AUCD Leadership Academy


The Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) and the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) are proud to present the 6th Annual AUCD Leadership Academy.


What is the AUCD Leadership Academy?

The AUCD Leadership Academy is a program that lasts one year. It is designed for current and emerging leaders from the disability community. The goal is to develop and improve leadership skills. The Academy teaches people how to improve systems of support and services. These systems and services can include federal and state agencies. Examples include HRSA, ACL, and State Councils on Developmental Disabilities. These systems and services can also include disability organizations. Examples include The Arc and other local and state advocacy and services organizations.

The Leadership Academy seeks participants from:

  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs), and 
  • Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LENDs) programs.

The Academy also looks for participants from UCEDD and LEND community partners. Examples include community advocacy groups and clinical services sites. Participants come together to:

  • become leaders, 
  • connect with each other, and 
  • learn how to start making changes in their communities.

The Academy includes an in-person session that lasts one week. The intensive experience means that participants will meet daily for one week. During this experience, program participants will:

  • share their experiences with each other; 
  • focus on developing their skills; work with other Academy participants, staff, local coaches, and national allies in virtual meetings; 
  • focus on exploring shared values; 
  • focus on a shared commitment to civil and human rights; 
  • look at their strengths and skills as leaders; and 
  • make personal and professional leadership goals.

For more information about the AUCD Leadership Academy, please visit:

When will the AUCD Leadership Academy take place?

The 2022 AUCD Leadership Academy will be held in-person in Atlanta, Georgia. The Academy’s in-person session will take place the week of June 19th - June 24th. 

During our in-person sessions, we will follow safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition, we will require all participants to wear masks and socially distance. We will also take needed precautions during our shared meals (e.g., eating outdoors and providing space for socially distanced meals).

There will also be six (6) pre-Academy webinars. These will take place before the week-long, in-person sessionk. The webinars introduce important leadership themes. They also help Academy participants and faculty get to know each other. The dates and times for the webinars are to be determined. 

Note: We realize that the virtual AUCD Leadership Academy has provided increased opportunities for participation by individuals for whom travel to Atlanta is a challenge. We plan to host virtual leadership academies in 2023 and 2025 to accommodate the participation of those who would benefit from a virtual experience.

How much does the Academy cost?

The in-person registration fee is $1000. The fee includes Academy materials, breakfast (Monday-Friday), lunch (on Monday), and 2 dinners (Sunday and Thursday). 

Who should apply?

People who work with UCEDDs, LENDS, and other partner organizations are welcome to apply. Past academy participants have included people who have done the following jobs:

  • Self-Advocacy Coordinator 
  • LEND trainees and faculty 
  • UCEDD trainees and faculty 
  • Program Coordinator 
  • Research Assistant 
  • Director/Associate Director 
  • Occupational Therapist 
  • Parent Educator 
  • Psychologist 

Apply Today!

Use the links below to apply for the AUCD Leadership Academy. You can apply online or by using the paper application.

Please note that not everyone who applies will be accepted. 
The application deadline extended to March 11, 2022.

Applicant Accommodations and Support

The AUCD Leadership Academy ensures equal opportunities for all. The Academy also ensures access to all program materials. The Academy will provide reasonable auxiliary aids, services, language translation, and alternative formats of materials to participants and trainees. If you need accommodations or support, please email [email protected] or call (404) 413-9574 or fax (404) 413-1012.

Do you have questions?

View the informational webinar that talks about the AUCD Leadership Academy:

View Recording button




You can also contact the Center for Leadership in Disability with questions. Call (404) 413-9334 or email at [email protected].

For more information about the AUCD Leadership Academy content areas, goals, webinars, Ally Circles and coacing, please visit:

"My commitment has been renewed, I have more courage to lead,
I now accept that my work is personal, and I feel very connected to a bigger movement.
I wish everyone could have this experience." - Quote from previous AUCD Leadership Academy participant