1. Home
  2. Programs & Impact
  3. Focus Areas
  4. Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development
  5. Workforce Development Projects
  6. UAB Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities

UAB Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities

Project Profile

MCHB Program: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND)
Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham
Location: Birmingham, AL
Region: 4
Project Director:

Sarah O Kelley, PhD
Project Director
Phone: 205-975-5781



Alabama's children are at increased risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities but have very limited access to early identification and intervention resources to improve outcomes. The state also lacks professionals trained to serve individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities and special health care needs and their families.

Goals and objectives:

UAB LEND strives to improve the well-being and quality of life across the lifespan for individuals and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD) by: 1) providing interdisciplinary leadership education/training to at least 29 graduate and postgraduate health and health related professionals across 12 disciplines per year in a model center of excellence in training, service, and research in ASD/DD; 2) utilizing a leadership education curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary, family-centered, culturally and linguistically appropriate, comprehensive health care in Civitan-Sparks Clinics and community-based sites; 3) providing specialized interdisciplinary training annually for 50 trainees in screening, diagnosis, and/or intervention for individuals with ASD/DD; 4) developing research awareness and skills for trainees; 5) providing continuing education (CE) and technical assistance (TA) to Title V and other child health and development professionals and stakeholders in Alabama, including at least 5 CE events and 60 TA activities annually; and 6) working to change state systems impacting individuals with ASD/DD. Additional emphasis is placed on increasing diversity among LEND trainees and faculty and in meaningful engagement of Family and Self-Advocacy disciplines in program activities.


LEND supports trainee completion of the core curriculum, including didactic, leadership, and experiential activities to develop MCH Leadership Competencies and respond to the Autism CARES Act. Curricula focus on ASD/DD, health equity/diversity, quality improvement (QI) and evidence-based practice, family-/person-centered care, public health/systems, cultural/linguistic responsiveness, use of technology/telehealth, research, transition to adulthood/lifespan issues, and emerging issues. CE is provided through Center sponsored workshops, presentations, seminars, and TA to professionals, agencies, and families. Activities address national, regional, state, and local audiences.


LEND will be evaluated based on achieving proposed objectives and MCH Performance Measures, process data to improve function, and impact/outcome data to assess trainee skills and competencies. This includes summative data, qualitative data related to trainee performance in completing components and competencies of the core curriculum, and surveys of consumer satisfaction related to service delivery, CE, and TA. Needs assessment and QI processes will occur throughout the project period.