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VT Leadership Series

We are now accepting applications for the seventh Vermont Leadership Series. Deadline to apply is August 3, 2018.

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.

vermont leadership series logo. it is an illustration of three blue people holding hands around the vermont state house. 

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?'" He believes that change doesn't happen by waiting for someone else to do it, because someone else may never come.

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.


2015's leadership series graduates sit on the steps of the vermont state house on a sunny day. 

When does Leadership training take place?

The weekend sessions begin Saturday morning and end Sunday afternoon. Scheduled dates for the 2018 participants, allies, and trainers, are:

  • 1st weekend - October 6‐7, 2018
  • 2nd weekend - November 10‐11, 2018
  • 3rd weekend - December 1‐2, 2018

Want to learn more about the Leadership Series?

You can read the full six-page packet or the brief two-page summary.

How do I become a candidate for participation?

There are two versions to the same application:


The Graduation ceremony and reception take place every year at the
Vermont State House on Disability Awareness Day.


Did you know? More than half of the 2015 Leadership Class has joined a board or advisory work group.

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.


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