Florida Developmental Disabilities Collaborative Leadership Program

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Collaborative Leadership Program is an opportunity to come together with other Florida agency and self-advocate leaders to learn from each other and leading experts. This year-long program is being offered in Tampa, Florida. The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities, sponsored by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, will run this year-long intensive program to support the next generation of leaders to transform supports in Florida for people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Guest speakers from Florida will be added to supplement an agenda of compelling in-person meetings, webinars, and conference calls. The Florida DD Network Collaborative Leadership Program will train emerging leaders to increase the Florida IDD system's ability to support independence and respect for people with disabilities. The program will help people who are part of the training develop their leadership skills. At the end of the program, leaders will have a plan and start working to change issues in the Florida IDD system. During the program, leaders will learn from experts from across the country who have experience in:

  • Supporting Self Advocates to lead change;
  • Building relationships and working with other people who are interested in IDD issues;
  •  Impacting changes in IDD systems; and,
  • Learning how to guide and mentor others.

This Leadership Program will be for a cadre (group) of 10 Leaders from the Florida Developmental Disabilities System. This group of leaders will include 5 self-advocate leaders and 5 organizational leaders. 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 and/or be a self-advocate in the Florida IDD system.


August 2018-July 2019

 In-Person Meetings (Participant attendance required):

 August 20-22, 2018 (Three Day Meeting)

 December 10, 2018 (One Day Meeting)

 April 29- April 30, 2019 (Two Day Meeting)


Tampa, Florida area hotel

Participation Includes: 

All travel, hotel, and meal, costs for Group members (and support staff if applicable) are included.  As well, most materials are included.


Limited to 10 spaces, chosen by application process.


July 18, 2018


There is no cost to participate in this Program.  

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 fifteen 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 sflddld not-for-profit businesses and government agencies, are capable of assembling top-notch teams of caring staff, and have a sflddld 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 course emphasizes participation and collaboration. Reading and structured assignments may be required in advance. Individual and group participation during the meetings are essential. As well, much of the program will be online so regular access to a computer is encouraged.  

For an application form, click here

To learn more about the Leadership Program, e-mail Kristen Loomis at kloomis@udel.edu.

Sponsored by United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc.