Healthcare provider taking a patient's blood pressure.



  • Improve access and equity for underserved groups
  • Increase workforce capacity (quantity, diversity, and skill of professionals) for the full range of health and mental health services across the lifespan
  • Increase awareness of, and capacity to address, co-occurring conditions (mental health and secondary medical conditions)
  • Promote health and wellness for people with DD
  • Leadership training related to health and health systems for self-advocates

Within the Health priority area the Waisman Center works to promote the overall health and wellness of individuals with developmental and related disabilities. Following the World Health Organization definition, health is the state of physical, mental and social well-being. Optimal health is a goal for everyone, regardless of ability or disability. Healthy individuals contribute to assuring healthy families and healthy communities. When individuals are healthy, they can more successfully participate in and contribute to the various streams of community life.

With the health area, the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) provides diagnostic and follow-along clinical services, sponsors interdisciplinary preservice training, and continuing education, and conducts research and evaluation focused on selected topics.

Our Programs

Autism Treatment Programs
The Waisman Center Autism Treatment Programs are provided through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin (UW) Medical Foundation. Starting Together (comprehensive and focused treatment based on Applied Behavior Analysis and the Early Start Denver Model, ages 2-6 at Waisman Early Childhood Program (WECP)); Growing Together (focused treatment for parent and child to learn positive behavior, ages 6-14); Transitioning Together (focused treatment for parent and teen to support skill, resources and strategies for a successful transition to adult life).

Children and Youth With Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) Southern Regional Center
Provides information, referral and follow up services so that all families with children with special health care needs, and providers residing in the service area will have access to complete and accurate information related to the needs of their special needs child.

Communication Aids and Systems Clinic (CASC)
Smiling Young GirlThe Communication Aids and Systems Clinic provides augmentative alternative communication and computer access services. Interdisciplinary services include direct outcome-focused evaluation and intervention, consultation, technical support, student training, and outreach.

Communication Development Program (CDP)
The Communication Development Program provides augmentative and alternative communication and computer access services for individuals living in Dane County, Wisconsin. Interdisciplinary services include consultation, technical support, student training, and outreach.

Community TIES Psychiatric Clinic
TIES (Training, Intervention, and Evaluation Services) Clinic provides psychiatric care and consultation to individuals with developmental disabilities who are unable to obtain psychiatric care from other providers due to financial situation, behavioral issues, or medical complexity. Patients seen in the TIES clinic are also supported by the Community TIES Program.

Crisis Response Program
Crisis response services for adult Dane County residents with developmental disabilities are designed to prevent or shorten stays in more restrictive settings.

Genetic Systems Integration Hub
This project provides a central source for the exchange of information and resources related to maternal child health (MCH) genetics services and programs, maintains the Genetics in Wisconsin website, and facilitates the delivery and evaluation of genetics education for healthcare providers in Wisconsin.

Nourishing Special Needs Nutrition Network (WIC)
Established to support the work of Wisconsin WIC Nutritionists providing services to CYSHCN.

Waisman Center Specialty Clinics
Provides specialized health care services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The thirteen clinics include: Autism and developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, genetics, neuromotor, and Down syndrome. All clinics offer diagnostic and assessment services, and a few clinic provide ongoing treatment and intervention.

Wellness Inclusion Nursing (WIN)
Wellness Inclusion Nursing is a community-based nursing program that is designed to provide assessment, consultation and training to agencies and staff providing care to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Completed Projects

  • Compass / Katie Beckett Consultant Program
    The Waisman Center University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) is a partner within the Katie Beckett Program within the Wisconsin Department of Health Services that provides Wisconsin Medicaid coverage for children living at home who have substantial limitations in multiple daily activities due to one or more of the following  developmental disabilities, severe emotional disturbances, or physical disabilities/chronic medical illnesses.
    The overall purpose of this contract is to provide local administration of certain steps in the eligibility determination process for the Wisconsin Medicaid Katie Beckett Program (KBP) in the counties of south central Wisconsin.
  • Health and Disability Initiative
    The Health and Disability Initiative was an informal collaborative effort to encourage individuals and groups in Wisconsin to work together to document the health status of individuals with disabilities, and to advance effective and efficient policies and programs to maintain or improve the health of those with disabilities.
  • Healthy and Ready to Work
    This was an asset-based community development project which explored ways to support youth with special health care needs and disabilities as they transition from pediatric health care and high school to adult health care, higher education, working and living within their communities.
  • Medical Home Systems Integration
    The primary program objective is to increase the proportion of Wisconsin children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN) who receive integrated care through a family-centered medical home.
  • Rhythms Program
    A cooperative effort between the Waisman Center and Dane County Human Services to further enhance the lives of individuals who experience complex sensory and movement differences and those who support them.
  • Systems Change for Children with Disabilities
    The purpose of this project is to document needs that individuals with disabilities and families experience as they navigate health and community-based long-term services and support (LTSS).
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)/Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)/UCEDD Partnership
    This evaluation project will determine the efficacy of involving WIC services to maximize participation in the Wisconsin Newborn Hearing Screening Program.