It is well documented that the United States is becoming an increasingly racially and ethnically diverse country. By 2050 there will be no ethnic majority in the United States (U.S.). There is a need to ensure that the disability community keeps pace with and is responsive to the rapidly changing demographics of the country and the UCEDDs should play a critical role in such an effort. The DD Act recognizes the important role that UCEDDs play in enhancing the diversity of the workforce, requiring that UCEDDs enhance efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented groups at all levels in order to respond to the needs of nation and burgeoning diverse communities. It is essential now more than ever to ensure that UCEDDs are well positioned to address the unprecedented growth of diverse communities, including the growth in the number of people with disabilities, to ensure the future yields prosperity for all. To this end, UCEDDs need to know how to align their training programs and overall UCEDD organizational framework to truly reflect and respond to our nation's rich diversity. The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), Administration on Disabilities (AOD), Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the availability of Fiscal Year 2017 funds to award, on a competitive basis, one year National Training Initiative (NTI) grants to multiple University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDDs). AIDD plans to award up to four Partnership Planning grants to pay for the federal share of this initiative. Funds will be used to support the development of a partnership training program. These partnership planning grants will be with Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI)s as defined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008; community colleges, and training programs that serve people from underrepresented communities. This fundiing opportunity will provide seed funding to support partnership planning grants with partner organizations defined as a MSI, community college, or other training program that serve underrepresented populations to jointly plan and co-design training experiences and utilize a variety of innovative knowledge exchange and transfer strategies that promote and create interdisciplinary approaches to research, training (e.g., pre-service, continuing education, community-based), and services. Funds will be used to work towards the long term goals of: Increasing diversity of leadership, staff and governing bodies across the DD network; Building cultural competence capacity with the leadership, staff, and governing bodies across the DD network; Increasing the number of persons from underrepresented racial, ethnic groups, people with disabilities, people from disadvantaged backgrounds who benefit from AIDD supported programs; and Improving the recruitment and employment of underrepresented groups including racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, and people from diverse or disadvantaged backgrounds in the UCEDD.
More information can be found here