About Us: What is The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities?

The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware is a partnership of fifteen national developmental disabilities organizations. The Consortium offers intensive week-long leadership institutes offered in Delaware or in your state or province, leadership training designed to meet the specific needs of disability organizations, a resource-rich website tailored to the needs of emerging leaders in the disability field, a community of practice aimed at supporting the growth and knowledge of disability leaders and research on best practices and innovations in disability supports and leadership.

The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities is a program of The University of Delaware's Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

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The goal of the National Leadership Consortium is to assure the quality and commitment of the next generation of leaders for government and nonprofit organizations serving people with developmental disabilities. Drawing upon the experience of the principals of the Leadership Consortium in heading two of the largest disability associations nationally, the Consortium is dedicated to building a corps of quality leaders and to the promotion of sound, values-based leadership practices.

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 intellectual/developmental disabilities services. The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities is significantly impacting the quality of supports to which people with disabilities have access.

Educational and training opportunities through The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities focus on:

  • Understanding the history of the intellectual/developmental disabilities field as a context for change;
  • Understanding one's own strengths and development needs relevant to leadership;
  • Managing for quality services, supports and outcomes that meet the needs and desires of people with disabilities and their families;
  • Strategic planning, visioning a better future, and organizational change;
  • Mastering the ability to lead by example;
  • Making strategically-driven decisions;
  • Capitalizing on communication, technology, and marketing;
  • Understanding the challenges of an individualized service system, including fiscal and managerial implications;
  • Developing the ability to build relationships with, influence, and motivate others;
  • Selecting and supporting quality staff and assuring their commitment to positive values;
  • Promoting a positive culture through all levels of the organization;
  • Developing strong team members by challenging, including, and valuing them;
  • Planning for one's own professional and career development;
  • Establishing and achieving mission-focused professional and organizational goals;
  • Working with boards for competent governance;
  • Maximizing public funding sources and capitalizing on fundraising opportunities;
  • Applying successful strategies for problem-solving and managing conflict; and
  • Adapting to philosophical, organizational, and public policy shifts.