University of Vermont’s Center on Disability and Community Inclusion is Vermont’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service. It is one of 67 centers across the country funded by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act.


CDCI envisions a future where all people, including people who experience developmental and other disabilities, are fully included in their homes, schools, and communities. We envision a future where people with disabilities help design and have access to culturally competent community supports and services leading to self-determination, independence, productivity, and inclusion in all parts of community life.


To provide collaborative education, support, research, and information sharing that ensures Vermonters with disabilities and their families can live their lives as they choose. 

We work on this mission through commitments to:

  • Partner with and support people with developmental disabilities, their families, service agencies, and communities.
  • Promote valued life outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages including:
    • personal choice and control,
    • meaningful relationships,
    • meaningful activities,
    • living in a home and community,
    • safety and health,
    • equity and human rights, and
    • full inclusion in society.
  • Promote culturally and linguistically competent attitudes, practices, and systems.
  • Serve as a bridge between our community partners and university programs to promote valuable connections.
  • Integrate our work with the academic missions of our college and university.


The values that form the foundation for the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion are found throughout all of our activities. These values are articulated in the statements below:

  • We believe disability is one form of diversity and strive for cultural and linguistic competency. We believe diversity is essential to our success.
  • We believe that all services and supports for children and youth should be family-centered. In the same vein, we believe that all services and supports for adults should be person-centered. That individuals and families should have personal choice and control over their lives.
  • We believe that all children should live in safe homes with their families and that as individuals mature they should have the opportunity to live in homes of their own with appropriate community supports.
  • We believe that all supports should be within the community and that individuals and families needing supports should exercise control over funding, delivery, and quality of supports.
  • We believe that everyone should have access to places and activities meaningful to each individual and that opportunities should be available for developing networks of meaningful relationships.
  • We believe in a strengths approach to assessment and support rather than a problems approach.
  • We believe in prevention rather than in crisis intervention.


Five-Year Plan

As a University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities CDCI is part of a federally Association of University Centers on Disability mandated by the DD Act of 2000. This important piece of legislation protects the rights of individuals with disabilities, including those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Every five years, CDCI assesses the needs of Vermonters with developmental and intellectual disabilities and rewrites our core grant with new goals and objectives in order to serve our state. These goals fall under five core functions: Interdisciplinary Training, Community Service, Research and Evaluation, Dissemination, and Infrastructure. Our current funding cycle runs from July 2018-June 2023.

Our Five-Year Plan (PDF)

Our Five-Year Plan Work Summary (PDF)

Core Functions

CDCI has four core functions: Interdisciplinary Training, Community Service, Research and Evaluation, and Dissemination. More information, including the core function coordinator’s name and contact information, can be found below:

Graduation CapInterdisciplinary Training (We Teach)

We teach in person and online, run educational programs, create innovative courses, and give guest lectures. We work to use Universal Design for Learning strategies to promote inclusion, diversity, and self-determination.
Coordinator: Winnie Looby (email link)

maple leafCommunity Service (We Support)

We help create a more inclusive community by providing local, regional, national, and international trainings, consultations, and other services and supports.
Coordinator: Darren McIntyre (email link)

microscopeResearch and Evaluation (We Study)

We evaluate our projects and conduct research. We do this to improve outcomes and to share what we have learned. We also work with and support researchers in our college, university, and external partners.
Coordinator: Valerie Wood (email link)

newspaperDissemination (We Share)

We take the work, findings, and stories from our projects, our affiliates, and our partners and share them in accessible formats.
Coordinator: Jeanne Nauheimer (email link)