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.


What's New


New Factsheet on Survivor Justice Is Disability Justice

Schools Must Protect Students with Disabilities from Sexual Harassment.

The National Womens Law Center (NWLC), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) are excited to release our joint fact sheet in honor of the 47th anniversary of Title IX.


Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) SENSE Theatre enriches performances with Musical Talent from Artist on the Autism Spectrum

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) investigator Blythe Corbett and participants of the Winter 2019 SENSE Theatre program recently performed the original musical "The Makeover" to appreciative audiences. Their performances were the culmination of practice and hard work put in by young actors with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), typically developing peer actors, and, new this year, a new musician who is also on the spectrum.


Call for Proposals - CONNECT #PacRim2020

The University of Hawaii at Manoa, Center on Disability Studies, in the College of Education, is accepting presentation proposals to be featured at the 35th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability & Diversity at the Hawaii Convention Center, March 2-3, 2020. Submissions are being accepted from June 1, 2019-December 1, 2019 at


Tuesdays with Liz: Andy Arias on Diversity in the Disability Movement

Liz chats with actor-advocate Andy Arias, a Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Labor, about his different identities and the importance of diversity in leadership in the disability movement.


Tuesdays with Liz: The Developmental Disabilities Act

Passed in 1963 (not 1960), the Developmental Disabilities (DD) act plays a vital role in ensuring Americans with disabilities are able to participate in the community. Liz outlines what branches compose the DD Act and what they do.


Kansas LEND Receives Diversity & Inclusion Award

Kansas LEND was honored to accept the University of Kansas Medical Center Executive Vice Chancellor award for Diversity & Inclusion in April. LEND was nominated by Alice Zhang, LEND Postdoctoral Fellow and was supported by our community partner Families Together, Inc. The work to expand understanding, acceptance, inclusion and belonging on our KUMC campus and beyond continues. Pictured: Jessica Schuttler, Ph.D., LEND Training Director, Alice Zhang, LEND Postdoctoral Fellow and Dr. Robert Simari, KUMC Executive Vice Chancellor


Ilaria Navarra Completes her Fulbright Scholarship at the Georgetown University UCEDD

Ilaria Navarra, the first recipient of the Fulbright-NIAF-Georgetown University Research Lectureship in Education, completed her 6 month scholarship and is returning to the University of Macerata in Macerata Italy to complete her doctoral studies. Navarra is a primary school teacher in Episcopia, Basilicata, Italy. She was awarded the Fulbright grant to study the implementation of the Montessori method in US based preschools and primary grade classrooms.

Author: Courtney Taylor

The Right to Communicate: From Vanderbilt Kennedy Center's (IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Kindred Stories of Disability to Capitol Hill

McKenzie Tuckson is 15 years old and lives in Nashville with her mother and father, Tamara and Josh. McKenzie is a sophomore in high school. She is a cheerleader and vice-president of her class. When McKenzie was in kindergarten, she was diagnosed with Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects girls almost exclusively. It is characterized by a slowing of development, loss of purposeful use of the hands, challenges with walking and talking, and intellectual disability.