UCEDD Leadership Development Institute

Application Deadline EXTENDED: April 2, 2012

February 22, 2012

UCEDD Leadership Development Institute

at the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities

Applications are available through the AUCD online application system, for which applicants will need to create an account. Be sure to read the application instructions here or in the online application system. 

Important Dates

  • Non-Binding Letter of Intent Due: February 27, 2012 to Dawn Rudolph
  • Applications Due: March 23, 2012
  • Institute Dates: June 24-29, 2012 in Newark, DE at the University of Delaware

Institute Details and Costs

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 Developmental Disabilities. The UCEDD Leadership Development Institute maintains the same cancellation policy as the traditional Leadership Institute, which can be found here.

The leadership institute participants are responsible for:

  • $1,000 tuition (which includes week-long institute, materials on site, 1 lunch, and 3 dinners)
  • Travel and hotel at $154/night (which includes breakfasts)
  • 3 lunches and 2 dinners, plus meals during travel
  • Cost of books for required reading in advance of the institute

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.

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.

Full applications will be available electronically and can be submitted between February 15 and March 23, 2012 and notification of selections will be made by April 5, 2012.

Institute Description

To better support the development of leaders for the UCEDD network, AUCD is partnering with The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware, of which AUCD is a Founding Partner, to offer the first UCEDD Leadership Development Institute. The Institute is supported by the Administration for Developmental Disabilities under a contract to AUCD. 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. 

The Institute will be a week long intensive executive development program, focused on new UCEDD directors, and Assistant Directors, Program Directors and others in UCEDDs who, in the opinion of the UCEDD's leadership, demonstrate both potential and willingness to assume senior leadership roles in the UCEDD network.

As you will recall, many of us have been concerned about the development of the next generation of leaders for the UCEDD network for a number of years now.  Many UCEDD Directors have been in place for many years, and in the past five years we have seen numerous UCEDD directors retire or leave their positions.   

AUCD have been working with ADD and the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities (NLCDD) at the University of Delaware on this topic.  With strong support and financing from ADD, AUCD's technical assistance contract has included funds for a leadership institute for UCEDD personnel.

Planned activities will include a five-and-a-half-day day leadership institute as well as optional follow-up webinars/ teleconferences, and participation in the national listserv for Leadership 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.  The ADD contract will underwrite a portion of the course, with UCEDDs agreeing to sponsor a participant, and to contribute $1,000 towards the effort.  The course will be structured to accommodate no more than 25 participants and each participant will be selected through a competitive process.

A non-binding letter of interest from the UCEDD director is needed by the date above so we can gauge the number of participants and reviews of applications needed.  Only one participant per UCEDD will be admitted though we do expect to have institutes in each of the next four years, provided that continued funding is available. The letter of intent should be submitted electronically to Dawn Rudolph.

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.

Full applications will be available electronically and can be submitted between February 15 and March 23, 2012 and notification of selections will be made by April 5, 2012.

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
  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

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.

Comments from UCEDD and Other Staff who Participated in Previous Leadership Institutes

It was an empowering and interactive week that will forever enlighten my thinking and decision-making.  Participation in the Leadership Institute has increased and improved my impact on the lives of people with disabilities.  While I had accomplished much as a parent, advocate and professional prior, it took my participation in the Leadership Institute to learn the contextual knowledge and history to have an appropriate vision to advocate not simply for the current issues, but for the best possible future for all individuals with developmental disabilities and that I have the individual power to lead for changes to enhance the future for individuals with developmental disabilities.

~  Sandra Root-Elledge, Coordinator for Community Education, Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, Laramie, WY

The Institute provides the opportunity for leaders to share their concerns, and gain a wealth of resources, knowledge, and support to go back and implement the changes and enhancements that are needed in the daily supports of people. The Institute is action-oriented, and directly impacts people supported.  The Institute teaches the leader how very critical it is for the mission to be felt and lived throughout every employee and stakeholder of the agency, and teaches the skills needed to make that happen. Such intensity of focus on mission-driven services, at every level including direct support staff, immediately impacts the people served. 

Dawn Rudolph, Director, Community Living Division, Jos. P. Kennedy Institute, Silver Spring, MD

This has been a fantastic opportunity to learn with other leaders who truly understand and care about our field.

~ Robert Basler, Director Therapeutic Foster Care Program, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD

Attending the Leadership Institute was an experience of a lifetime - engaging, challenging, and FUN! I've grown in leaps and bounds - thank you!

Natalie Trump, Training and Consultation Specialist, UMDNJ, School of Public Health, New Brunswick, NJ

The Leadership Institute provides leaders from different sectors in the disability community to learn and think together and to rejuvenate one another... to support individual with disabilities to overcome oppression and participate as equal citizens in their communities.

 ~ Sheli Reynolds: UKMC UCEDD

Attending this institute is part of a movement that inspires change. Thoughtful, provocative and exciting- I am encouraged, and confident that I can do this work in a way that will transform lives. I am so grateful for this opportunity.

~ Renee Bean: DE UCEDD

I loved this experience! The knowledge gained, connections made, ideas created, friendships discovered and inspiration are irreplaceable. It has given me rich fodder for thought and action.

~ Carol Britton: NJ Boggs UCEDD

Comments of Other Participants of the University of Delaware's Leadership Institutes

Since attending the Leadership Institute last summer, I have been so inspired and encouraged.  I feel I have a renewed direction in leading my team.  The missing piece to the puzzle has indeed been leadership and my focus since returning to my job has been on developing leaders within our organization.  I have utilized the training that I received at the Institute back on the job and I'm starting to see glimmers of "change" and new "attitudes".  It is exciting and I'm encouraged more than ever that we can achieve the once thought unachievable ....as a result of good, strong, and fearless leadership.  The Institute training is already having an impact here at Gateway Services in improving the quality of life for individuals and our service delivery system.

Stephanie K. Grimes,  Director Adult Services, Gateway Services, Inc., Princeton, IL

The Leadership Institute was an opportunity to refocus my energy and commitment to the individuals I serve. Often in my day-to-day functions, I lose focus on why I'm in this field in the first place. Being given this opportunity to refocus and reflect on the future of the field has directly affected my leadership skills and my ability to "inspire a shared vision" within my organization. My refreshed outlook impacts the focus and drive of the staff I support. When our organization is focused on a shared vision, it directly benefits the individuals and their families who receive our services on a day-to-day basis.

~ Lauren Lash, Director of Employment Services, Our House, New Providence, NJ

To have a significant impact on the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families today, we have to stay apprised of where we have been and where we are going in the field.  The Leadership Institute clarifies our mission, educates us about how we as leaders are able to impact the lives of people with disabilities, and arms us with the tools and the enthusiasm to do so.  

~ Pam Michels, VP Health & Residential Services, South Dakota Achieve, Sioux Falls, SD

What has the summer leadership institute done for the people I support?  It has invested in me -- a leader with the potential to create positive change and difference in their lives.  It has increased my ability to empower every person I supervise to reach their full potential which in turn has produced results for people served by my agency.  It has connected both me and my agency with a wealth of knowledge, resources and support.  I cannot say enough about my gratitude and respect for the leadership project. It is difficult to quantify the impact you have made...but it is true and real and strong.  The leadership skills you have taught others are like a rock cast into the water...the ripples the stone has are undoubtedly touching the shores of many.

~ Becky Hansen, Vice President,  Service Coordination, Sioux Vocational Services