Core I and II Courses

Core I and Core II courses may be taken as accredited coursework and are offered in collaboration with area universities and colleges, including Boston College, Boston University, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Simmons College, Emerson College, and Brandeis University. Additionally, all LEND Fellows complete Core I and Core II as a portion of their training.

Core I, taught in the Fall semester, features clinicians working in the field, and focuses on specific Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD), current practices in assessment and treatment, and cutting edge research initiatives. The complexity of NDD and the range of disciplines and services involved in the care of children, adolescents and young adults with NDD are addressed through this course. Students learn about the "next frontier" that each field is facing in clinical care and research. CORE I provides opportunities for interactive learning amongst class participants, comprised of individuals from different professional disciplines, parents/family members, and individuals with lived experience, to view the needs of and care provided to children with NDD and their families through an inter-disciplinary / inter-professional lens.

In the Spring semester, Core II employs community-, systems-, and leadership-based lenses to examine the many aspects of developmental disabilities. Participants in Core II examine historical viewpoints and values underlying quality of life for people with disabilities. Leaders at the federal and state level, as well as from private agencies within the community, including people with lived experience of developmental disabilities, share their knowledge. Discussions consider human rights, civil rights, advocacy efforts, policy implications, legislation, service models, and disability initiatives across the lifespan. Issues concerning systems change are examined while considering disabilities from the perspectives of persons with disabilities and families.

CORE I:  Developmental Disabilities I: Evaluation, Assessment, Families, and Systems

CORE II: Developmental Disabilities II: Values, Policy, and Change

Coordinators: Jason Fogler, PhD, Amy Szarkowski, PhD, Angela Lombardo, BA, Heather Engholm, MPH BSN RN

CORE meets each Friday within the semester from 8am to 10am, excluding Thanksgiving week and Good Friday. A syllabus is available to LEND Fellows and registered students on

The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program is part of the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) through Boston Children's Hospital and the University of Massachusetts-Boston, which together is a member of a national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).

Mission Statement of the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI)
The ICI supports the rights of children and adults with disabilities to participate in all aspects of the community. As practitioners, researchers, and teachers, we form partnerships with individuals, families and communities. Together we advocate for personal choice, self-determination, and social and economic justice.