Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

About the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

What We Do

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Who We Are


The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Education and Human Development was one of twelve original members of a national network of research centers on intellectual and developmental disabilities created by the Kennedy administration in 1963.


Our mission is to facilitate discoveries and best practices that make positive differences in the lives of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. We support and apply scientific research to bring better services and training to the community.

Networks and Affiliates

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center includes a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), a Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (EKS IDDRC), the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities training program. It collaborates with and is made up of organizations on national, state and institutional levels.

Policies, Procedures and Facilities

Policies and procedure archives for the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center includes information on anything from parking, to media relations, to privacy policies and more.

Here is a printable Quick Guide with key contacts and phone numbers. Here is an organizational chart

What is a developmental disability?

A developmental disability is a condition that is significant and ongoing, begins before age 22, and substantially limits functioning in daily activities of living.

Examples of developmental disabilities include autism, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual disabilities (mental retardation), Prader-Willi syndrome, spina bifida, and Williams syndrome.

(The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center serves persons with developmental disabilities and their families, as well as persons with all types of disabilities, including those whose disabilities occur after age 22.)