1. MCH Workforce Development
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Funded Projects

OKLEND: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Project Website

Grant Status: Completed

Training Category: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND)

Project Director(s):

Megan Peters, PT, DSc, PCS
Program Director
OUHSC Child Study Center
University of Oklahoma
1100 NE 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73117
Phone: (405) 271-5700


There remains a significant shortage of appropriately trainied interdisciplinary health care and related professionals in Oklahoma to provide leadership and advocacy for effective services to children with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities and their families.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Improve the health of children with or at risk of neurodevelopmental and related disabilities by preparing interdisciplinary trainees for leadership roles and interdisciplinary clinical competence. Objective 1: Advance the knowledge and skills of an expanded range of health care professionals to improve health care delivery systems for children with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities. Objective 2: Provide an expanded high-quality interdisciplinary education to health care professionals that emphasizes the integration of services supported by State and local agencies, organizations, private providers and communities. Objective 3: Provide an expanded range of health care professionals with the skills needed to foster a community-based partnership of resources and community leadership. Goal 2: Goal 1 continued: Objectives #4, #5, #6 Objective 1: Expand our promotion of innovative practice models that enhance cultural competency, partnerships among disciplines, and family-centered approaches to care. Objective 2: Expand our ability to demonstrate that interdisciplinary training opportunities in autism will increase diagnosis of or rule out individuals with autism spectrum disorders or other developmental disabilities. Objective 3: Expand our ability to promote research that is clinically relevant to improving the health of children with or at risk for neurodevelopmental and related disabilities.


The Program consists of didactic, practicum and research components. The Didactic Component includes two graduate leadership courses using an interactive discussion approach, outside readings, and faculty mentoring. Distance learning opportunities have been expanded and regional activities will be provided. The Practicum Component includes observation and supervised practice experiences with clinical and community services as well as leadership and advocacy activities with community and state agencies and organizations. The Research Component includes participation in research activities commensurate with experience and the research and development of two interdisciplinary leadership projects. All training is based on the foundational components of family-centered services, cultural competence, interdisciplinary collaboration and inclusive practices. A strong focus is on systems change strategies, systems development and integrated services. Curriculum components include: leadership and advocacy; children with autism or other developmental disabilities and their families; service delivery systems; interdisciplinary collaboration; service coordination and integration; family-centered practices; cultural competence; communication and teaching; and policy development and legislation. Continuing education and technical assistance activities continue to increase.


Coordination is strong with participating colleges, state Title V agencies, Oklahoma Departments of Health and Human Services, other state and community agencies and organizations addressing children with developmental disabilities and their families and family networks. Collaboration is ongoing with the State Sooner SUCCESS Program for systems development, the Medical Home Collaborative and the Autism Workforce Initiative. Regional collaboration with other LEND programs is in process.


Evaluation includes both qualitative and quantitative components: formative evaluation of the delivery of training and summative evaluation of program impact and actual benefit to trainees and collaborating agencies.