Established in 1978, the Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) is located in Morgantown, West Virginia and has a satellite office in Big Chimney, West Virginia with staff located in offices across the state to better serve clients in their communities. The CED is a unit within West Virginia University (WVU), Health Sciences, and because of the placement within the University, has access and alignment within the Schools of Pharmacy, Public Health, Nursing, Medicine and Dentistry. Reporting authority with WVU tacitly supports the opportunity for collaboration, education and training needed to support and strengthen the state's capacity to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
- The CED is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDD) designated and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
- UCEDDs were created in 1963 by the federal government with the enactment of Public Law 88-164 to serve people with intellectual disabilities.
- Today, there are sixty-seven (67) Centers across the country, authorized under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (PL-106-402), to serve as resources for Americans with a wide range of disabilities.
- The sixty-seven (67) Centers, at least one in every state and territory is affiliated with a major research University and serves as a resource for people of all ages.
- On average, over the past five years, the national network of UCEDDs
- Provided professional preparation for working in the disability field to over 2,000 students annually.
- Provided technical assistance and training each year to over one million health, education, mental health, and policy-making professionals, as well as people with disabilities and their families.
- Provided direct (clinical or other) services to more than 700,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and/or their families annually.
- Conducted nearly 3,000 research projects each year whose results may benefit people with disabilities.
- Developed and disseminated over 7,000 different publications annually to bring the most current information to professionals and the community.
- CEDs role is to provide education and training to University students in multiple disciplines; educate direct care providers who serve persons with disabilities; and provide policy makers with objective information about the status of disabilities services in West Virginia.
- West Virginia's Center also provides gap filling direct services and supports in an effort to improve availability and acceptability of services.
- Federal appropriations for Centers are not intended to support all facets of operations.
- There is an expectation that federal resources will be leveraged to secure additional monies from state and local agencies, to address issues specific to each state.
- West Virginia's Center for Excellence in Disabilities in partnership with the Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) and the State Protection and Advocacy agency, West Virginia Advocates, is engaged in capacity building, advocacy and system change that promote the integration and inclusion of people with disabilities in community life.