WI LEND Program

Wisconsin Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities
WILEND faculty and students photo

Developing leaders to improve services and supports for children with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Welcome to WI LEND

WI LEND Info Sheet

Applications for the 2024-2025 LEND training year are now being accepted!

Click Apply Here for forms and more information

Application due dates for assured consideration vary by discipline:

Apr 22

  • Medicine
  • Nursing (Madison & Milwaukee)
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational Therapy (Milwaukee)
  • Physical Therapy (Milwaukee)
  • Psychology (Milwaukee)
  • Social Work
  • Special Education
  • Speech/Language (Milwaukee)

May 13

  • Disability Advocacy

Rolling deadline until filled:

  • Family (Madison & Milwaukee)

Applications closed:

  • Audiology
  • HDFS
  • Occupational Therapy (Madison only)
  • Psychology (Madison only)
  • Physical Therapy (Madison only)
  • Public Health
  • Speech/Language (Madison only)

Important Dates:

Orientation–Aug 28 & 29 (Madison)

First seminar–Sep 6 (Madison and Milwaukee in-person sites)

Leadership Development Workshop–Sep 21, 2024 morning (virtual; date confirmed)

Leadership Development Workshop– Nov 1, 2024 morning (Madison; date tentative)

Leadership Development Workshop– Mar 14, 2025 morning (Madison; date tentative)

Graduation day: May 2, 2025, full day (Madison)

2024-2025 Semester Calendar

Featured Graduates

Cindy Petros is a 2021 Occupational Therapy (OT) graduate of WI LEND—a parent of a child with special healthcare needs and self-advocate for better inclusion of students with disabilities in higher education. Cindy aspires to increase occupational therapy’s role in the care of Veterans with service-connected disabilities and their young children. Read more

Smiling young woman with long black hair wearing a light blue sweater.

Ida Winters is a 2021 Family Discipline graduate who has taken the skills she gained through WI LEND back to her career as a Community Health Worker in Milwaukee, WI. She felt empowered as a leader, equipped with more knowledge and connections, to be a more effective advocate for the families she works with. Read more

Smiling woman with short brown hair wearing glasses and a blue sweater using a wheelchair and augmentative communication device.

Through WI LEND, 2021 Disability Advocacy graduate Stasia Wilson mentored young children who use an augmentative communication device. Her main goal is to inspire them to talk through their communication devices during her time with the kids. Read more

Danielle Gerber is a 2021 Family Discipline graduate, and an advanced Family Fellow in the 2021-22 WI LEND cohort. She was nominated and selected to be WI LEND’s Trainee Liaison in AUCD’s Emerging Leaders network. In this role, she works alongside other LEND and UCEDD Trainee Liaisons who identify strategies to improve trainee networking and the exchange of information between programs within the AUCD network. Read more

In the News

Congratulations to Kiley McLean, WI LEND social work alumna, for being selected as the 2022 Anne Rudigier Award recipient from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)!  This award recognizes commitment, leadership and potential in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Read more

In 2022, Danielle Gerber, WI LEND Family Fellow alumna, recently co-authored an article–“Admitting what is needed: How the health system and society can reduce hospitalizations for children with medical complexity”–in the Journal of Hospital Medicine along with faculty from the School of Medicine and Public Health here at UW-Madison. Read more

In 2022, WI LEND is celebrating its tenth anniversary of graduating disability advocates as LEND trainees! Thirteen trainees representing the disability advocacy discipline (persons with a disability) have completed LEND training since 2012. Read more

WI LEND graduate Danielle Gerber was selected to be featured on the AUCD’s 2022 Emerging Leaders Map, which highlights the contributions of former trainees in supporting resiliency and self-determination for all.  Congratulations Danielle! Read more

In 2022, WI LEND Disability Advocacy discipline trainee Elise Fjelstad wrote a feature for the UW-Madison campus newspaper, The Badger Herald, entitled “Equity, not equality: UW disability community mobilizes for more equitable accommodation access, campus climate.” Read more

In the 2021-22 training year, recent WI LEND graduates Ida Winters and Stasia Wilson were hired to fill the roles of Family Peer Mentor and Disability Advocacy Peer Mentor, respectively. Although this is a new staff role, WI LEND has had trainees and staff in the family discipline for over 15 years, and added self-advocacy trainees 10 years ago. Read more

Smiling young woman with long blonde hair wearing brown cardigan and white shirt outdoors.In 2020, WI LEND Social Work Trainee Kiley McLean published “Don’t Leave People with Disabilities Behind in Coronavirus Relief” in The Cap Times and “COVID-19 Relief Package: We are Essential” in AUCD Policy Talk. Read more

Kali A. Kramolis smiling wearing glasses.In 2019, WI LEND Public Health trainee Kali A. Kramolis and Robert A. Peterson Jr. of the Madison-based ABC for Health published “Robert A. Peterson Jr. and Kali A. Kramolis: Valuable child health care program is flying under the radar” in The Cap Times. Read more