California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Fellowship Program Description (CA-LEND)

Program Description

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (CA-LEND) Training Program is the only LEND program in California, and one of the oldest LEND programs in the United States. Since 1966, we have been training leaders, educating community providers, conducting research and promoting systems change for children with or at risk of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD), including those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our mission is to create an interdisciplinary learning community where leaders in Maternal and Child Health, especially in California, prepare to serve children with, or at risk for, neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. We aim to do this with a life course perspective, through family-centered, culturally responsive, coordinated, comprehensive, developmentally appropriate clinical care, teaching, research and systems change.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Interdisciplinary Leadership

Each discipline brings a unique and important perspective in providing a comprehensive approach to complex problems. Interdisciplinary teams collaborate with families to improve the health and development of children, perform cutting edge research, and advocate for improved systems of care.

Our Trainees

CA-LEND trainees are a diverse group of graduate, post graduate, postdoctoral and family support leaders. We select academically prepared applicants who have leadership potential and outstanding experience and commitment to improving the quality of life for children with NDD and special health care needs.

Training Curriculum

CA-LEND is a comprehensive 32-week training program that runs September through May. A majority of the training activities are scheduled on Wednesdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Our curriculum consists of seven modules that cover:

  • Genetic Disorders
  • Neurological and Neuromotor Disabilities
  • Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Intellectual and Learning Disabilities
  • Chronic Illness and Special Health Care Needs
  • Vision, Hearing, Speech and Language Disorders

Learning modalities include seminars, clinical cases, small group exercises, presentation skill development, interdisciplinary team modeling, service system engagement, family-based experiences, policy and advocacy work, research methodology, self-reflective leadership training and clinical exposure. The long-term training culminates in a Leadership Project in an area of interest with a tangible policy, research or community education product to complete the CA-LEND training. Trainees receiving a certificate of completion are expected to achieve competencies in the following domains:

  • Ethical and Professional Conduct
  • Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities
  • Interdisciplinary Team Building
  • Health Care Systems and Communities
  • Public Policy
  • Critical Thinking
  • Leadership
  • Family Centered and Culturally Competent Care
  • Communication, Teaching, and Mentoring
  • Discipline Specific Skills

Additional Information

ACGME Accredited: No
Fellows per year: 22-30 long-term (300 hours)
Application Deadline: See Brochure 
Duration: 1 year

Download the CA-LEND Brochure

For More Information

USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles

Association of University Centers on Disabilities