1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Vermont Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (VT LEND)

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Maria Avila, PhD
Larner College of Medicine
University of Vermont
UHC Rehab 477 Rm 4318 1 South Prospect St.
Burlington, VT  05401
Phone: 802-656-0204


The purpose of the VT LEND program is to improve the health of individuals who have, or are at risk for developing autism spectrum disorders or other developmental disabilities (ASD/DD) by training a cadre of interdisciplinary leadership professionals. The need for person-/family-centered, culturally and linguistically responsive interdisciplinary leadership professionals continues with the increasing incidence of autism, as well as persistent health disparities.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Train graduate & post-graduate students, family members, people with disabilities and community professionals (long term trainees) and individuals in graduate programs (medium & short term trainees) on the complex needs of those with ASD/DD, in an interdisciplinary manner, to improve systems of care for individuals with ASD/DD. Obj. 1- Annually provide high-quality interdisciplinary graduate-level education to 12 long-term trainees that emphasizes the integration of services supported by state, local agencies, organizations, private providers, and communities in VT & USVI. Obj. 2- Increase the number of trainees & faculty/staff from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Obj. 3- Increase the number of individuals with disabilities and family members in the program as trainees, faculty, and program consultation Obj. 4- Provide training to medium-& short-term trainees in MCH interdisciplinary, culturally responsive person-/family-centered care, disability policy and advocacy, and leadership skills. Goal 2: Increase the number of interdisciplinary diagnostic evaluations and interventions provided by LEND faculty and trainees measured by EHB. Obj. 1- Each year, faculty & trainees will work in diagnostic clinics, school-based settings, early intervention teams, and medical homes evaluating and serving children with ASD/DD and their families. Obj. 2- Ensure VT LEND trainees receive training on person-/family-centered care and culturally responsive models for serving children with ASD/DD. Goal 3: Provide continuing education for practicing professionals and technical assistance (TA) to local, state and national program & agencies to improve the system of care for people with disabilities Obj. 1- Provide a minimum of 3 continuing education activities each year in MCH leadership areas to community professionals. Obj. 2- Provide TA to local state, and national programs to improve systems of care for individuals with disabilities Population Served: The VT LEND program will serve children, adolescents & adults with ASD/DD; family members; graduate students; MCH Title V and related programs; policy makers; and health & related professionals in Vermont, US Virgin Islands and nationally.