The Texas Leadership Institute

The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities (NLCDD) is a joint effort of 15 major developmental disability partner organizations: The American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD), The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), The American Network of Community Options and Resources Foundation (ANCOR Foundation), Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE), The Arc of the United States, The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices (TLC-PCP), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), National Alliance of Direct Support Ptofessionals (NADSP), National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) and TASH.

The NLCDD was developed to help service providers, governmental agencies and advocates make the transition to more person centered approaches in supports and services for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Over the past 11 years, the NLCDD has offered 45 week long institutes, attended by over 1400 people from the US, Canada and a half dozen other countries.

With the support and underwriting of the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust and sponsorship from Jewish Family Services, we are bringing a week-long institute to Texas from May 7-12, 2017 in Houston.

A nationally recognized faculty of practitioners constitute the faculty for this leadership institute and past participants of the leadership institutes regularly count it as the best professional development they have ever experienced.

The Texas Leadership Institute, made possible with funding support from the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust and sponsored by Jewish Family Service Houston, 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 will be held in Texas in May 7-12, 2017. The University of Delaware will bring their week long intensive program that will support leaders to transform supports in Texas for people who have an intellectual or developmental disability. Guest speakers and self-advocates from Texas will be added to supplement an agenda of compelling workshops and presentations. The expected outcomes of the Texas Leadership Institute include:

  • Exploring new service models - developing leaders who think beyond the current "traditional" service models
  • Succession planning - developing "next in line" leaders preparing them for executive level positions

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 intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families. Participants will be selected through an application process administered by the University of Delaware. Representatives from agencies and organizations will be chosen from across Texas.


May 7-12, 2017


Hotel Indigo
5160 Hidalgo St,
Houston, TX 77056


$1400 Early Bird Rate (if application is received before or on March 31): $1650 Regular Rate (if application is received after March 31)


Limited to 35 spaces, chosen by application process


April 5th, 2017

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 recent 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 nine 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 the United States 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.

The experience is life changing. The knowledge of the staff is far beyond what I could get anywhere else. I learned more about leadership within the field of IDD in 5 days than in 5 years. The network I have after completion of the leadership institute will be my strongest support team in Colorado – if I could attend again, I would!
-Stephanie Webb, Community Relations Manager, Mosaic in Denver, Colorado 2016 Leadership Institute

Applications are now open.

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