2016 UCEDD Leadership Institute - Apply Today!

February 26, 2016

Photo of collage of participants

Apply Today

Institute Dates:
June 26 - July 1, 2016 in Newark, DE
at the University of Delaware

Application Deadline extended:
Friday, March 18, 2016 






To better support the development of leaders for the UCEDD network, AUCD is partnering with The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities (NLCDD) at the University of Delaware, of which AUCD is a Founding Partner, to offer the fifth UCEDD Leadership Development Institute. 

In participants' own words
  • "I appreciated the diversity of perspective and the cross section of positions individuals held across the nation."
  • " I didn't expect to get the quality level of individual feedback from so many different perspectives. "
  • "I expected, of course, that we would learn from each other but I'm coming home with both strategies and support for the work that I do back at home."
  • "Others saw skills in me I didn't see."
  • "The power of the UCEDD network."
  • "I'm going home with a different perspective."

The Institute provides UCEDD-specific leadership development at half the cost of the traditional Leadership Institute, with remaining costs covered by AUCD's Technical Assistance contract with the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

This year we are again asking directors to pay special attention to UCEDD staff who may be from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, under-represented groups and individuals with disabilities so that we may bring together a diverse group of potential leaders in this second institute. We hope that this institute will assist in the process of developing a diverse and committed cohort of emerging leaders within the network to address the challenges and opportunities of the coming years.

Why a UCEDD Leadership Institute

UCEDDs operate in a challenging, stimulating and complex environment made up of institutions of higher education, community service and supports organizations, state and regional governments and, of course, families and self-advocates.  Network discussions have raised concerns about the need for the next generation of UCEDD leaders.  With many of the current UCEDD Directors having held their positions for many years, the past five years have seen numerous UCEDD directors retire or leave their positions. AUCD has been working with AIDD and NLCDD on this topic.  With strong support and financing from AIDD, AUCD's technical assistance contract includes funds for a leadership institute for UCEDD personnel.

Institute Description

The Institute will be a week-long intensive leadership development program, focused on faculty and staff in UCEDDs who, in the opinion of the UCEDD's Director(s), demonstrate both potential and willingness to assume senior leadership roles in the UCEDD network. These faculty and staff may be program coordinators, core function directors, associate directors, or new directors.

Activities include a week long leadership institute as well as optional follow-up webinars/ teleconferences, and participation in the national listserv for Institute graduates. The goal of the initiative is to identify and support emerging leaders and provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to become transformational leaders of UCEDDs. 

Institute Costs

Participants are responsible for:

  • $1,000 tuition (which includes week-long Institute, materials on site, 1 lunch, and 3 dinners)
  • Travel and hotel at $151/night (which does not include breakfasts)
  • 3 lunches and 2 dinners, plus meals during travel
  • Cost of books for required reading in advance of the Institute

AUCD's technical assistance contract with AIDD covers the remainder of the expenses for course participants.

Cancellations will be accepted only until five weeks before the start date of the Institute. Prior to that date, cancellations must be made in writing (e-mail is acceptable, please confirm that we have received) and funds will be returned, minus a $100 processing fee. There will be no refunds after that date and, if an intended participant cancels after that date or is a no-show, the full registration fee will still be owed. We regret that we cannot offer refunds for late cancellations or no shows, however, if your agency would like to substitute another appropriate individual, this can be done with prior approval.

Application Instructions

This application requires three documents:

  • An application document with narrative answers to the questions below
  • A resume or CV
  • One letter of agency support from your UCEDD Director

The Application Document, submitted in the "Project Proposal/Description" section of the application, should include a few paragraphs on the following topics, broken into clearly delineated sections:

  • Your History: including your number of years in field, the various jobs you have held, the number of years you have been with your current UCEDD, a successful initiative you have undertaken, and your role in your current organization.
  • Your Organization: Please describe your UCEDD's significant areas of work and the specific projects in which you are engaged.
  • Your Future: Please describe where you see yourself professionally in five years.
  • The Field's Future: Assume you are in charge of the changes that will take place for people with disabilities and their families over the next ten years. Don't worry about what's possible to accomplish within current funding limits or in this amount of time - you have a magic wand at your assist! What is your vision? If you could design the changes for people with disabilities and their families, what changes would you have made ten years from now?
  • Interest Statement: In a few paragraphs, please describe why you are interested in attending the Leadership Institute and how you feel it will benefit you and your organization.
  • Plans for Sharing Information and Learning: All participants are required to make a fairly in-depth presentation to a cross-section of representatives/stakeholders of their organizations (administrators, advisory committee members, staff at varying levels within the Center and University, people receiving supports, family members, funders, community members, etc.). You will work on the content and exercises for your presentation during the Institute. Describe preliminary plans for this presentation.

Please submit a resume/CV in the "Resume/CV" section of the application.

The Statement of Agency Support, submitted in the "Letter of Support" section of the application, should be a short statement from your UCEDD Director stating why you would make a good participant in the Leadership Institute and how they will support you to implement the ideas and insights gained through your participation. The statement should specifically indicate willingness to support the 2-3 hour presentation you will make upon your return. It should include the name, title, and email of the author. Although the application software allows for three, you should only submit one statement of agency support.

As part of our work to continue to increase diversity and greater inclusiveness in the leadership pool in the network of UCEDDs, applicants with disabilities and/or from ethnically and racially diverse groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications will be available electronically and can be submitted between January 11 and March 18, 2016 and notification of selections will be made by April 11, 2016.

Goals and Topics to be Covered During the Leadership Institute

Primary goals for participants will be to:

  1. promote the shift to individualized, responsive supports;
  2. commit to self-direction and the need for people with disabilities and their families to be full participants and leaders;
  3. use knowledge gained about personal strengths and needs as leaders to continue to increase effectiveness;
  4. use connections for on-going networking, mentoring, and support;
  5. understand and pursue progressive public policy that will support quality of life for citizens with developmental disabilities and their families;
  6. commit to their role as mentors to transmit knowledge and values to staff and future leaders; and
  7. move into positions of progressively greater responsibility within the system of UCEDDs and in the developmental disabilities filed more broadly

  The following topics will be addressed to meet these goals:

  1. a history of the field as a context for change
  2. understanding one's own strengths and needs relevant to leadership; working with University higher administration
  3. managing people, budgets and organizational relationships - managing both up and down
  4. cross systems collaboration and innovation, including collaboration with DD Network partners and State
  5. strategic visioning, planning, strategically-driven decision making, and organizational change
  6. managing for quality and outcomes to meet the needs and desires of people with disabilities and their families
  7. the fiscal and managerial challenges of UCEDD operation
  8. selecting and supporting quality staff
  9. assuring commitment to positive values/promoting a positive organizational culture
  10. building leadership within one's own UCEDD and state, including mentoring graduate students, staff who are newer to the disability system, and emerging disability leaders in their states
  11. increasing and supporting diversity and cultural competence in UCEDDs
  12. applying strategies for problem-solving
  13. adapting to philosophical, organizational, and public policy shifts
  14. achieving success in an academic environment
  15. having a positive impact on public policy and the future of services
  16. revisiting the DD Act
  17. balancing academic and UCEDD responsibilities
  18. staying motivated and motivating others

A particular goal of this Leadership Institute will be to support participants to understand and integrate the sometimes polarizing goals of assuring quality services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families, producing research that supports evidence-based practice, and succeeding in an academic environment.  These do not need to be treated as competing activities.  Participants will be helped to understand the synergy that is created when science, advocacy and practice are joined in common purpose toward improved lives and opportunities for people with disabilities.  Faculty members who have operated successfully in the worlds of practice, management, research, and academia will supplement the regular Leadership faculty to assure significant discussion of what is required to achieve positions of leadership in the UCEDD and larger university environments.


Questions should be directed to Dawn Rudolph.