Leslie J. Cohen, JD, director of the Sonoran University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (Sonoran UCEDD) at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Department of Family and Community Medicine, is the new president of the board of directors of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Cohen will serve a one-year term.
“AUCD is poised to be a national leader in creating meaningful change in the lives of people with developmental and other disabilities, and I am so pleased and honored to be part of its leadership,” said Cohen, who also is a UA assistant professor of family and community medicine. “Our strengths and expertise as a network in disability-related research, education, model services and supports, and policy continues to grow.”
In congratulating Cohen, Tammie Bassford, MD, head of Family and Community Medicine, said, “This is a real honor for our UCEDD, for our department and for Leslie, and really speaks to not only the national impact she’s had as a UCEDD director but her years of service to the disability community.”
Cohen received the president’s gavel from outgoing AUCD president Julie Fodor, PhD, at the association’s 2013 conference last month in Washington, DC. Cohen, who in 2011 was elected treasurer of the board of AUCD, served as president-elect for one year, prior to becoming president.
Cohen holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a juris doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law. She practiced law in the area of civil litigation for many years in both the private and public sectors. She brings to the Sonoran UCEDD and AUCD extensive experience in developmental disabilities advocacy and policy as well as broad-based community connections with stakeholders in government agencies, self-advocacy and family groups, provider agencies and network partners.
About the Sonoran UCEDD
The Sonoran UCEDD was established in 2006 with a grant from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The center serves as a bridge between the UA and the community, to ensure full community participation by individuals with developmental disabilities through:
• Education and training of students and professionals on developmental and other disabilities
• Research and analysis that can lead to new model programs and public policy initiatives
• Technical assistance and information sharing on disability-related topics, for the community at large
• Exemplary services and model program development to enhance and expand the systems of support for people with developmental disabilities
For more information about the Sonoran UCEDD, please visit the website http://sonoranucedd.fcm.arizona.edu or call 520-626-0442.
About the Association of University Centers on Disabilities
The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs conducting research, training graduate students, and serving people with disabilities and their families. Network members include 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), funded by the Administration on Intellectual Developmental Disabilities; 43 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Programs funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), 15 Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers (IDDRC), most of which are funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and their faculty, staff and fellows.