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Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) programs are graduate-level interdisciplinary leadership training programs that are federally funded through the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB).

LEND programs are located in every U.S. state and territory and are all part of universities or medical centers. They serve as a bridge between the university and the community, bringing together the resources of both to achieve meaningful change.

Over the course of these four decades, IU School of Medicine LEND trainees have gone on to serve Indiana and the nation. Graduates include expert clinicians, university faculty, policy makers, researchers and administrators. The LEND program is provided by the Section of Child Development at IU School of Medicine and the Riley Child Development Center.


Interested applicants must complete the online LEND application. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Candidates may be contacted for an interview to discuss specific learning goals.

LEND Application

Training Outcomes

Training Outcomes

The LEND program produces leaders and innovators in the field of autism and other neurodevelopmental and related disabilities who are solidly grounded in their own disciplines and able to work collaboratively with colleagues in interdisciplinary settings. Trainees learn to anticipate, manage and take advantage of changes in knowledge and health care delivery systems. Graduates are leaders who recognize the value of family-centered planning and services and cultivate community connections.

LEND program graduates are well-respected and highly marketable throughout the United States. They serve in leadership positions at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Institutes for Health (NIH), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs), Title V agencies and even the LEND program itself. Trainees participate in a national network of Young Career Professionals for additional training, resources and valuable career opportunities.

LEND Participants Participants

Trainees represent a wide variety of disciplines and complete degree/field experience requirements while specializing their learning in LEND topics. Practicum experience, internships, and fellowship training fare available for students in Pediatric Dentistry, Family Leadership, Law and Ethics, Nursing, Nutrition, Occupational Therapy, Pediatrics, Physical Therapy, Public Health, Child Psychiatry, Psychology, Self-Advocacy, Social Work, Special Education, and Speech/Language Pathology.

Learn about LEND program participant types.