The AUCD Leadership Academy is a week-long intensive experience, paired with a year of
pre and post interactions designed to enhance the skills of current and emerging leaders from
disability networks to build coalitions to improve systems of supports and services. The Leadership
Academy engages participants from UCEDDs, LENDs, and the wider community of disability partners
to come together to immerse themselves for a week of study, shared experiences, self-evaluation,
and skill development.
Participants will engage with a diverse cohort of learners, academy faculty, and local coaches in the
year following the experience. The Academy focuses on the exploration of shared values and
commitments to civil and human rights, assessments of personal and leadership strengths, skills in
building partnerships to achieve collective impact, and establishing personal and professional
The academy seeks participants from UCEDDs, LENDs, and their partner organizations. Past
participants have included representatives from all levels in their organizations, particularly individuals
who are considering taking on new roles in their organizations. We strongly encourage individuals
with disabilities, including intellectual and developmental disabilities, to apply.
The 2024 AUCD Leadership Academy will take place Sunday, June 2, 2024 through Friday, June 7, 2024. Learning will take place individually, and in small and large group settings from 10:00am to 5:00pm (EST) with multiple breaks scheduled throughout the day. Each day will also begin with an optional guided mindfulness practice beginning at 9:30am
Applications for the AUCD Leadership Academy will be opening soon.
If selected to participate, the cost to attend the AUCD Leadership Academy is $1,250.
To ensure equal opportunity and access to the AUCD Leadership Academy, reasonable accommodations and services, language translation, and alternative formats to applicants and trainees will be provided. If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected] or call Mark Crenshaw at (404) 413-1385.
Courage to Lead comes from the Center for Courage and Renewal, which was founded by Parker Palmer. It is a framework for groups that is designed to facilitate self-reflection and connection for the purpose of building leadership. The training will also support participants’ resilience and integrity to sustain their commitment to solving complex social issues and also create a community of leaders and advocates that recognizes and honors differences and diversity.
Trainees will learn about the history of disability and other civil rights movements. The trainees will participate in presentations on the evolution of disability policy and learn about current issues in national policy and implications for states. Facilitated discussions will center on topics such as advocacy, independent living, and the Disability Rights movement today. Throughout the week, trainees will have an opportunity to tour historical sites such as the National Center for Human Rights, Martin Luther King Jr. Center, the Carter Center, and much more to learn more about the history of disability and civil rights.
Trainees will participate in experiences designed to increase their knowledge and skills related to forming and maintaining successful partnerships that feature alliances across organizations and perspectives. Trainees will be exposed to Collective Impact, a model that is used to help people and organizations come together to solve complex social problems.
Trainees will reflect on their personal commitments and style of leadership. Trainees will also complete strengths assessments which will be processed during the in-person training and utilized in the development of personal leadership goals.
Participants are expected to participate in a variety of learning opportunities:
- Short readings designed to orient trainees to core concepts prior to the in-person training
- Webinars occurring before and after the in-person training
- Strengths assessment activities
- Visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights
- Leadership Coaching and Leadership Self Reflecting ALLY relationships
- Individual and group-based reflection
- Group discussions and structured forums
- Goal setting
- Develop participants’ self-awareness of leadership strengths.
- Provide a forum for discerning professional and organization values, vision, and core commitments.
- Support participants’ resilience and integrity to sustain a commitment to solving complex social issues.
- Create a community of leaders and advocates that recognizes and honors differences and diversity.
Leadership self-reflection allies (“allies”) are peers and faculty from the Leadership Academy. Monthly phone calls will provide support for continued reflection and growth in regards to leadership skills. Our goal is for allies to support continued development as leaders, contributing to each individuals’ continued self-reflection and growth.
- Monthly telephone call
- Reflecting upon leadership strengths and weaknesses and growing leadership skills
Leadership coaches will serve as local supports and models for trainees, helping them to translate their leadership skills into action. Prior to their meetings, at the in-person training event, trainees will identify leadership goals that are connected to activities that are integral to his/her work and commitments. These goals will not be in supplement to their expected responsibilities. Coaches will model leadership skills, deliver strengths-based feedback, provide psychosocial support, aid networking, and facilitate problem-solving.
- Participate in an orientation designed to introduce coaches to the AUCD Leadership Academy and its coaching component
- Support trainee in growing leadership skills and achieving leadership goals identified via participation in the AUCD Leadership Academy (see above for more information about goals)
- Model leadership skills, deliver strengths-based feedback, provide psychosocial support, aid networking, and facilitate problem-solving
- Meet formally at least 4 times; also provide at least one opportunity for trainee to observe the coach’s leadership skills and observe the trainee once