Council on Leadership in Advocacy (COLA)

 

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The AUCD Board of Directors has established a number of Councils and Committees that are made up of experts in the field to help the Board address emerging trends and issues, and to facilitate communication across and beyond the AUCD network. The Council on Leadership in Advocacy, also known as COLA, is made up of individuals with disabilities and family members from each University Center across the AUCD network.  COLA members are involved in Community Advisory Councils at University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs), AUCD Councils and Committees, AUCD Special Interest Groups, and other advocacy opportunities.  Membership is open to anyone in the AUCD network. However, each center will designate an individual representative who will cast one vote when a matter before the Council requires such action.

 

 

 
 

Mission

The mission of the AUCD Council on Leadership in Advocacy (COLA) is to advise and assist the AUCD network to enhance the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. COLA works to enhance AUCD by fostering and supporting current and new leaders with lived experience of disability, including their family members in order to promote this same leadership in their programs, communities, and regions, and to serve in liaison roles with local disability leadership. The Council helps the association to:

  • Build effective partnerships with other AUCD Councils and Committees, federal agencies, and other national disability groups.
  • Build the capacity of local University Center Consumer Advisory Committees (CACs), including identifying needs for assistance, providing technical assistance, and disseminating information about exemplary and innovative practices.
  • Envision, actively advocate for, and disseminate information about the next generation of policy and practice that will help make the promise of full participation a reality.
  • Develop leaders and mentors that build the capacity of the network to affect change at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Assist in the development of standards for participation of people with disabilities and family members in UCEDD education, research, and service programs and in AUCD functions.
  • Serve as a model and resource for others desiring to infuse the participation people with disabilities and family members into program planning, research, and evaluation.

 

 

 
 

Purpose

The purpose of the Council is to enhance the Association by fostering current and new leaders with lived experience of disability, including their family members, to promote leadership in their programs and communities. Council membership will expand to include directors, faculty, staff, and advisors at center programs, and CAC members.

 

 
 

History

The Council on Consumer Affairs first convened in the fall of 1994; the name was later changed to the Council on Consumer Advocacy. The Council was formed as a result of AUCD's (formerly AAUAP) increasing recognition of the importance of receiving consistent and ongoing consumer feedback. Start-up activities were funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, through a Project of National Significance entitled "Leadership and Choices." Principle support was provided by Bruce Eddy of AUCD and Carl Calkins of the University of Missouri/Kansas City, Missouri's UCEDD.

The Council leadership structure includes several internal committees and two co-chairs. 1998 By-Laws stipulate that one co-chair must be an individual with a disability, and the other be the family member of an individual with a disability. The three-year, staggered co-chair positions carry with them a slot on AUCD's Board of Directors.

Full Council membership consists of one representative of each UCEDD, designated by that UCEDD's director. The Council continues to strive to meet its long-term goal of full membership.

In 2003-2004, AUCD made a commitment to revitalize the role of COCA within the network. Past President of AUCD, David Johnson appointed an ad hoc COCA Workgroup. This workgroup, chaired by Carl Calkins, solicited feedback from the AUCD network and met several times to develop a renewed vision to strengthen the role of COCA. A final set of recommendations was produced and presented to the board and UCEDD Directors at the UCEDD Directors' retreat May 2-3, 2005 in Chicago, IL.

 

 
 

COLA Leadership

 

 

 
 

NEW ON THE COLA
WEB PAGES

 

7/27/2021

30 Years of Community Living

"30 Years of Community Living for Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities," a free digital book from the Administration for Community Living written in accessible language, features infographics, photos, and personal perspectives on community living and inclusion shared by people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, who served as advisors to the project.

 
 

7/16/2021

Louisiana DeafBlindess for Youth (Louisiana UCEDD)

Louisiana's UCEDD, Human Development Center (HDC), is featured in Helen Keller National Center's 2021 DeafBlind Awareness video campaign. DeafBlind Awareness Week 2021 runs from June 27- July 3. HDC's DeafBlind initiative, Louisiana DeafBlind Project for Children and Youth (LADBP), is supported by the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs. LADBP identifies and supports students with varying degrees of combined hearing and vision losses throughout the state of Louisiana.

 
 

7/16/2021

Nisonger In 'Sights' Photo Contest

The Nisonger In'Sights' Photo Contest first began in 2014 as a way to help increase positive images of individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities and their families. Since then, with themes varying from 'at work' , 'technology' and 'families'; we've received over 500 photos and been able to use them in a multitude of settings and variety of media including our website, facebook page, and various promotional, educational and research materials - THANK YOU!

 
 

7/7/2021

IMPACT: A Special Issue on Crisis Management for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Impact contains contributions from researchers at Texas A&M University's Center on Disability and Development and the University of Texas at Austin's Texas Center for Disability Studies. Dr. Laura M. Stough, served as edition editor, along with Mary Sowers, Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, and Ren�ta Tich�, Co-Director of the Global Resource Center for Inclusive Education at the Institute on Community Integration. Note that this interactive digital edition also provides a voiced reader to increase accessibility.

 
 

7/7/2021

OHSU UCEDD has been developing disability professionals for 20 years

The Institute on Development & Disability at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) UCEDD starts each summer with a group of fresh-faced interns hoping to inspire a career path that includes helping people with disabilities. Sometimes the UCEDD is lucky enough to be part of students� journeys beyond the eight-week summer internship program. �We are so fortunate to be a part of shaping the next generation of disability and health professionals. I am especially proud that our program focuses on training opportunities for students with disabilities or students who are from diverse communities and backgrounds. Occasionally we come across a student with a strong passion for the work who then continues on with us as they finish their high school or college career, such as Aleena West. It is a mutual learning experience as our students contribute so much.� says Rhonda Eppelsheimer, UCEDD Director.

 
 

7/6/2021

New COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Tools and Videos for People with Disabilities

AUCD's National Center on Disability in Public Health is excited to share new COVID-19 Vaccine Resources to promote vaccine confidence for people with disabilities, their families, and Direct Support Professionals. The new resources include Vaccine Confidence Plain Language Talking Points to support and promote conversations around the COVID-19 vaccine for people with disabilities; Social Media Graphics featuring plain language text and a diverse array of characters; and short Videos of Vaccine Stories from individuals with disabilities and their family members from across the country. New videos and messaging tools are added continuously, and all are available for your use!

 

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