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

 

6/7/2021

Funded Through NSF Grant, Researchers Strive to Increase Neurodiversity in STEM Fields

There is wide agreement that the United States needs to grow our STEM workforce to remain globally competitive, but how can we ensure the workforce reflects the neurodiversity of our population? Importantly, do our higher education institutions serve as facilitators or barriers to neurodiversity in STEM?

 
 

6/7/2021

MI-DDI to Promote COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence

Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute is excited to #VaccinateByADA! Follow us on Facebook (@MIDDIatWSU) and Twitter (@DDIatWSU) to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines and why they are important for people with disabilities and their caretakers, family, and friends. Help spread the word by reposting and sharing our content to help reduce access barriers and promote vaccine confidence.

 
 

6/7/2021

National Vaccine Month of Action

Beginning June 4, Made to Save is launching a month-long mobilization effort in support of the Department of Health & Human Services' We Can Do This campaign to ensure as many people as possible get vaccinated by July 4th. From June 5th through July 4th, we're hosting community-level events across the country and online to encourage people-especially those in communities hit the hardest by the pandemic-to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community.

 
 

6/2/2021

Center Director Dr. Daniel Crimmins to Retire After 12 Years of "Leadership in Disability"

Dr. Daniel Crimmins celebrated his retirement from the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) on May 28, 2021 - after an illustrious 12 years at the helm of the organization, which was established at Georgia State University in 2008. Through multiple virtual celebrations, Dr. Crimmins was joined by friends and colleagues alike to mark the occasion.

 
 

6/2/2021

Innovation in Self-Advocacy and Family Networks Award Winner

Tracey Manz, the lead parent facilitator and program coordinator of Aspirations at the Nisonger Center, was awarded the Innovation in Self-Advocacy and Family Networks Award by the National Charting the LifeCourse Nexus.

 
 

6/2/2021

Invited lecture at the Boggs Center at Rutgers University

On May 21st, Andrea Witwer, Director of Training for the Nisonger Center and LEND Co-Associate Director, was invited to give a Lecture for the Boggs Center Developmental Disability Lecture Series sponsored by the Boggs Center at Rutgers University. "Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities".

 
 

6/2/2021

OSU TOPS Program Celebrates 2021 Graduating Class

The TOPS Program celebrated its seventh graduating class yesterday in an intimate, socially-distanced ceremony. The four graduates of the Class of 2021 were recognized for their hard work and effort, especially the ability to navigate their college experiences during a global pandemic. The TOPS Program staff are incredibly proud of these students, Congratulatons!

 
 

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Providing Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Direct Support Professionals Survey, 12-Month Follow Up

Over the past 12 months, direct support professionals have experienced high risks of infection, financial hardship, and exhaustion. Many have become ill and lost loved ones. The voices of DSPs matter, now more than ever. Show them you care about their wellbeing by passing along this confidential survey. The University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration, in partnership with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, developed this survey to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on direct support professionals and identify the most effective ways to protect DSPs and the people they support.

 
 

6/2/2021

The Boggs Center Celebrates the Graduation of the 2020-2021 NJLEND Fellows at the 5th Annual Maternal and Child Health Leadership Symposium

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6/2/2021

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities Hosted a Virtual Graduation Ceremony to Celebrate the Accomplishments of the New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Class of 2020-2021

New Jersey Partners in Policymaking is a leadership development and advocacy education program for adults with developmental disabilities and family members available through The Boggs Center with funding from the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities. This year's graduates included 11 self-advocates and 14 parents prepared to work toward meaningful change in our state.

 
 

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The Experts in the Room: Sonoran UCEDD students train Reid Park Zoo staff on accessibility, inclusion

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Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities Community and Professional Development Training Program Hosts its 2021 Summer Learning Series Virtually

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MN LEND Fellows Help Faith-based Organizations with Inclusion

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NH-ME LEND Trainees Display Scholarship and Leadership in 2021 Capstone Poster Session

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6/1/2021

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6/1/2021

Rural Institute Launches Montana Voices Amplified

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6/1/2021

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6/1/2021

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and ACM Lifting Lives Welcome New and Returning Campers to Virtual 2021 ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp

New and returning Music Campers from all over the U.S. and Canada came together via videoconference from Apr. 25 through May 2 to participate in a week of virtual activities and sessions, joined by ACM recording artists and songwriters including Priscilla Block, Ross Copperman, J.T. Harding, HARDY, Parmalee, Restless Road, Payton Smith, and Lainey Wilson.

 

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