Key Terms

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There are many acronyms in the disability world. As a service to the community, some of these acronyms are listed here, along with a brief explanation and link to websites. There are also several key terms used throughout the objectives and strategies of the Toolkit, and are provided here as a guide.

AIDD (Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
AIDD, a federal government administration within the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, is dedicated to ensuring that people with disabilities have opportunities to make their own choices, contribute to society, have supports to live independently, and live free of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In each state and territory, entities funded by AIDD form a developmental disabilities network, or DD Network, made up of State Councils on Developmental Disabilities; State Protection and Advocacy Systems; and University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. AIDD also funds Projects of National Significance and administers the President’s Committee on Intellectual Disabilities. While each entity within the network serves specific purposes, they were established with overlapping goals to facilitate collaboration and interconnectivity among the different units. This structure allows each entity to work cross-functionally to achieve the core goals of the DD Act: self-determination, independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in all facets of community for people with developmental disabilities. (Retrieved from:

AUCD (The Association of University Centers on Disabilities)
AUCD is a non-profit membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs. Network members consist of:

  • 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), funded by the Administration on Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (AIDD)
  • 52 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Programs funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)
  • 14 Developmental Disability Research Centers (IDDRC), most of which are funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD)

These programs serve and are located in every U.S. state and territory and are all part of universities or medical centers. They serve as a bridge between the university and the community, bringing together the resources of both to achieve meaningful change. (from

The AUCD Board of Directors has established a number of committees and councils made up of experts in the field to help the leadership address emerging trends and issues, and to facilitate communication across and beyond the AUCD network. AUCD has six Councils:

  • Community Education and Dissemination Council (CEDC)
  • Council on Research and Evaluation (CORE)
  • Council on Leadership in Advocacy (COLA)
  • Multicultural Council (MCC)
  • National Training Directors' Council (NTDC)

(from AUCD site:

Cultural awareness
The National Center for Cultural Competence defines “cultural awareness” as being cognizant, observant, and conscious of similarities and differences among and between cultural groups (Goode, 2001, revised 2006). According to Winkelman (2005), awareness of cultural differences and their impact on behavior is the beginning of intercultural effectiveness. He states that “cultural self-awareness includes recognition of one’s own cultural influences upon values, beliefs, and judgments, as well as the influences derived from the professional’s work culture” (p. 9). (Gilbert, Goode, and Dunne, nd)

Cultural brokering
Cultural brokering has been defined as " the act of bridging, linking or mediating between groups or persons of different cultural backgrounds for the purpose of reducing conflict or producing change." (Jezewski, 1990).

Cultural competence
Cultural competence requires that organizations:

  • have a congruent, defined set of values and principles, and demonstrate behaviors, attitudes, policies, and structures that enable them to work effectively cross-culturally;
  • have the capacity to (1) value diversity, (2) conduct self-assessment, (3) manage the dynamics of difference, (4) acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge, and (5) adapt to the diversity and cultural contexts of communities they serve; and
  • incorporate the above into all aspects of policymaking, administration, practice, and service delivery and systematically involve consumers, key stakeholders, and communities.

Cultural competence is a developmental process that evolves over an extended period of time. Individuals, organizations, and systems are at various levels of awareness, knowledge, and skills along the cultural competence continuum. (Bronheim and Goode, 2013).

Cultural humility
Tervalon and Murray-Garcia coined this term in a 1998 article, in which they conclude “Cultural humility incorporates a lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and critique, to redressing the power imbalances in the physician-patient dynamic and to developing mutually beneficial and non-paternalistic partnerships with communities on behalf of individuals and defined populations” (p. 123).

AUCD received input from many in AUCD’s network and other stakeholders to define “diversity”, recognizing that this is difficult to define and that definitions are limiting. Thus, this definition is fluid and may change over time. Diversity is defined as the visible and invisible qualities and values that shape a person, including this non-exhaustive list of attributes:

  • Ability/Disability
  • Gender identity
  • Political affiliation
  • Age
  • Geographic area
  • Race
  • Culture
  • Health
  • Religion
  • Economics
  • Immigration status
  • Sexual identity
  • Education
  • Indigeneity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Ethnicity
  • Language
  • Spirituality
  • Experiences
  • Mental health
  • Values
  • Family structure
  • Neurodiversity
  • Body size

Inclusion is the meaningful representation and consideration of diverse groups. It is not enough to have simply different types of people at the table. We must take into account people’s specific cultural needs and undo systems of oppression. Meaningful inclusion interrogates the systemic issues that impact diverse groups through including representatives who can speak to barrier and inform progress from their position of lived expertise.

LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities)
LEND is a program within the Department of Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal Child and Health Bureau. LEND programs provide long-term, graduate level interdisciplinary training as well as interdisciplinary services and care. The purpose of the LEND training program is to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with disabilities. They accomplish this by preparing trainees from diverse professional disciplines to assume leadership roles in their respective fields and by insuring high levels of interdisciplinary clinical competence.

LEND programs operate within a university system, usually as part of a University Center for Excellence (UCEDD) or other larger entity, and collaborate with local university hospitals and/or health care centers. This set-up gives them the expert faculty, facilities, and other resources necessary to provide exceptional interdisciplinary training and services.

There are currently 52 LENDs in 44 states.

(from AUCD site:

Linguistic Competence
“The capacity of an organization and its personnel to communicate effectively, and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse groups including persons of limited English proficiency, those who have low literacy skills or are not literate, individuals with disabilities, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Linguistic competency requires organizational and provider capacity to respond effectively to the health and mental health literacy needs of populations served. The organization must have policies, structures, practices, procedures, and dedicated resources to support this capacity” (Bronheim and Goode, 2013).

MCHB (Maternal and Child Health Bureau)
MCHB is a federal government administration within the Department of Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. As the only governmental program responsible for ensuring the health and well-being of the entire population of women, infants, and children, the Title V program plays a critical role in coordination, capacity building, and quality oversight at the community and state levels. By connecting people to services, programs to programs, and agencies to agencies, Title V programs maximize resources and increase quality and effectiveness.

The mission of MCHB is to provide leadership, in partnership with key stakeholders, to improve the physical and mental health, safety and well-being of the maternal and child health (MCH) population which includes all of the nation’s women, infants, children, adolescents, and their families, including fathers and children with special health care needs. (from

SIG (Special Interest Group)
SIGs are made up of individuals in the AUCD network that have common topical interest. SIGs, which are open to anyone in the network, serve as a mechanism for sharing information, engaging in dialogue, and generating new ideas. SIGs are led by one or more individuals from the network (with AUCD staff support if needed); they typically meet in person at the AUCD Conference and may share information via email, conference call, or webinars throughout the year. Because SIGs are driven by the interests of the AUCD membership, new SIGs may emerge while ones that have run their course may disband. (from AUCD site:

UCEDD (University Centers on for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Research and Service)
Since 1963, UCEDDs have been working to accomplish a shared vision that foresees a nation in which all Americans, including Americans with disabilities, participate fully in their communities. Independence, productivity, and community inclusion are key components of this vision. Currently, there are 67 UCEDDs-at least one in every US state and territory-that are in a unique position to facilitate the flow of disability-related information between community and university. Centers work with people with disabilities, members of their families, state and local government agencies, and community providers in projects that provide training, technical assistance, service, research, and information sharing, with a focus on building the capacity of communities to sustain all their citizens. (from AUCD site:


Bronheim, S. and Goode, T. (2013). Documenting the Implementation of Cultural and Linguistic Competence: Guide for Maternal and Child Health Bureau Funded Training Programs. Washington, DC: National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Retrieved from

Gilbert, J., Goode, T. and Dunne, C. (no date). Defining Cultural Awareness. From the Curricula Enhancement Module Series. A Project of the National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Retrieved from

Goode, T. (2001, revised 2006). Key definitions. Washington D.C.: National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development.

Jezewski, M.A. (Aug.1990). Cultural brokering in migrant farmworker health care. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 12(4), 497-513.

Tervalon, M. and Murray-García, J. (1998). Cultural humility versus cultural competence: A critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education. Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved, 9(2),117–25.

Winkelman, M. (2005). Cultural awareness, sensitivity & competence. Peosta, Iowa: Eddie Bowers Publishing Co., Inc.

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