Rose F. Kennedy Children's Evaluation & Rehabilitation Center

Rose F. Kennedy UCEDD


As one of 67 nationally recognized University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), we work to build the capacity of people with developmental disabilities, so they can participate fully in their communities. Our work also includes effecting systems change through advocacy.

The national network of UCEDDs is authorized under Public Law 106-402 (The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 or "DD Act") and their core funding is administered by the Office of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (OIDD).” (Source:

We receive funding from the following federal agencies to carry out our work:

  • Administration on Community Living (US Dept. of Health and Human Services)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US Dept. of Health and Human Services)
  • National Institutes of Health (US Dept. of Health and Human Services)
  • New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council
  • New York State Department of Health
  • New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Association of University Centers on Disability
  • American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry
  • Robin Hood Foundation


Our mission as a UCEDD is to work in partnership with people with disabilities, their families, advocates, professionals, and organizations to develop and provide interdisciplinary training, exemplary services, technical assistance, and dissemination of information, all aimed at increasing the independence, productivity, and integration into the community of persons with developmental disabilities.

The primary mission of the Rose F. Kennedy UCEDD is to improve the quality of life of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. Specifically, this involves four major functions:

  • To serve national, regionally, and locally as a model and an innovative developmental disabilities service agency functioning within an ethnically diverse, largely poor, distressed and needy community.
  • To receive input from consumers and families in order to create, implement, and evaluate consumer-oriented and professionally valid family-oriented strategies, making it possible to; deal with a needy and underserved population, promote inclusive, person-centered services and enhance access to care in the community.
  • To work within academic medical centers and as a service "center without walls," providing extensive interdisciplinary training that is responsive to local, state and national priorities, including the training of future leaders and other professionals, as well as individuals with disabilities, especially those from minority-group backgrounds.
  • To support other agencies in the local region through direct technical assistance, and nationally through enhanced program development supported by effective demonstration, and basic or applied research.

We carry out our mission through:  

  • Delivery of exemplary direct services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and their families;
  • Conducting interdisciplinary training programs for consumers, family members, and professionals so they can, lead, develop, and provide these services;
  • Helping agencies organize and initiate their own needed community-based services for clients with ID/DD of all ages;
  • Creating and operating model demonstration projects which can help other agencies learn how to best ensure the independence, self-sufficiency, productivity and community integration of persons with ID/DD;
  • Researching and evaluating what works best and disseminating these findings to professionals, researchers and policy makers, locally, regionally, and nationally, to further improve services; and
  • Promoting inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in the full range of community activities.

We use the knowledge gained from these studies to improve services and promote constructive change in specialized and generic institutions which serve this population. The primary purposes of our investigations are:

  • To Identify major issues related to the productivity, independence and integration of people with developmental disabilities
  • To Employ multidisciplinary approaches to collect data and analyze them in order to provide objective analysis and evaluation relative to those issues
  • To Translate existing knowledge into effective proposals, leading to policies and programs that will enhance the well being of people with developmental disabilities
  • To Disseminate any new findings and proposals in a timely fashion.

Contact us

UCEDD Co-Director
 Karen Bonuck, Ph.D. 

 UCEDD Co-Director
 Joanne Siegel, ACSW, LCSW

By Phone:

By Email: 

Rose F. Kennedy Interim Director:
Lisa H. Shulman, M.D.

Research Director:
Karen Bonuck, Ph.D.

Assistant Director:
Joanne F. Siegel


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