1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

OKLEND: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Megan Roberts, PT, DSc, PCS
Program Director
OUHSC Child Study Center
University of Oklahoma
1100 Stanton L. Young
Oklahoma City, OK  73117
Phone: (405) 271-5700


Oklahoma faces ongoing challenges with shortages of providers who have expertise in caring for individuals with neurodevelopmental and other related developmental disabilities (DD) including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We need to continue to build the workforce of interdisciplinary health care and related professionals in Oklahoma who will provide high quality services, leadership, and advocacy, through family-professional partnerships that ensure meaningful and person/family-centered services for children with DD/ASD and their families.

Goals and Objectives:

The overarching mission of the Oklahoma LEND program is to develop a strong supply of interdisciplinary trainees with expertise and leadership skills in the areas of ASD/DD who will assume leadership roles, ensure high levels of interdisciplinary clinical competence, and promote effective practices and policy. This will be addressed through the following goals: 1) provide high-quality interdisciplinary education to students, family members, people with disabilities, and community professionals, which emphasizes the integration of services for individuals with ASD/DD across the lifespan; 2) advance Maternal and Child Health (MCH) leadership competency in trainees and professionals from a broad array of child health disciplines; 3) extend our reach to underserved communities through diverse trainee recruitment and accessible community-based clinical services; 4) promote innovative interdisciplinary education, research, and practice models that build family-professional partnerships and are centered on culturally aware and inclusive practices; 5) increase statewide capacity for screening and identification of children with ASD/DD by preparing professionals to administer screening and evaluation tools and increasing screening and evaluation services.


We will build on our successful interdisciplinary leadership training program of didactic, clinical, and community-based experiences, and research in topics relevant to children with DD/ASD and their families. We will continue our focus on coordinated systems and services through collaboration with leaders of health care, social service, and educational systems. We will increase the number and diversity of trainees we reach and will increase our clinical outreach in collaboration with the OUHSC Office of Interdisciplinary Programs' Unity Clinic for statewide telehealth and mobile outreach to the tribal, rural, and medically underserved communities of Oklahoma. Through training, technical assistance (TA), continuing education (CE), and research, we will build capacity across the state to improve health of children with ASD/DD, in collaboration with Oklahoma Title V programs and other statewide partners.


The high quality OKLEND training program will be ensured through continuous quality improvement activities. We will evaluate the immediate and long-term impacts of the training program through measurement of priority outcomes, maintaining contact with trainees for follow-up, and increasing TA, CE, and short-term training evaluations to improve our impact.