Council on Community Advocacy (COCA)
The AUCD Board of Directors has established a number of Councils and Committees that are made up of experts in the field to help the Board address emerging trends and issues, and to facilitate communication across and beyond the AUCD network. The Council on Community Advocacy, also known as COCA, is made up of individuals with disabilities and family members from each University Center across the AUCD network.
COCA assists AUCD to advance policy and practice for and with people with disabilities, their families and communities. The Council helps the association to:
- Build effective partnerships with other AUCD Councils and Committees, federal agencies, and other national disability groups.
- Build the capacity of local University Center Consumer Advisory Committees (CACs), including identifying needs for assistance, providing technical assistance, and disseminating information about exemplary and innovative practices.
- Envision, actively advocate for, and disseminate information about the next generation of policy and practice that will help make the promise of full participation a reality.
- Develop leaders and mentors that build the capacity of the network to affect change at the local, state, and national levels.
- Assist in the development of standards for participation of people with disabilities and family members in UCEDD education, research, and service programs and in AUCD functions.
- Serve as a model and resource for others desiring to infuse the participation people with disabilities and family members into program planning, research, and evaluation.
The Council on Consumer Affairs first convened in the fall of 1994. The Council was formed as a result of AUCD's (formerly AAUAP) increasing recognition of the importance of receiving consistent and ongoing consumer feedback. Start-up activities were funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, through a Project of National Significance entitled "Leadership and Choices." Principle support was provided by Bruce Eddy of AUCD and Carl Calkins of the University of Missouri/Kansas City, Missouri's UCEDD.
The Council leadership structure includes several internal committees and two co-chairs. 1998 By-Laws stipulate that one co-chair must be an individual with a disability, and the other be the family member of an individual with a disability. The three-year, staggered co-chair positions carry with them a slot on AUCD's Board of Directors.
Full Council membership consists of one representative of each UCEDD, designated by that UCEDD's director. The Council continues to strive to meet its long-term goal of full membership.
In 2003-2004, AUCD made a commitment to revitalize the role of COCA within the network. Past President of AUCD, David Johnson appointed an ad hoc COCA Workgroup. This workgroup, chaired by Carl Calkins, solicited feedback from the AUCD network and met several times to develop a renewed vision to strengthen the role of COCA. A final set of recommendations was produced and presented to the board and UCEDD Directors at the UCEDD Directors' retreat May 2-3, 2005 in Chicago, IL.
New on the COCA Web Pages
December 4-7 in Washington, DC
The AUCD 2016 Conference, "Navigating Change: Building our Future Together," highlights both the change that comes at the end of a Presidential term as well as our need to work together to create a future in which children and adults with disabilities are able to participate fully in all aspects of life as valued members of their communities. Join us to engage in powerful, important, and inspiring personal and professional discourse on December 4-7 in Washington, DC.
Deadline: June 20
The AUCD Conference is one of the nation's premier places to highlight your work. Over 200 different presentations will be accepted to the conference in several different types of sessions, formatted for maximum visibility and interaction with attendees. Proposals are encouraged from students, self-advocates, family leaders, clinicians, and researchers in over 25 topics. Don't miss your chance: submit a proposal today!
Mother Nature can create emergencies for everyone, including people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD). However, few Oklahomans with IDD have emergency plans in place. OKSAN (Oklahoma Self-Advocacy Network), a collaborative project facilitated by the Oklahoma UCEDD, has partnered with the American Red Cross to create an emergency preparedness training and workbook curriculum by Oklahoma self-advocates for Oklahoma self-advocates. Beginning in the spring of 2016, self-advocates will provide training in emergency preparedness for 120 self-advocates in 19 counties in Oklahoma. OKSAN plans to continue their collaboration with the Red Cross, and extend partnerships with police and fire departments across the state.
The IOD is excited to announce the launch of our new Tumblr - From Where I Sit. This new blog will provide a first-person voice on various disability-related topics that is informed by current IOD work, but not bound by it. Kathy Bates, who has long been a presence at the IOD, will be authoring the posts. To introduce From Where I Sit and Kathy a little more, here is her first post.
This webinar, presented by Kim Musheno, Director of Public Policy at AUCD, offers students, trainees and early career professionals an orientation to the policy issues and current legislation one can expect to learn more about at the 2016 Disability Policy Seminar. Attendees learned the basics of how to make an appointment to meet with Congressional representatives, and how to deliver a unified message about federally funded programs that benefit people with disabilities. Zipporah Levi-Shackleford, MA (AUCD Board Trainee Representative and Virginia LEND trainee) and Brandon Eddy, MA, CF-SLP (Assistant Virtual Trainee and Oregon LEND trainee) shared their experiences attending the Disability Policy Seminar, as well as provide tips on preparing for and making hill visits.
Since January, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND) has provided preparatory mock legislative visits for trainees and students, facilitated the sharing of personal stories with legislators and policymakers through Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability, created helpful tools for attending Disability Day on the Hill, and educated state legislators during in-person meetings.
In an effort to spread awareness about developmental disabilities, AUCD is partnering with NACDD and NDRN on a social media campaign (Side-by-Side) to highlight the many ways in which people with and without developmental disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities. Together we seek to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as awareness to the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to community life.