News Releases

News Releases

For Immediate Release

UCLID Center Forges Regional and National Partnerships to Improve Assessment and Care for Children with Disabilities

UCLID Center Open House Reaches Out to the Community March 19 and 28

The UCLID Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh is expanding its efforts to help improve research, education and treatment programs for children with disabilities.

The center, which provides training for health care and education professionals who work with people with disabilities, recently received grants to partner with several regional and national organizations. The grants allow Children’s and UCLID experts to expand research efforts for assessing disabilities, improving the process by which children are determined disabled and training hospital staff throughout western Pennsylvania to care for individuals with disabilities.

The UCLID Center has been chosen as one of only four sites in the nation to participate in a $3.5 million federally-funded, five-year study of the most beneficial practices for identifying and evaluating young children who have or are at-risk for developmental delays and disabilities.

“With these new partnerships the UCLID Center is able to provide assistance to those professionals who demonstrate a commitment to community integration and inclusion for individuals with disabilities,” said Heidi Feldman, MD, PhD, UCLID project director. “Raising a child with a disability takes support from a wide array of community services. We want to make sure through a comprehensive approach that those services meet the specific needs of each child.”

The $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs will be used to establish a national research center on early childhood assessment. Steven J. Bagnato, EdD, a Children’s researcher and director of the Early Childhood Partnerships program at UCLID, has been named director of the Pennsylvania satellite center.

Also, Children’s and the University of Pittsburgh have initiated a Social Security Insurance project. The UCLID Center has been chosen as one of eight sites in the nation to receive funding from the Social Security Administration in order to advance policies and practices for individuals with disabilities, as well as their families and communities.

UCLID staff members also are partnering with Disability Determination Services to review the process of determining disability for children in western Pennsylvania. The partnership will involve case reviews, consultations, community training and joint education for the goal of ensuring the process is accurate, equitable and timely. Dr. Feldman, who is the Ronald L. and Patricia M. Violi Professor of Child Development at Children’s Hospital, will direct Children’s SSI project.

The UCLID Center also has partnered with the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania in Every Contact Counts, a program to provide training to hospitals throughout western Pennsylvania on caring for children with disabilities.

The training program, funded by the FISA Foundation, includes specific quality improvement programs for each hospital that are regularly monitored. In addition, an online regional resource center also has been developed by The UCLID Center that offers users a searchable database containing resources and services for children with disabilities in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia.

Two open houses have been scheduled for the public to learn more about these new efforts by the UCLID Center. The first, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, will be held at the center’s new office in the Children’s Hospital Office Building, 3414 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, 15213. The second open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, March 28.

For more information on the UCLID Center call 412-692-6300.

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5016,

Last Update
February 20, 2008
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Last Update
February 20, 2008