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A number of organizations provide advocacy and leadership training for self-advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families and opportunities to put your individual advocacy into action. This includes:

  • Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) prepares people of all abilities to address the challenges they face through leadership to create healthier Kansas communities. The Center offers three different courses from 2, 2 ½ and 7-day training programs and the Council encourages family advocates and self-advocates to attend to better prepare you to lead for the change. The council seeks to recruit two people per month for one of the training courses and, for those directly involved in the disability community, scholarships are available for the tuition and housing through Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK). Anyone interested in attending should contact us. Visit the Kansas Leadership Center's website
  • Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) promotes the empowerment and independence of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. For more information, visit their website or SACK's Facebook page.
  • Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA) educates and mentors youth with I/DD to become contributing members of their community through a number of programs for personal and leadership development - including the week-long Kansas Youth Leadership Forum (KSYLF) for high school juniors and seniors with a disability. Visit KYEA's website.
  • The Kansas Disability Caucus plans, organizes and coordinates activities that promote independent living through collaboration, networking, education, planning, and peer-to-peer interaction. The Caucus hosts a conference every two years to provide opportunities for Kansans with disabilities to learn, share, and provide solutions to issues faced by the disability community. Learn more about the Kansas Disability Caucus.


How you can Advocate

Think Globally, Act Locally. Through advocacy and leadership training you will create the awareness of the issues facing the people in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) community. As you develop a broader awareness and create a global understanding of the issues, you need to look for opportunities to act locally – talking to city officials about the accessibility of parks and recreation, explaining to your minister how they could make church more accessible or ask a business to reduce the strength and pressure required to open a bathroom door.

Or, you can represent the I/DD community at city council and county commission meetings or join the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities (KCDD) and other advocacy partners at the state legislature or even in Washington to passionately state your case.

Advocacy opportunities are everywhere. It takes leadership and courage but it works!

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