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Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities (BCDD) Celebrates 10th Anniversary [02/16/2024]


L-R: Dr. Sarah Mire, Dr. Erik Carter, Dr. Nick Benson, and Dr. Kristen Padilla at the BCDD's university-wide reception for faculty and staff in January.

The BCDD held a university-wide reception for faculty and staff in January. L-R: Dr. Sara Mire, Dr. Erik Carter, Dr. Nick Benson, and Dr. Kristen Padilla

The Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities (BCDD) is celebrating its tenth anniversary throughout 2024. The BCDD invests in research, training, outreach, and clinical services that promote the flourishing of people with disabilities, their families, and communities.

Housed in the Baylor School of Education (SOE), the BCDD opened at 2201 MacArthur Drive on the first day of Autism Awareness Month, April 1, 2014, with a standing-room-only crowd gathered. From its inception, the BCDD embraced important collaborations across campus and beyond, including a partnership with McLane Children’s Scott & White Hospital in Temple and other Baylor academic units.

The BCDD continues to offer services at the MacArthur location and now encompasses three growing clinics: the Baylor Autism Resource Clinic (ARC); the Clinic for Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE); and the Spring Literacy Clinic — each helmed by faculty members in the SOE’s Department of Educational Psychology.

The BCDD is expanding and furthering its research and impact by strengthening campus and community partnerships focused on issues related to disability and diversity. The Center is pursuing several new projects focused on advancing inclusion within faith communities and churches. BCDD Executive Director Dr. Erik Carter, professor and the Luther Sweet Chair in Disabilities, joined Baylor last year and brought expertise in advancing knowledge through research and leading outreach to faith communities to help them become places of belonging and flourishing for people with disabilities and their families. The Center is also launching new research, training, and community outreach projects in key areas of education, families, and the transition to adulthood.

The theme of faith and disability is the focus of several upcoming events hosted by the BCDD to celebrate its anniversary. The BCDD is hosting ten events throughout the year, with two already past and some planned for the fall.

Upcoming events:

Dr. Léon van Ommen — Academic Lecture: Autism & Worship
Thursday, Feb. 22, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Hankamer Kayser Auditorium

Dr. Léon van Ommen — Community Talk: Church Through the Lens of Autism
Friday, Feb. 23, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Truett Seminary Great Hall
RSVP for Community Talk

BU Baseball vs. Texas Tech
Sunday, March 17, 1 pm
Baylor Ballpark
A great day of baseball with the disability community, BCDD staff, and faculty affiliates
Email Grace Casper by March 10 to RSVP

Dr Pepper Hour hosted by BCDD and DAPi Honor Society
Tuesday, March 19, 3-4 pm
Barfield Drawing Room, Bill Daniel Student Center

Campuswide Reception

On Jan. 31, the BCDD held a reception for the entire Baylor community, inviting faculty, staff, and students to join in innovative and collaborative work to advance field-leading interdisciplinary research addressing the diverse experiences and needs of the disability community. Attendees enjoyed coffee, hot chocolate, and muffins from Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Shop. Main speaker Dr. Stephen Reid, Baylor Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Belonging, shared his reflections on why this work matters so much for the Baylor community. Reid said, “The Center is central to the School of Education, but we’re also saying the Center is important for the identity of the University.”

Center Executive Director Dr. Erik Carter and Director Dr. Kristen Padilla talked about the vision for the Center’s second decade. The BCDD is working to create a flourishing future for people of all abilities and backgrounds, and the Center envisions a deeper and broader connection between the BCDD mission and the whole Baylor community.

Carter noted that the Center serves individuals with varying disabilities and that one in five adults experiences some form of disability. He added, “And among all families, nearly one in three households has at least one family member who experiences disability.”

See the photo album from the reception on Baylor SOE Facebook page.

More Information

To learn more about the Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities:


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For more than 100 years, the School of Education has advanced Baylor’s mission across the globe while preparing students for a range of careers focused on education, leadership, and human development. With more than 60 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation. Likewise, the School of Education’s graduate programs have attained national recognition for their exemplary preparation of research scholars, educational leaders, innovators, and clinicians. Visit to learn more.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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