LEND Training Overview

LEND Program Training Overview and Requirements

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The Iowa LEND (ILEND) curriculum provides over 300 hours of didactic instruction and experiential activities over two semesters, from August through the beginning of May.  Participation in the ILEND program provides an exceptional opportunity for students to enhance their leadership, clinical and interdisciplinary skills to develop a deeper understanding of the barriers faced by underserved and marginalized populations; and to learn how to advocate for systems change for individuals with disabilities and their families. Lectures and trainings are taught by academic and community experts, as well as by fellow family and self-advocacy LEND trainees.  ILEND trainees receive a stipend for their participation in the program.


  • Trainees must be a graduate student enrolled full time in an academic program. Exceptions are granted for family, self-advocacy, and community trainees.
  • Trainees receiving stipend support from grant funds must be a United States citizen, or, must have been admitted to the United States with a permanent resident visa.

Curriculum Requirements

  • Attendance at LEND seminars on Tuesday and Thursdays from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. (Graduate courses- Fall - 7U:190 Interdisciplinary Issues in Disabilities and Spring - 7E:340:001 Advanced Topics in Teaching and Learning) 
  • Strength-based leadership assessment and development
  • Presentation about one’s discipline or field of study to fellow trainees
  • Completion of research project or literature review
  • Completion of a variety of interdisciplinary clinic observations
  • Participation in the Parents as Mentors (PAM) Program observation experience, which links trainees with families of children with disabilities 
  • Participation in policy activities including communicating with state and federal legislators on disability policy
  • Completion of  practicums as outlined in home academic departments, if applicable.
  • Attendance and completion of  cultural diversity activities
  • Regular meeting with ILEND core faculty mentors 
  • Design of Individual Leadership Training Plan (ILTP) to both tailor learning goals and ensure completion of the LEND requirements.

Additional Opportunities

Each year there are additional opportunities made available to LEND trainees. These might include:

  • Additional training opportunities in the areas of mental health, autism spectrum disorder, and other developmental disabilities.
  • Travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the Disability Policy Seminar and to meet with legislators
  • Travel to Puerto Rico for cultural immersion experience
  • Conference presentations