University Affiliated Programs

Making a Difference in Your State 
for People with Disabilities and their Families

Map showing UAP locations

A national vision

University Affiliated Programs have been making a difference -- for people with developmental disabilities, their families and their communities – for nearly four decades. 

Authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (PL 104-183), UAPs are found in every state and territory of the U.S. Each is affiliated with a major research university. Together, UAPs are working to accomplish 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. 

Adevelopmental disability is a condition that:
         Is significant and ongoing 
       Begins before age 22 
       Substantially limits function

Examples of developmental disabilities include: 
     Autism                      Behavior disorders 
     Brain injury               Cerebral palsy 
     Down syndrome      Fetal alcohol syndrome 
     Mental retardation    Spina Bifida

People with developmental disabilities benefit from comprehensive long-term services. With such services, people with disabilities are often able to be more active, productive, and independent, which benefits their communities as well.

Academic training photo
Academic training prepares tomorrow's leaders in the field of disability services.


One of the great strengths of the UAPs is their university setting. UAPs are in a unique position to facilitate the flow of disability-related information between community and university. UAPs work with people with disabilities, members of their families, state and local government agencies, and community providers in projects that provide training, technical assistance, service, research, and information sharing. With a focus on building the capacity of communities to sustain all their citizens, UAPs provide:

Academic training. UAPs provide training to undergraduates, graduates, and fellows representing a wide range of disciplines.

Interdisciplinary training continues to be a UAP hallmark because providing effective services for a person with disabilities requires teamwork by professionals from a variety of fields. At a West Coast UAP, as at many other UAPs throughout the nation, a model clinic for children with complex disabilities provides graduate and postgraduate trainees with experience in the delivery of truly interdisciplinary care. 

In the Northwest, a UAP housed within its university’s College of Education offers doctoral programs for students who aspire to become leaders in the fields of special education policy, administration, teacher training, curriculum development, and research. 

A Ph.D. in Disability Studies, offered by a North Central UAP, trains graduate students in cultural and historical approaches to disability; legal, political, and economic issues; the study of therapeutic intervention; health care, education, vocational, and other service system approaches; family issues; and psychosocial aspects of the disability experience. 

Training and technical assistance in the community. One way that UAPs build community capacity is through training initiative projects (TIPs), which implement national disability policy through community-based training in such areas as aging, assistive technology, positive behavioral supports, early intervention, and community services. TIPs and other UAP training and technical assistance are resources for people with disabilities, members of their families, local service providers, and policymakers. 
In the Northwest, a UAP is working to develop, implement, and evaluate coordinated, culturally competent, multi-agency strategies for reducing child abuse – abuse of children with disabilities, and abuse which causes children to become disabled. 

A Southern UAP worked with its state Department of Education to implement standards-based reform, and to develop an alternative assessment approach for documenting the academic progress of students with severe disabilities.

A Southwestern UAP has launched a statewide project to increase awareness and use of Social Security work incentive programs that help people return to the workforce. It has provided regional consumer conferences, a statewide consumer conference, and outreach training to advocacy and consumer groups throughout the state.

Adult training/technical assistance photo
Training and technical assistance focus on increasing community capacity.

Services. UAPs provide state-of-the-art diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment services for Americans with disabilities in such areas as health care, cognitive development, behavior disorders, education, daily living skills, and work skills. 

More than 60% of our UAPs provide health care services, such as the UAP in a major metropolitan area in the Southeast that provides developmental evaluations for newborns leaving neonatal intensive care. Then it coordinates early intervention services for those infants found to have developmental delays or disabilities.

The home ownership project of a New England UAP has demonstrated that when housing, finance, social service, and grassroots organizations in local communities work together to make home ownership possible, people with disabilities not only gain independence, but also contribute to the general economy. 

Through a communication program created by an East Coast UAP, adults with significant speech and physical disabilities can participate in an intensive learning program with a focus on using technology (voice output communication devices; communication devices used in conjunction with e-mail and the Internet) and on practicing self-advocacy.

Child services photo
Services include state-of-the-art diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment.

Research. UAPs, including those located at universities associated with our nation’s 14 Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities Research Centers, lead the way in developing, implementing, and evaluating new ideas and promising practices in community settings. This research, in the biological, behavioral, and social sciences, is providing important new knowledge about human development.

A North Central UAP is coordinating nationwide research into the impact of major health, social, and economic trends on Americans with disabilities; activities include analyses of data and policy, evaluation of public health surveillance systems, and local needs assessments.

A Midwestern UAP is investigating such areas of aging and developmental disabilities as hormonal risk factors for dementia in women with Down syndrome; health status and needs of older women with mental retardation; and data trends and policy pertinent to the demographics of Americans with mental retardation and related disabilities. 

A West Coast UAP has created a model project to investigate strategies that young adults with disabilities can use to achieve their employment, housing, and social goals. It focuses on easing the transition to adult responsibilities, improving competitive employment options, encouraging home ownership, and enhancing community participation.

Information sharing. UAPs have a strong commitment to communication, and share information and research findings with a broad constituency.
A Midwestern UAP has created a popular and much used Web site that is a virtual online community for people with disabilities, families, and service providers. The site offers information on specific diagnoses, technology, recreation, education, worship, media, and health -- and the opportunity for families to interact online. 

The publications of the in-house press of a North Central UAP share the knowledge gained through UAP projects in such areas as inclusive communities, family support, early childhood and intervention, making the transition from school to adult life, and employment. 

A Great Plains UAP provides disability-related information through phone and on-line information and referral services, a Web site, a fiber-optics rural telecommunications network that is used for both clinical consultations and classes, and a lending library that provides information in print, audio, video, and online formats.

Research in the biological, behavioral, and social sciences enhances our knowledge of human development.
Research and information sharing photo
Information sharing is central to the UAP mission.


Although UAPs have their homes in university settings, they are hardly ivory tower institutions. Accomplishing their goals requires partnerships with many different individuals, organizations, and agencies. Since 1964, UAP staff members have played key roles in every major disability initiative. The result? Increasingly effective services in such areas as:

  • Early intervention to promote optimal development
  • Health care to maintain function and prevent secondary conditions
  • Community-based services 
  • Inclusive, meaningful education 
  • Services to facilitate successful transition from school to work
  • Employment appropriate to abilities and interests
  • Housing to meet individual requirements and preferences
  • Assistive technology
  • Transportation
UAP training for students and professionals is key to the creation of a workforce with the skills needed to continue this progress. UAP research promotes original thinking, and tests ideas through a wide range of model programs. Continuing education and technical assistance to government and community program staff promote the implementation of new and more effective services. UAP information sharing encourages communication among all players in this complex field – people with disabilities, members of their families, policymakers, service providers, and the community at large.
Legislative background

In 1963, PL 88-164 created the entities we now know as UAPs. In the original law, UAPs primarily served people with mental retardation. Currently authorized through the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (PL 104-183), UAPs are now a resource for Americans with wide range of disabilities.

The American Association of University Affiliated Programs

The American Association of University Affiliated Programs (AAUAP) represents the national network of UAPs. It collects data on performance and results, and brings its collective strength to bear on problems that are beyond the ability of any single UAP to solve. 

Documenting results. Every UAP contributes to a national database, the National Information and Reporting System (NIRS). The NIRS annually documents UAP activities. In addition, each UAP participates in the Administration on Developmental Disabilities Quality Enhancement System, with periodic site reviews to determine compliance with federal program criteria.


Each UAP receives core funding from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), a unit of the Administration for Children and Families, in the US Department of Health and Human Services. This funding, authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Act, is essential for the administration and operation of UAP activities. It provides a stable base from which UAPs can attract additional support from such sources as local, state, and federal grants and contracts, fees for services, and university support. However, the core federal support of UAPs, $200,000 per UAP per year, has not increased since 1987. 

The past decade has brought not only advances in our knowledge of disabilities, but also in our understanding of the abilities of people with disabilities. As a result, expectations for community participation have never been higher. With these rising expectations comes a growing need to build the community capacities that will make such participation possible. 

UAPs have a key role to play in the building of these capacities. However, they must have adequate funding to carry out their mission. With increased support, University Affiliated Programs can continue to move our nation closer to fulfilling the promise of community participation by people with disabilities.

Chart 1: UAP trainees by discipline, FY 98

Chart 2: UAP clinical services by age of recipient, FY 98

Chart 3: Participants, UAP community outreach training and technical assistance, FY98

University Affiliated Programs
Building Community Capacity in Your State

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Civitan International Research Center
Birmingham, AL 35294-0021
Phone: 205-934-8900
University of Alaska, Anchorage
Center for Human Development: UAP
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: 907-272-8270
Pacific Basin Program
American Samoa Community College
Pago Pago, AS 96799
Phone: 011-684-699-9155
Northern Arizona UAP
Institute for Human Development
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5630
Phone: 520-523-4791
University of Arkansas
University Affiliated Program
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-9900
University of California at Los Angeles
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Program
Los Angeles, CA 90095-6967
Phone: 310-825-0170
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
University Affiliated Training Program
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-669-2300
University of Colorado Health Science Center
JFK Partners
Denver, CO 80262
Phone: 303-864-5261
Connecticut UAP
A.J. Pappanikou Center on Special Education and Rehabilitation
Storrs, CT 06269-2064
Phone: 203-486-5035
Georgetown University UAP
Child Development Center
Washington, DC 20007-3935
University of Delaware UAP
Center for Disabilities Studies
101 Alison Hall
Newark, DE 19716-7355
Phone: 302-831-6974
University of Miami School of Medicine
Mailman Center for Child Development
Miami, FL 33136
Phone: 305-243-6801
Institute on Human Development and Disability
A University Affiliated Program
Athens, GA 30602-3622
Phone: 706-542-3457
University of Guam UAP
College of Education
Mangilao, GU 96923
Phone: 671-735-2481
University of Hawaii at Manoa UAP
Center on Disability Studies
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: 808-956-5009
University of Idaho UAP
Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD)
Moscow, ID 83843
Phone: 208-885-3559
University of Illinois UAP
Institute on Disability & Human Development
Chicago, IL 60608
Phone: 312-413-1647
Indiana UAP
Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
Bloomington, IN 47408-2696
Phone: 812-855-6508
Indiana University Medical Center
Riley Child Development Center
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-274-8167
No web site
Iowa University Affiliated Program
University Hospital School
Iowa City, IA 52242-1011
Phone: 319-356-1335
University of Kansas
Institute for Life Span Studies/KU-UAP
Lawrence, KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-4950
University of Kentucky UAP
Human Development Institute
Lexington, KY 40506-0051
Phone: 606-257-1714
University of Louisiana UAP
School of Allied Health Professionals
New Orleans, LA 70119-2799
Phone: 504-942-8200
University of Maine UAP
Center for Community Inclusion
Orono, ME 04469-5717
Phone: 207-581-1084
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Center for Leadership in Disabilities
Baltimore, MD 21213
Phone: 410-502-9483
Eunice Shriver Center
University Affiliated Program
Waltham, MA 02254
Phone: 781-642-0230 Service/index.htm
Institute for Community Inclusion UAP
Children's Hospital
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-355-6509
Wayne State University
Developmental Disabilities Institute
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: 313-577-2654
University of Minnesota
Institute on Community Integration
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: 612-624-6300
University of Southern Mississippi UAP
Institute for Disability Studies
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5163
Phone: 601-266-5163
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Institute for Human Development
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 816-235-1770
University of Montana UAP
Montana University Affiliated Rural Institute on Disabilities Program
Missoula, MT 59812
Phone: 406-243-5467
Nebraska UAP
Munroe-Meyer Institute
Omaha, Nebraska 68198-5450
Phone: 402-559-6430
Nevada UAP
Research and Educational Planning Center
Reno, NV 89557-0082
Phone: 775-784-4921
University of New Hampshire
Institute on Disability UAP
Durham, NH 03824-3595
Phone: 603-862-4320
New Jersey UAP, Boggs Center
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2013
Phone: 732-235-9300
University of New Mexico
Center for Development and Disability
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Phone: 505-272-3000
Rose F. Kennedy Center
Albert Einstein School of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Bronx, NY 10461
Phone: 718-430-8522
University Affiliated Program
Westchester Institute for Human Development
Valhalla, NY 10595
Phone: 914-493-8204
University of Rochester UAP
Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities
Rochester, NY 14642
Phone: 716-275-0355
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Center for the Study of Development and Learning
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7255
Phone: 919-966-5171
Minot State University
The North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities
Minot, ND 58707
Phone: 701-858-3580
Pacific Basin University Affiliated Program
Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Site
Northern Marianas College
P.O. Box 1250
Saipan, NM 96950
Phone: 670-234-5498
University of Cincinnati UAP
University Affiliated Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders
Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039
Phone: 513-636-8383
University Affiliated Program of Oklahoma 
Health Sciences Center
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: 405-271-4500
Oregon Institute on Disability & Development
Child Development and Rehabilitation Center
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland, OR 97201
Phone: 503-494-8364
University of Oregon, Eugene
Center on Human Development
Eugene, OR 97403-1265
Phone: 541-346-3591
Children's Seashore House
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215-895-3700
Temple University
Institute on Disabilities/UAP
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: 215-204-1356
UCLID Center at the University of Pittsburgh
University Community Leaders and Individuals with Disabilities
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2583
Phone: 412-692-6523
University of Puerto Rico
Medical Sciences Campus
San Juan, PR 00936-5067
Phone: 787-754-4377
Rhode Island UAP
Rhode Island College
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: 401-456-8072
University of South Carolina UAP
Center for Disability Resources
Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: 803-935-5248
University of South Dakota UAP
Health Science Center
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Phone: 605-357-1439
University of Tennessee UAP
Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities
Memphis, TN 38105
Phone: 901-448-6511
University of Texas at Austin
Texas University Affiliated Program
Austin, TX 78712-1290
Phone: 512-471-7621
Utah State University
Center for Persons with Disabilities
Logan, UT 84322-6800
Phone: 435-797-1981
University of Vermont
University Affiliated Program of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405-0160
Phone: 802-656-4031
Virginia Commonwealth University
Institute for Developmental Disabilities
Richmond, VA 23284-3020
Phone: 804-828-3908
University of the Virgin Islands UAP
Division of Education
St. Thomas, VI 00802-9990
Phone: 340-693-1323
University of Washington UAP
Center on Human Development and Disability
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-543-2832
West Virginia University
University Affiliated Center for Developmental Disabilities
Morgantown, WV 26505
Phone: 304-293-4692
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Waisman Center UAP
Madison, WI 53705-2280
Phone: 608-263-5776
University of Wyoming UAP
Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND)
Laramie, WY 82071-4298
Phone: 307-766-2761


American Association of University Affiliated Programs
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 410
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone 301-588-8252