(a) National network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service
(1) In general
In order to provide leadership in, advise Federal, State, and community policymakers about, and promote opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to exercise self-determination, be independent, be productive, and be integrated and included in all facets of community life, the Secretary shall award grants to eligible entities designated as Centers in each State to pay for the Federal share of the cost of the administration and operation of the Centers. The Centers shall be interdisciplinary education, research, and public service units of universities (as defined by the Secretary) or public or not-for-profit entities associated with universities that engage in core functions, described in paragraph (2), addressing, directly or indirectly, 1 or more of the areas of emphasis.
(2) Core functions
The core functions referred to in paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A)Provision of interdisciplinary pre-service preparation and continuing education of students and fellows, which may include the preparation and continuing education of leadership, direct service, clinical, or other personnel to strengthen and increase the capacity of States and communities to achieve the purpose of this subchapter.
(B)Provision of community services—
(i)that provide training or technical assistance for individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, professionals, paraprofessionals, policymakers, students, and other members of the community; and
(ii)that may provide services, supports, and assistance for the persons described in clause (i) through demonstration and model activities.
(C)Conduct of research, which may include basic or applied research, evaluation, and the analysis of public policy in areas that affect or could affect, either positively or negatively, individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
(D)Dissemination of information related to activities undertaken to address the purpose of this subchapter, especially dissemination of information that demonstrates that the network authorized under this part is a national and international resource that includes specific substantive areas of expertise that may be accessed and applied in diverse settings and circumstances.
(b) National training initiatives on critical and emerging needs
(1) Supplemental grants
After consultation with relevant, informed sources, including individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, the Secretary shall award, under section
15061(b) of this title, supplemental grants to Centers to pay for the Federal share of the cost of training initiatives related to the unmet needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The Secretary shall make the grants on a competitive basis, and for periods of not more than 5 years.
(2) Establishment of consultation process by the Secretary
Not later than 1 year after October 30, 2000, the Secretary shall establish a consultation process that, on an ongoing basis, allows the Secretary to identify and address, through supplemental grants authorized under paragraph (1), training initiatives related to the unmet needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
(c) Technical assistance
In order to strengthen and support the national network of Centers, the Secretary may enter into 1 or more cooperative agreements or contracts to—
(1)assist in national and international dissemination of specific information from multiple Centers and, in appropriate cases, other entities whose work affects the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities;
(2)compile, analyze, and disseminate state-of-the-art training, research, and demonstration results policies, and practices from multiple Centers and, in appropriate cases, other entities whose work affects the lives of persons with developmental disabilities;
(3)convene experts from multiple Centers to discuss and make recommendations with regard to national emerging needs of individuals with developmental disabilities;
(A)develop portals that link users with every Center’s website; and
(B)facilitate electronic information sharing using state-of-the-art Internet technologies such as real-time online discussions, multipoint video conferencing, and web-based audio/video broadcasts, on emerging topics that impact individuals with disabilities and their families;
(5)serve as a research-based resource for Federal and State policymakers on information concerning and issues impacting individuals with developmental disabilities and entities that assist or serve those individuals; or
(6)undertake any other functions that the Secretary determines to be appropriate;
to promote the viability and use of the resources and expertise of the Centers nationally and internationally.
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