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AUCD Leadership Academy

The AUCD Leadership Academy is an annual week-long program designed to enhance the skills of current and emerging leaders the disability network, with an emphasis on building coalitions to improve systems of supports and services. The Academy focuses on exploring shared values and commitments to civil and human rights, self-assessing personal and leadership strengths, learning strategies for building partnerships to achieve a shared vision, and establishing concrete personal and professional leadership goals. Participants from UCEDDs, LENDs, IDDRCs, and the broader disability community are encouraged to apply.

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Diversity Toolkit

Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit

This collaborative toolkit provides concrete objectives, strategies, and resources to enhance diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence; cultivate partnerships; respond to increasingly diverse communities across the country; and develop strategies for continuing efforts to better serve diverse populations. 

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Emerging Leaders



National Center on Disability in Public Health

AUCD’s Public Health team works on health promotion and other efforts that include people with disabilities, with the goal of reducing health disparities and enhancing capacity at the workforce level. These initiatives can serve as leadership and learning opportunities for early career professionals; they provide exposure to national collaborative efforts involving a variety of public health organizations, as well as plenty of opportunities to network with public health leaders and gain expertise.

Learn more about the National Center on Disability in Public Health




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Harkin Summit

The Harkin International Disability Employment Summit is a gathering for those who have successfully employed people with all types of disabilities or encouraging others to do so. This Summit is unique in that it provides the opportunity for people from around the world come together, talk, and work with each other to expand their impact on employing people with disabilities. Summits typically welcome over 250 participants from over 40 countries and was highlighted by a challenge to issued attendees from former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin: “By working together and thinking outside the box, help us to double the rate of employment for people with disabilities in the U.S. and around the world in the next 10 years.” 

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Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment

The Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment (PFP-IDE) is an international exchange initiative that promotes economic empowerment of people with disabilities in east Africa by training 20 inclusive employment advocates, or Fellows, from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda at a UCEDD or LEND host site. Fellows learn best practices in inclusive employment, connect with local advocates and leaders, and develop a project to promote inclusive employment in their home countries. AUCD administers the PFP-IDE Program in partnership with Humanity & Inclusion and the Institute for Community Inclusion-UMass Boston. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. 

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The Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) program is a collaboration amongst the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Social Security Administration. Under the PROMISE grant program, agencies in 11 states have partnered to develop and put into action six model demonstration projects (MDPs) that work together to provide services and supports in the form of case management, benefits and financial training, competitive work experiences, and education and employment training to youth with disabilities receiving supplemental security income (SSI) benefits and their families to improve education and employment outcomes. The program, through interagency collaboration and community engagement, demonstrates how targeted interventions that engage both youths and their families can enable youths with disabilities to better succeed. AUCD helps these six PROMISE projects by providing information and developing/sharing resources and other materials to help the MDPs.

Learn more about PROMISE