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Leadership Academy


The ANCOR Foundation launched the Leadership Academy on May 1, 2017 to recognize and support emerging leaders who are building their careers in services and supports for people with disabilities.

The objectives of the program are to support mid-career professionals to build their areas of expertise and thought-leadership to enhance influence and reputation in the national I/DD community as the next generation of leaders.

Program participants will be expected to complete 50-units of learning activities that are completed over a 2-year period. Participants can earn the units through any of the ANCOR Foundation-sponsored activities, ANCOR-sponsored events, or completing external trainings (supporting documentation required).

The Program will focus on these general categories (sample topics, not exhaustive).

  • Leadership Skills Development (e.g., Strategic Planning; Consensus-Building; Conflict Management; Change Management)
  • Performance Management (e.g., Quality Measures; Evaluations)
  • Communications (e.g., Crisis Management; Social Media Strategy; Marketing; Meeting facilitation)
  • Policy/Advocacy (e.g., Lobbying; Grassroots Advocacy; Disability Rights History)
  • Financial Management (e.g., Budget Management; Financial Analysis)

The Foundation will continually evaluate focus areas based on participant feedback and needs.

Applications will be accepted until August 15, 2017. Accepted applicants will be notified in September. Mandatory participation in program (virtual) orientation will be held in October.

Leadership Academy Offerings

  • Up to 12 complimentary ANCOR Foundation-hosted 60-90 minute webinars (held on 4th Thursday of the month, starting at 2:00pm, Eastern)
  • 4 complimentary ANCOR-hosted webinars (in addition to ANCOR Foundation webinars)
  • 2 complimentary ANCOR Foundation pre-conference sessions (or equivalent)
  • Optional mentoring
  • Dedicated ACC peer support group

Program Completion

  • Recognition at ANCOR Annual Conference
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Graduates will be listed on the ANCOR Foundation website, denoting their focus area;
    • Graduates are expected to continue lifelong learning and give back to the community as potential presenters/speakers, mentors, or other demonstration of thought-leadership

Program Requirements

  • Must attend virtual program orientation (October)
  • Learning Activities
    • Program completion is a combination of Learning Activities and Giving Back to the disability community
    • 50-units of any combination of learning activities and giving back must be earned over 2-year period to successfully complete the Leadership Academy
  • Learning Activities: refers to webinars, conferences, or seminars attended, as well as any professional mentoring that is received
    • E.g., attending webinars, seminars, or conferences (plenary and breakout sessions only): 1 hour attendance = 1 unit
    • Receive Professional Mentoring: 1 hour mentoring = 1 unit
  • Giving Back: refers to sharing expertise with the broader community, such as active participation in an ANCOR committee or initiative; giving presentations and/or speeches; or publishing articles (e.g., LINKS or other publication)
    • ANCOR committee or initiative: 1-hour meeting/work session= 1 unit
    • Presentations and/or speeches: 1 presentation / speech = 2 units
    • Article for publication: 1 article = 2 units
  • Upon completion of 50-units, participants must write one article that highlights what they learned over the 2-year period and how they intend to apply the new knowledge in their career moving forward
    • Article to be published in LINKS to share with broader ANCOR community to further heighten their profile as an emerging leader and/or subject-matter expert in the community
  • Tracking Units
    • Participants who register for an ANCOR or ANCOR Foundation-sponsored event/activity will automatically receive the units for that event
    • Participants who attend an external activity (i.e., not sponsored by ANCOR or ANCOR Foundation) must submit supporting documentation (e.g., certificates of attendance) to request credits for completion
      • Examples of external trainings:
        • Completion of the Leadership Institute offered by the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities (NLCDD)
        • Participation in NADSP-hosted webinars

Application Process

Applications Open Period: May 1 – August 15, 2017. Download detailed Application requirements.


  • ANCOR Member organizations leaders are eligible to apply
  • Mid-career I/DD professionals (between 3-15 years of I/DD experience)

Application Overview: To be considered, applicants must provide (by August 15)

  • Resume or Employment History
  • Short Answers
  • Indicate focus areas
  • Personal Commitment Statement
  • 1 Recommendation Letter
  • Agency Letter of Commitment to provide support and resources as needed to enable participant to successfully complete program

Admission Notification and Enrollment Fee

  • If accepted, must pay non-refundable $250 enrollment fee.
  • If participant does not complete the requirements at the end of the 2-year program, he/she must re-apply.

Key Program Dates

  • September 2017: Notify Finalists and submit enrollment fees
  • October 2017: program (virtual) orientation
  • 2020 Annual Conference: cohort 1 graduation
  • View Cohort 1 Schedule


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