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Funded Projects

Kentucky Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and other Related Disabilities

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: LEND

Project Director(s):

Kathy Sheppard-Jones, PhD
University of Kentucky Research Foundation
500 South Limestone 109 Kinkead Hall
Lexington, KY  40526-0001
Phone: 859.257.8104
Email: kjone@uky.edu

Problem:

In Kentucky (KY), many children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD) receive poorly coordinated healthcare, with considerable variability across the state. Healthcare inequities for children and families are further exacerbated for those with multiple identities. Effective family centered, culturally competent, and community responsive care for children and youth with ASD/DD requires leadership, innovation, and commitment to the implementation of evidence-based practices.

Goals and Objectives:

KY's LEND will 1) provide a unique emphasis on persons with multiple identities, their mental health, and the perspectives of self-advocates; 2) increase the clinical expertise and leadership skills of practicing KY professionals and families who care for children and youth with ASD/DD; and 3) increase collaboration with universities, agencies and statewide health and employment initiatives across KY that train students and professionals to serve children and youth with ASD/DD.

Methodology:

KY's LEND curriculum includes required components for long-term trainees taking part in this one year experience: 1) four Core Courses that comprehensively cover ASD/DD, interdisciplinary care, family-centered care, health equity and diversity, leadership skills, partnership-based research skills, quality improvement, emerging issues in the field of ASD/DD, public health communication, and teaching skills; 2) the Family and Self-Advocacy Collaboration Program to enhance trainees' understanding of multiple identities and family and self-advocate perspectives, providing community experiences with family members, individuals with NDD and advocacy organizations; 3) the LEND Clinical program (emphasizing technology and telehealth) involving interdisciplinary ASD/DD clinical evaluations and medical services for children and youth; and, 4) the LEND Research Leadership Program, which is a set of mentored research activities culminating in the completion of a research project and formal presentation. Collaboration: KY's LEND will combine the expertise of faculty and professionals from three major universities for a broad reach across the state, including the University of Kentucky (UK), the University of Louisville (UL), and Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). Collaborating partners include UK's Developmental Pediatrics; College of Health Sciences; and Early Childhood, Special Education, and Counselor Education; as well as KY's Department for Behavioral Health and Kentucky's Act Early Ambassador program. National partnerships include the Center for Dignity in Healthcare, National Training Center on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, and National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Resources.

Evaluation:

We will evaluate the progress of the LEND program through trainee, clinical supervisor, and faculty reports. We will use self-report, observational, and clinical supervisory measures for LEND core competencies that are administered pre- and post-LEND training. These measures will demonstrate the influence of LEND trainees on the advancement of ASD/DD knowledge and practice across the Commonwealth.



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