About the Tarjan Center



The Tarjan Center is part of a national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs). University Centers for Excellence were first authorized by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Their purpose is to promote independence, productivity, and full inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in their communities. Today, there are 67 UCEDDs with at least one in every state and territory in the United States.


Founded in 1969, the Tarjan Center is unique in the national network. It is the only program based within a Department of Psychiatry (Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior). Our founder, Dr. George Tarjan, was an internationally recognized expert in the field of developmental disabilities who pioneered clinical services, the training of personnel, and the establishment of a research center dedicated to the field of intellectual disabilities. 


The UCLA Tarjan Center is a bridge connecting the knowledge, expertise, and resources of the university to persons with disabilities and the service delivery systems of the community. The mission of the UCLA Tarjan Center, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities is to advance the self-determination, inclusion, and quality of life among the diversity of people with disabilities and their families. In partnership with people with developmental disabilities and their families, DD Network Partners, and community stakeholders, we will address the needs of Californians with developmental disabilities through a range of programs focused on mental and physical health, postsecondary education, and employment.