LEND | UC Davis MIND Institute



Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

lend staff and trainees outside capitol
Leadership Education

Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

The Northern California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program is a graduate and post-graduate level, interdisciplinary leadership and service training program federally funded through HRSA's Maternal Child Health Bureau. The purpose of the LEND program is to provide interdisciplinary and leadership training to clinicians, families, self-advocates, and community leaders involved with developmental disabilities. By training future visionary leaders, the LEND will improve the health, developmental, and behavioral outcomes of infants, children, and youth with autism or other developmental disabilities and assist their families within highly diverse and dispersed, low income and low resource regions of Northern California.

The LEND will develop visionary leaders in communities who are:

  • Experts in their disciplines and in interdisciplinary knowledge of Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • Designers of new models of care provision
  • Committed to high quality, evidence-based services
  • Communicate well with families and providers from a wide range of cultural and economic backgrounds
  • Committed to advocacy and leadership in their communities
  • Providers of culturally competent, family-centered care

The LEND program provides trainees with multiple learning experiences, including empirically supported clinical care and leadership within communities to adopt evidence-based practices for improving services.

Resources and faculty at the MIND Institute and affiliated programs at California State University of Sacramento (CSUS) provide LEND training. Training will occur in clinical settings at the MIND Institute and CSUS, as well as in other clinical settings and community settings.


Applicants who are seeking knowledge and skills in the following are encouraged to apply:

  • Supporting families and persons with Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • Providing evidenced based services for individuals and families with Autism and Developmental Disabilities from under-resourced cultural, ethnic, and educational backgrounds
  • Advocating for systems change

The LEND program will enroll 12 or more full-time/long-term trainees and 20 medium/advanced medium-term trainees, either professionals who are finishing or have already finished their professional training, or family members or self-advocates.

Trainees will represent various disciplines including clinical or school psychology, social work, child psychiatry, developmental pediatrics, speech/language pathology, physical therapy, education including special education, genetics, public health, nursing, family members, community leaders, and individuals with disabilities.

Training those from underrepresented groups, including non-professional family members and persons with disabilities, is a high priority.

Selected long-term trainees will receive 300 or more hours of high-quality interdisciplinary graduate-level clinical training and receive financial stipends to support them during training (We may also accept additional long-term trainees who qualify and do not need a stipend.)

From September through May, the LEND program will include 12 Full-time/Long-term trainees (Full-time: 40/hours/week of training; Long-term: 300+ hours of training) and 20 to 30 Medium-term trainees (Medium-term = 40-149 hours; Advanced medium-term = 150-299 hours).

Trainees will come from one or more of the following: professional disciplines that provide clinical or educational care to children and families with Autism and other developmental disabilities, are family members of a child or adult with these disabilities, or are adults who have one of the disabilities themselves. Full-time and Long-term Trainees will have the opportunity and be required to participate in seminars, interdisciplinary clinical work, community work, and they will also complete a leadership project. Medium and Advanced medium-term trainees will experience the LEND curriculum courses, the LEND interdisciplinary clinical activities, the LEND community training activities, and will have some research experience. An individualized training plan will be developed to determine which LEND training activities will best meet the training needs of the candidate.

Applications will be open in February 2025 if you are interested in applying to this program for the 2025-26 training year. If you have any questions, please contact hs-lend@ucdavis.edu.