Council funds leadership training for Arizonans with developmental disabilities
July 26, 2017
by Sarah Ruf, Community Relations Specialist
PHOENIX—Three nonprofits will receive $115,000 to train future Arizona leaders with developmental disabilities as part of the 27th birthday celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) from the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.
Diverse Ability Incorporated was awarded $33,000 to create leadership academies for youth in Mohave, Maricopa, and Yavapai counties. The Farmington-based Native American Disability Law Center (NADLC) will receive $51,000 to conduct trainings on the Navajo Nation supporting the successful transition of high school students with disabilities to adulthood. A $30,000 grant to the Spina Bifida Association of Arizona (SBAAZ) will launch leadership training for Maricopa County residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Diverse Ability Incorporated will conduct peer-to-peer training in several communities that include teens with disabilities and without disabilities to create an inclusive environment. The nonprofit will launch a youth program geared toward middle school students. Youth who do and do not have disabilities will get opportunities to learn about the intersectionality of their diversities and common life experiences—all taught by young adults themselves. For more information, contact Melissa Ann Santora at d[email protected].
- The Native American Disability Law Center serves Native Americans with disabilities across northern Arizona. The Center will continue its “Equal Native Youth Voices,” a self-advocacy program that is provided in coordination with the Occupational Skills class of Greyhills Academy High School in Tuba City, Arizona. The program focuses on helping students with disabilities, primarily seniors and juniors, transition from high school to adulthood through training and workshops. Students will increase their decision-making skills, participate in community activities, and become aware of their limitless opportunities while incorporating traditional Native views of disability. For more information, contact Therese Yanan at [email protected].
- “Lead the Way,” is a conference series from SBAAZ that will teach Arizona residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities how to raise their voices within the community by joining local boards, groups and coalitions. Following a series of community meetings with stakeholders and interested parties, SBAAZ will conduct two 12-week sessions of “Lead the Way” course material and case management to empower clients to take action as influencers within their areas of interest. The course includes coaching on topics such as self-discovery and awareness, soft skills for success, public speaking, as well as personal attention in reaching their goals for community involvement. For more information, contact Sharri Runnels at [email protected].
In a 2015 survey conducted by the Council and Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute, less than half of individuals with disabilities stated they spoke up for themselves all of the time. More than 40 percent didn’t know how or were afraid to speak up.
“By training individuals with disabilities on leadership and providing a meaningful opportunity to connect with their peers, we can build confidence and understanding among these future leaders that they are part of a larger movement that can impact change,” said Erica McFadden, executive director of the Council.