The Munroe-Meyer Institute University Center of Excellence for Developmental Disabilities program (MMI UCEDD) has hosted Disability Leadership training series across the state, including the communities of Omaha, Scottsbluff, Norfolk, Kearney and Grand Island. This training series is a partnership between UNMC  Munroe-Meyer Institute University Center of Excellence for Developmental Disabilities Program and several Nebraska disabilities programs; in addition, it has been funded by the Nebraska Council on Developmental Disabilities. It is organized by Mark A. Smith, Assistant Professor at UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute. The two-day didactic seminar series has featured a great lineup of Disability Leaders in Nebraska. Eric Evans, the Executive Director of Disability Rights Nebraska did a powerful presentation on History and Philosophy of Developmental Disability Services. Other faculty include Kathy Hoell, the Director of Statewide Independent Living Council, Edison McDonald, the Director of Arc of Nebraska, representatives from PTI-Nebraska, the coordinator of ADAPT Nebraska, the legislative director of Disability Rights Nebraska and UNMC MMI UCEDD staff & faculty.

"In order to create successful opportunities for People with Disabilities in our communities, we need informed stakeholders," said the Project Director Mark Smith. "This Seminar promotes increased awareness of the issues facing those who are impacted by disabilities and steps to take in an effort to address the issues and promote improved systems of services and supports in disability long-term care programs. An informed constituency positions those who have the lived experienced of disability to effectively advocate for and participate in systems improvements. Including the view of issues/barriers through the lens of lived experience has been repeatedly shown to be critical in achieving successful outcomes for those with disabilities and their families." My interest in Disability Advocacy and Policy emerged after I attended this training as a parent; I attended this powerful and inspiring presentation in 2018 as a parent of a child with Intellectual & Developmental Disability and again in 2020 as a UCEDD Intern. This training is meant to Include information on ways individuals with disabilities and family members can impact, by taking leadership, in improving long-term disability care systems that are available in Nebraska. Plans are in place for this to be an ongoing activity, in addition work is currently in place to expand the number of training locations. Due to the COVID19 situation, the project has involved planning to move to a virtual format soon.