Upcoming Events

Emerging Leaders Program


Are you a self-advocate with a developmental disability or a family member of a person with a disability?

Would you like to become involved in making systemic changes for your community?

Would you like to become an effective member of a statewide task force, a regional center or other board or committee?

Would you like to learn how to advocate to break down systemic barriers to services for underserved children and adults with developmental disabilities, particularly for people of color and people who are nonspeaking?

If so, the Emerging Leaders Program is for you!


Become a leader and advocate for your community

We are looking for diverse self-advocates and family members who want to take their leadership skills to the next level to become systemic advocates.

This exciting new free training program focuses on growing and nurturing self-advocates with developmental disabilities and family-advocates to become leaders in their communities and the state. We particularly want to focus on lifting up diverse and underserved future leaders, including people of color, people who speak languages other than English, self-advocates who are nonspeaking, and those from rural areas.

Trainings will include sessions on:

  • Understanding the role of serving on the board of an organization
  • Public speaking and telling your story in one minute
  • How to use social media
  • How to advocate for better equity, outcomes, and self-determination
  • Ways to build a network with others in your community
  • And lots more!

Five Online Training Sessions

The program consists of a five-part online leadership training to provide individuals with the tools and information to increase their leadership skills and become active leaders in their communities.

The trainings will take place on Zoom for two hours,
from 10 am – 12 noon on the following Saturday mornings:

  • December 11
  • January 22
  • January 29
  • February 5
  • February 12

To be accepted into the Emerging Leaders Program, you must commit to attending all five sessions.

Sessions will be led by experts and exciting guest speakers, and they promise to be fun and interactive. You may even have a little homework!

After the training sessions, participants may be matched with an experienced leader mentor to help answer questions and guide you. The support for you to become a leader will continue beyond the training.

All of the trainings and support are provided free of charge and funded through the generous support of California’s Department of Developmental Services and the Disability Inclusion Fund of Borealis Philanthropy.

Applications are now being accepted

This program is offered to people with developmental disabilities and their family members only. Participants will be selected through an application process.


Please feel free to share this with other self-advocates or family members who might be interested!

Applications are due by November 28, 2021.

We will be reviewing the applications as they come in, so we encourage you to turn them in early! We will email you to confirm if you have been accepted as soon as decisions are made, but no later than December 3.


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