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Our Focus Areas

The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) strives to advance the health and well-being of our nation’s most vulnerable populations. Our work with women, children, and people with a range of disabilities and complex disabling conditions positions us as a resource within public health that is unique and vital. Although our efforts are broad and far-reaching, we have identified four critical Center-level focus areas.

Video: The NCBDDD Story

NCBDDD promotes health and enhances the potential for full, productive living throughout the lifespan.

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Making a Difference

See how NCBDDD’s focus areas are making a difference across the life span.

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Division Focus Areas

In addition to the four Center-level focus areas, each of the three Divisions has the following focus areas:

Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
  • Priority 1: Enhancing the monitoring and tracking of autism and other developmental disabilities and advancing research into the risk factors for these conditions.
  • Priority 2: Preventing major birth defects attributable to maternal risk factors such as medications, obesity, diabetes, and smoking.
  • Priority 3: Preventing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and other negative effects of alcohol-exposed pregnancies.
  • Priority 4: Reducing folic acid-preventable neural tube defects.
  • Priority 5: Enhancing the quality and usefulness of newborn screening data and programs.
Division of Blood Disorders
  • Priority 1: Preventing clotting disorders – venous thromboembolism (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism).
  • Priority 2: Preventing and controlling complications from hemoglobinopathies.
  • Priority 3: Preventing and controlling complications resulting from bleeding disorders.
Division of Human Development and Disability
  • Priority 1: Identifying and reducing disparity in key health indicators, including obesity, among children, youth and adults with disabilities.
  • Priority 2: Reducing disparities in health care access for people with disabilities
  • Priority 3: Improving developmental outcomes of children.
  • Priority 4: Ensuring that all newborns are screened and assessed for hearing loss and receive appropriate intervention.
  • Priority 5: Incorporating disability status as a demographic variable into all relevant CDC surveys, policies, and practices.