Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND)

LEND programs provide interdisciplinary training to enhance the clinical expertise and leadership skills of professionals dedicated to caring for children with neurodevelopmental and other related disabilities. The goal of the Oklahoma LEND Interdisciplinary program is to improve services for children and youth with developmental disabilities by preparing the future workforce for leadership, advocacy, and systems change grounded in four core principles: Interdisciplinary teaming; Family-centered/Person-centered services; Cultural Competence; and Inclusive Practices.

The Oklahoma LEND program provides interdisciplinary learning experiences for graduate students, residents, post-graduate fellows, and community leaders and advocates for individuals with disabilities and their families.

What are LEND Goals?     

   1. Expand interdisciplinary service, research and leadership knowledge and skills
   2. Support the development of family-professional partnerships as the foundation for family-centered,             interdisciplinary services.  
   3. Increase cultural competence in interdisciplinary, person and-family-centered service provision.  
   4. Build capacity for inclusive, community-based services.  

What Does LEND Offer?    

  • Mentored learning experiences with interdisciplinary faculty, including family and self advocate faculty, to expand knowledge and skills in interdisciplinary teaming, service provision, research design and leadership
  • Opportunities to learn in community settings from community-based faculty, family, children and adults with developmental disabilities to see interdisciplinary family-centered and person-centered services in the real word. 
  • Building awareness of culture and personal preferences of individuals and families and understanding how to use this knowledge to improve services, advocacy and leadership.  
  • Increased confidence for leadership in interdisciplinary services and systems for individuals with disabilities and their families.  


What Does LEND Require?     

Interdisciplinary education includes a variety of didactic, practicum and research experiences based on the Oklahoma LEND foundational components of family-centered care, interdisciplinary teaming, cultural competency and inclusive practices. Leadership issues include interdisciplinary team dynamics, service delivery systems, child-family advocacy, policy analysis, legislation, legal and ethical issues, local and state resources, funding and statewide systems change. The Oklahoma LEND Interdisciplinary Leadership Program offers three program options:

Short-Term Program
Requires planned instruction that addresses at least one of the Oklahoma LEND core principles under the guidance of Oklahoma LEND faculty.  

Medium-Term Program
Requires planned instruction designed by the Oklahoma LEND training director and faculty that addresses the Oklahoma LEND core principles.  Between 40 and 299 contact hours are performed through experiences that include clinical and/or community-based activities.  

Long-Term Program
Requires planned instruction designed by the Oklahoma LEND training director and faculty that addresses the Oklahoma LEND core principles.  The program requires 300 or more contact hours (didactic, practicum and research) and includes an individual leadership project and a team project.  An Individualized Interdisciplinary Leadership Plan is developed by each trainee in this program category with the assistance of the Oklahoma LEND interdisciplinary faculty mentoring team.  

What are Course Options?    

The Oklahoma LEND program offers interdisciplinary courses for Long-term trainees on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa that cover Interdisciplinary Leadership Issues in Service and Advocacy.