AUCD Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit Logo
Infrastructure considerations address those organizational aspects that contribute to lasting improvements in areas of diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. Leadership and personnel expertise, job responsibilities and performance expectations, policies and budgets, and other infrastructure considerations are addressed here.

It is essential for organizations within the AUCD Network to maintain safe spaces. In the Toolkit team information-gathering process, many respondents recommended cultivating safe and effective spaces for cultural conversations to support the needs of all stakeholders. Safe spaces are environments created for people to feel comfortable having authentic dialogue. Team members are encouraged and enabled to engage in passionate, creative collaboration, spirited discussion and execute the organization’s vision. 

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Leaders at every level should promote diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence as a priority. Leaders motivate others, and model acceptance and inclusion both internally and externally, through their formal authority (position, title, pay grade, administrative or executive authority, etc.) and informal authority (influence, advocacy, relationships and social networks, etc.). [View Resources]

Self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-evaluation are essential. Deliberately and intentionally explore unconscious biases and attitudes. Always ask what can be approached and delivered better, both individually and organizationally. [View Resources]

Obtain information from people and grassroots news sources that are trusted in diverse communities to understand the perspectives of people living in those communities.

Quote: “It’s important to stay in touch with what progressive, community-based, and minority-led organizations are talking about and how they’re talking about it. For example, when I worked in education reform, our organization paid close attention to a new advocacy group started by young black adults who had gone through the city's public schools; they wrote and were publicizing what was, basically, a manifesto for improving the system. Some of their points aligned with ours and some didn’t, but it allowed both groups to get to the table and plan actions in a strategic and respectful way. We could also broker conversations between them and the school system, making our organization an even more valuable resource.” –Ben Kaufman, Senior Program Manager, AUCD [View Resources]

Recognize that when engaging with others, the culture you bring is a collection of social constructs (process of socialization), attitudes, knowledge, behaviors and values of what cultural group(s) you grew up with and what you experienced throughout life. Recognize and acknowledge the inherent bias you bring, and value the different life experiences and perspectives of others. [View Resources]

Address diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in values and attitudes within own organization. Develop definitions and value statement(s) collaboratively with all members of organization, including the “collective intelligence” of other external partners. [View Resources]

Build an environment where self-disclosure is welcomed and valued, if people choose to self-disclose race, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, or any other cultural considerations. Leaders can self-disclose to set examples. [View Resources]

Incorporate creative activities addressing issues that are otherwise uncomfortable. Ensure time and opportunity for participants to process the discomfort. Identify and utilize conversation starters and icebreakers to open discussion on this topic. [View Resources]

Engage in activities to explore and identify organizational values related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence, and how to put those values into action. [View Resources]

Offer on-site support to people with disabilities to ensure their access and participation in all activities and conversations. Provide allies, mentors, cultural brokers, or learning partners who can support participation in meaningful dialogue and reflection. [View Resources]

Break down barriers preventing personal engagement in the workplace. Identify areas of shared interests and experiences to build connections between individuals while respecting differences and diverse perspectives. Do this within teams and across teams so all staff have an understanding of each other. Increase adventure, team projects, and personal communications to discover and make publicly known the talents, interests and perspectives of all individuals. Tap into the resources each person brings. Seek to understand the cultural perspective of others through case scenarios, stories, vignettes, and opportunities for cultural immersion activities, events, and initiatives. [View Resources]

Increase teamwork to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and understood, so all have a chance to be a leader in different situations and to present their work and progress to others. [View Resources]

Practice cultural humility. [View Resources]

Be aware of nonverbal body language, ensure clarity of information, and provide support for people to engage. Learn the non-verbal communication styles of various cultures. Check in with others to ensure their nonverbal cues are being understood correctly. Allow others the time needed to express themselves. Teach these skills to all staff, volunteers, faculty, and trainees. [View Resources]

Encourage people to share their perspectives at the time they are ready, as forced communication tends to increase discomfort. [View Resources]

Obtain training in facilitation and/or group conversation. [View Resources]

Focus on individual and community strengths and resiliencies. Address the disparities and disproportionality within diverse communities. People of color and people with disabilities are often discussed in a pathological way. Factors that contribute to resiliency are critical to explore and bolster as disparities, disproportionality, and inequities are being addressed.

Quote: “I think we should also consider a focus on resiliency instead of (or addition to) health disparities. In a recent conversation with one of our state’s Tribal Review experts, she told me that disparities language can often feel like reifying oppression for Alaska Natives, and very paternal to boot e.g. ‘You Alaska Natives are so unhealthy, you have the highest rates of sexual violence, diabetes, lack of education, poverty, TBI, STDs, homicide, mental health problems, tobacco use, obesity, FASD, domestic violence…You are just so oppressed you need our help!’ My contact said a focus on resiliency and thriving may be more effective, and less oppressive.” –Rebekah Moras, PhD, Research Professional, Center for Human Development (AK) [View Resources]

Intervene when issues of bias arise. Step in and speak up when seeing or hearing someone being culturally insensitive. This is everyone’s responsibility. Create a climate where people feel comfortable to challenge one another on attitudes not in support of diversity. Create culturally appropriate grievance and conflict resolution processes.

Quote: “There was a training offered for staff on cultural competency. The speaker was a highly respected man in the community and had done this talk in years past. However, when doing this most recent training he went rogue and decided to talk about his own religious beliefs and made several culturally insensitive remarks. The auditorium was silent and no one knew how to respond. At question and answer time no one said anything. We held a public forum following this event and discussed what happened. The main thing we talked about is why didn’t anyone stand up and say anything? Why wasn’t this addressed at this time? We realize now where more training is needed.” – Bethany Sloane, DPT, Assistant Professor, Institute on Development & Disability, Oregon Health & Science University [View Resources]

Encourage and highlight grantee successes related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence through blog posts, website articles, workgroup participation, and other means with a focus on replication of best and promising practices. Support multiple diverse and young staff to attend AUCD conference and other meetings, participate in Councils and SIGs, and run for AUCD’s Board of Directors. [View Resources]

Implement quality improvement initiatives related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence; this indicates a priority for others.

Quote: “When I began working on improving cultural competence within the IDD at OHSU I began reaching out to other LEND programs. I had weekly meetings with PACWest LEND, New Mexico LEND, and Vermont LEND. I will be inviting this year’s LEND trainee to be a part of the diversity task force if this is an area of interest. Also, I have applied to be on the diversity advisory council here at OHSU as a young professional that is very enthusiastic and passionate about this initiative. I have sent out a survey to IDD staff in order to get a baseline on where our needs in the department are and then be able to work from there. I will continue to reassess this using a survey approximately every 3 years.” – Bethany Sloane, DPT, Assistant Professor, Institute on Development & Disability, Oregon Health & Science University [View Resources]

The development of a supportive infrastructure is essential to support inclusive, diverse, and culturally and linguistically competent activities. Centers and Programs within the AUCD network who have made significant progress in this area have all attended closely to aspects of their infrastructure, and have highlighted this as a priority area for others. Leadership and personnel expertise, job responsibilities and performance expectations, policies and budgets, and other infrastructure considerations all contribute to creating lasting improvements in this area.

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Address diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in value statement for organization. Develop new language collaboratively with all members of organization, including “collective intelligence” of other external partners. [View Resources]

Be systematic and intentional in planning infrastructure to enhance efforts. Complete an organizational self-assessment to establish a baseline in diverse and inclusive efforts. Involve organizational members, boards/advisors, individuals and families receiving services, interpreters, and cultural brokers. This includes review of organizational policies and practices, finance and contracting functions, budget, governance, outreach, and engagement to identify how support for diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence is present in each area. Disseminate findings from organizational self-assessment and utilize those findings to guide change, involving staff and partners where greater support and impact is needed in each function. Check-in annually for progress and re-evaluate/re-adjust as needed. [View Resources]

Ensure funds are budgeted for efforts related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. This may include budgeted funds for cultural brokering, language translation, video captioning, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, accessibility accommodations, child care, professional development, and more. Reduce other budget lines, particularly staff and faculty who can be covered by other leveraged funds, to create funding needed to support this effort. Where unanticipated program savings arise, utilize them for these efforts. [View Resources]

Model and promote diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence as a priority for all levels of the organization. Communicate the importance of this topic to all staff, students, interns, grantees, volunteers, and federal and community partners. [View Resources]

Evaluate time and effort devoted to planning for initiatives in diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence versus implementing those initiatives. Ensure planning leads to action. [View Resources]

Give publicity and attention to the positive effects of improving diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. Share success stories internally- and also on the Toolkit website- for broader dissemination within the network. [View Resources]

Develop a subcommittee of Board, Advisory Council, or other appropriate body with a focus on diversity, inclusion, resiliencies and disparities, and cultural and linguistic competence. Ensure meaningful participation of community members. Create safe spaces for communities and underrepresented groups to voice their concerns. Make sure colleagues are kept up to date on progress, so communication is open, silos are broken down, and staff have the ability to identify any areas of opportunity in their own work and partnerships.

Quote: “We felt we needed more of an individual plan to address the needs we were seeing in our own clinics. We began a diversity task force that consisted of staff members from our UCCED, providers that provide direct patient care, an interpreter, family members, and members from our LEND program. We are beginning meetings to address needs in our department.” – Bethany Sloane, DPT, Assistant Professor, Institute on Development & Disability, Oregon Health & Science University [View Resources]

Apply cultural brokering model in health, social, recreational, education, and other services and settings. Identify cultural brokers in order to bridge access to underrepresented cultural groups.

Quote: “When I was at The Boggs Center, in order to lay the groundwork for three separate conferences in New Jersey related to different cultural groups, we researched at the beginning and found core leadership from those communities, and invited them to help teach us. Not just review something already written, but open-ended conversations about how best to engage and support people in their communities. That led to their asking for education about disability and a real sense of partnership. We met on their turf.” –Bill Gaventa, M.Div., Director, Summer Institute on Theology and Disability and Collaborative on Faith and Disability [View Resources]

Become familiar with and implement change management processes. [View Resources]

Ensure that conference and meeting presenters, speakers and panelists are diverse and address the topic of the conference, rather than be boxed into speaking only on the topic of diversity and inclusion. [View Resources]

Join professional groups and listservs to stay up to date on information related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. [View Resources]

Review strategic plan for priorities of diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competency. Where priorities are lacking, update strategic plan in collaborative, open, inviting manner with internal and external partners. [View Resources]

Where additional ideas are needed, review diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence initiatives, Toolkits, and strategic planning process from other organizations. [View Resources]

Funding and policy impact equates to power. Help community organizations gain and sustain power through co-applying for grants, sharing funds, building mentorship and partnerships into grant proposals, creating grant opportunities for community organizations, collaboratively developing products and contributing to published literature, and turning over successful projects to community organizations so the Center/Program can innovate rather than hold ongoing power through running long-term community programs. [View Resources]

Include specific goals/objectives related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in strategic plan, 5-year plans, and other guiding documents and proposals. [View Resources]

Identify diverse populations in the State or Territory, including refugees and migrant workers. Partner with community leaders to learn about cultures. Identify strengths, gifts and needs of these populations at the grassroots level. Focus core efforts on maximizing strengths and meeting needs to help bridge the gap in resiliencies and disparities within your State or Territory. [View Resources]

Work with the State or Territory DD networks, inclusive of UCEDDs, LENDs, Protection and Advocacy agencies and State Developmental Disability Councils to influence strategically aligned diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence goals. [View Resources]

Explore how diversity, inclusion, cultural and linguistic competence, disparities, resiliencies, disproportionality, and inequity are addressed in all AUCD Councils. Include this as part of each Council’s responsibilities. [View Resources]

Implement a network-wide learning collaborative, action learning team, or community or practice as a forum for shared learning. [View Resources]

Provide more non-academic options for participation at annual conference, so non-academic attendees have opportunity to engage in different ways. [View Resources]

Diversify leadership staff. Develop additional layers in organizational structure so there is a clear path for early career professionals to gain leadership experiences and enter leadership roles within AUCD central office. [View Resources]

This Toolkit calls for organizations to be intentional in creating inclusive spaces for trainings that focus on healthy conversation and discourse. Specifically, it calls for a move beyond being passive recipients of training to taking action. Experiential learning, empowerment, leadership, and topics related to diversity and culture should be infused throughout trainings.

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Address behavior, attitudes, power and privilege in cross-cultural trainings. Trainings must move beyond understanding the cultural differences, beyond awareness, and challenge deep-rooted beliefs of traditional society. Assess what skills are needed to better work across cultures and integrate training into the work environment. Provide opportunities for practice. Engage people from different backgrounds and initiate discussions that allow individuals to voice what they are learning and what they are struggling with. Co-teach/facilitate with people from under-represented backgrounds. [View Resources]

Partner with and reimburse experts to provide training on diversity, inclusion, cultural and linguistic competence, and resiliencies and disparities. The experts may be people within a particular community who know its strengths and resiliencies.  [View Resources]

Identify leadership development and continuing education opportunities that cultivate skills in diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. [View Resources]

Model an organizational structure that values different perspectives and participation by all regardless of cultural identity.  [View Resources]

Participate in communities of practice and other forums where organizations come together to share experiences implementing initiatives related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence.  [View Resources]

Foster an environment that supports full participation in ongoing training. Be strategic when scheduling and limit conflicting meetings or assignments. [View Resources]

Reach out to interpreter service companies to request training as well as interpretation. If they also provide trainings, utilizing their training expertise may help strengthen relationships. [View Resources]

Share organizational mission and values related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence with all invited presenters for trainings, meetings and conferences. Request they share their mission and values as well and engage in discussion on how these missions and values will be upheld in the session.  [View Resources]

Offer a series of webinars for network members that support diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence initiatives and are responsive to the varying stages in their journey. Offer webinars and workshops done in partnership with other organizations. [View Resources]

Create system for offering Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Credits for webinars, conference workshops, and other appropriate training opportunities. This will enhance value for participants. [View Resources]

Create opportunities or forums for sharing of best practices, details of other work around diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence, how to use core funds to sustain a diverse Center/Program, and barriers to achieving diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence.

Engage diverse groups to serve as the experts. Support participants or recipients of services to take on a more active role in designing trainings, services, and materials.  [View Resources]

Infuse cultural topics in training for faculty and staff across all disciplines.

Identify and disseminate webinars hosted by other organizations that align with AUCD’s diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence efforts. [View Resources]

Train UCEDD/LEND staff, faculty, and trainees to serve as cultural brokers in the context of disability as understood by the UCEDD/LEND.

Offer the UCEDD Leadership Institute in varying regions to allow for accessibility and participation from network members. [View Resources]

Provide continuing education credits for webinars, conference sessions, and other training opportunities as appropriate.

Develop and implement training curricula that can be adapted to each population being served.
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Provide scholarships that support travel of underrepresented staff from network Centers/Programs to participate in the AUCD conference. Encourage leadership from network Centers/Programs to support underrepresented staff to attend the AUCD conference. [View Resources]

Incorporate a track in every annual conference that provides an opportunity for network members to share their successes in changing infrastructure to increase diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. [View Resources]

Require that every proposal for every conference presentation address diversity, inclusion, and/or cultural and linguistic competence. Include a specific section in the proposal for this, and also include in scoring criteria. [View Resources]

Personnel and TraineesPersonnel and Trainees are the backbone of our network. These staff, faculty, students, volunteers, community members, technical assistance staff, and federal project officers together collaborate within this network to conduct and/or benefit from the broad range of activities that are intended to provide “equitable access to supports and services that reflect the preferences and values of diverse communities and that lead to self-determination, independence, productivity, and a healthy and satisfying quality of life� as indicated in AUCD's vision.

Efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce is beneficial not just for employees and organizations but for consumers as well. As we become increasingly diverse as a nation, it is imperative that our workforce, including that of the AUCD Network, reflects both the general population and the populations of those we serve. Two goals repeatedly recommended in the Toolkit team information-gathering process were: an organizational commitment to 1) identify and hire, and 2) retain staff from diverse backgrounds to contribute to a stronger, more successful workforce as well as a better served community.

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Create a staff position primarily for diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence, as this makes a statement about the importance of the topic. This role is the cheerleader/coach/facilitator for others, rather than having sole responsibility for all efforts in this area. Create a clear and concrete job description; responsibilities could include partnering with diverse community organizations, other related initiatives underway in university/medical school, community, State or Territory, national organizations, and/or federal agencies; raise awareness through professional partnerships in Title V, academic, and State or Territory arenas; lead internal workgroup; and monitor and collaborate on student curricula and/or staff training, recruitment plan, and faculty/staff professional development and evaluation. This could be a person with life experience, plus have the education and qualifications to influence others in the UCEDD/LEND. For greatest impact, this position could have authority, report to the UCEDD/LEND Director, and participate in evaluation of staff/faculty in this area. [View Resources]

Be a key supporter of cultural and linguistic competence, diversity and inclusion in networking discussions, bringing disability into wider conversations on the topic. This serves to alert others to organizational values, and can attract others with similar values to join the team. [View Resources]

Provide training to all staff, faculty, and volunteers on accommodations for employees with disabilities, ableism, and communicating with people with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. [View Resources]

Provide training to all staff, faculty, and volunteers on racism, bias, and microaggressions; white privilege and systems of oppression; class discrimination; ableism; teaching diverse students and English Language Learners; resiliencies and disparities; family- and person-centered care; cultural and linguistic competence; defensiveness, bias awareness, motivation; self-awareness and reflection; culturally effective mentorship, and benefits and joys of being more diverse. [View Resources]

Set goals for diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence of staff/faculty according to the needs within the program or organization. [View Resources]

Engage underrepresented staff/faculty to fill position vacancies. [View Resources]

Include all layers of personnel in conversations and decision-making within and across projects, thus ensuring diverse and inclusive perspectives in planning, recruitment, and program implementation. Strive toward inclusive decision-making, both personally and professionally: bottom-up, top-down, inside-out and outside-in. This also serves to provide opportunities for multiple layers of personnel to gain leadership experience and develop career-building skills. [View Resources]

Formalize a means for leadership to periodically check in individually with all employees to get a sense of comfort level in the workplace, and solicit and implement ideas and recommendations for addressing any discomfort. Support and celebrate small steps toward long-range goals. [View Resources]

Prepare for a sustained effort when recruiting in diverse populations. Budget for it, engage for it, be present for it consistently over time. Include this topic in organizational management plan. [View Resources]

Communicate with people personally, using as much connection as possible (in-person, Skype, phone, email, and social media) to enhance relationships from first contact to schedule interviews, through entire hiring process and throughout employment. [View Resources]

Systematically review and monitor hiring practices and identify how diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence are addressed at every stage of the process from recruitment to interviewing to hiring. This could be completed by Board of Directors, a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, or other entity not directly responsible for hiring. [View Resources]

Provide thorough orientation to all new staff and faculty, recognizing that new staff may not be aware of the resources within the Center/Program, University, and surrounding community. Provide resources to help all new staff feel welcomed and comfortable. Provide training on topics such as transportation, benefits, travel, communication, teaching culture of working in a professional organization, what to do if there is a conflict of interest and/or a difference of opinion about advocacy or policy, how to access systems such as email, Blackboard, etc. This ensures new staff feel welcomed and more equal to existing staff. [View Resources]

Develop job descriptions for all employees to include responsibilities in the area of diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. [View Resources]

Recruit employees who are representative of partnering communities and have the needed skills and experiences. Provide additional financial benefit in compensation package to affirm and honor those additional skills and experiences. [View Resources]

Increase outreach to young professionals in recruitment efforts, providing information about organizational structure and opportunities. Many young professionals are not aware of career and support options in academic environments. [View Resources]

Support development of Employee Resource Groups within workplace. [View Resources]

Navigate how to pay people with disabilities for their work without negative impact on federal benefits such as Medicaid. Work closely with Human Resources office to share knowledge. [View Resources]

Evaluate your turnover rate of all levels of employees, and especially the turnover rate of those who are not from the majority culture in the workplace. Conduct exit interviews with employees who leave to identify reasons for leaving, and address any concerns as a means of course correction at the individual or organizational level. [View Resources]

Create an internal workgroup with representatives from different teams, positions, and key partners to meet, discuss, problem-solve, and push progress in diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence within the workplace. [View Resources]

Employ and empower people with disabilities in all projects, recognizing them as experts through life experience that will inform project efforts. Provide opportunities to openly discuss and problem-solve organizational needs and initiatives from the perspectives of these experts. Serve as a model employer for other stakeholder groups who may not yet have addressed affirmative action in their recruitment and hiring plans. [View Resources]

Incorporate self-assessments of cultural and linguistic competence, exploration of bias and motivations, and related goal-setting into employee performance appraisals and professional development plans. [View Resources]

Interview and hire so that people feel they are being invited in for their expertise, and not simply that they represent a specific group or help meet a quota. [View Resources]

Be prepared to transition staff/faculty if they are not willing to engage in this work. [View Resources]

Collect and disseminate information related to diverse and inclusive hiring, including but not limited to sample position announcements that address recruitment of underrepresented personnel, ideas for where to advertise for recruitment, language in job descriptions addressing responsibilities around diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. [View Resources]

Encourage and support culturally relevant scholarly activities that acknowledge and respect systems of beliefs in I/DD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) decision-making, care, support, healing, education and advocacy that emerge from different cultures and communities where diverse populations live, and are led by people from those cultures and/or scholarly allies who understand those traditions and systems. [View Resources]

Find ways to support and to keep connected with trainees who feel called to work in diverse community organizations to address needs. Possibilities include conducting research with trainee alumnae to find out what they are doing, reflect back on UCEDD/LEND experiences, and explore willingness to mentor other trainees; or coordinate with UCEDD/LEND community service and research partners to include trainee alumnae who are working in community organizations. [View Resources]

Review which faculty from diverse backgrounds are being hired around the university and reach out to them when they enter the University and see if disability studies is an area of interest/research for them. [View Resources]

Consider recruiting from cultural studies and language departments at Universities. [View Resources]

Create focused hiring events, reaching out to faculty associations for underrepresented groups or graduate student associations. [View Resources]

Create a variety of leadership opportunities for staff, faculty, and trainees to help enhance career experiences and open new opportunities. [View Resources]

The Toolkit information-gathering process consistently identified a priority of establishing collaborative relationships and sharing resources throughout the AUCD Network. Resource and information sharing relationships can be mutually beneficial.

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Utilize AUCD website resources to identify AUCD network colleagues for collaboration, and resources to utilize. [View Resources]

Ensure clear expectations for action following every conference or meeting, and in every collaboration. Develop action items at the end of each meeting, or within 24-48 hours afterward. This will ensure talk is followed by action. Follow-up builds trust. [View Resources]

Intentionally recruit people from diverse backgrounds to give feedback related to an event, meeting, or collaboration. Implement continuous improvements based on feedback.  [View Resources]

Contact people personally, using as much connection as possible (in-person, Skype, phone, email, and social media) to enhance relationships. [View Resources]

Create opportunities for staff and faculty to work across disciplines, teams, and the AUCD network to enhance collaborations. [View Resources]

Identify, share, and present toolkit successes in this area from UCEDDs/LENDs so network members can learn from each other through website updates, training opportunities, and group learning forums.

(UCEDDs only) Ensure Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) participation in AUCD’s Council on Community Advocacy (COCA), and provide opportunities for information flow between Center and Councils through staff participants. [View Resources]

Ensure staff participation in AUCD’s Multicultural Council (MCC), and provide opportunities for information flow between Center and Councils through staff participants.

Create clearinghouse of resources that UCEDDs/LENDs have created in other languages, for sharing across network. [View Resources]

Identify, share, and present successes in Toolkit website, so network members can learn from each other. Focus TA efforts to all levels of UCEDD/LEND faculty, staff, and trainees – beyond the top leadership – to provide support, professional development opportunities, and leadership development to all in network. [View Resources]

Develop an orientation to AUCD for all UCEDDs and LENDs to use with new staff, faculty, and trainees to support connection to Central Office and full network and build awareness of available resources. (UCEDDs only) Use each meeting of Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) members or other advocates as an opportunity to inform all Center staff, faculty, and trainees. Develop materials with participant comments. Share in Center and AUCD newsletters and with AUCD’s Council on Community Advocacy (COCA). [View Resources]

Ensure that UCEDD/LEND trainees are aware of nearby UCEDD/LEND programs, the AUCD network and trainee community, and the AUCD conferences. Encourage collaboration within the Network. Have an orientation session for new staff, faculty, others at conferences; include key leaders. An active process of welcoming is the difference between physical presence and feeling at home. [View Resources]

Encourage UCEDD/LEND trainees to share information about AUCD and other disability resource organizations with peers in their own disciplines and/or leaders in their own communities. Identify and share strategies of Consumer Advisory Councils (CACs) and other advisory groups for UCEDDs/LENDs who have succeeded in increasing member representation and participation from diverse communities. [View Resources]

Support MCC and COCA to host regional web-based meetings to share info addressing regional trends, needs, resources, and strategies. [View Resources]

Collect and share Center/Program goals and objectives related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence, so network members can learn from each other. [View Resources]

Stagger Council meetings at AUCD conference so silos between Councils can be broken down and MCC and COCA members can join and inform other Council discussions. [View Resources]

Revise online presence of the public NIRS search and the network directory on AUCD website to be more effective and captivating to peers across network. [View Resources]

Implementing diversity and inclusion successfully means engaging and creating relationships with organizations and communities that work with diverse populations. Without expanding into unfamiliar territory and working with organizations who are experts in this area, the AUCD network will not know what is, or who are, in the communities that may be essential to the understanding and expansion of the individuals and communities served.

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Create relationships outside of traditional partners, including criminal justice, military, arts, civic, civil rights, refugee, community planning/action, ethnic-specific Chambers of Commerce, health, mental health, outreach clinics, ethnic-specific advocacy groups, sororities and fraternities, ethnic-specific professional associations, social justice organizations, immigrant rights organizations, and other groups tasked with serving diverse communities. Networking with cross-silo cultural and linguistic competence initiatives connects to others who may serve as resources for AIDD/AUCD/UCEDD/LEND work, helps other “mainstream” human services see the ways cultural and linguistic competence issues play out in disability services, and helps those mainstream organizations recognize the ways that disability is also a diversity and inclusion issue. [View Resources]

Participate in activities and events with diverse organizations and communities to build rapport and meet them on their turf. This shows respect and humility. Expand your “collective intelligence” and cultivate a cross-influence and -action relationship with community leaders from diverse cultural groups. [View Resources]

Reputation matters. People you connect with will tell others about their experiences, good or bad. Interact with a humble mindset and a desire to learn, rather than as an expert who will tell others how to do things. Admit what is unknown about a culture or language and ask for assistance. Listen. Learn. Make no assumptions. [View Resources]

Provide various ways for community members to give feedback and suggestions. [View Resources]

Identify external organizations with common goals; form collaborative partnerships to enhance each other's work toward common goals. [View Resources]

Contact people personally, using as much connection as possible (ex: in-person preferred over phone, Skype preferred over email, physical presence at community meetings rather than a survey link) to enhance relationships. Be aware that physical accessibility or chemical sensitivity may impact someone’s ability to be physically present, so be sure to check in with people about the best way to communicate and/or be present with them, and honor their choices. [View Resources]

Bring in experts from diverse community/advocacy groups, or send staff to unique conferences, to help inform team in areas where further awareness is needed. Additionally, invite these experts to join your committee on diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. [View Resources]

Be aware of the important tension and balance between identifying with a community and labeling people within a community. Attend carefully to language used within communities, as these are cues to values and priorities. [View Resources]

Ensure clear expectations for action following every conference or meeting with community stakeholders, and in every collaboration. Develop action items at the end of each meeting, or within 24-48 hours afterward. This will ensure talk is followed by action. Follow-up builds trust. [View Resources]

Learn about the historical trauma suffered by community groups. Know about unethical research conducted with state and national and international groups. Build/rebuild trust with communities. Be aware that universities/ hospitals/ governments have been responsible for unethical research and experimentation with underrepresented groups so relationships may need rebuilding. Learning about trauma experiences can be difficult, traumatizing, or re-traumatizing. Build self-care and safe spaces into these learning opportunities. [View Resources]

Be aware of body language that conveys respect and affirmatively engages in the culture of the person or community you are partnering with. Eye contact, smiling, handshakes, and the like differ across cultures. [View Resources]

After relationships are established, create opportunities to educate community organizations on the purpose of UCEDD/LEND programs and available services and supports in a manner that responds to the needs and values of those communities. These conversations can arise organically out of an effort to learn and be educated. [View Resources]

Ensure that community partners are true partners, and not just people to turn to when advice is needed on certain issues, or a letter of support is needed for a grant application. Invite partners to give input on all organizational activities via roles on Board of Directors, advisory groups, and other means. [View Resources]

Remember the importance of celebrations as a tool of partnership and collaboration, so that initiatives and successes are not only publicized but people can also gather to celebrate, preferably with food involved. Breaking bread together enhances cross-cultural dialogue. It is another form of gathering around a table. [View Resources]

Develop partnerships with community-based organizations in ways that enhance the resources and activities of those organizations, and build trust. Broaden and diversify Councils and SIGs. Expand eligibility to individuals outside AUCD network to gain increasingly diverse perspectives and partnerships. Develop collaborative relationships (including grantmaking opportunities) with Office of Minority Health, CDC, HHS and other government agencies and administrations tasked with addressing resiliencies and disparities, diversity, inclusion and cultural and linguistic competence. Identify common goals, and work collaboratively toward them, using findings from network research and demonstration projects. [View Resources]

Provide resources on translation, interpretation and cultural brokering to the direct support professional community and people with disabilities. Develop relationships with diverse organizations serving diverse cultural and faith communities who have State or Territory affiliates to broker relationships with UCEDD/LEND programs at both national and State or Territory levels. Faith communities serve as the key community center in many minority and immigrant communities. Increase partnerships with organizations representing families, as well as disability and/or health professionals from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds to access expertise, leverage resources, and maximize reach.  [View Resources]

Broaden and diversify Board of Directors. Expand eligibility to individuals outside the AUCD network to gain increasingly diverse perspectives and partnerships. Ensure Board hears from diverse members of AUCD who might not already be involved in AUCD’s Councils, SIGs, and other membership groups and activities. Specifically encourage folks from marginalized backgrounds to join the Board of Directors, Councils, and SIGs through in-person outreach. Acknowledge that people are being invited to a table that has already been set, and there is a desire to set a new table. Spend time in communities, listening and building relationships. Identify the trusted leaders within the community (formal and informal leaders by position or influence), and identify future leaders as well. Remain engaged even when funding opportunities are absent or have ended. [View Resources]

Reduce cost of annual conference so it is affordable to a broader range of interested people who may not have university or grant funding to participate. Consider providing income-based sliding scale or scholarships for individuals, reduced rates for staff from non-profit agencies, separate meal costs in registration and provide meal tickets for those able to purchase hotel meals with registration, support the cost of accessible and general transportation, and create other opportunities for financial assistance. Look carefully at how advocacy and advisory groups are used. Ask whether they are being used to fulfill a federal requirement for input? Truly listen to priorities of advocacy groups and advisory members (including but not limited to self-advocacy groups and the Consumer Advisory Councils (CACs)), and work those priorities into Center/Program projects in a collaborative manner. [View Resources]

Support bridge-building between advocacy groups where intersectionality exists. For example, self-advocacy groups for people with intellectual disability and LGBT advocacy groups may prove worthy partners in support of people who experience both identities. Work with the State Department and embassies to invite disability leaders from other countries to participate in AUCD annual conference. [View Resources]

Offer interactive live streaming of major AUCD conference and Disability Policy Seminar events, encouraging participation by others who are unable to attend in person. Create partnerships with other projects, committees, and departments (including cultural studies and language departments) within the University addressing diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence [View Resources]

Reach out to recipients of NIDILRR field-initiated grants addressing diversity and inclusion for information and potential partnership. Develop listening sessions within direct support professional (DSP) community, as DSPs are increasingly from many minority and ethnic communities, to identify what they may need, what gifts they bring to their roles, and their advice related to collaborating with the cultural communities they represent. A direct support staff person may be a leader within a particular community or know who the leaders are, as well as have knowledge about how/if disability is discussed and addressed. [View Resources]

Engage in a community needs assessment process to identify gaps your program could fill and see which groups are not accessing your services. [View Resources]

Create products reflecting the content of community meetings and conversations; disseminate broadly within the community so people see their voices and contributions making an impact. [View Resources]

After a trusting relationship is established and with permission, advocate with community-based organizations. Offer to join with them in their advocacy and grant-writing efforts, introduce them to key folks, etc. Offer training to build capacity in grantwriting and/or advocacy to build capacity and inform policymakers of their needs. [View Resources]

Join the Regional Health Equity Council. [View Resources]

Reach out to recipients of National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) field-initiated grants addressing diversity and inclusion for information and potential partnership. [View Resources]

Advocate with State or Territory agencies and partners to help all see value of this work. Support their efforts in this area and be a resource where needed. Invite members of diverse communities to key meetings and broker introductions with State or Territory personnel, to benefit both State or Territory agencies and community organizations. [View Resources]

This Toolkit challenges the AUCD Network to make mentorship a priority, based on many respondents’ requests. It calls for the implementation of an effective mentorship program. This includes focusing on formal and informal mentoring relationships. The Toolkit also calls for the provision of funds to support these types of initiatives. Mentorship should take place within Network organizations and also between organizations, in order to maximize the far-reaching benefits of these supportive and positive connections. It is important to remember that effective mentorship programs require commitment, planning, and follow through.

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Identify opportunities to empower young adults. [View Resources]

Ensure that staff members from marginalized communities have access to mentoring and the opportunity for promotions. [View Resources]

Provide opportunities for faculty, staff, volunteers or trainees to participate in an exchange program with another network Center/Program to foster potential mentorship relationships and support cross-collaborative efforts. [View Resources]

Develop a mentorship model that supports peer-to-peer mentoring of faculty, staff and trainees from diverse backgrounds across network Centers/Programs. [View Resources]

Develop a mentorship model that supports UCEDDs and LENDs in their diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence and inclusion planning and initiatives.  [View Resources]

Recruiting and retaining a diverse pool of trainees has been widely recognized as improving workforce diversity and improving services, especially in the health care field. The CLAS Standards (pp. 15-16) highlight "an increased need for health and health care professionals and organizations to provide effective, high-quality care that is responsive to the diverse cultural and linguistic needs of individuals served. The need for culturally and linguistically appropriate care is particularly great since similar demographic changes have not occurred in the health and health care workforce (e.g., Genao et al, 2003; Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2004; Sullivan & Mittman, 2010. Given the important role that culture plays in health and health behaviors (Kleinman, Eisenberg, & Good, 1978; Tseng & Streltzer, 2008), the lack of workforce diversity is significant since it widens the cultural gap that already exists between health and health care professionals and consumers, which subsequently contributes to the persistence of health disparities (Brach & Fraser, 2000; Genao et al., 2003). The provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services can help to bridge this gap".

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Work with Minority Serving Institutions, community colleges, and high schools in under-resourced communities to set up mutually-beneficial internships, volunteer opportunities, course credits, service learning, work study, apprenticeships, and other opportunities for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students interested in learning about disabilities. Promote opportunities heavily to underrepresented students. [View Resources]

Develop products that all UCEDDs/LENDs can use to recruit trainees through building awareness of the network, opportunities for career paths in the disability field and AUCD network, organizational structure and resources within Universities, and opportunities for graduate student training. Fund trainee partnerships between UCEDDs/LENDs and Minority Serving Institutions, community colleges, and other settings serving students who are underrepresented in graduate level training. [View Resources]

Provide incentives to UCEDDs/LENDs for partnering with Minority Serving Institutions, community colleges, and other settings serving students who are underrepresented in graduate level training. Create a clearinghouse of scholarships and fellowships that would allow trainees to engage in research related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. Set goal for increasing diversity of families involved in UCEDD/LEND who provide family training experiences to trainees. [View Resources]

Provide incentives to UCEDDs/LENDs for partnering with Minority Serving Institutions, community colleges, and other settings serving students who are underrepresented in graduate level training. Create a clearinghouse of scholarships and fellowships that would allow trainees to engage in research related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. Set goal for increasing diversity of families involved in UCEDD/LEND who provide family training experiences to trainees. [View Resources]

Partner with national associations of Minority Serving Institutions, community colleges, and other settings serving students who are underrepresented in graduate level training. Invest early by reaching out to high school, community college, and undergraduate students in underrepresented communities with a focus on providing internships, assistantships, mentorships, and other engaging opportunities to underrepresented groups. Recognize that the return on investment is not immediate or definite. [View Resources]

Get involved, and encourage trainees to get involved, in national conversations related to empowering students. Partner with Minority Serving Institutions to develop collaborative opportunities for trainees. [View Resources]

Help trainees feel vested in and connected to network by representing Center/Program in career fairs and other student recruitment efforts, and by funding travel to Disability Policy Seminar and AUCD conference.

Provide technical assistance and training on the family component, including family faculty and family trainees.

Quote: "A family-centered approach is critical, especially given that many communities of color, and immigrants/first generation peoples tend to be family- and multi-generational oriented. Linda Sandman, my mentor and Director of Clinical Services and Training Director at the Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic at the Institute on Disability and Human Development in Chicago, a clinic serving primarily Black/African American, and Latino/a families, has made it clear that her work must be a family approach, because a traditional/psychology/Western/hegemonic/capitalist individual approach would not work."  -Rebekah Moras, PhD, Research Professional, Center for Human Development (AK) [View Resources]

Partner with faculty in University and Colleges to include a culturally appropriate, plain language recruitment flyer in multiple modes for accessibility (i.e., Braille, digital, translated into needed languages) in student welcome packets, at high school college fairs, and anywhere else young students will have access. [View Resources]

Encourage and support culturally relevant scholarly activities that acknowledge and respect systems of beliefs and practices in I/DD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) decision-making, care, support, healing, education and advocacy that emerge from different cultures and communities where diverse populations live, and are led by people from those cultures and/or scholarly allies who understand those traditions and systems [View Resources]

Incorporate cultural and linguistic competence into every class, workshop, and other training, preferably in the beginning of the program, so that knowledge and skills can be implemented and developed throughout the year. (See resources in objectives addressing safe spaces, and training) [View Resources]

Partner with families, foundations, other investors who might have interest in funding scholarships or an endowment fund for trainees from marginalized communities. [View Resources]

Identify colleges within Universities that succeed in recruiting diverse student populations, and develop collaborative partnerships and strategies. [View Resources]

Recruit trainees and provide disability acceptance and action information (moving beyond disability awareness) at student clubs, including various cultural clubs, fraternities, and sororities. [View Resources]

Ensure interdisciplinary training programs incorporate leadership development, mentorship, life skills, work/life balance, and such. Consider each trainee as a whole person, and consider the lives that non-traditional, disabled, first-generation, or immigrant students may lead and put in place supports to aid retention. [View Resources]

Cross-list disability and other culture-related courses with other departments. For example, list with Liberal Studies if the University requires liberal studies courses for students to graduate. Align courses with what students have to take as part of their requirements. [View Resources]

Partner with Centers for Independent Living to explore higher education needs and opportunities for youth with disabilities. [View Resources]

Encourage previous trainees or service recipients to be a significant part of recruitment efforts. [View Resources]

Get involved, and encourage trainees to get involved in national conversations related to empowering students. [View Resources]

Connect with campus groups supporting non-traditional and first generation students to learn the experiences of those students, share information, and get their feedback on UCEDD/LEND training program offerings. [View Resources]

Include diverse people with disabilities as trainees, faculty, and program partners. [View Resources]

Infuse principles of family-centered care and shared decision-making within the training program. [View Resources]

Ensure curricula for trainees address resiliencies, disparities, and inequities across communities, populations, and cultures. [View Resources]

Core Functions for UCEDDs include 1) pre-service training; 2) community services including training, technical assistance and (optionally) model and demonstration services; 3) research, evaluation, and public policy analysis; and 4) information dissemination. These core functions are identified in the Developmental Disabilities Act of 2000. Key activities of LEND programs include 1) increasing awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD); 2) reduce barriers to screening and diagnosis; 3) promote evidence based interventions for individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities; and 4) train professionals to utilize valid screening tools to diagnose and rule out autism and other developmental disabilities.

Cultivating diversity pipelines is a widely recognized strategy for increasing diversity in a variety of multidisciplinary fields. In general, pipeline activities are meant to increase diversity in a workforce or educational setting through focusing on recruiting activities from diversity groups (Johnson, 2012).

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Provide opportunity for all staff, faculty, trainees and volunteers to develop leadership skills. [View Resources]

Partner with other federal agencies/administrations to collaborate on their minority pipeline initiatives, leaning on common goals to reduce disparities and increase resiliencies.

Create an undergraduate Disability Studies minor to help build minority student interest in pursuing graduate studies in UCEDD/LEND. Consider creating this minor in partnership with Minority Serving Institutions, and encourage fellow professors to promote it.

Develop clearinghouse of relevant pipeline programs UCEDDs and LENDs may partner with and promote. [View Resources]

Increase partnerships with professional organizations representing disability and/or health professionals from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds.

Engage high school, community college, Minority Serving Institutions, and other undergraduate student populations to build awareness and interest in careers and education in the disability field.

Provide technical assistance to support culturally diverse UCEDD/LEND junior faculty to increase grantwriting skills. [View Resources]

Increase and support trainee and pipeline programs at institutions that have a demonstrated record of training individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and who are underrepresented in disability and/or health fields.

Apply for undergraduate/graduate minority pipeline grant opportunities with Minority Serving Institutions as appropriate.

Collect and share success stories and strategies from across the network related to pipeline development.

[View Resources]

Identify underrepresented trainees, staff and faculty; provide mentorship and professional development with an eye toward hiring and/or promotion.

Develop an employment matching program to support hiring of graduating trainees within the network, especially for trainees of underrepresented backgrounds. [View Resources]

Seek out and partner with existing pipeline efforts within the University.

Establish partnerships with national organizations representing the direct support professional (DSP) community to develop a pipeline and career path for DSPs into disability careers and UCEDD/LEND programs. [View Resources]

Create trainings for a career path for direct support professionals.

Develop a minority pipeline through private and public higher education and corporate partnerships and funding to bring minority students into disability field through UCEDD/LEND programs. Model after established STEM pipeline programs. Engage staff, faculty, and trainees across network who have implemented and/or participated in pipeline programs. [View Resources]

The AUCD Network represents and serves multiple diverse populations with many linguistic variations. Thus, our network organizations must provide and address access boldly. This means accessible, culturally and linguistically competent clinical, educational, and community services developed to reach and best serve diverse constituents.

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Comply with federal guidelines addressing access and inclusion in service delivery: Executive order 13116, Title VI Language access act, CLAS Standards, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. [View Resources]

Review and examine all service programs, projects, and activities. Ensure that each addresses diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in alignment with organizational mission and values. This can be done by a working committee, consortium of folks from across departments, or other consultant to ensure a more objective review. [View Resources]

Discuss and construct a working definition of "family" that includes the many ways families define themselves. This has impact on how services are conceived, funded, delivered, and reported. [View Resources]

Develop an effective partnership with disabled people's support staff so they also feel welcome. Many support staff may be from diverse backgrounds, so how they are included will be felt (and probably shared), leading to prospective allies for cross cultural initiatives. [View Resources]

Comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act [View Resources]

Create a clearinghouse of resources providing information on systems of beliefs in I/DD intellectual and developmental disabilities, decision-making, care, support, healing, education and advocacy that emerge from different cultures and communities where diverse populations live [View Resources]

Create a clearinghouse of resources documenting cultural adaptations of evidence-based practices with people and families with disabilities from diverse groups [View Resources]

Provide services that are relevant and accessible, meeting the individualized needs of the people and families receiving services [View Resources]

Make services available and accessible in multiple locations in communities. Consider outreach clinics, YMCA/YWCAs, civic centers, faith communities, and other local venues. [View Resources]

Evaluate specific practices and interventions to see how they are (or are not) culturally competent. Collaborate with community in effort. Talk with people and families individually to see what is working and what is not [View Resources]

Together with community members, document the cultural adaptations being made with evidence-based or other programs/services so these can be shared widely with others through videos, newsletters, posters, calendars, or other materials that community members will access. Share with AUCD as well. [View Resources]

Provide opportunities for clinicians and other service providers to analyze and confront their own biases before working with people from diverse communities. [View Resources]

Support all service providers to treat people from all backgrounds with respect and to recognize that a request for service should result in equal opportunity for service, and that services are just as much a necessity for every person, regardless of background. [View Resources]

Learn about the historical trauma suffered by community groups. Know about unethical research conducted with state and national and international groups. Build/rebuild trust with communities. Be aware that universities/ hospitals/ governments have been responsible for unethical research and experimentation with underrepresented groups so relationships may need rebuilding. Learning about trauma experiences can be very difficult, traumatizing, or re-traumatizing. Build self-care and safe spaces into these learning opportunities. [View Resources]

In partnership with those receiving or wanting transportation services, identify transportation needs and seek out available transportation services. Consider accessibility, rural access, cost, etc. Build relationships with transportation service providers, so your service recipients become their priority. Advocate for broader transportation options to meet needs. [View Resources]

Ensure family support services address all the ways in which families seek or want support, and are respectful to families. [View Resources]

Advocate for family-centered care and shared decision-making within the healthcare system. [View Resources]

Conduct an impact assessment in areas where services are provided, to see the places most people go, and how we can work there. [View Resources]

Researchers who work with underserved communities must build research partnerships with communities. Historically, there has been noted tension between how research is conducted and with whom, how those who are subjects of the research fit into the world that researchers create, and how research findings are shared. Best practices point to including underrepresented and underserved populations in research activities through community responsiveness and engagement.

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Learn about the historical trauma suffered by community groups. Know about unethical research conducted with state and national and international groups. Build/rebuild trust with communities. Be aware that universities/ hospitals/governments have been responsible for unethical research and experimentation with underrepresented groups so relationships may need rebuilding. Learning about trauma experienced can be very difficult, traumatizing, or re-traumatizing. Build self-care and safe spaces into these learning opportunities. [View Resources]

Share data to help drive research priorities.


[View Resources]

Develop journal articles and other mechanisms to share impact of funded programs, and increase their visibility, outreach and utilization to inter-governmental agencies and the broader community. [View Resources]

Create a clearinghouse and provide TA events addressing research that responds to and engages underserved communities, in collaboration with AUCD Central Office and the Council on Research and Evaluation (CORE). [View Resources]

Connect with cultural communities within State or Territory, partner with them to identify their gifts/strengths/needs, involve them in research, and establish collaborations between researchers and community. Commit to this as an ongoing process, not a one-time event. [View Resources]

Engage diverse communities and people with disabilities in defining research questions, research design and conduct, and reporting results. Engage in Community Based Participatory Research approaches. "Nothing about us, without us." [View Resources]

Become familiar with and implement culturally competent research designs. [View Resources]

Guide and mentor trainees and young faculty from diverse communities in the skills needed to address gaps in research. Create capacity within those diverse communities and potential leaders to help those communities address those issues. [View Resources]

Undertake research related to diversity and inclusion, resiliencies and disparities, the intersectionality of disability and other cultural identities, the application of evidence-based research to people with disabilities in diverse cultural groups, and the development of practice-based evidence within diverse cultural groups. A paucity of research exists in this area. [View Resources]

To communicate most effectively within the AUCD network and across communities, all published materials and meetings should be executed with language,literacy, and cultural access in mind, at the highest quality possible. The goal of network centers and programs must be to ensure information is available to the communities being served.

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Comply with federal guidelines addressing access and inclusion: Executive order 13116, Title VI Language access act, CLAS Standards. [View Resources]

Implement best practices in translating materials in a culturally appropriate manner. [View Resources]

Collaborate with community members and governing officials who have unique partnerships and relationships with diverse communities and can support information dissemination efforts. [View Resources]

Caption all video resources, including webinars and videos. [View Resources]

Identify and engage in opportunities for partnership and collaboration to translate or create accessible materials. If a member of a community identifies barriers with a product, offer to have them work with you to address the barrier while offering design and editing resources.Acknowledge and reimburse community members for this service. [View Resources]

Develop materials that can be customized by other organizations and community members for varying audiences and communities. [View Resources]

Provide opportunity for feedback and evaluate the effectiveness of the materials being shared.Be very open to critique from diverse audiences. [View Resources]

Ensure materials, meetings, and emergency preparedness information are accessible and culturally and linguistically responsive, addressing literacy level, language, cultural respect, physical and cognitive and sensory accessibility. Know and serve the audience based on their strengths and needs. [View Resources]

Utilize community minority organizations to review materials, and compensate accordingly. [View Resources]

Ensure all websites are accessible. [View Resources]

Start with language access needed in local communities. Incorporate a budget line for language access, translate materials into languages identified as most common in your area, evaluate and change language style in presentations, print and spoken word. [View Resources]

Research and translate disability-related terms in a positive light when crossing over to other cultures and languages. When uncertain of how to translate terms, keep the original word. [View Resources]

Comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. [View Resources]

Identify existing translation, and interpretation organizations that provide services. [View Resources]

Identify community leaders and organizations that serve as cultural brokers for their respective communities, e.g., ethnic chambers of commerce, faith leaders, community development programs, etc.


Identify guidelines for working with diverse groups via translation, interpretation, and cultural brokers.

[View Resources]

Create and disseminate materials related to the findings of research and other UCEDD/LEND publications to participants and community members that have a vested interest in the topic. [View Resources]

Create opportunities and identify innovative methods to create visibility and purpose of Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) members. [View Resources]

Create a central location for network members to access appropriate translation resources and language service providers. Negotiate reduced rates for network members. [View Resources]

Require all presenters in all webinars, meetings, and conferences provide fully accessible, culturally and linguistically competent presentations. Refuse to give anyone a speaker role if their presentation is not culturally and linguistically competent and accessible for a variety of disabilities. This may mean coordinating a back-up presenter, or cancelling an event. [View Resources]

Establish an interactive listserv on the topic of accessible materials and products that allows members to streamline how, when, and how often information is received over email. [View Resources]

Create opportunities that foster collaboration and communication of Consumer Advisory Councils (CACs) across Centers. Consider regional meetings of CACs. [View Resources]

Core Functions for UCEDDs include 1) pre-service training; 2) community services including training, technical assistance and (optionally) model and demonstration services; 3) research, evaluation, and public policy analysis; and 4) information dissemination. These core functions are identified in the Developmental Disabilities Act of 2000. Key activities of LEND programs include 1) increasing awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD); 2) reduce barriers to screening and diagnosis; 3) promote evidence based interventions for individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities; and 4) train professionals to utilize valid screening tools to diagnose and rule out autism and other developmental disabilities.

To know if the AUCD network is improving practices in diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence, established guidance should be followed and progress measured. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the 2000 Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, and other key pieces of federal legislation all address access and rights of people with disabilities and people of diverse backgrounds. Compliance with these guidelines is critical.

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Develop workgroup of members representing AIDD and/or MCHB, AUCD central office and Multicultural Council (MCC), and other network leaders to develop priorities for action that will guide the network forward, which all UCEDDs and/or LENDs can commit to as a path. [View Resources]

Partner with Office of Minority Health to determine demographic data related to a broad definition of diversity and inclusion that may be reported by federal grantees, and how that data can best be collected within each function (training, service, research, info dissemination). Establish workgroup of network members and external experts to operationalize recommendations. Implement recommendations by updating OMB-approved reporting guidelines. Provide funding for AUCD to update NIRS accordingly. [View Resources]

Establish a priority to collaboratively create evidence-based "indicators of high performance" that identify proven practices such as cultural brokering, mentorship, etc. that are known to improve diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. Take care not to codify or objectify relationships too much. [View Resources]

(AIDD only) Review MCHB-required Performance Measures (PMs) for LEND programs and determine if/how to duplicate these requirements for UCEDDs, consulting with MCHB as appropriate: (1) Trainee Diversity (PM 09): MCHB collects data on the percentage of participants in MCHB long-term training programs who are from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, (2) Cultural Competence (PM10): MCHB collects data on the degree to which MCHB-funded programs have incorporated cultural and linguistic competence elements into their policies, guidelines, contracts and training. Grantees rate the degree to which their programs have incorporated cultural and linguistic competence across 10 elements, and (3) Faculty Diversity: The Division also collects race and ethnicity data for all faculty and staff that contribute to MCH Training Program grants. [View Resources]

Ensure new Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) emphasize diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence and require related goals and objectives for how UCEDDs/LENDs will identify and address needs of diverse communities within State or Territory. [View Resources]

Create a common definition of diversity and inclusion between AIDD and MCHB, recognizing that UCEDDs and LENDs are often intertwined. Common language reduces confusion. Utilize current definitions as basis for collaboration. Involve member Centers/Programs, Office of Minority Health, and other stakeholders. [View Resources]

Include cultural brokering in MCH Competencies for LEND trainees, and in interdisciplinary training within UCEDD/LEND training programs. Skills include learning how to find, recognize and collaborate with cultural brokers. [View Resources]

Identify promising practices related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in annual reporting, final reporting, and all applications. Engage AUCD to package and disseminate information to network. [View Resources]

Ensure performance reviews, site visits, and other quality improvement activities are implemented in culturally and linguistically competent manner. Enlist experts to help structure culturally and linguistically competent approaches in all quality review processes. [View Resources]

Hold funded programs accountable for compliance with federal guidelines addressing access and inclusion: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Executive order 13116, Title VI Language access act, CLAS Standards. [View Resources]

Review results of Toolkit team's network survey request related to reporting diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in NIRS. Collaborate with data coordinators, other network members, and external experts, use findings to create field in NIRS for Centers/Programs to report on diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence efforts, regardless of whether it is required for federal reporting. Collect information from this field to share strategies and successes within the network. [View Resources]

Develop fields in NIRS for all Center/Program staff to report on language(s) spoken, regardless of whether it is required for federal reporting. [View Resources]

Develop measurable goals/objectives related to increasing diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in each core function, in addition to trainees and personnel (regardless of whether funder requires this). [View Resources]

Collect data on diversity and inclusion of staff/faculty who get promoted and get tenure. Identify trends and develop plan to address resiliencies and disparities collaboratively with University. [View Resources]

Ensure all faculty and staff are entered in the AUCD Directory. Ensure all have option to self-select their own race/ethnicity for reporting. This will improve accuracy and breadth of available data as network makes progress. [View Resources]

Funding is a key resource for increased recruitment, research, and other implementation activities that are supportive of diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. Investing financially shows true commitment.

In order to stand by the mission of diversity and inclusion, funders and funding must accompany the call for increased recruitment, research, and implementation. Investing in diversity and inclusion with funding support shows true commitment to transforming the workforce to reflect the population served. Many funders are beginning to recognize the value in funding initiatives solely focused on diversity. For example, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (2015), states: We believe the Fund has a moral obligation to do its part to address past and current injustices to groups that have been historically disadvantaged and socially, politically, and economically excluded… In pursuing our social change mission, we seek to manage our philanthropic programs and organizational culture in a manner that embraces diversity and inclusion.

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Join listservs to receive updates on funding opportunities and other resources related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. [View Resources]

Ensure funding and time provided for initiatives addressing diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence is substantial enough to pay for appropriate expert consultation, sustained network involvement, and technical assistance to plan and implement efforts that will make an impact and drive long-term change. [View Resources]

Provide one-year funding to consortium of network members and external experts to collaboratively create evidence-based "indicators of high performance" that identify proven practices such as cultural brokering, mentorship, etc. that are known to improve diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. [View Resources]

Provide financial support to programs with strategic accountable plans to mentor support to trainees, faculty, and staff. [View Resources]

Increase funding in areas that address resiliencies and disparities, intersectionality of disability and other cultural identities, and diversity and inclusion scholarship [View Resources]

Fund robust partnerships between UCEDDs/LENDs and Minority Serving Institutions, community colleges, and other settings serving students who are underrepresented in higher education to develop collaborative programs to address workforce diversity and inclusion, research to increase the field's understanding of the intersectionality between disability and race/ethnicity/language, and other programs to reduce inequalities for minorities with developmental disabilities. [View Resources]

Provide funding to AUCD to periodically update Toolkit, so information stays fresh and current. [View Resources]

Provide funding for an online library of resources and information relevant to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in disability training, research, service, and dissemination. This would expand what is currently available in the Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center (ITAC), UCEDD Resource Center (URC), and this Toolkit. [View Resources]

Provide funding for cross-UCEDD/LEND visits so programs can learn from each other's successes. [View Resources]

Require community collaborations, diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in funding opportunities. Require applicants provide related goals, objectives, and budget lines; and include in scoring guidelines. [View Resources]

Provide funding to implement Toolkit objectives and strategies to support diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. Consider seed or supplemental grants to dedicate staff time to realigning budgets, personnel, community relationships, language accessibility, cultural brokers, and grassroots changes to impact sustainable improvement in this area. [View Resources]

Require funded research to include racial and ethnic groups proportional to their representation in the population at large. Encourage other federal funders to do the same. [View Resources]

In developing grant applications from any funder, identify and highlight area of RFP that addresses diverse populations, cultural and linguistic competence, and/or inclusion. Focus on those sections of the application, using the opportunity to strengthen partnerships with and address needs of underserved communities. [View Resources]

In developing budgets for grant applications, dedicate resources for participation by people who may not be literate, communicate verbally, or speak English. Dedicate budget lines to verbal and nonverbal language support including linguistic, interpreter, transcription, translation services, speech-to-text and text-to speech services. Dedicate resources to pay community members for their meaningful participation as content experts given their life experiences. [View Resources]

Allocate core grant funding to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence efforts to support all projects, in recognition of this core topic. [View Resources]

Identify areas where progress can be made without additional funding, and take steps to make improvements in those areas. When relevant funding becomes available, a record of progress in this priority area will be helpful to include in an application. [View Resources]

Review existing budgets in every funded project; realign where needed to allocate funds for diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence efforts in all projects. [View Resources]

Use targeted funding, endowments, unobligated funds to create needed positions. [View Resources]

Apply for minority pipeline grant opportunities. [View Resources]

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