History of the Partnership

The Partnership for People with Disabilities is Virginia’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). It is one of a national network of UCEDDs in major universities and teaching hospitals across the country. The mission of UCEDDs is to serve as liaisons between the academic expertise of institutions of higher learning and service delivery systems to positively affect the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by increasing their independence, productivity, and integration into communities. UCEDDs work with people with disabilities, members of their families, state and local government agencies, and community providers in projects that provide training, technical assistance, service, research, and information sharing, with a focus on building the capacity of communities to sustain all their citizens.

The Partnership for People with Disabilities, an affiliate of the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, is Virginia's only university center for excellence in developmental disabilities funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. Founded in 1985, the mission of the Partnership is to partner with people with disabilities and others to build communities where all people can live, learn, work, and play together.

The Partnership conducts a full range of activities in three broad areas that cover the age span from newborn to aging. First, success in early childhood is highly dependent on our ability to equip family members, early interventionists, preschool teachers, and others with the awareness, skills, and training needed to make a difference. Secondly, all children benefit from receiving appropriate early and consistent educational services and supports. Third, a strategic goal of the Partnership is to support adults with disabilities using the principles of self-determination and inclusion to guide our work. To achieve our goal, the Partnership is committed to helping communities garner the resources needed for adults and aging persons with disabilities to meet their personal needs and interests.

The Partnership's legacy to Virginia is its ability to develop effective and enduring systems of care for individuals with disabilities and their families. The organization's success and longevity are the result of its commitment to excellence in the provision of integrated home and community-based service to individuals with disabilities and their families. Our slogan defines our work: “Linking People. Changing Lives.”