Glasgow University Centre for Excellence in Development Disabilities

The year 2000 saw the establishment of the Glasgow University Centre for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). Internationally, UCEDDs have built on the original concept and aims of the University Affiliated Program (UAP) model, developed in the USA in the 1960s. 

The Glasgow UCEDD

The Glasgow UCEDD adopts and develops the UAP principles, in order to further the inclusion and wellbeing of Scottish people with learning disabilities. The UCEDD strives to work in partnership with others to make a difference; to improve people’s lives and futures.


The Glasgow UCEDD is committed to inclusion of people with learning disabilities; through maximising the personal health, wellbeing and lifestyle opportunities of individuals with learning disabilities, and assisting families to support their relative with learning disabilities.

Outline Strategy

The Glasgow UCEDD respects and takes into account the views of people with learning disabilities in all aspects of its work. It contributes to the vision in four main ways:

1 Conducting high quality research which is relevant, ethical, culturally-aware and gender-aware, and of importance to people with learning disabilities and both the local community and internationally. UCEDD research is published in international peer reviewed academic and professional journals; there is also a commitment to wide dissemination of research findings through a range of other approaches and forums.

Dissemination is undertaken in order to inform and improve policy, commissioning, clinical and social care practices and supports for people with learning disabilities and their families.

2. Promotion of exemplary service delivery and evidence-based practice. The UCEDD is involved in the provision of direct professional care, and is also a local and national resource of expertise for advice related to health and service delivery.

3. Delivering training of programmes for professionals, under-graduate and post-graduate students. The UCEDD directs and contributes towards a number of training programmes which are University accredited and/or accredited by professional
Colleges and Societies, in addition to hosting open meetings.

4. Developing and strengthening national and international links, to facilitate the transfer of ideas, good practice, experience, information and knowledge.


The UCEDD comprises a broad collaboration of affiliated Departments and positions. At present this includes individuals within the Section of Psychological Medicine, the Nuffield Centre for Community Care Studies, the Department of General Practice, the Department of Public Health, and the Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research of Glasgow University. Hence the affiliations cut across University Faculties, and benefit from senior support within the University. There are plans to progress the programme further, and to expand the UCEDDs external collaborations. The Learning Disabilities Research Group meets regularly and has about 60 members from West of Scotland Universities, NHS Trusts, Social Work Departments, Health Boards, voluntary and charitable organisations. The group aims to foster and support collaborative research and practice which is of relevance to people with learning disabilities and their needs, and promotes an inclusive society. The UCEDD is networked with other UCEDDs in Wales, the Republic of Ireland and the USA, and has research and training collaborations with University Centres in England and Australia.

The UCEDD welcomes affiliation from agencies working to promote the interests of people with learning disabilities in Scotland.

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