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Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities

AUCD LogoThe Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) is one of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and is a member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), a network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practice for individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities through research, education, and service.

At the University of Rochester we are housed in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, although SCDD includes people of all ages with developmental disabilities in its programs and services. We believe that people with developmental disabilities have the right to live fulfilling and independent lives as active and fully participating members of their communities. Visit our About Us page for more information about our history, mission, vision, values, and team.

Our Areas of Focus

Mother and Daughter


From our Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program, to training teachers in New York State mandated autism classes, to educating teenagers about advocating for themselves in the transition to adult healthcare and employment, we consider educating the community about intellectual and developmental disabilities a major responsibility. However, the primary goal of our education efforts is to ensure that all people with disabilities are educated in the most inclusive environment whether it be public school, higher education, or continuing education.

Lady Reviewing Business Document with a ManEmployment

We are committed to making competitive, integrated employment possible for all people with disabilities of working age in New York State. Our Employment team supports a number of programs and initiatives designed at increasing employment readiness training, and assuring that appropriate supports are in place and easily accessible.

Boy Having Teeth Looked at By a DentistHealth

We provide supports and service in partnership with clinical care at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Special Olympics, and the Golisano Foundation. We are also engaged in training health professionals in various clinical disciplines, conducting health-related research to improve healthcare delivery and specific health concerns of people with intellectual and developmental disability, and in advocacy work across the University of Rochester Medical Center system and local, state, and national levels to impact policy.

Father Walking Next to Son Riding a BikeRecreation

"We must work to respect the inherent rights of people with intellectual disability and create a community that provides them with a variety of challenges experienced during their free time that they perceive to be manageable." - Dattilo

We are working with local Special Olympics Health Athletes efforts, the YMCA, and disability agencies to expand inclusive fitness opportunities.