The UCEDD program was formed in 1967, giving an opportunity to staff and researchers at OHSU to connect the knowledge, expertise and resources of the university to persons with disabilities and the service delivery systems of the community.
The OHSU UCEDD has a 40-year history of promoting the well-being of persons with developmental disabilities through training, research and evaluation, community services, technical assistance, dissemination, and policy development. The OHSU UCEDD strives to exemplify accessibility, leadership development and collaboration for full participation of people with disabilities and their families.
University Centers for Excellence for individuals with developmental disabilities were first authorized in Title 1, Part B of Public Law 88-164.
This Act was signed into law on October 31,1963, by President John F. Kennedy, just 22 days before he was assassinated. The signing of Public Law 88-164, along with Public Law 88-156 signed seven says earlier, represented the initial legislation intended to implement the recommendations of the President's Panel on Mental Retardation Prior to signing this act, Kennedy created a President's Panel on Mental Retardation which created a report that was among the most comprehensive, multifaceted, and well researched documents in the disability field.
The concept of Universality Affiliated Facilities, now University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs), came from the recommendations addressed in their report. The idea of support from higher education was stimulated by the possibility of federal funds for campus facilities to conduct research and provide training and clinical services.
Currently, AUCD has 67 UCEDDs with at least one found in every state and territory in the U.S. Each is affiliated with a major research university. AUCD also has established 34 Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs and 19 Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (DDRC) which serve to meet the needs established in the President's Panel on Mental Retardation.