Utah Center

Utah Center

Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities

The CPD is Utah’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Utah State University. It is a dynamic collection of projects, guided by a goal to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families. This is done through research, education, demonstration services and technical assistance.

The research adds to the knowledge about disability, its causes, its diagnosis and the best ways to accommodate it in daily life. The CPD’s training programs pass research-based techniques on to educators, families and service providers in the community. Demonstration services further bolster training by providing a real-world environment where techniques are tried and trainees learn how to provide services in their field. The people who receive services benefit from the expertise of the center, which provides education, evaluation and treatment to people who need it. Technical assistance is provided to entities that require help as they implement policies relating to disability.

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Julie Williams


Utah Center Activities


The CPD offers educational opportunities for students, community members, and professionals in fields ranging from business to heath care. Representing more than 14 disciplines, our specialized staff offer mentoring through the interdisciplinary training program and courses offered in academic departments. We offer unique opportunities to participate in supervised research and clinical experiences. Research addresses issues that cross fields ranging from biomedicine to education. In clinical experiences, learners join teams of professionals, family members, and individuals with disabilities to deliver services and supports. Stipends and assistantships are available.

Education also includes outreach to the public and private sectors nationally and internationally. Training is offered on the internet and through videoconferencing as well as in traditional formats such as workshops and on-site technical assistance. Topics vary widely. Programs and projects provide technical assistance to individuals with disabilities, families, professionals and paraprofessionals, policymakers and students.


Research at the CPD is both basic and applied. Basic research is conducted on topics such as physiological causes of specific disabilities. Applied research is aimed at discovery of effective intervention strategies, evaluation of services and supports, and development of technology tools such as software and assistive devices. Research in areas such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and early intervention is ongoing. Participatory action research is employed across divisions. This involves those who are intended to benefit from the research in its planning, implementation, and evaluation.


The CPD provides a variety of community services.
These include:

  • Early intervention with families of children aged birth to three who have developmental disabilities or are at risk for disability
  • Rehabilitation and education in life skills for adults with significant disabilities
  • Interdisciplinary clinical diagnostic and evalution
  • Medical services
  • Family supports directed to link individuals from diverse cultures to community-based services