The NCED serves as Nevada's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). The UCEDDs were established and funded by the Developmental Disabilities Rights Assistance and Rights Act (DD Act). UCEDDs work to accomplish a shared vision that foresees a nation in which all Americans, including Americans with disabilities, participate fully in their communities. Independence, productivity and community inclusion are key components of this vision.
The Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities (NCED) is located in the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Reno and serves as Nevada's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). The UCEDDs were established and funded by the Developmental Disabilities Rights Assistance and Rights Act (DD Act). UCEDDs work to accomplish a shared vision that foresees a nation in which all Americans, including Americans with disabilities, participate fully in their communities. Independence, productivity and community inclusion are key components of this vision. The DD Act funds 67 Centers at universities in every state and territory. Through their unique make up UCEDDs:
Serve a wide audience:
- People with disabilities, members of their families, state and local government agencies and community providers.
Provide a wide variety of projects:
- Provide training, technical assistance, service, research and information sharing.
- Have played key roles in every major disability initiative over the past four decades.
- Many issues, such as early intervention, health care, community-based services, inclusive and meaningful education, transition from school to work, employment, housing, assistive technology and transportation have been directly benefited by the services, research and training provided by UCEDDs.
This national network of centers is represented by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.
The mission of the NCED is to cooperatively work with consumers, agencies, and programs to assist Nevadans with disabilities of all ages to be independent and productive citizens who are included in their communities. This mission is accomplished by providing interdisciplinary training, offering model exemplary services, conducting interdisciplinary evaluations, disseminating information on developmental disabilities and service options, providing technical assistance, and conducting relevant research and evaluation studies. NCED projects are focused in six areas.
- Advocacy and Family Support. Currently, the NCED has four projects focused on Advocacy and Family Support: 1) People First (NCED supports 8 local chapters), 2) AmeriCorp VISTA (volunteers with and without disabilities), 3) Partners in Policymaking (collaborative project with Nevada Family TIES) and 4) 360 Family Support (NCED assists the Nevada Parent Encouraging Parent in project evaluation.
- Assistive Technology and Accessibility. Three NCED projects provide assessment, equipment, training, and technical assistance in assistive technology (AT) and accessibility:
- Nevada Assistive Technology Resource Center (equipment loan and AT information),
- Assistive Technology Assessment Project,
- ADA Nevada (technical assistance, site assessment in accessibility and universal design).
- Education of Children with Disabilities. Four NCED projects focus on education and services for children with disabilities:
- University Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment is a multidepartment program that offers interdisciplinary assessment and follow-up for children with Autism;
- Annually, the NCED conducts a statewide survey of parental satisfaction of Nevada Early Intervention Services;
- NCED provides technical assistance in serving children with disabilities in Early Headstart; and
- NCED provides statewide support and coordination for the Nevada Department of Education training activities.
- Employment and Transition. In the spring of 2010, in collaboration with numerous state agencies, service providers, and the Nevada Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, the NCED conducted three regional policy summits on the employment of individuals with disabilities. During 2010-2011, the NCED will be coordinating and facilitating the activities of work groups developed from the summits. Also included in the area of employment and transitions, Think College Nevada is a multiagency collaborative effort to develop post-secondary education experiences for students with intellectual disabilities that emphasize career and job skills.
- Positive Behavioral Supports. Nevada Positive Behavioral Supports (NvPBS) works with Nevada school districts on the development of building-based school-wide positive behavior support programs. In addition, project personnel also provide training and technical assistance in working with individuals with challenging behavior.
- Leadership Preparation and Disability Awareness. The NCED offers an 18-credit undergraduate minor in Development Disabilities to students from a variety of majors. In addition, NCED faculty members participate in a range of university and community disability awareness activities.