The new CPD website launches Monday, February 2.

CPD launches new, user-friendly website

Coming soon: A new, interactive website. It launches on Monday, February 2, so visit us at

The look is new, but the philosophy is unchanged: provide useful, accessible content. Here are some things to look for:

An advanced incremental search automatically displays results as the search terms are being entered, often before the searcher finishes typing them in. It brings up results for both CPD programs and the people who work on them.

Below the search engine, the homepage's three-column format allows visitors to see what's new. The menus in each column open and close with the click of a mouse.

The left column provides access to the CPD's blog and newsletter. The blog is a new feature that will offer a personal look into the issues that people with disabilities, their families and their communities face every day, from the perspective of people connected to the center.

The homepage's center column offers a look at the projects going on at the CPD. The topics on the homepage will rotate so that information on new and ongoing projects is brought to the forefront. A calendar will keep visitors informed on events relevant to people with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them.

The right column invites visitors to get involved by participating in online surveys, looking into volunteer opportunities, playing on the CPD's online game or contributing to CPD programs.

The goal is to provide useful information to people who land on our website's pages, whether they work at the CPD, or once worked there, or have family members enrolled in the services it provides, or just happened by because they are curious. So come, look around and leave your comments. We look forward to hearing from you.

CPD by the numbers

During the past fiscal year, over 4,000 Utahns received direct services through CPD projects.

Two CPD seed grants help researchers

Skylor Pond, a recent USU graduate serving a business partnership at the CPD, contributed to this article.

After receiving seed grants from the Center for Persons with Disabilities, two programs are moving toward their research goals.

One seed grant is offering technical assistance to health departments in two states that are seeking to provide community-based services to a greater number of children and youth with special health care needs. Another will aid researchers in their search for a cheaper way to test for a hard-to-detect genetic mutation that causes deafness.

The Connexion 26, deletion 35G gene has already been identified in the search for genetic causes of deafness, but testing for it requires expensive DNA sequencing. A seed grant was awarded to aid researchers in their search for a less expensive test. CPD Biomedical Laboratory Director Anthony Torres said a cheaper test method could help further the goal of comprehensive genetic testing for deafness in babies. An estimated half of the cases of childhood deafness in developed countries is attributed to genetic causes from many different, mostly recessive genes. Of these, the Connexion 26 gene mutation is one of the most common.

The other seed grant provides technical assistance to Utah and Maine. Both states face similar issues as they make the transition from funding direct services for a limited number of children to offering community-based services to all children and youth with special health care needs. Leaders in both states want to identify and fill gaps in services and provide access to coordinated services at the community level. They also want to provide services is a way that is effective across different cultures.

Colorado's Title V Program is also involved, serving as a mentor state.

Principal Investigator Diane Behl said the project grew out of requests to the Champions for Inclusive Communities National Center, located in the Early Intervention Research Institute at the CPD. The Champions program provides information to communities with the goal of integrating services and supports for children and youth with special health care needs, and providing them in community settings.

As they worked to make services available to a broader range of children, programs in Maine and Utah recognized the need for technical assistance that went beyond the scope of the Champions project. The seed grant is helping Champions staff gain more experience in systems building, culminating in a "toolkit" that can assist other states.

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Becoming Leaders for Tomorrow

The BLT Project provides resources and supports that promote independent living, transition skills, and healthy lifestyles and relationships of youth and young adults with developmental disabilities.

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