WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities continues services through new funding

Saturday, October 15, 2022

MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVU CED) has established a strong presence of service to individuals with disabilities in West Virginia for more than 45 years. As the only designated University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities within the state, the WVU CED strives to connect individuals with disabilities, their families and the providers who serve them with evidence-based resources and services.

The WVU CED was funded $2.8 million over the next five years to continue working on efforts that support individuals with disabilities in moving toward and meeting their personal potential throughout their lives.

“We strive to reach this goal by sustaining coordinated care, providing services particularly in underserved areas, ensuring individuals and families continue to receive information pertinent to their daily living and decision making, and by testing new innovative services and approaches that enhance the quality and access to more resources,” Dr. Lesley Cottrell, director, explained.

Efforts and services will be channeled into four key areas of emphasis: 1) increased access to quality health care; 2) established capacity and opportunities for employment; 3) improved healthy lifestyles; and 4) available opportunities and smooth transition to independent living.

“In a state where more than one-third of our population has a reported disability, we know that we cannot be everywhere and serve everyone,” Cottrell said. “We work hard to build the abilities of those at the family, community and provider levels to provide evidence-based services and supports through our university courses, professional trainings and research and direct services.”

Last year through the its seven programs, four clinics and various initiatives, the CED provided services to almost 8,000 clients, provided over 200 community trainings and shared disability related information reaching 1.1 million people.

“The WVU CED has built a strong catalog of services for individuals with disabilities and their families,” said Steve Wiseman, executive director of the West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council. “They have also contributed to the national dialogue through their evidence-based research, training and service navigation.”