Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities


three sisters together

At the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, our mission is to enhance the quality of life, self-determination, and inclusion of Kansans with developmental disabilities and their families through research, training, technical assistance, and community service activities.

Our center is part of the Life Span Institute, a leading research unit at the University of Kansas. The KUCDD includes facilities in the state of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas City and Parsons. KUCDD was established in 1969 under the leadership of Dr. Richard Schiefelbusch, a pioneer in the field of interdisciplinary work related to developmental disabilities. Within the state of Kansas, KUCDD supports affiliated projects in many communities and provides training and other types of support to both rural and urban regions of the state. Through research, training, technical assistance, and community service activities, we strive to enhance the quality of life, self-determination, and inclusion of Kansans with developmental disabilities and their families.

KUCDD is a member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) network, a group of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) that work toward 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.

Consumer Advisory Panel

CAP 2019

The KUCDD Consumer Advisory Panel, or KUCDD-CAP, is a 9-member panel with people with developmental disabilities constituting the majority of the members.

The primary function of the KUCDD-CAP is to advise KUCDD’s director, researchers, and staff about issues that are important to people with disabilities and their families in Kansas. The KUCDD-CAP also provides advice regarding the center’s strategic plan and offers feedback to researchers on their current projects, as well as advice about new proposals. Perhaps most importantly, the KUCDD-CAP connects the KUCDD to other organizations in Kansas that are working to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The KUCDD-CAP meets either by telephone conference call or face-to-face four times each year.




KUCDD-CAP Resources

Staying Healthy During COVID-19, A Wellness Guide

Voting Guide

Watch the KUCDD-CAP (Consumer Advisory Panel) advise KUMC Medical Student, Emily Worley, about what health care professionals need to know when working with people with developmental disabilities:

Learn more about this video's highlights: Good Communication for Good Health: Guidance for Health Care Professionals From People with Developmental Disabilities.

Community Partners

KUCDD staff and affiliates are involved in activities that promote the best and most effective services for individuals with disabilities and their families while keeping in mind the diverse population and culture in Kansas. We collaborate with multiple agencies to impact services in Kansas. Some of our partners include:

Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) - The Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) is a statewide advocacy group made up of adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, the majority of whom receive services through the Kansas Developmental Disabilities Service System. SACK encourages and teaches people to speak up for themselves and to obtain the highest possible level of independence.

Families Together, Inc. -  As the Kansas Parent Training and Information (PTI) & Family-to-Family Health Information (F2F) Center, Families Together provides support and information for families of children, from birth to age 26, with disabilities and/or special health care needs.

Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities - The Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities (KCDD) is the Council on Developmental Disabilities for the state of Kansas.  KCDD’s mission is to ensure the opportunity to make choices regarding participation in society and quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities. KCDD serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through advocacy, public policy, and education.
Disability Rights Center of Kansas - The Disability Rights Center (DRC) of Kansas is the Official Protection and Advocacy System for Kansas and is a part of the national network of federally mandated and funded protection and advocacy systems. As such, DRC advocates for the rights of Kansans with disabilities under state or federal laws.