This notice solicits applications for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) training program, and the option of a single, 1-year LEND supplement when funds are available, to expand or develop programs able to diagnose or rule out individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities (DD) across their lifespan. The purpose of the LEND program is to improve the health of individuals who have, or are at risk for developing, ASD/DD by providing graduate-level training in maternal and child health interdisciplinary leadership education in neurodevelopmental and related disabilities programs. LEND trainees should: (i) receive an appropriate balance of academic, clinical, and community opportunities; (ii) be culturally competent; (iii) be ethnically diverse; (iv) demonstrate a capacity to evaluate, diagnose or rule out, develop, and provide evidence-based interventions to individuals with ASD/DD across their lifespan; and (v) demonstrate an ability to use a family-centered approach. LEND provides interdisciplinary opportunities for trainees to access content and experiences beyond the scope of their respective academic disciplines. The goal of the program is to increase the capacity of the workforce trained to meet the complex needs of individuals with ASD/DD by enhancing the expertise and leadership skills of practicing professionals, families, and self-advocates dedicated to working with and improving the system of care for individuals with ASD/DD. LEND programs meet these goals through a range of activities. Specific objectives are to: 1) Train graduate and post-graduate students, family members, people with disabilities, and community professionals. 2) Deliver training that includes a balance of academic, clinical, leadership, and community-based learning opportunities framed in an interdisciplinary, and person-/family-centered manner. 3) Engage trainees at varying levels of intensity through long-, medium-, and short-term training opportunities. 4) Engage diverse cohorts of trainees and faculty, including those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, geographic regions, and other factors reflecting the broader population. 5) Increase the number of interdisciplinary diagnostic evaluations provided by LEND faculty and trainees. 6) Provide continuing education opportunities for practicing professionals. 7) Provide technical assistance to local, state, and national programs and agencies to improve the system of care for people with disabilities. The purpose of the optional LEND Supplement is to enhance LEND training program capacity to respond to emerging needs and support innovative training practices.
Eligible applicants include domestic public or non-profit agencies, including institutions of higher education. See Title III, § 399BB(e)(1)(A) of the Public Health Service Act. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply.
Robyn Schulhof, MA