Council on Leadership in Advocacy (COLA)

 

About COLA

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 Leadership in Advocacy, also known as COLA, is made up of individuals with disabilities and family members from each University Center across the AUCD network.

Mission
COLA works to enhance AUCD by fostering and supporting current and new leaders with lived experience of disability, including their family members in order to promote this same leadership in their programs, communities, and regions, and to serve in liaison roles with local disability leadership. 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 name was later changed to the Council on Consumer Advocacy. 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 COLA Web Pages

 

12/7/2017

Improving Family Centeredness Together - New York State Early Intervention Initiative (NY UCEDDs)

The Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD; Valhalla, NY), in collaboration with Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities (Rochester, NY) and Rose F. Kennedy UCEDD (Bronx, NY), will assist the New York Bureau of Early Intervention in implementing a portion of the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP).

 
 

12/7/2017

Tips, Trust, and Humor: Connecting with Indiana Teachers and Employment Specialists

What do taking your accounting department to lunch, baking cookies, and Julie Andrews have to do with audience outreach? Each of those notions were components of messages delivered this past year to Indiana employment professionals.

 
 

12/7/2017

Updated Educator's Guide Available from OAR

The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) prides itself in the evidence-based information resources it shares with self-advocates, their parents, educators, and paraprofessionals. Among these materials are the eight "Life Journey Through Autism" guidebooks that OAR has published since 2003. The ninth and newest guide in that set is "Life Journey Through Autism: An Educator's Guide to ASD (Level 1 Supports)," a revision and update of the "Educator's Guide to Asperger Syndrome."

 
 

12/7/2017

Using Dance To Build A Community (TX UCEDD)

Written by: Ashley Green

Movement is a form of communication. For Courtney Kalaher, using that movement to create relationships and community among people with disabilities is critical. Kalaher joined the Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) Program in 2014. She brought her skills in dance and developed the Communication Through Movement course. Through the course, students develop paths of inquiry and response approaches to learning and cognitive development. "Movement is such a powerful form of communication.

 
 

11/13/2017

Pavithran (UT UCEDD) Named to United States Commission on Civil Rights Utah Advisory Committee

Sachin Dev Pavithran, Utah Assistive Technology Program director and Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University policy expert was recently appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights Utah Advisory Committee. The Committee is composed of citizen volunteers familiar with local and state civil rights issues. The members assist the Commission with its fact-finding, investigative, and information dissemination functions. Pavithran received bachelor's degrees in business information systems and marketing, a master's degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling, and recently completed his Ph.D. disability disciplines from USU.

 
 

11/13/2017

Self-Determination Inventory System (SDIS) Data Dashboard (KA UCEDD)

The Self-Determination Student Inventory System (SDIS) is comprised of two new validated measures created by researchers Karrie A. Shogren and Michael L. Wehmeyer at the University of Kansas: the Self-Determination Inventory: Student Report (SDI:SR) and the Self-Determination Inventory: Parent/Teacher Report (SDI:PTR). The SDI:SR asks students questions about how they feel about their ability to be self-determined; that is to make choices, set and go after goals, and make decisions. The SDI:PTR measures a teacher's or parent/family member's perception of a young person's self-determination.

 
 

11/13/2017

Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WY UCEDD) Launches ECHO Network for Families of Children with Autism

For Wyoming families that have a child with autism, large geographic distances and a shortage of resources limit the availability of providers, care, and support. UW ECHO for Families: Autism is bridging the gap. The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) recently launched a new ECHO network to support families of children with autism. This virtual community was built by and for families of children with autism and meets weekly using videoconferencing technology.

 
 

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.