NvLEND—Nevada Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

University quad

The NvLEND is pleased to announce the recruitment of 14 trainees from diverse professional disciplines from Nevada for the 2019 class (July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019).

The Nevada Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NvLEND) improves the health of infants, children, and adolescents with autism and other disabilities by preparing practicing professionals, parents, and graduate trainees from diverse professional disciplines to assume leadership roles in their respective fields and by developing high levels of interdisciplinary clinical competence. LEND programs consider family and consumers a discipline. Consequently, parents/family members of children with disabilities and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to participate in the training.

Each year, the NvLEND strives to recruit trainees to represent each of the disciplines as well as the cultural, ethnic, and geographic diversity of Nevada. The disciplines include but are not limited to:

Health Administration
Occupational Therapy
Physical Therapy
Pediatric Dentistry
Public Health
Social Work
Special Education
Speech Pathology

Applicants from the professional disciplines must be pursing a graduate degree (master's or doctoral) or be practicing as a professional with a minimum of a bachelor's degree. There are no educational or degree requirements for family members or consumers.

Applicants should be aware that each NvLEND class is limited to 14 individuals from across the state and across the disciplines. Each year, there are more applicants than can be accepted. Consequently, the application process is very competitive. Interested individuals should carefully review the program description and the NvLEND schedule for 2018-19 to ensure that they will be able to fully participate, contribute, and benefit from the NvLEND experience. Please contact one of the NvLEND faculty if you have any questions.

The NvLEND Program

Trainees participate in a minimum of 325 hours of training over a one-year period from July 2018 through June 2019 (an average of thirty hours per month). Each trainee receives a stipend of $5,500 (contingent on federal funding) for the year to help defray costs associated with participating in the program including travel and/or missed work time to complete LEND activities. The 325 hours of training is divided between Didactic Seminars, Clinical Experiences, and Leadership Projects.

Didactic activities provide trainees with the knowledge of critical disability issues and the background necessary to work in an interdisciplinary context. The didactic training includes Saturday classes as well as weekly on-line assignments and reading. Three full-day Saturday classes will be held in Las Vegas, three full-day Saturday classes in Reno, and four classes will be held in both Reno and Las Vegas with a teleconnection between the two sites. This means that trainees living in either Reno or Las Vegas will only need to travel out-of-town for three Saturday sessions per year. The Reno classes will be held at the Redfield Campus and the Las Vegas classes will be at the Grant-A-Gift Autism Foundation offices. Those commuting from rural areas will need to travel for all ten Saturdays, and therefore will be offered an additional stipend to defray the travel expenses.

Clinical activities provide trainees an opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary services for children with disabilities and their families. Each trainee will participate on an interdisciplinary autism assessment team located in either Reno or Las Vegas. Trainees will also spend time observing services and programs at Nevada Early Intervention Services (North, South or Rural) and in a Nevada school district (either Washoe County School District, Clark County School District, or a rural school district). The remaining clinical hours will be based on individual trainee interest.

Leadership Projects provide trainees an opportunity to participate in a research, scholarly or systems change project. Trainees will be grouped in interdisciplinary teams to complete the project over the year.

NvLEND Schedule (2018-19)

July 20 - 31, Weblearning: Online NvLEND Introduction through WebCampus
Saturday August 18, NvLEND, Reno
Saturday, September 8, NvLEND, Las Vegas
Saturday, October 20, NvLEND, Teleconnected between Reno and Las Vegas
Saturday, November 3, NvLEND, Teleconnected between Reno and Las Vegas
November 11-14, Washington D.C., AUCD Annual Conference (optional but strongly encouraged, additional support provided, great experience)
Saturday, December 8, NvLEND, Reno
Saturday, January 26, NvLEND, Las Vegas
Saturday, February 23, NvLEND, Teleconnected between Reno and Las Vegas
Saturday, March 16, NvLEND Teleconnected between Reno and Las Vegas
Saturday, April 27, NvLEND, Las Vegas
Saturday, June 1, NvLEND, Reno

Administrative Structure

The NvLEND is supported through a federal grant with funds from the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act (Autism CARES Act) administered through the Health Resources Services Administration and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The NvLEND is a cooperative project led by the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities (NCED) housed in the UNR College of Education. As an interdisciplinary statewide project, the NvLEND is conducted in collaboration with faculty from UNR, UNLV, Touro University and the community. Contact information and participating faculty is listed under Contacts and Participating Programs.