UCEDD Action Plan for People at the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity & Disability

The following is an excerpt from the Executive Summary of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan for the UCEDD National Network (page 3) [PDF].

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families who are members of historically underserved racial, ethnic, and linguistic groups experience pervasive and chronic disparities across the lifespan. Among others, recent research has identified evidence of disparities in access and outcomes in areas such as early identification and intervention, education, health, mental health, disability services, and employment. The findings raise strong concerns about persistent inequities for people at the intersection of race, ethnicity, and disability.

The National Network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) provides a potentially powerful infrastructure and platform for systematically reducing disparities and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion.

This Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan (PDF) was developed by a project team with members at Georgia State University (GSU), the University of Southern California (USC), and Georgetown University UCEDDs to help address this need. The development of the plan was informed by the following:

  • Extensive review of the literature on disparities experienced by individuals with I/DD from historically underserved groups;
  • Examination of the UCEDD Core Functions (Interdisciplinary Education and Pre-Service Training; Community Services; Training and Technical Assistance; Research, Evaluation and Policy Analysis; and Information Dissemination);
  • Review of previous and current investments by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) related to promoting equity, diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence (CLC);
  • Interviews with UCEDD directors on current activities and attitudes regarding CLC within their respective centers;
  • Communication and collaboration with personnel from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), including the UCEDD Resource Center (URC) and Diversity and the Inclusion (D&I) Action Team; and
  • Surveys completed by relevant stakeholders, including individuals with I/DD and family members from historically underserved racial, ethnic, and linguistic groups, researchers, and practitioners committed to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Through the integration of these components, three global areas were identified as essential to address in the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan: Workforce Diversity, Cultural and Linguistic Competence, and Local/State Impact, as well as an area titled Crosscutting Considerations that addresses items pertinent to the three global areas.

The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies is Maine’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and a member of the UCEDD national network.

Photo courtesy of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.