The UMKC Institute for Human Development is one of 67 national University Centers for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) in every state and territory. The Institute for Human Development began in the late 1970s as the UMKC Institute for Community Studies. At that time, the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities were encouraging expansion of community based programs for people with developmental disabilities. To this end, in 1977 the Institute for Community Studies established the Missouri University Center for Excellence (UCEDD). The new UCEDD specifically addressed consumer-identified needs from a community based perspective. Given Missouri’s dual rural and urban nature, the expectation was that the program would be outreach oriented and responsive to needs across the state.
In the mid-80s, the name was changed to the UMKC Institute for Human Development. In 1985, the establishment of the UMKC Institute for Human Development (IHD) further strengthened the UCEDD and it’s role at the university. The Institute was designed with the purpose of administrating the UCEDD’s training, demonstration, and research activities as well as supporting the University Urban Mission. The Institute reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, and has strong linkages with a wide range of academic units.
The Institute for Human Development works with a multitude of partners to respond to needs at the local, state, and national level. IHD projects span the full range of the human condition and life cycle, from prevention to gerontology and address varying community needs, from urban mission to Latino community development in rural counties.
More recently, the Institute for Human Development is focusing on the larger concepts of community inclusion through diversity, cultural competency, and social capital. Throughout the years, it has become increasingly apparent that our community members with developmental disabilities are also members of other underserved populations, whether defined by gender, race, or economic status. By focusing on community inclusion and social capital at the larger level, we are striving to improve overall quality of life for everyone.
The mission of UMKC Institute for Human Development is to develop partnerships for effective social change.