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Funded Projects

Excellence in Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Leadership Education: Preparing Future Leaders in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Jennifer Gerdts, PhD
Center on Human Development and Disability
University of Washington
Box 357920
PO Box 357920
Seattle, WA  98195
Phone: (206) 221-4417


Workforce shortages, access to care, racial/ethnic disparities, behavioral comorbidities, and lack of transition/adult providers contribute to the critical need to improve the health of individuals with ASD/DDs across the lifespan in Washington State. Disparities in healthcare are further compounded by other social determinants of health that affect health and functional outcomes.

Goals and Objectives:

1) Prepare a representative MCH healthcare workforce to anticipate and respond to the needs of the diverse ASD/DD population. Obj 1 Yearly enroll 29-35 LTT of diverse disciplines Obj 2 Assure trainee & faculty racial/ethnic diversity Obj 3 Enroll LTTs from diverse geographic regions Obj 4 Maintain enrollment of > 50 MTTs. 2) Provide balance of clinical, didactic, leadership, and community-based opportunities in ASD/DD framed in interdisciplinary, person-/family-centered, lifespan, and culturally and linguistically responsive practices. Obj 1 Provide interdisciplinary clinical opportunities in innovative practice sites Obj 2 Interactive didactics to master MCH competencies Obj 3 Provide innovative leadership opportunities. 3) Improve systems of care for ASD/DD through continuing education and technical assistance to Title V and other state and regional partners. Obj 1 Provide TA to Title V agencies and others. Obj 2 Provide = 3 CE & Professional Dev. activities Obj 3 Lead Project ECHO program(s) to support regional ASD/DD community. 4) Support scholarly activities that promote critical thinking, life-long learning, discovery and dissemination to enhance lives of individuals with ASD/DD. Obj 1 Provide research training to UW LEND LTT Obj 2 Faculty and LTTs will contribute to science Obj 3 Improve evidence-base of best practice intervention & assessments in ASD/DD.


16 faculty disciplines are represented at UW LEND, including Family and Self-Advocates. Core curriculum focuses on critical issues in ASD/DD, including interdisciplinary team function, diagnosis and assessment, public health policy, community advocacy, systems of care, cultural and linguistic responsiveness, health equity and diversity, telehealth, QI, evidence-based practice, person-/family-centered care, transition and lifespan care, and scholarly achievement. Competencies are met through our comprehensive, interdisciplinary curriculum with on-site/community-based interdisciplinary clinical training, telehealth, Project ECHO programs, field experiences, community leadership, and didactics with focused forums on diversity and health equity and advocacy in ASD/DD. Faculty provide LTT, MTT, STT direct clinical observation & formative feedback, and CE/TA activities with Title V, UW MCH Training Consortium, and PacWest LEND Consortium. Partnerships with WA State Health Care Authority support ECHO Programs building statewide capacity in ASD/DD. Faculty & LTTs disseminate evidence-based research and scholarly products to stakeholders locally, regionally, nationally.


Formative & summative measures, including short and long term outcomes, assure program accountability and continuous quality improvement. Competencies ensured through LTT Standardized Skills Stations Evaluations. Anonymous program evaluations are reviewed annually to improve curriculum. Alumni MCH leadership is assessed at 2, 5, and 10 yr. Effectiveness of CE/TA activities are analyzed with pre-post surveys via REDCap.

Date Last Reviewed: