The MCDD mission is to provide leadership that advances inclusion for persons with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities.

The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute is one of 67 national network University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. We accomplish our mission through partnerships that include interdisciplinary training, community service, technical assistance, research and evaluation, and information sharing.

The MCDD has a formalized pre-service training program that serves to increase the quantity and quality of persons interested in exploring, learning, and incorporating disability knowledge in their future careers and lives. The pre-service program uses our core projects to provide a variety of mentored experiential and didactic activities.

Undergraduate and graduate students from a range of fields including law, policy, public health, education, social work, psychology, occupational, physical, and speech therapy, neuropsychology, and behavioral psychology train at the Center. Trainees gain practical skills and knowledge that inform their work about the needs, strengths, and perspectives of people with disabilities across the lifespan. Collaborations include Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Towson University, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work and a number of other colleges, universities, and local and state agencies.

The MCDD’s interdisciplinary pre-service training curriculum is an experiential and instructional program that:

  1. integrates knowledge and methods from multiple disciplines using an interdisciplinary / interprofessional approach;
  2. incorporates direct contributions made by people with disabilities and family members to the field;
  3. examines and advances professional practice, scholarship and policy that impacts the lives of people with developmental and other disabilities and their families; and
  4. is designed to improve an individual's knowledge,  academic or professional credentials.

The program is designed to provide well-rounded exposure and learning opportunities for all MCDD scholar/trainees.

Examples of specific activities include:

  • Engage in research/data management, policy, advocacy, community service, training, and information dissemination work  on topics important to the intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) population and field
  • Assess, develop, deliver, and evaluate training and technical assistance systems and resources for  a number of stakeholder groups including professionals and consumers involved in work with child and adults with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities
  • Work with self-advocates, family members, and provider systems to identify and develop new services and information for people with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities
  • Evaluate and identify changes in needs and resources data, needed changes or  new data items needed in activities or organizations to continue to provide inclusive and quality service.
  • Engage in legislative and education advocacy coalition and projects, I/DD awareness campaign, and participate in consumer advisory committee meetings
  • Participate in meetings with school system administrators and Project HEAL staff and advocate for effective educational policies relevant to MCDD mission
  • Attend legislative hearings in Annapolis and work with People On the Go on their legislative agenda and other projects. 
  • Organize events, meetings, and contribute to decision-making process of the MCDD team


Mirian Ofonedu, Ph.D., LCSW-C
Director of Training
Kennedy Krieger Institute
7000 Tudsbury Road
Baltimore, MD 21244
Phone: 443-923-9555
TTY: 443-329-9205

Tylea Powell, B.S.
Training Coordinator
7000 Tudsbury Road
Batimore, MD 21244
Phone: 443-923-9594
Fax: 443-923-9570

You can also contact us at for questions about our internship opportunities.

External Collaborations

MCDD Programs

Trainee Testimonials

Interdisciplinary, Pre-Service Preparation and Continuing Education Factsheet (PDF)