August 1, 2013 Departments

Inbox: August 2013

LEND Provides Interdisciplinary Training

The June 2013 ASHA Leader issue on interprofessional education and practice is timely and important. The articles, however, failed to mention one of our most successful national multidisciplinary training gems: the LEND programs funded by the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) programs provide year-long fellowships for interdisciplinary training, extended graduate-level interdisciplinary training, clinical services and care.

LEND aims to improve the health of infants, children and adolescents with disabilities. Trainees from diverse professional disciplines, including speech-language pathology and audiology, are trained to assume leadership roles in their respective fields. Training emphasizes integrated services, community-based partnerships, and cultural competence and family-centered care. LEND trainees demonstrate high interdisciplinary clinical competence. There are currently 43 LEND programs in 37 states. They all provide interdisciplinary training, and include parents or family members as trainers. In Oregon, we are proud of our LEND fellows and the leadership roles they assume locally and nationally for children with developmental disabilities and their families. LEND is an opportunity that should not be missed. For more information on LEND programs and their value to ASHA members and students, see the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

Melanie Fried-Oken, Kameron Brief Beaulieu and Emily Quinn
Portland, Ore.


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