Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Va-LEND)



Graduate level, interdisciplinary leadership training program to prepare leaders in the field of childhood neurodevelopmental disabilities. Provides a 9-24 month curriculum of didactic courses, interactive seminars, clinical/community -based practica, family mentorship experience, and policy activities. Curriculum covers neurodevelopmental and related disabilities including ASD, social and family environments, interdisciplinary approach, leadership, and research. By July of 2016, faculty will be comprised of 16 core disciplines including audiology, family, genetic counseling, nursing, nutrition, OT, pediatric dentistry, pediatrics, people with disabilities, PT, psychology, public health, social work, special education, speech language pathology, as well as disability law. The program is a collaboration among the Partnership for People with Disabilities, the VCU School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, and the Virginia Department of Health, Title V Program. (Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services).

Major Activities

  • Recruit advanced graduate students and professionals to be Va-LEND trainees and fellows.
  • Implement and evaluate a 12-credit competency-based curriculum for health professionals and special educators
  • Coordinate training activities related to childhood neurodevelopmental disabilities with the VCU School of Medicine, and the Virginia Department of Health, Title V Program.
  • Provide interdisciplinary clinical training using community school, family services, and healthcare sites.
  • Collaborate with Commonwealth Autism Service to provide clinical training and observation in autism assessment, for trainees and fellows, and outreach training to targeted sites across the state to build capacity through development of autism assessment teams.
  • Enhance training and services related to screening, diagnosis, and evidence-based interventions for autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.
  • LEND faculty provide training on disability awareness and health careers to students as part of the VCU Health Sciences Academy, a pipeline training program in the community.
  • Collaborating with AUCD to develop online tool to increase information about access to distance education technologies across the LEND network.

Funding Sources

  • Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)


Va-LEND Program

1000 E. Marshall St.
Box 980405
Richmond, VA 23298
Phone: (804) 828-0073
Fax: (804) 828-0098