The AZCLA was brought to Arizona as a response to input received from public forums held across the state during the development of the State Plan for Independent Living. Participants said they do not feel connected to the disability community in Arizona, they do not receive information about policy and legislative issues, they do not understand how to get involved, and they lack the knowledge and tools to be effective advocates in their communities.

The Arizona Community Leadership Academy (AZCLA) is a program of the 
Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council and the Arizona
Independent Living Network.

The mission of the Arizona Community Leadership Academy is to provide training designed to build awareness of disability and Independent Living History, systems advocacy, and leadership skills among people who have disabilities in the state of Arizona. Participants discover the skills they need to serve on boards, commissions, councils and assume other leadership roles in their communities.