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MCDD Partners with North and South Dakota UCEDDs

Chris Smith, director of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD), traveled to Minot, North Dakota, in July to meet with University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD) colleagues from two organizations: the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University and the Center for Disabilities at the University of South Dakota.

The purpose of the trip was to learn from each other and identify opportunities for partnership. It was a success: The organizations are now working together on a number of initiatives.

North Dakota is leading a team-based approach to grant writing and new project development. MCDD is replicating that approach to streamline and improve its internal writing and editing processes and increase its grant funding successes, and several MCDD staff members are participating in a grant-writing course at the Notre Dame of Maryland University. MCDD is also providing technical assistance for a web-based data system that can assist other UCEDDs in tracking data and outcomes across centers.

UCEDD leaders Brent Askvig, a professor of special education at Minot State University, and Wendy Parent-Johnson, executive director of the Center for Disabilities at the University of South Dakota, are identifying innovative ideas to address special healthcare needs among Native American populations in the Dakotas. And as part of its new focus on rural outreach and cultural diversity, MCDD will be working with the Dakota UCEDDs to identify ways to bring Native American culture and perspectives on health and disabilities to Maryland professionals and trainees during the next year.


MCDD Newsletter 2017: Issue Three