UC-LEND is a graduate- and clinician-level training program established to improve the health of individuals with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities. UC-LEND is one of 60 LEND programs around the nation funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and is a part of the larger Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) network of interdisciplinary centers focused on advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with disabilities, their families, and their communities. UC-LEND trainees also have the opportunity to collaborate and interact with our partner programs, such as the UCLA Maternal & Child Health Center of Excellence and the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P).

Our program prepares trainees to assume leadership roles in the delivery of services to individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities in research, public policy, and clinical practice by providing interdisciplinary training opportunities for trainees from a variety of educational and professional disciplines including, but not limited to: law, nursing, education, pediatrics, neurology, psychology, social work, and public health.

The UC-LEND Program is structured in 3 main content areas: Education, Research, and Clinical Experience. For information about specific program requirements, please see the Training Overview page.

The UC-LEND curriculum covers topics from the following UCLA courses: A Population Health Approach to Autism, Child Health Programs & Policy, and Leadership. Some trainees will be granted access to our virtual coursework, which will cover lectures from these courses and additional content from UC-LEND faculty and partners.

During the span of the academic year, UC-LEND trainees complete a capstone project focusing on neurodiversity. Additional research support is provided through mentorship and the UC-LEND weekly research seminar where trainees gain experience in manuscript preparation, applied research methods, and neurodiversity-affirming research. All trainees are encouraged to get involved in UC-LEND related research and there are multiple opportunities for presentations and publications.

As part of the clinical experience, trainees are required attend our weekly clinical seminar where trainees will learn to apply the LEND Clinic Model of Care to clinical cases presented by fellow trainees and engage in discussions surrounding diagnosis, services, and educational advocacy for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Trainees are also required to shadow at least once per quarter (3 times per year) in the UC-LEND clinic, where they will gain experience in observing how interdisciplinary care teams work and how to bring their own expertise to LEND cases.