British Columbia Leadership Institute

The British Columbia Leadership Institute on Developmental Disabilities is an opportunity to come together with other agency leaders to learn from each other, leading experts, self-advocates and their families, and funders. This program is being offered in Kelowna, British Columbia May 14-18, 2018. The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware, in partnership with The Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship at UBC, will bring their week long intensive program to British Columbia to support leaders to transform supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Guest speakers and self-advocates from British Columbia will supplement an agenda of compelling workshops and presentations. The expected outcomes of the British Columbia Leadership Institute include:

  • Increased capacity to lead teams, organizations and systems to make organizational changes to enhance the quality and responsiveness of services;
  • Better alignment of beliefs and values with principles of person centeredness
  •  Enhanced personal leadership skills
  • Higher confidence in personal leadership efficacy
  • Relationships with leaders who will continue to motivate and invest in each other

Applicants should work in areas of management or program leadership in organizations that provide, advocate for or fund community-based services and support for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Participants will be selected through an application process administered by the University of Delaware. Application deadline is March 20, 2018.

The Leadership Consortium has provided the best learning experience I have ever had. I learned about my strengths and how I am perceived by those who work around me. I was challenged to think about how supports really should be and I was given the tools necessary to carry out a change initiative tailored to the agency I work for. I am excited for the future of this field.
     --Melodie Cook, Operations Director, Community Living Windsor, Ontario

The Leadership Consortium has opened my eyes and mind to a clear definition of person directed supports. I am walking away with new ideas, leadership insight and renewed passion for people with disabilities, in our sector and our communities.
     --Jennifer Gleva, VP of Human Resources, Christian Horizons, Ontario

Participation in the Leadership Institute has motivated and inspired me to shift focus from agency and sector services to comprehensive systems transformation and cross-sectoral collaborations. Disability issues are human rights issues. All people have the right to live a life that matters to them. This means more natural and social support networks.
     --Pamela Singleton-Palmer, Director, Programs and Services, Aptus Treatment Centre, Ontario

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May 14 - May 18, 2018


University of British Columbia Okanagan,
3333 University Way,
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7


Tuition (includes some meals and all supplies):  $500 USD (Early bird rate, applications received by close of business on March 5th); $700 USD (Regular rate, applications received after March 5th and by March 20th). We will send an invoice after you are accepted.


Limited to 32 spaces, chosen by application process 


March 20, 2018

Why a Leadership Institute?

A crisis is looming in the field of developmental disabilities. Fully two-thirds of current CEOs and executive directors of nonprofit organizations, and an equal number of government senior managers, anticipate remaining in their positions for five years or fewer. Many leaders of disability organizations are reaching retirement age and there is not a “next generation” of leaders prepared to move into these positions. In a study by The University of Delaware, over 50% of the CEOs surveyed did not have a succession plan for their organizations. Almost without exception, the leadership crisis has been a major topic of focus at recent conferences for developmental disability professionals.  

While some generic non-profit management and leadership courses are available nationally, none exist that are specific to leaders in the complex and changing field of developmental disabilities services. The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities recognizes the responsibility to respond to this emerging crisis and the University of Delaware is joining forces with major developmental disability organizations to offer intensive week-long training for emerging leaders in the developmental disabilities field.  

What does the Leadership Institute Offer?

The University of Delaware Leadership Institute offers a select group of future leaders from organizations across British Columbia and internationally, the opportunity to come together with a fabulous faculty of national experts on progressive supports for people with disabilities. The Institute supports the development of skilled leaders who are passionate about quality, have the leadership, management and financial skills needed to run solid not-for-profit businesses and government agencies, are capable of assembling top-notch teams of caring staff, and have a solid commitment to progressive values that assured lives of meaning and impact for the individuals receiving support.  

The course emphasizes participation and collaboration. Extensive reading and structured assignments are required in advance. Written assignments and individual and group participation during the week are essential.  

A highlight of the course for past participants has been the relationships that are built over the week-long experience. Participants will leave with a network of colleagues and enduring relationships with some of the most influential leaders in the field.  

The focus of the Leadership Institute is on supporting participants to determine and set organizational direction to move their organization to a high-performance model, and build a lifetime network of peers and leaders to sustain career growth.  

For an application form,  click here

To learn more about the Leadership Institute, e-mail Kristen Loomis. at