Sonoran UCEDD Five-Year Grant Renewed

Graphic shows text that says Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities Five-Year Grant Renewed -- Grant will continue important work in developmental disability related research, education and service. Photo shows two men, one who is a person with a disability, smiling. One man has his arms around the person with a disability.
July 29, 2021Graphic reads: Goals for 2022-2026 1) Enhance and expand opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to attain personal life outcomes across the lifespan 2) Build capacity to achieve inclusive and equitable access for persons with developmental disabilities and their families from diverse, underserved and under-resourced communities 3) Enhance social inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities by expanding opportunities to make community connections and build relationships 4) Build capacity to promote promising and evidence-based disability practices through career and workforce development of current and future professionals

The Sonoran Center was awarded $3 million for another five years as a designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) from the Administration on Disabilities, Office of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Every five years, the Sonoran UCEDD develops a work plan to address the needs and challenges faced by Arizonans with developmental and other disabilities through research, education and service.
A comprehensive needs assessment guided the planning for the next five years using a variety of approaches and sources to ensure the voices of people with disabilities, family members, and other stakeholders across the state were heard and included in the work plan.

The Community Advisory Council provided input and feedback throughout the process to guide and help turn the findings into a concrete action plan that leads to the full and active participation of individuals with developmental disabilities in all aspects of their communities. 

Our 2022-2026 work plan takes a lifespan approach with goals that focus on opportunities and personal life outcomes, inclusive and equitable access, fostering community connections and relationships, and career and workforce development. The new plan seeks to:

  1. develop interventions and implementation strategies that support life transitions and improve health, quality of life, and employment outcomes;
  2. examine and address the needs of underserved and under-resourced populations, such as those with significant disabilities and from rural, racial, ethnic and culturally diverse communities;
  3. increase access to information, services, and supports that are responsive to the diverse values and needs of all individuals with DD and their families;
  4. expand opportunities for individuals and families to make community connections, build relationships, and engage in inclusive, intergenerational programming for mutual learning and support; and
  5. cultivate leaders, advocates, and a diverse, skilled and qualified workforce that effectively supports individuals with disabilities and their families.

“We are thrilled with the news of our continued UCEDD funding and appreciate the input and support of our wonderful staff and partners who developed a robust, forward-thinking, and innovative work plan to guide our next five years,” says Wendy Parent-Johnson, executive director of the Sonoran UCEDD.  
The new five-year plan took effect July 1, 2021 and will continue through June 30, 2026.