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

 

 

 
 

Upcoming Events
of Interest to
COCA Members

More Events >

 
 

NEW ON THE COLA
WEB PAGES

 

4/7/2021

AUCD's Public Health Team Launches Prepared4ALL Initiative

The Prepared4ALL initiative, offered by AUCD's new Technical Assistance and Training Center, is excited to announce the launch of their online training, "Prepared4ALL: Whole Community Inclusive Emergency Planning". This free self-paced online training aims to help disability organizations increase their knowledge about emergency planning so they can begin or continue to get involved in these efforts in their local community while also building sustainable partnerships with their local emergency and public health professionals. This training is centered around the Prepared4ALL process, a strength-based model which helps organizations creatively and flexibly navigate inclusion and accessibility issues.

 
 

2/22/2021

2021 Disability Policy Seminar

April 19-22, 2021 - A Virtual Event

The Disability Policy Seminar offers the opportunity for passionate advocates, self-advocates, experts, and professionals in the field to come together and learn about key issues that affect them most. After two days of training and learning, attendees head to Capitol Hill for a day of meetings with their Members of Congress.

 
 

3/18/2021

The COVID-19 Pandemic and People with Disabilities: Primary Concerns, the AUCD Network Response, and Needs for the Future

While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how individuals worldwide live, work, communicate, and receive medical care and education, it has further illustrated the disproportionate gaps that exist for people with disabilities to receive these same resources and services necessary for survival and quality of life. The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has identified, responded to, advocated for, and addressed the needs of people with disabilities throughout the pandemic.

 
 

3/17/2021

COVID-19 Vaccination and Reaching People with Disabilities (PWD)

Webinar Series brought to you by AUCD, ASTHO and NACCHO

Join our organizations, state-level jurisdictions, and CDC guests to hear about promising practices on how states are reaching people with disabilities.

 
 

3/15/2021

Care Connection Campaign

AUCD partner, GT Independence, has launched a unique initiative to combat the impacts of social isolation from the pandemic. The "Care Connection Campaign" began March 1st to raise awareness of the effects of social isolation and b) engage members of the public with storytelling about their plans for a future �Connect Day' with loved ones that are isolated. AUCD members are encouraged to participate in the campaign! You can use the tips shared on social media to check-in on older individuals and those with disabilities in your family, neighborhood, and community.

 
 

3/15/2021

Westchester Institute for Human Development Leading the Way to Vaccinate People with IDD

A year ago we were trying to figure out what this virus was all about and how/if it would affect our lives. Now, just a year later, the Westchester Institute for Human Development began vaccinating people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities against this deadly virus. This was made possible through the tremendous work of WIHD to advocate for and persist in becoming an approved NY State vaccination site, turning our lobby into a state of the art vaccination site, training registrars and vaccinators, and assuring that people with IDD are in a vaccine priority category.

 
 

3/12/2021

Narrative Advocacy: Valuing Parents as Experts and Teachers

For over 30 years, Maggie Hoffman has worked to strengthen and support families of children and adults with disabilities and special health care needs. She is a co-founder and former executive director of Project DOCC - Delivery of Chronic Care: a medical education curriculum developed by parents to teach pediatric doctors in training about living with illness and disability.

 

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