1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Georgia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (GaLEND)

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Emily C Graybill, PhD
Center for Leadership in Disability
Georgia State University
75 Piedmont Ave NE, Suite 514
Atlanta, GA  30302
Phone: 404-413-1424
FAX: 404-413-1012


The prevalence of children in Georgia with autism spectrum disorders and related neurodevelopmental disabilities (ASD/DD) continues to rise with the concomitant need for better access to screening, diagnosis, and evidence-based interventions. GaLEND addresses these needs by preparing a diverse workforce with the interdisciplinary skills and perspectives critical to providing effective, culturally competent, family-centered services and supports -- and the leadership skills to form the partnerships needed to achieve the collective impact of improved systems of care.

Goals and Embedded Objectives: Our overarching goal is to develop clinical, research, programmatic, and policy leaders to improve systems of supports and services for children with ASD/DD and their families.

We have seven goals for the project, each with measurable objectives and timelines:
  • Goal 1: Recruit and train 24 long-term, 50 to 75 medium-term, and 75 to 100 short-term trainees per year, with at least 40% from historically under-represented backgrounds, and representing 12 to14 core disciplines including self-and-family advocacy.
  • Goal 2: Ensure that GaLEND trainees master the academic content, knowledge of research, and clinical skills to provide interdisciplinary, culturally competent, evidenced-based, family-centered, and community-based supports and services to children with ASD/DD and their families.
  • Goal 3: Prepare GaLEND trainees to assume leadership positions in public health, research and policy through mastery of the skills and dispositions in the MCH Leadership Competencies.
  • Goal 4: Provide 50 continuing education programs with more than 12,500 participants over five years, and provide 2,500 hours of consultation and technical assistance to 125 community programs over five years, with the goal of improving the health and well-being of children with ASD/DD and their families.
  • Goal 5: Contribute to solutions for emerging challenges in Georgia related to ASD/DD though targeted efforts in areas of need, such as the continued need for early identification, the development of social competence in young children, and co-occurring disabilities in adolescents and young adults.
  • Goal 6: Use an ongoing process of qualitative and quantitative evaluation to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, reach, impact and quality of the GaLEND Program and the national LEND programs.
  • Goal 7: Contribute to the elimination of health disparities and improvement in systems of care for MCH populations by conducting and disseminating research.

Activities to Be Undertaken to Meet Project Goals: All long-term trainees participate in (1) leadership seminar and collaborative, (2) courses on neurodevelopmental disabilities and systems of care, (3) participatory action research project teams, (4) clinical practica, (5) family and self-advocate mentoring, (6) other directed experiences, and (7) opportunities for regional and national networking.


GaLEND faculty and staff meet regularly with our MCH Leadership Collaborative partners, our Community Advisory Council, Georgia MCH Program (Title V), and other agencies to review needs and plan continuing education and technical assistance. Project staff collaborate regionally and nationally with the network of LEND Programs through AUCD, other MCHB-funded training programs in the Southeast.


Qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods document the process and outcomes for each goal and objective, emphasizing trainee mastery of the leadership competencies, trainee satisfaction with the program, and long-term outcomes utilizing the frameworks of implementation science and collective impact. Data are reviewed regularly for program improvement.

Date Last Reviewed: