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Create Leaders and Empower Advocacy
Lead Systems Change

Create Leaders and Empower Advocacy

SACK Leadership Training

The Council continues to be a proud sponsor of the annual Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) Conference; the SACK conference is a wonderful opportunity for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities to meet, share and learn from each other and experts in the field.  Conference participants have the opportunity to choose from 20 different Learning Sessions during 5 breakout sessions.   A motivating keynote speaker and other activities are also offered at the conference.

KCDD has forged a partnership with the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) and SACK to provide integrated leadership training opportunities for self advocates, family members, providers, and support staff.  Self Advocates participate in world class leadership training alongside community leaders at KLC.  Self Advocates are able to take the skills and leadership competencies they've learned back to their local communities and become more engaged in personal, collaborative, and civic leadership.  The principles taught in these leadership trainings have spread across Kansas and into regional and national self advocacy networks.

Cole Browne, a Kansas Leadership Center self advocate alumni was awarded a SARTAC grant to help translate KLC principles into consumer friendly language to share nationwide.

If you are a self advocate or family member who is interested in participating in leadership training opportunities at the Kansas Leadership Center in Wichita, scholarships are available for tuition, lodging, and travel.  For more information on these trainings, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas.  (Phone:  785.749.5588)

FACES of Change Youth Leadership

The FACES of Change (FACES) program is an advanced leadership training for youth between the ages of 17-25.  The goal is to foster the growth of existing leadership skills through leadership development, peer support, and civic engagement. The Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA) will gather participants to meet in Topeka to learn the following session Topics.  Job Description of a Leader; P.A.V.E. the Way; Language of Leadership; Leading from the Front: Leading from the Side; Leading from the Back, and Look at this Face. Team members will work on meeting outcomes, such as understanding the expectations and responsibilities of leadership; identifying their purpose, authenticity, values, and emotional intelligence; understanding and improving their professional communication; identifying and practicing skills that are needed to lead from the front, side, and back; and embracing leadership transition. The FACES structure and components provide one-to-one and group activities, coaching, facilitation of youth involvement in specific leadership activities, training, project management, and peer-to-peer support. Faces also provide mentoring opportunities for youth and around the issues of goals, leadership, and self-sufficiency and assist youth in obtaining higher self-esteem and self-efficacy, obtaining job readiness skills, lowering chances of bullying, and creating a commitment to community and civic engagement. KYEA is committed to decreasing risk factors, assuring that Faces of Change is guided by 5 protective factors: nurturing and attachment, knowledge, resilience, connections, and support. KYEA will focus on low self-esteem and self-efficacy, low expectations, high unemployment, victims of bullying and youth violence, as well as lack of safe spaces for life exploration.

The KCDD has partnered with KYEA to increase understanding of the various sides of leadership that includes: job description of a leader, P.A.V.E. the way, language of leadership, leading from the front, side, back and leadership transition.

  • The KYEA will distribute pre and post-session evaluations to measure progress at the end of each session.  Each session will include a team building exercise that will be facilitated related to specific monthly objectives.

  • Each month, members will have taken home leadership challenges putting what they learn in practice between sessions.  Members will be videotaped explaining what leadership means to them in month 1 and again in month 7.

  • Various leaders will present on their leadership journey and specific monthly topics.  Team members will know their leadership strengths, areas of improvements, and style to effectively lead on committees and board of directors.

  • The Faces of Change manual will be edited and updated with material gathered from previous class experiences.

The goal is to have a total of 20 team members participate in the Face of Change Program. KYEA will partner with SACK to create/provide a curriculum that is reader-friendly. And at least 15 youths will graduate from the Faces Program with at least 6-10 youths have I/DD. The project uses monthly activities to keep the members enrolled moving towards the goal of having a working community change project in action or a fully complete community change project.

Kansas Youth Leadership Forum

The Kansas Youth Leadership Forum (KSYLF) is a 5-day intensive leadership training for high school juniors and seniors (as well as those within an 18-21 transition program) with a variety of disabilities including intellectual developmental disabilities. The KSYLF aims to create a safe atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement so that the youth can grow, express their true goals, start to create their own plan for the future, and have a successful transition into adulthood. KSYLF provides information and activities related to the basics of leadership, disability history, disability awareness, individual and systems advocacy, goal setting, and assertive communication.  Through information provided in our large and small group sessions by successful professionals and role models, as well as information provided in their manuals, youth learn about the community and statewide resources, the process of living independently, and career options.

The KCDD has partnered with the KSYLF to assist youth to develop into leaders within their own lives and in their community. An intense schedule, with thought-provoking topics, challenges the students through small groups and large groups daily.

  • The week's activities include a mock debate within the State Capitol Senate Chambers and a formal mentor luncheon. The mock debate is sponsored by a selected legislator who guides and supports them throughout the debate.

  • Large group sessions with specific topics on leadership skills, disability heritage, goal setting, disability awareness, and system's advocacy.

  • During the systems advocacy session, delegates learn about the legislative process, including how a bill becomes a law and the various roles of a legislator and their impact on the state of Kansas.

  • The Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA) searches for a potential mentor that fits within one of three categories: 1) works in the identified career field or is receiving education towards employment in that career field, 2) has a disability, and 3) lives in the same community as the delegate.  After all, mentors are cleared through the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, disability awareness training is provided in hopes of breaking down any fears or hesitations that may arise concerning the topic of disabilities.  

A Personal Leadership Plan is the ultimate goal of the week. Not only do the participants leave with a wealth of knowledge about life and leadership, but they also leave with a fully self-authored Plan, which serves as a guide once they return to their own communities. The Personal Leadership Plan allows the delegates to write down their future goals in a variety of life domains including employment, education, advocacy, community service, independent living, social, recreational and technology and resources. The KYEA we follow up with the youth after they return to their communities to ensure that they are working on their Personal Leadership Plans.

The goal is for 20-25 applicants (at least 6 with I/DD) will be selected as forum delegates.

Lead Systems Change

More information coming soon

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Discover what it takes to live the life you want to live.


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Five Year State Plan

· Creating Leaders & Empowering Advocacy
· Leading Systems Change


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