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Leadership Series

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The Vermont Leadership Series trains Vermonters with developmental disabilities, and their family members, to be advocates for positive social change. Lessons include steps to be a leader, how to get your point across, and key issues in disability rights.

An illustration of three people holding hands, and in the center of them is the Vermont State House. This is the Vermont Leadershp Series logo.

These workshops are comprised of presentations, panels, and interactive exercises illustrating legislative advocacy skills, ways to promote positive attitudes about disability, and inclusive practices that harness the strengths of all.  Activities are designed to help participants build new partnerships and increase each developing leader’s commitment to making Vermont a better place to live for people with disabilities.

Guest speaker and nationally known self-advocate, Chester Finn, encourages Leadership Series participants by saying, "Your motto should be 'If I don't do it, who will?'"


Leadership is for Vermonters with diverse experiences of disability. Examples include:

  • Parents of any age who support a son or daughter with a developmental disability.
  • Adults living with intellectual or other disabilities who want to take their advocacy to a new level.
  • Sisters, brothers, and grandparents who are growing into their role supporting a family member with a disability.


The training begins in the fall and ends in the winter ...

Each weekend session begins Saturday morning and ends Sunday afternoon. So, what’s different about this year?. The only thing that really changes is the when and where, which is described in the 2020 Leadership Series Coverpage. Leadership coordinators carefully consider venues for accessibility, cost, and location…


Want to learn about the Leadership Series before you apply?

You can read the full five-page packet or the brief two-page summary. There is also a quick bullet-pointed list of "What to Expect".


How do I apply to become a candidate for participation?

The Deadline for the 2020 Vermont Leadership Series has been extended to Monday, September 30, 2019. We encourage everyone to apply and spaces are limited. Don't fret if you weren't accepted this time or missed the application deadline - another class is always just around the corner.


The Leadership Graduation Ceremony takes place every year at the Vermont State House on Disability Awareness Day.

The series is sponsored by the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council and Vermont Family Network, with support from Green Mountain Self-Advocates, Vermont Department of Health, and UVM Center on Disability and Community Inclusion.

An illustration of people running across a finish line.

Downloadable Documents seen on this page: