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AUCD Leadership Academy

The Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) & The Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) are proud to present the 8th Annual AUCD Leadership Academy!

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, IDDRCs 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.

Learn about the AUCD Leadership Academy

A group of people standing/sitting in front of an art mural of civil rights leaders.

"My commitment has been renewed, I have more courage to lead, I now accept that my work is personal, and I feel very connected to a bigger movement. I wish everyone could have this experience." - Quote from previous AUCD Leadership Academy participant

Learn More

The AUCD Leadership Academy is a program that lasts one year. It is designed for current and emerging leaders from the disability community. The goal is to develop and improve leadership skills. The Academy teaches people how to improve systems of support and services. These systems and services can include federal and state agencies. Examples include HRSA, ACL, and State Councils on Developmental Disabilities. These systems and services can also include disability organizations. Examples include The Arc and other local and state advocacy and services organizations.

The Leadership Academy seeks participants from:

  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs),
  • Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LENDs) programs, and
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers (IDDRCs).
  • The Academy also looks for participants from UCEDD, LEND and IDDRC community partners. Examples include community advocacy groups and clinical services sites.

Participants come together to: 

  • become leaders,
  • connect with each other, and
  • learn how to start making changes in their communities.

The Academy includes an in-person session that lasts one week. The intensive experience means that participants will meet daily for one week.

During this experience, program participants will:

  • share their experiences with each other;
  • focus on developing their skills; work with other Academy participants, staff, local coaches, and national allies in virtual meetings;
  • focus on exploring shared values;
  • focus on a shared commitment to civil and human rights;
  • look at their strengths and skills as leaders; and
  • make personal and professional leadership goals.

For more information about the AUCD Leadership Academy, please visit:

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.

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 the Center for Leadership in Disability at (404) 413-9334.

The academy seeks participants from UCEDDs, LENDs, IDDRCs 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.

Plain Language:

People who work with UCEDDs, LENDS, IDDRCs and other partner organizations are welcome to apply. Past academy participants have included people who have done the following jobs:

  • Self-Advocacy Coordinator
  • LEND trainees and faculty
  • UCEDD trainees and faculty
  • Program Coordinator
  • Research Assistant
  • Director/Associate Director
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Parent Educator
  • Psychologist

Applications closed on Friday, March 1, 2024. 

The AUCD Leadership Academy ensures equal opportunities for all. The Academy also ensures access to all program materials. The Academy will provide reasonable auxiliary aids, services, language translation, and alternative formats of materials to participants and trainees. If you need accommodations or support, please email [email protected] or call (404) 413-9574.

Now Archived: 2024 Leadership Academy Informational Webinar
This webinar offers interested potential applicants an opportunity to interact with the AUCD Leadership Academy faculty. The webinar featured a brief overview of the 2024 Academy curriculum and timeline. In addition, alumni shared their reflections about the benefits they gained from participation in the week-long academy. and the follow-up activities.

You can also contact the Center for Leadership in Disability with questions.
Call (404) 413-9334 or email at [email protected].

For more information about the AUCD Leadership Academy content areas, goals, webinars, Ally Circles and coaching, please visit: https://disability.publichealth.gsu.edu/academy/