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.

Mission
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.

History
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

 

6/15/2017

Stories Needed on the Impact of Potential Medicaid Cuts

Tell Congress your story

Personal stories have great power. They help to create a shared understanding of who we are and how we live our lives. They help us celebrate our successes and document our challenges. Stories bring policies to life.
Medicaid and health care for people with disabilities is currently under threat. AUCD is collecting stories from you to share with policy makers. Help us put a face on the issue and tell lawmakers about the devastating implications if Medicaid funding is cut or capped.

 
 

10/19/2017

Support Hurricane Recovery in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Financial donations now being accepted

AUCD is currently accepting monetary donations to help support our Centers and DD networks in Puerto Rico (PR) and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to meet the needs of people with disabilities in their Territories in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. All contributions will be funneled directly to the Territory or Territories that you designate.

 
 

10/18/2017

Project SALT Team Presents at Family Cafe 2017 (FL UCEDD/LEND)

The University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development sent six members from the Project Self-Advocate Leadership Training (SALT) Team to the Family Cafe, from June 16th to June 18th of 2017: Shelly Baer, LCSW and founder of Project SALT, Joanne Palenzuela, co-founder of SALT; Damian Gregory, advocate and speaker; Denise Prehay, advocate and SALT Trainer; Tracy Seaton, advocate, Special Olympics athlete and assistant SALT Trainer; and Jairo Arana, advocate and SALT Trainer.

 
 

10/9/2017

RTS Event at the Cincinnati Zoo (OH UCEDD/LEND)

RTS (Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome) is a genetic multi-system disorder characterized by facial abnormalities, broad thumbs and great toes, and developmental disability. The condition was first described in 1963 by Dr. Jack Rubinstein and Dr. Hooshang Taybi and it is estimated that 1 out of 300,000 people have this syndrome

 
 

9/25/2017

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) Investigator Develops Initiative to Focus on Empowering Young Adults with Autism

by Tom Wilemon

A new initiative, developed by Beth Malow, M.D., M.S., Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development; professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, and a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator, aims to improve the lives of young adults with autism spectrum disorders who often end up socially isolated once they leave school.

 
 

9/15/2017

Order Your "Lift Your Voice" AUCD T-Shirt

Deadline: October 12

Order your AUCD t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, or hoodie today and pick it up at the 2017 Conference, or have a conference attendee bring it home for you. Hand-designed by Jessica Irwin, Psychology Fellow at the University of Rochester Strong Center, this shirt is one you'll be proud to wear again and again.

 
 

8/28/2017

Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) (ME UCEDD)

Does your state's self-advocacy organization have questions about things like fundraising, getting people involved or leadership development? The Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) can help: its mission is to strengthen the self-advocacy movement by supporting self-advocacy organizations to grow in diversity and leadership. SARTAC is a one-stop resource for organizing and supporting self advocacy groups!