Council on Community Advocacy (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
Deadline: October 30
Registration is currently open for the AUCD Conference! We welcome network members, partners from outside the network, experts from across the disability field, individuals with disabilities, family members, and students to learn and grow together during this exciting event. Whether you're a newcomer to the field or a seasoned professional, the AUCD Conference provides countless opportunities to share with and learn from colleagues across the network and beyond.
Making and posting videos is getting easier all the time with new technology. Advocates are using videos to share information about important advocacy topics. The RIOT selects Tuesdays with Liz as their Top Video Pick of the Year!
Kate Caldwell and Carli Friedman, University of Illinois at Chicago
Accessible plain language summaries of publications provide individuals with something they can print out that is easy to understand, and which they can use in advocating and talking to policymakers. Carli Friedman and Kate Caldwell of the University of Illinois at Chicago share the importance of plain language summaries and describe how to create this accessibility tool.
NACDD Releases New On-line Publication on Self-Advocacy "The Art of Impact" Written by and for Individuals with Disabilities
The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) during its Annual Conference near Reno, NV today released a new on-line publication on self-advocacy written by and for individuals with developmental disabilities. The publication, "The Art of Impact: A Handbook for Living a Self-Determined Life" was written by Dr. Scott Michael Robertson in conjunction with the Self-Advocate Leadership Circle of the NACDD. The publication is filled with resources, information and tips for successful advocacy.