1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

University of Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND).

Project Website

Grant Status: Completed

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

Project Director(s):

Amy Hewitt, PhD
College of Education and Human Development
Institute on Community Integration
University of Minnesota
102 Pattee Hall
150 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN  55455-0223
Phone: (612) 625-1098


The MN LEND Program at the U of MN is designed to improve the health/well being of children NDD and ASD and their families through the preparation of competent professionals who provide comprehensive care, serve as advocates, conduct research, and provide local, regional, and national leadership.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Continue to support exemplary qualified faculty from diverse backgrounds who represent thirteen core disciplines with appropriate appointments and qualifications to perform the functions and Objective 1: The MN LEND program will maintain a licensed/credentialed faculty with expertise representing the core disciplines necessary to meet LEND objectives (and the broader goals of MCH and Autism CARES Act 2006). Objective 2: MN LEND faculty will include youth with NDD/ASD and their family members. Objective 3: The LEND leadership team will include a paid family faculty who will serve on the leadership team. Goal 2: Recruit racially, ethnically and culturally diverse highly qualified long-term, intermediate-term and short-term trainees from disciplines supported by LEND faculty and the community. Objective 1: Recruit a minimum of 15-20 long-term trainees each year (total 75-100) who have exhibited the potential and interest to become leaders in the area of ASD/NDD. Objective 2: Develop meaningful learning opportunities for 750 - 1,000 short- and 250 - 300 medium-term trainees (less than 300 hours) in all 12 disciplines so they may benefit from parts of the same rich curriculum offered to their longer-term colleagues over the grant period. Objective 3: Include 4- 8 parents/family of children with ASD/NDD, people with ASD/NDD or other community trainees as long-term trainees each year (20 - 40 over the total grant period). Goal 3: Provide an interdisciplinary training program that prepares health, allied health and other related professionals to assume leadership roles in the provision of evidence based, interdisciplinary servi Objective 1: Refine and deliver a model interdisciplinary core curriculum that includes didactic sessions, a core course on disability policy and advocacy and clinical practicum experiences so that each trainee acquires the MCH Leadership Competencies and ASD/NDD expertise compatible with the Autism CARES Ac Objective 2: Train leaders to encourage and cultivate interdisciplinary clinical practice, research and policy advocacy within new clinical and other related community settings. Objective 3: Provide a core curriculum that incorporates measurable trainee performance related to clinical and other related skills in the areas of: (a) ASD/NDD; (b) the social environment; (c) cultural competency (d) family-centered care; (e) interdisciplinary skills; (f) leadership; (g) communication skills; Goal 4: Provide education and training activities locally, regionally and nationally, including community workshops, consultation, continuing education seminars and presentations. Objective 1: Offer one LEND Forum per year that provides continuing education, sponsors a speaker of national significance and delivers training to at least 200 - 300 people each year of the grant. Objective 2: Ensure that faculty and trainees provide education/training by conducting 10 - 15 seminars and workshops (locally, regionally and nationally), delivering 20- 30 presentations at professional meetings/conferences, developing at least 5 training programs and materials disseminated via the website and Objective 3: Engage in at least three activities with other Minnesota MCH programs in education, clinical consultation, research, or dissemination activities. Goal 5: To provide technical assistance and consultation with Title V and other University of Minnesota, state, regional and national entities that address MCH/CAA 2006 priorities. Objective 1: MN LEND faculty and trainees will offer at least 5,000 hours of technical assistance and consultation to minimally 20 sites in the Twin Cities area, throughout MN, regionally and nationally related to ASD/NDD. Objective 2: The MN LEND project will jointly offer at least 1,500 hours technical assistance in collaboration with the UCEDD/MCH programs in MN to at least 5-7 Title V programs, and other community organizations.


The MN LEND will be beginning its first full 5 year funding cycle. The MN LEND Leadership team will continue to meet regularly to discuss and strengthen MN LEND's diacritics, recruitment, outreach, and trainee support. Members of the Leadership team will be assigned as mentors to incoming LEND trainees and will support the development of their individual learning plans (ILPs). Fellows will continue to attend weekly diacritics and discussions. MN LEND will continue to work to diversity and improve its didactic content so it reflects the growing needs of MCH populations. MN LEND will also increase its focus on outreach and technical assistance, and will host several forum and webinars. The MN LEND will also publish its first MN LEND Brief. The Community Advisory Council and Family Faculty will continue to meet regularly and provide critical feedback to the leadership team on MN LEND's focus and curriculum direction. MN LEND will continue to grow its online presence. Formative and summative evaluations will be conducted annually.


The MN LEND program partners with public and private agencies across the state of Minnesota specializing in policy, advocacy, research, and practice. Some of MN LEND's partners include: Gillette Children's Hospital, PACER Center, Courage Center, Autism Clinic at the U of MN, public school districts, MN Department of Education, Arc Greater Twin Cities, Fraser, MN Department of Human Services, and more.


Formative measure will include written feedback from Fellows, faculty and community advisors, including parents and youth. Summative evaluation will include the collection of quantitative data around a number of performance areas, including: training events and technical assistance activities, faculty qualifications and activities, trainee monitoring and follow along, parent and consumer involvement and systems change. Data will be entered into the NIRS reporting system.