Council on Community Advocacy (COCA)


About COCA

The AUCD Board of Directors has established a number of Councils and Committees that are made up of experts in the field to help the Board address emerging trends and issues, and to facilitate communication across and beyond the AUCD network. The Council on Community Advocacy, also known as COCA, is made up of individuals with disabilities and family members from each University Center across the AUCD network.

COCA assists AUCD to advance policy and practice for and with people with disabilities, their families and communities. The Council helps the association to:

  • Build effective partnerships with other AUCD Councils and Committees, federal agencies, and other national disability groups.
  • Build the capacity of local University Center Consumer Advisory Committees (CACs), including identifying needs for assistance, providing technical assistance, and disseminating information about exemplary and innovative practices.
  • Envision, actively advocate for, and disseminate information about the next generation of policy and practice that will help make the promise of full participation a reality.
  • Develop leaders and mentors that build the capacity of the network to affect change at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Assist in the development of standards for participation of people with disabilities and family members in UCEDD education, research, and service programs and in AUCD functions.
  • Serve as a model and resource for others desiring to infuse the participation people with disabilities and family members into program planning, research, and evaluation.

The Council on Consumer Affairs first convened in the fall of 1994. The Council was formed as a result of AUCD's (formerly AAUAP) increasing recognition of the importance of receiving consistent and ongoing consumer feedback. Start-up activities were funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, through a Project of National Significance entitled "Leadership and Choices." Principle support was provided by Bruce Eddy of AUCD and Carl Calkins of the University of Missouri/Kansas City, Missouri's UCEDD.

The Council leadership structure includes several internal committees and two co-chairs. 1998 By-Laws stipulate that one co-chair must be an individual with a disability, and the other be the family member of an individual with a disability. The three-year, staggered co-chair positions carry with them a slot on AUCD's Board of Directors.

Full Council membership consists of one representative of each UCEDD, designated by that UCEDD's director. The Council continues to strive to meet its long-term goal of full membership.

In 2003-2004, AUCD made a commitment to revitalize the role of COCA within the network. Past President of AUCD, David Johnson appointed an ad hoc COCA Workgroup. This workgroup, chaired by Carl Calkins, solicited feedback from the AUCD network and met several times to develop a renewed vision to strengthen the role of COCA. A final set of recommendations was produced and presented to the board and UCEDD Directors at the UCEDD Directors' retreat May 2-3, 2005 in Chicago, IL.


New on the COCA Web Pages



MNLEND Nov 2016 Forum Video Released

MNLEND invites the AUCD Network to view a 3-part video of the MNLEND November 2016 Forum: "Litigation: Advancing the Rights of People with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities," which features U.S. district court judge, The Honorable Donovan W. Frank, and a panel of legal experts. Over 100 people attended this event on November 17, 2016.



Developing Social-Emotional and Behavioral Supports for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (TX UCEDD)

The Behavior Support Collaborative lead by Dr. Mack D. Burke in conjunction with the Center on Disability and Development in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University was awarded a catapult grant from the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). The purpose of the catapult grant (Improving Quality of Life Through a Culturally Responsive Lens: Developing Social-Emotional and Behavioral Supports for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students At-Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders) is to improve the quality of life and well-being of students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds who are at-risk of developing emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) by promoting school adjustment.

AUCD Board of Directors (not pictured: Jack Brandt)


AUCD Welcomes 2017 Board of Directors

AUCD is governed by an elected Board of Directors that includes professionals, individuals with disabilities, and family members. On December 7, 2016, we thanked outgoing Board members for their dedicated service and welcomed the members of the 2017 AUCD Board of Directors.



2017 START National Training Institute (NH UCEDD/LEND)

The Center for START Services, a national initiative based at UNH's Institute on Disability/UCED, works to address the service gap for people with IDD and Mental Health issues in communities across the country. The annual START National Training Institute (SNTI) provides an interactive forum aimed at the sharing of best practices, engaging in experiential learning opportunities, and "feeling the strength of START".



IU Report Provides Employment and Inclusion Data About Hoosiers with Disabilities (IN UCEDD)

Indiana residents who receive employment services and other support from disability service providers have made few gains in the past year, according to a new report from Indiana University's Center on Community Living and Careers. Findings about how people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are interacting with their communities are included in the 2016 "Day & Employment Services Outcomes Systems Report." The report is published annually by the center, a division of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University Bloomington.



Student "Draft IEP" Interactive Tool Enables Students in New York State to be More Active in their IEP Development (NY UCEDD/LEND)

Students who are engaged in their program planning are more successful in school and in later life. However, many students do not attend their IEP meetings, and of those who do, very few participate meaningfully. The IEP meeting is devoted to the individual student and it is therefore critical that students be heard and have a way to impact on the decisions made. Student participation is meaningful only if they understand the purpose and process. Preparation is important to assure full engagement.



Voices of ASD Video Library Launched (CO UCEDD/LEND)

We are excited to announce the new Voices of ASD Video Library, a collection of videos that explore the lives of individuals with ASD, with a focus on first person accounts and an exploration of what it means to live with ASD. Our goal is to deepen understanding among individuals with ASD, their families, and communities through the sharing of personal stories. The first video in the series profiles four adults living with autism as they share their personal stories including their challenges, strengths, advice and hopes/beliefs about the future.


Upcoming Events
of Interest to
COCA Members

Disability Policy Seminar 2017  Copy to Calendar
Monday, March 20, 2017 - Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More Events >