AUCD Leadership Academy

Sunday, June 25, 2017- Friday, June 30, 2017
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) in partnership with the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University (GSU) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for the inaugural AUCD LEADERSHIP ACADEMY.

What is the AUCD Leadership Academy

The AUCD Leadership Academy is a week-long program designed to enhance the skills of current and emerging leaders from the disability network in building coalitions that will improve systems of supports and services. The AUCD Leadership Academy seeks participants from Self Advocacy Organizations, UCEDDs, LENDs, CILs, DD Councils, Disability Rights, community based disability organizations, and other disability partners to come together to immerse themselves for a week of study, shared experiences, self-evaluation, and skill development. Participants will continue to engage with their cohort, academy staff, local coaches, and national allies in the year following the experience. The academy will focus on the exploration of shared values and commitments to civil and human rights, assessments of personal and leadership strengths, skills in building partnerships to achieve collective impact, and establishing personal and professional leadership goals.




Where and when will the AUCD Leadership Academy be held?

The AUCD Leadership Academy will be held on the downtown GSU campus in Atlanta, Georgia on June 25-30, 2017.

What is the cost to attend the AUCD Leadership Academy?

The cost to attend the AUCD Leadership Academy is $1,000 per person, which includes materials, some meals, and selected community activities. Participants are responsible for travel, most meals, and lodging. Both hotel and university housing options will be available.

What is the application process?

Interested individuals should use the link at right to download the application packet in PDF.

Accepted applicants will receive a confirmation email and instructions for registering for the AUCD Leadership Academy.

The academy aims to recruit applicants with a diverse range of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. This year, no more than 20 applicants will be selected to participate in the Leadership Academy through a competitive process.

When is the Application Deadline?

Applications must be received by 5:00 pm, March 14, 2017. No applications will be accepted after this time.

To ensure equal opportunity and access to the AUCD Leadership Academy, we will provide reasonable auxiliary aids, services, language translation, and alternative formats to applicants and trainees.

Leadership Academy Curriculum 

1.  Courage to Lead and Circle of Trust

a. Courage to Lead and Circle of Trust will serve as an organizing framework for the leadership content, which is grounded in the work of Parker Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal. This framework:

i.   Is rooted in community organizing with historically disenfranchised groups
ii.  Incorporates extensive experiences with leadership identity, learning, growth, and sustained effort toward solving complex social issues
iii.  Has a 20+ year history of utilization with cohorts of new, emergent, and established leaders
iv.  Provides a forum for exploring professional and organization values, vision, and core commitments
v.  Supports participants' resilience and commitment to creating a community tha recognizes and honors difference and diversity
vi. Can be delivered within the time frame of the Academy while still leaving time for exploration of other UCEDD/LEND/disability organization topics

2.  History of Disability and Civil Rights

a.  We plan to visit the National Center on Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta to be followed by presentations and discussions that will focus on our shared commitment to social justice:

i.    History of disability rights and independent living as movements
ii.   Evolution of disability policy
iii.  Current issues in national policy
iv.  State-level issues
v.   Advocacy

3.  Building Partnerships and Collective Impact

a.  We will have presentations and activities led by leaders in the disability network, featuring:

i.   Examples of successful partnerships that addressed multiple organizations and perspectives - universities, community partners, advocacy organizations, and  provider agencies
ii.  Illustrating one of the tenets of Courage to Lead that leadership involves "creating the space where people can discover their resources"

b.  Collective Impact provides a model for sustainable social change that identifies five necessary conditions:

i.   Creating a common agenda
ii.  Developing shared measurement and metrics
iii.  Working in a manner that is mutually reinforcing
iv.  Communicating continuously
v.   Establishing a backbone organization 
vi.  The model has been put forward as an alternative to work long-conducted in "silos" and often not leading to sustainable change

4.  Self-Awareness and Strengths-based Leadership

a.  Participants will be coached on how to examine and utilize their individual strengths as a leader. Participants will also learn how to identify and nurture the strengths of their colleagues in their place of employment.

b.  The Values in Action (VIA), a strengths-based self-assessment, will be completed by all participants and will guide the discussions on strengths-based leadership during the Academy.

Post-Academy Leadership Development:

After participating in the Academy, participants will receive the following continued leadership development: (1) year-long coaching; (2) year-long discussions with Leadership Self-Reflection Allies; and (3) access to leadership-related webinars that will serve to bring the cohort together around specific content.

1.  Leadership Coaches: The Leadership coach will support Academy participants in the translating training commitments and skills into action in their home organizations.

2.  Leadership Self-Reflection Allies: The leadership self-reflection ally ("Ally") will support participants' continued personal and professional development after the in-person training. Special emphasis will be on supporting strengths-based leadership development and connection to the broader national network.

3. Webinars: We will coordinate six post-Academy webinars that cover content deemed important by the Academy participants. We aim to recruit Academy participants to co-lead the webinars when appropriate.


For assistance or questions, please call the Center for Leadership in Disability at (404) 413-9334 or email [email protected]For more information, please visit: