Cultural Competency & Inclusion


Recognizing and valuing the unique perspectives of people, identities, and points of view, and doing so in an environment where all people feel safe and respected is an important part of our work to address and eliminate barriers to systems and services. Following are select resources compiled and/or created by AUCD to increase diversity and ensure cultural and linguistic competence in our publications and events. AUCD members and the general public are encouraged to read, cite, and implement these ideas in their work.


Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit

Recently, AUCD rolled out its Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit. The Toolkit is a website that provides concrete objectives, strategies, and resources to help you realize your goals related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. Strategies and resources are aligned with the roles of three specific audiences, one of which, university-based centers, is designed to cater directly to Leadership in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) and University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD) programs.


Embedding Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence:
A Guide for UCEDD Curricula and Training Activities Project

This project is designed to research, develop, and disseminate a set or resources for the national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) to embed cultural diversity and cultural and linguistic competence (CLC) in their curricula and training activities. The project will build the capacity of network programs to embed widely accepted CLC policies, structures, and practices across the four UCEDD core functions of pre-service training and continuing education, community services, research, and information dissemination. The project has a special focus on unserved and underserved communities in the United States, its territories, and tribal communities. This project is conducted in collaboration with key stakeholders in the UCEDD network and funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (insert link).


ITAC Training Toolbox - Cultural and Linguistic Competence

This resource makes it easy for program staff to browse and share both proven and innovative training strategies/activities on a variety of topics relevant to 

leadership and Maternal and Child Health. In the Toolbox, training strategies are categorized by topic, making it easy for you to browse different methods other programs use to teach important concepts to their trainees. You can also save strategies you feel could be applicable in your program to a folder of your personal favorites.


URC Cultural and Linguistic Competency Resources

The term ‘‘culturally competent', as defined by the Developmental Disabilities Bill of Rights and Assistance Act of 2000 (DD Act), "means services, supports, or other assistance that is conducted or provided in a manner that is responsive to the beliefs, interpersonal styles, attitudes, language, and behaviors of individuals who are receiving the services, supports, or other assistance, and in a manner that has the greatest likelihood of ensuring their maximum participation in the program involved." This page highlights various projects, collaborations, and resources focused on Cultural & Linguistic Competency.


What's New


New Research Explores Disability at the Household Level (MT UCEDD)

A new RTC:Rural Research Brief by RTC:Rural partner Christiane von Reichert, Ph.D., Professor of Geography at the University of Montana, presents research on disability rates at the household level. The brief, titled "Prevalence of Disability: Individual and Household Context" is available for download on the Geography and Rural Disability page on the RTC:Rural website.


Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (MT UCEDD)

Dr. Rosemary Hughes was invited to serve as faculty at the 2017 Montana Victim Advocate Academy. It was the first time in the Academy's history that the topic of victims with disabilities has been a stand-alone session. The 40-hour academy provides training to dozens of law enforcement officers, attorneys and victim advocates from across Montana and neighboring western states.


Diversity Fellowship Capstone Project (ND UCEDD)

By Bailee Laducer, North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, Minot State University

My name is Bailee Laducer and I have spent the last six months as the diversity fellow at NDCPD. I am an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (TMBCI) and am from the reservation located in Belcourt, North Dakota. As the diversity fellow, I identified one of the biggest needs we have is encouraging young people from my community to get training to work in disability related fields. The Director of the Native American Cultural Center at Minot State University (MSU) and I came up with the idea of hosting a Spring Bridges event where we invited 9th through 12th graders from the Turtle Mountain Community High School to visit the MSU campus for an entire day with the purpose of learning about disability studies and human service degree programs. We wanted to expose students to a field they probably would not otherwise consider, meet various faculty members, tour the small campus, and introduce them to the supportive environment of the Native American Cultural Center.

 Pictured here are Fellows Chevonne (left) and Ann Marie (right) with Connecticut State Senator Joe Markley.

CT-LEND and UCEDD Celebrate the success of their first Diversity Fellows!

The University of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and LEND program were thrilled with the participation of the Human Services and Family Studies Diversity Fellows from partner Goodwin College this past year. Goodwin participants enthusiastically engaged in weekly seminars, special presentations, observations, and legislative and advocacy events.


Disability Policy News In Brief

AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every MondayHouse Budget Committee is scheduled to release 2018 budget resolution; Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) Vote Delay; hearing on Every Student Succeeds Act; and more


Meet the Center on Disability and Development 2017 Leadership Training for Diversity (LTD) Fellows

In the Diversity and Inclusion Survey that AUCD conducted in 2015, UCEDD and LEND Directors from across the network stressed the importance of addressing diversity issues and training to ensure cultural competence and diversity goals. UCEDDs and the disability community benefit from trainees from diverse backgrounds as an important need within the disability service system are professionals who are racially, ethnically, and linguistic diverse (Clark & Majewski, 2013). The Center on Disability and Development (CDD) at Texas A&M University (TAMU) similarly recognizes the importance of growing leaders in the field of developmental disabilities who are prepared to deliver culturally competent services and who are themselves representative of diverse backgrounds. The goal of the Leadership Training for Diversity (LTD) Fellows Program at the CDD will be to produce a formal cultural competence fellowship that supports Fellows from diverse backgrounds.


The Latest Issue of #RDSJ is Out

Volume 13 Issue 2

The latest issue of the Review of Disability Studies is out! Dive into this issues' topics ranging for Disability Studies in Physical Recreation, Social Participation of Children, Immigrants in Australia, Anxiety as a Tool for Critical Disability Studies, Film Genre and Mental Illness and much more.


Eliminating Barriers to Refugees Accessing Developmental Disabilities Services in Rhode Island (RI UCEDD)

Accessing Services from the RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals (BHDDH) is currently impossible for refugees, especially adult refugees. The policies that enable a person to access such benefits and services place refugees with developmental disabilities at a disadvantage. This project therefore seeks to create awareness and make a case for policy change so that refugees can apply for/and receive services.

Families Participating in the Make and Take

Making Assistive Technology Accessible to Latino Families (IL UCEDD)

Latinos are becoming the largest minority group in the United States. The City of Chicago is made up of 28.9% of people of Latino heritage/descent (e.g. Mexican, Guatemalan, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, etc). Many Latinos in Chicago are Spanish speakers and understand little to no English. Although the Latino community continues to grow, they have limited access to assistive technology (AT) resources and support because of the language barrier. Unfortunately, the majority of AT materials and training is targeted towards English speakers. Collaborating with the Assistive Technology Unit (ATU) at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Autism Program of Illinois has allowed us to reach out and provide AT support to Latino families who otherwise may not have had the ability to obtain AT support.

Wisconsin Team Members include Left to Right: Julie Schears, Sr. Outreach Specialist, WI LEND Training Program; Tamicah Gelting, MS, OTR/former Pipeline trainee; Vickie Moerchen, PT, PhD, Director of Pipeline Training Program

WI MCH Programs Team Up to Increase Diversity (WI UCEDD/LEND)

The Division of Maternal Child Health (MCH) Workforce Development created the 2017 Diversity and Health Equity Peer Learning Collaborative (DHEC) for MCH Training Programs interested in addressing issues related to diversity, linguistic competence and health equity. Wisconsin was selected as one of seven MCH peer groups to be a part of this national effort.