Va-LEND is a interdisciplinary leadership training project offered through the Partnership of People with Disabilities within the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Education. The Va-LEND program is part of a larger network of 52 other LEND programs across the nation, which are federally funded through the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The Va-LEND faculty represent 16 disciplines from 6 Schools at VCU and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Longwood University

The interdisciplinary program provides 12-24 months of interactive seminars, clinical and community-based practice, planned community grassroots, and systems level policy activities, and a family mentorship experience. The curriculum emphasizes all aspects of neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, social and family environments across the life course, the interdisciplinary approach, leadership,  and research and includes:

  • Interactive Seminars
  • Clinical and Community-based experiences
  • Family Mentorship Experience
  • Grassroots and Systems Level Policy Activities

The program can be completed in 1 or 2 academic years. 

Applicants have the option to choose from three different tracks (Long-Term Academic, Long-Term Non-Academic, and Advanced Medium-Term Track based on their experiences and leadership goals.

 Va-LEND Tracks [View Image]

We accept applicants for the following disciplines:


  • Audiology
  • Education/Special Education
  • Family Member
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Self Advocates
  • Social Work
  • Speech-Language Pathology

Application Packet

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