Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research

A designated University of Massachusetts Medical School Center of Excellence

The Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research (CDDER) is part of the University of Massachusetts Medical School's (UMMS) Commonwealth Medicine and is based at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center in Waltham, MA. In keeping with Commonwealth Medicine's mission of applying knowledge to improve health outcomes for those served by public health and human service programs, CDDER provides data analysis, training and technical assistance support to public and private agencies that provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Health, safety and optimal quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are CDDER's primary areas of expertise. As part of an internationally recognized medical school, CDDER is able to leverage world-class clinical research and technology resources to enhance the capacity of public and private service agencies in the areas of:

  • Disability program and system evaluation
  • Applied research
  • Program development
  • Risk management and quality improvement
  • Staff training and development

CDDER was established in 2000 as a partnership between UMMS/Commonwealth Medicine and the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to provide research and development support to the DDS in the areas of health and safety. To date, CDDER's major projects have included:

  • Identification and customization of a health screening tool for use by direct support providers.
  • Development of Preventive Health Guidelines for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.
  • Root Cause Analysis training and support.
  • Incident Management protocol development.
  • Mapping the Community based system of mental health and physical health supports.
  • Annual mortality reports.
  • Annual Quality Assurance reports and the development of web-based Quality Briefs.
  • Implementation of the DDS STOP Falls Pilot to identify patterns and risk factors for falls among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Implementation and evaluation of a pilot study of DDS's new Health Promotion and Coordination initiative.
  • Support in development of training modules for community providers.
  • Quantitative analysis of clinical service capacity within the residential provider system.
  • Analysis of Medicaid pharmacy utilization claims data

CDDER welcomes opportunities to work in partnership with other public and private service agencies that support persons with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. To find out more about how CDDER can assist your agency, please contact us at or