1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

San Diego Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (SD LEND)

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Lauren Brookman-Frazee, PhD., BCBA-D
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive MC 0812
La Jolla, CA  92093
Phone: 858-966-7703


Evidence-based practices for evaluation, intervention, and service delivery for individuals with ASD/DD exist, yet implementation of these practices in community services is inconsistent and inequitable. The research-to-practice gap is especially pronounced for children and families from traditionally underserved or vulnerable populations. Disparities in access to and quality of services for individuals with ASD/DD, especially evidence-based care, are well documented. Racial or ethnic minority status, primary non-English language, health insurance status, immigrant or refugee status, and residential status (e.g., residing in a rural region) have been linked to inequitable care. San Diego and Imperial Counties, located along the US/Mexico border, have geographical and population characteristics that align with these identified determinants of health disparities. A local needs assessment identified several priorities areas to increasing access to care for the San Diego and Imperial County community, including additional developing supports for recent immigrants and refugees including bilingual and culturally responsive service providers. To address critical disparities in access to evidence-based services and improve service and clinical outcomes, interdisciplinary training that is responsive to the unique characteristics of our community is needed. The current proposal leverages existing multi-institutional and community collaborations, and expertise in implementation science, evidence-based practices for ASD/DD assessment, community-academic partnerships, culturally responsive care, and disparity-reduction models, to provide targeted training in interdisciplinary leadership education.

Goals and Objectives:

The San Diego LEND will bring together faculty and trainees from public universities (UC San Diego, San Diego State University), a pediatric healthcare system (Rady Children's Hospital- San Diego), and government and community-based agencies from the San Diego and Imperial County communities for interdisciplinary training focused on promoting equity in access to evidence-based ASD/DD services. The proposed San Diego LEND will engage trainees from multiple disciplines, including graduate and post-graduate students, family members, self-advocates, and community professionals, for interdisciplinary training to address the complex needs of individuals with ASD/DD. Trainees will be recruited from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and across geographic regions to equitably reflect the broader population of San Diego and Imperial Counties. The program will provide person-/family- centered training through didactic, community, clinical, leadership, and research training experiences emphasizing the promotion of equitable access to evidence-based care, and developing a sustainable infrastructure for interdisciplinary care for traditionally underserved communities. In addition, the San Diego LEND will provide continuing education opportunities to the San Diego and Imperial County communities to disseminate information on evidence-based practices for ASD/DD, as well as ongoing technical assistance and consultation to improve the system of care for individuals with ASD/DD and promote equity in access to evidence-based services.


The San Diego LEND will strengthen partnerships and coordination between partnered organizations, faculty, and trainees to increase equity in access to evidence-based services and improve systems of care for ASD/DD. Findings from trainees' Community Action Projects and faculty research will be disseminated broadly to maximize community impact.