Human Development Center


Louisiana LEND

Child having fun with two scholars

Not sure if LA LEND is right for you?
Express Interest in LA LEND

What is LA LEND?

The Louisiana Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LA LEND) is a nine-month (300+ hour) interdisciplinary leadership training program for graduate students, individuals with developmental or neurodevelopmental disabilities, parents/guardians, and practicing professionals. There are 60 LEND programs located on college campuses throughout the nation.  Each year, hundreds of LEND trainees around the country complete their program and enter a wide variety of professions related to maternal and child health. Collectively, they form a national network that shares information and resources and maximizes their impact.

LA LEND prepares trainees to become leaders and advocates for maternal and child health through:

Trainees learn about characteristics, strengths, and challenges of individuals with a variety of neurodevelopmental disabilities (e.g., autism spectrum disorders, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy).  There is a focus on early identification through screening and diagnosis, as well as evidence-based strategies for ameliorating the impacts of disability.  Finally, trainees learn the importance of support coordination for families who experience SDOH or HD, with or without disabilities. The foundations of LA LEND are built on the concepts of:

  • Social determinants of health (SDOH)
  • Health disparities (HD)
  • Life Course Theory (LCT)
  • Interdisciplinary thinking and practice
  • Family- and person-centered care

Financial stipends are available. If you have any questions, please contact Konstance Causey, 

“Too often professionals and parents do things to just get by, thereby perpetuating the status quo. If we are going to move the disability community forward, it's imperative that we do so with the highest standards and I believe LEND supports that.

Who should apply to LA LEND?

Graduate students (in at least second year of program) interested in becoming leaders in diverse fields such as: Education, Early Childhood, Special Education, Audiology, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Public Health, Social Work, Speech Language Pathology, and Others
Self-advocates interested in becoming better informed leaders and more effective advocates.
Family members of individuals with disabilities interested in becoming better informed leaders and more effective advocates.
Practicing professionals in fields related to healthcare, special education, ASD/NDD/DD, or other related areas.