Arizona’s Centers for Independent Living and the Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council, (AZSILC), are charged with developing the State Plan for Independent Living every three years. During the development of the current plan, we heard from many people across the state who said they do not feel connected to the disability community, they do not get information about policy and legislative issues that impact their ability to live independently in the community, and they do not know how to get involved and make changes.

In response, Arizona’s Centers for Independent Living and the AZSILC are pleased to announce the Arizona Community Leadership Academy, (AZCLA). The AZCLA has been designed with the objective of strengthening advocacy skills among people with disabilities and increasing participation on boards, councils and commissions that impact the community in the public and private sectors.

The Community Leadership Academy model was developed by Resources for Independence Central Valley, a Center for Independent Living in California. They developed the academy model with the goal of increasing the number of people with disabilities who fill leadership positions in local, state and federal government.

According to Resources for Independence, less than one percent of leadership roles in government are held by people who have disabilities, despite the fact that over 50 million Americans identify as having a disability.

Arizona Community Leadership Academy participants learn about disability and Independent Living history, systems advocacy, and the skills they need to serve as community leaders on boards, councils and commissions. They also receive mentoring and peer support from community leaders, including people who have disabilities.

Learn more about the Community Leadership Academy from ABLE Southern Carolina

The Community Leadership Academy is offered at no charge.
However, participants are expected to make a commitment to attend all class sessions.

Getting started is easy; just fill out the online application HERE and someone will contact you.