Blue Ridge LEND logo

What We Do

The mission of the Blue Ridge LEND is to improve the health and well-being of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities through interdisciplinary training, technical assistance, knowledge generation, collaboration, and dissemination.

Who We Are

The Blue Ridge Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) is a collaboration between the University of Virginia, Mary Baldwin University, and key partners across the Blue Ridge and Appalachian region.

Blue Ridge LEND

The national network of LEND programs is regarded as providing premier interdisciplinary training in the field of autism and developmental disabilities. The LEND program prepares graduate-level trainees from diverse disciplines, along with family and self-advocates, to assume leadership roles in their respective fields and in interdisciplinary settings. Emphasizing leadership skills and interdisciplinary care, the program includes clinical and community experiences, faculty mentorship, didactics, interactive seminar discussion, and more. Blue Ridge LEND Fellows also earn a 300-training-hour certificate, a stipend, and connection with the elite LEND network of professionals as they begin their careers. 
 
We invite you to can read bios of our current LEND Fellows and find more detailed information about the LEND program on our Training page

Apply to the Blue Ridge LEND

The Blue Ridge LEND program accepts applications every year beginning in January. If the link is no longer active, check back again later. 

Dynamic Partnerships & Real-World Impact 

UVA EHD logo, UVA School of Medicine logo, and Mary Baldwin's Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences logo

The Blue Ridge LEND is a collaboration between the University of Virginia, Mary Baldwin University, and key university and community partners across the Blue Ridge and Appalachian region.  The program aims to improve the lives of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities though: 

  • Comprehensive graduate-level interdisciplinary leadership training 
  • Continuing education, technical assistance, and consultation for practicing professionals and agencies 
  • Innovative models to reduce disparities and improve access to care 
  • Generating and sharing new knowledge and advances in evidence-based practices 
  • Disseminating education and resources with community members 

About LEND

The Blue Ridge LEND is part of a national network of 60 federally-funded Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. 
 
LEND programs are funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. 
 
The purpose of the national LEND program is to improve the health of individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities through interdisciplinary graduate-level training.  Although each program is unique, LEND programs share an emphasis on building the workforce and preparing professionals from across disciplines to assume leadership roles and improve the system of care for individuals with disabilities. 

LEND Fellows Capstone Projects

Affiliated Research Centers

  • STAR
  • Research Center

Supporting Transformative Autism Research

The STAR initiative is led by the School of Education and Human Development in partnership with colleagues across the University. STAR aims to improve the lives of individuals with autism through groundbreaking research and innovative models for intervention and training.