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September/October 2001Vol. 2, No. 5New CDC Center Brings National Attention to Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

A new Federal website serves as a one-stop shopping destination for health professionals, parents, teachers, and others searching for information online about birth defects and developmental disabilities.

As mandated by the Children's Health Act of 2000, the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities was established at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 12, 2001. Its mission is three-fold:

  • Promote optimal fetal, infant, and child development
  • Prevent birth defects and childhood developmental disabilities
  • Enhance the quality of life and prevent secondary conditions among children, adolescents, and adults who are living with a disability.

The Center's website reflects its mission with sections that address birth defects, developmental disabilities, disability and health, and fetal alcohol syndrome. A Spanish section gives an overview of the Center's work in each of these areas and offers links to fact sheets in English and Spanish. A page about the importance of folic acid during pregnancy to prevent defects has also been translated into Spanish.

Professionals can learn about training, employment, and funding opportunities through the Center's website. A publications page lists journal articles and fact sheets organized by topic area. A rotating "Center News" box displays new findings and emerging issues in the field, such as kernicterus—a preventable debilitating developmental disability caused in the neonatal period by untreated jaundice. A "Kids' Quest" area is designed for students at the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade levels to get them to think about people with disabilities and some of the issues related to participation in daily activities, health, and accessibility.

Visit the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities website at:

The Center's Spanish site is located at:

Contact information:

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4770 Buford Hwy, NE, MS F-34
Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
Phone: 770-488-7150
Fax: 770-488-7156