Rose F. Kennedy Children's Evaluation & Rehabilitation Center

Community Outreach

Self-Advocacy Services

RFK CERC is committed to enhancing and ensuring the personal development, self determination and rights of individuals with developmental disabilities. This commitment is reflected in its ongoing support of the Bronx Community Self Advocacy Group and the Lourdes Garcia Adult Spina Bifida Group. Established in 1978, the Bronx Community Self Advocacy Group meets weekly to address issues and services related to the quality of life of adults with developmental disabilities living on their own in the Bronx. This group was one of the first of its kind in New York State. In 1991 RFK CERC staff was recognized for supporting self-advocacy efforts by the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State, and in 2011, the group was recognized as “Self-Advocacy Group of the Year” within New York State.

In 2007 the Lourdes Garcia Adult Spina Bifida Group was formed to address the lack of programs for people with Spina Bifida to develop a network where they could get information, socialize and talk about issues they are facing as they move into adulthood. Topics range from Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), health issues, social concerns and just plain building confidence and self-esteem through sharing information, thoughts and feelings. The group meets on the second Saturday of each month.

Parent Groups

RFK CERC offers groups for parents of children with disabilities to increase their capacity and build their self-advocacy skills. Parent groups provide families with a network of social and emotional support from others who understand the demands of raising children with disabilities. Reflecting the needs of our community, RFK CERC offers parent groups in English and in Spanish.

Professional Training

The Rose F. Kennedy UCEDD and CERC are widely recognized for their exemplary leadership and interdisciplinary training for medical and allied health professionals in the early identification, diagnosis, and treatment of developmental disabilities. Medical and health care professional trainees include physicians, dentists, medical students, residents, post-residency fellows, nurses and nurse practitioners. Allied health trainees include students and professionals in social work, psychology, special education, occupational and physical therapy, nutrition, audiology, speech and language pathology and administration. 


Research Activities

RFK CERC, UCEDD and IDDRC faculty and trainees conduct a variety of ongoing clinical and scientific studies. Included among these are clinical investigations in the early diagnosis of autism and other developmentally disabling conditions, hearing problems, genetic and electrophysiologic studies, and the therapeutic effects of various intervention modalities. Other studies are being carried out in the areas of physical rehabilitation, speech, hearing and language development, learning disabilities, developmental dental defects, high risk infant follow-up, social and behavioral adjustment and treatment of hyperactive children, or adolescents, and their families.


Technical Assistance and Public Policy

The staff of the Rose F. Kennedy UCEDD and CERC also provide technical expertise in the formation of public policy to improve services for the developmentally disabled, including early intervention programs in New York State, programs and policies to benefit children with a variety of special needs, children with HIV infections, and health services for developmentally disabled adults. In addition, they have helped create standards for children with special needs in day care, clinical guidelines for early intervention and improved services for developmentally disabled adolescents. They conducted a major study of financing healthcare for children with severe disabilities as well as research in other healthcare policy areas. Several of these efforts have led to important changes in the availability of services to children with developmental disabilities.

Click here to log in