AUCD Leadership Academy


The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) in partnership with the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University (GSU) is pleased to announce the AUCD LEADERSHIP ACADEMY. View Event Flyer

June 23-28, 2019, Atalanta GA

What is the AUCD Leadership Academy?

The AUCD Leadership Academy is a week-long program designed to enhance the skills of current and emerging leaders from the disability network to build coalitions to improve systems of supports and services. The Leadership Academy seeks participants from UCEDDs, LENDs, and their disability partners to come together to immerse themselves for a week of study, shared experiences, self-evaluation, and skill development. Participants will engage with their cohort, Academy staff, local coaches, and national allies in the year following the experience. The Academy will focus on the exploration of shared values and commitments to civil and human rights, assessments of personal and leadership strengths, skills in building partnerships to achieve collective impact, and establishing personal and professional leadership goals.

View informational webinar and event flyer below:




Leadership Academy Curriculum 

Courage to Lead and Circle of Trust

  • Courage to Lead and Circle of Trust will serve as an organizing framework for the leadership content, which is grounded in the work of Parker Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal. This framework:
    • Is rooted in community organizing with historically disenfranchised groups
    • Incorporates extensive experiences with leadership identity, learning, growth, and sustained effort toward solving complex social issues
    • Has a 20+ year history of utilization with cohorts of new, emergent, and established leaders
    • Provides a forum for exploring professional and organization values, vision, and core commitments
    • Supports participants' resilience and commitment to creating a community that recognizes and honors difference and diversity
    • Can be delivered within the time frame of the Academy while still leaving time for exploration of other UCEDD/LEND/disability organization topics

History of Disability and Civil Rights

  • We plan to visit the National Center on Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta to be followed by presentations and discussions that will focus on our shared commitment to social justice:
    • History of disability rights and independent living as movements
    • Evolution of disability policy
    • Current issues in national policy
    • State-level issues
    • Advocacy

Building Partnerships and Collective Impact

  • We will have presentations and activities led by leaders in the disability network, featuring:
    • Examples of successful partnerships that addressed multiple organizations and perspectives - universities, community partners, advocacy organizations, and provider agencies
    • Illustrating one of the tenets of Courage to Lead that leadership involves "creating the space where people can discover their resources"
    • Collective Impact provides a model for sustainable social change that identifies five necessary conditions:
    • Creating a common agenda
    • Developing shared measurement and metrics
    • Working in a manner that is mutually reinforcing
    • Communicating continuously
    • Establishing a backbone organization 
    • The model has been put forward as an alternative to work long-conducted in "silos" and often not leading to sustainable change

Self-Awareness and Strengths-based Leadership

  • Participants will be coached on how to examine and utilize their individual strengths as a leader. Participants will also learn how to identify and nurture the strengths of their colleagues in their place of employment.
  • The Values in Action (VIA), a strengths-based self-assessment, will be completed by all participants and will guide the discussions on strengths-based leadership during the Academy.

Post-Academy Leadership Development
After participating in the Academy, participants will receive the following continued leadership development: (1) year-long coaching; (2) year-long discussions with Leadership Self-Reflection Allies; and (3) access to leadership-related webinars that will serve to bring the cohort together around specific content.

  • Leadership Coaches: The Leadership coach will support Academy participants in the translating training commitments and skills into action in their home organizations.
  • Leadership Self-Reflection Allies: The leadership self-reflection ally ("Ally") will support participants' continued personal and professional development after the in-person training. Special emphasis will be on supporting strengths-based leadership development and connection to the broader national network.
  • Webinars: We will coordinate six post-Academy webinars that cover content deemed important by the Academy participants. We aim to recruit Academy participants to co- lead the webinars when appropriate.


For assistance or questions, please call the Center for Leadership in Disability
at (404) 413-9334 or email
For more information, please visit: