Human Development Center


Louisiana LEND

Child having fun with two scholars

Not sure if LEND is right for you?

What is LEND?

The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) is a nine-month interdisciplinary training program that incorporates both didactic and experiential learning in clinical and community-based settings. LA LEND prepares graduate students, family members, self-advocates, and practicing professionals to become future leaders in designing and implementing services, policies, advocacy, and consuming/conducting research and evaluation addressing the needs and priorities of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), other neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD) and developmental disabilities (DD) and their families.

There are 60 LEND programs in every state, the District of Columbia, the United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and six Pacific Basin jurisdictions, either as an awardee or in partnership with a LEND program. As a LEND scholar, you will be connected to a national network of other programs throughout the nation. The Human Development Center leads the Louisiana LEND program. Learn more about the LEND programs from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) here .

LEND improves your knowledge and skills related to:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) other Neuro- and Developmental Disabilities (NDD/DD)
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Life Course Theory
  • Interdisciplinary thinking and practice
  • Family- and person-centered care
  • Leadership and advocacy skills

“Too often professionals and parents do things to just get by, thereby perpetuating the status quo. If we are going to move the disability community forward, it's imperative that we do so with the highest standards and I believe LEND supports that.

Who should apply to LEND?

Graduate students (in at least second year of program) interested in becoming leaders in diverse fields such as: Education, Early Childhood, Special Education, Audiology, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Public Health, Social Work, Speech Language Pathology, and Others
Self-advocates interested in becoming better informed leaders and more effective advocates.
Family members of individuals with disabilities interested in becoming better informed leaders and more effective advocates.
Practicing professionals in fields related to healthcare, special education, ASD/NDD/DD, or other related areas.