About the Institute


Who we are

The Institute for Human Development is a research and training program located on campus at Northern Arizona University. Our program is part of a national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).

What is UCEDD?

University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) exist in every state. Each one serves as a resource for its community in the areas of education, research, and service, as related to the needs of people who have developmental disabilities.

The network of UCEDDs in the United States is authorized by the Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 and funded by the Administration of Developmental Disabilities by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Learn about the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Network.

View this document in Spanish.

Our vision

The vision of the Institute for Human Development is that people with disabilities participate in all of life's experiences.

University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities

Established by President Kennedy’s Panel on Mental Retardation, the University Centers on Disabilities are meant to serve as a bridge between universities and communities. The reciprocal exchange of information between the community and its universities promotes better personnel preparation and the creation of better systems of service for the benefit of people with disabilities.

Read more

As Arizona’s University Center on Disabilities, the Institute for Human Development is responsible for the development and implementation of four core program areas:

  • interdisciplinary training
  • community services
  • research
  • dissemination

We support over 20 statewide training, research, technical assistance, and model service projects developed through collaboration among the university, consumers, and state and local agencies.

Visit the national American Association of University Centers on Disabilities for locations of other UCDs in the United States, or contact Thomas.Uno@nau.edu for more information about Arizona’s University Center on Disabilities.

Our staff and supporters

The Institute for Human Development is staffed by university faculty and professionals who represent a wide range of human service disciplines.

Read more

Advisory committees 

Our consumer advisory committee includes consumers, parents, service agency personnel, and private providers who assist the Institute for Human Development by:

  • identifying statewide training, service, and research needs
  • participating in the development of the program goals, objectives, and activities
  • developing program standards, criteria, and outcome measures
  • conducting program reviews and evaluations

University training council

We are also supported by a council composed of faculty members who serve as liaisons between the institute and the academic training areas that relate to the field of disabilities. The council assists with:

  • recruiting trainees
  • preparing interdisciplinary curricula
  • developing core function plans
  • conducting program reviews