Our center is part of the Life Span Institute, a leading research unit at the University of Kansas. 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.
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.
Mission and Values
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.
While our core functions – research, community service, training and education, and information dissemination – have always directed what we do, the values explain both why and how we have undertaken this work. These are the five values that guide our work:
KUCDD Diversity Statement
KUCDD is committed to enhancing the quality of life, self-determination, and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and their families. Our core values include seeking diversity and respecting and including all people. Diverse experiences, perspectives, and values enrich our work and our communities. We are committed to ensuring that multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural voices drive our work.
We recognize that people have been, and continue to be, treated unfairly and cruelly based on disability, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, age, and other factors. The long history of this inequity has created lasting disparities in health, education, wealth, and quality of life. We will proactively develop an environment where we reflect on, disrupt, and continue to address our own racism, ableism, sexism, ageism, and other biases, and actively seek out diversity in background, experience, and perspectives in our work.
Multiracial: More than one race
Multiethnic: More than one ethnicity
Multicultural: More than one culture
Disparity: A big difference
Biases: Opinion based on perceived differences
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.
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
The Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) is a statewide advocacy group made up of adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. 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 empower individuals with I/DD and their families to lead systems change, build capacity, and advocate for inclusive, integrated, accessible communities where everyone belongs and thrives.
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.