Children and Families, in the US Department of Health and Human Services. This funding, authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Act, is essential for the administration and operation of UCEDD activities. It provides a stable base from which UCEDDs can attract additional support from such sources as local, state, and federal grants and contracts, fees for services, and university support.
The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a network of interdisciplinary Centers advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities. In addition to UCEDDs, AUCD includes Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers (IDDRCs) and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs.
For a complete listing of all UCEDDs in the United States and additional information on AUCD and UCEDDS, visit the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.