Texas took an important step forward in the past year in training leaders in service to children and adolescents with autism and other disabilities. The University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Center for Disability Studies (TCDS) was awarded the prestigious LEND grant to develop the next generation of interdisciplinary leaders prepared to improve the lives of youth with disabilities and their families.
The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program, or LEND, was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau to UT Austin in collaboration with Texas State University and Baylor University. A network of 60 LEND programs in the United States prepares trainees from a wide range of disciplines to assume leadership roles in their fields to improve the lives of children and adolescents with disabilities. Beginning on July 1, 2021, TCDS, a part of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at UT, will joined this large network.
The LEND Award was the result of collaborations across the UT campus and Central Texas through the Autism Consortium of Texas led by Magaña. Other faculty members involved in the effort come from the Dell Medical School, the schools of Nursing and Law, and the departments of Special Education, Speech Language and Hearing and Psychology. Texas State University and Baylor University bring several disciplines as well. The program is called ACT LEND, named after the Autism Consortium of Texas.