What is a UCE?

The Tarjan Center is one of a network of more than 60 UCEs. UCE stands for "University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service." The basic concept of UCEs was developed in the 1960s under the direction of President John F. Kennedy’s Commission on Mental Retardation and later legislation that evolved from that Commission’s activities. UCEs work in partnership with a federal agency, the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), that supports a national network of programs including:

  • Developmental Disabilities State Planning Councils (SCDD)
  • Protection & Advocacy, Inc. (PAI)
  • Projects of National Significance (PNS)
  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCE)

In California, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities coordinates the plans for services needed in the state; the Protection and Advocacy agencies carry out legal and advocacy services for individuals with disabilities; and the national network of UCEs focus on educational and research needs relating to developmental disabilities.

The key components of UCE activities and programs is to promote the independence, productivity, and inclusion of all members of our communities. The overall goal of UCEs is to be an additional resource to the state’s disabilities network and assist individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve greater independence, have more choices and be more fully included in community settings.