Description of Program and Application

Spring- 2000


The current context in research, program development and training in the field of disabilities is characterized by complex interrelationships among service providers, local, state and national governing and regulatory agencies, institutions of higher learning and advocacy agencies. Current and future legislation, appropriations and advocacy activities at state and national levels have significant impact on the nature and extent of services and supports for persons with disabilities and their families.

Current and future leaders in the field of disabilities need to have an in-depth understanding of the many issues that face the field and the factors that influence and guide its development. Faculty and staff at individual centers get first hand experience of their local issues and the factors that influence them. Knowledge of issues, influencing factors, and policy development procedures in other states and at the national level can enhance and expand the leadership potential of individuals.

Contact and exposure to other UAP/LEND/MRDDRC programs, work with national advocacy organizations, participation in legislative advocacy, contact with federal agency officials and involvement in federal grants of a national scope can provide experience and knowledge that can build upon and enhance local experiences. Such experiences at the national level can greatly enhance the leadership potential and career opportunities of individuals as they subsequently return to their home communities and positions.


The overall purpose of the Disability Leadership Fellowship are to offer a significant experience in national level activities related to policy and legislative development, advocacy, program development, technical assistance, and association administration. The Disability Leadership Fellowship is envisioned as a mutually beneficial arrangement whereby the participating individual, the home UAP/LEND/MRDDRC program and the AAUAP central office benefit. The individual will benefit from the experiences and contacts developed during the fellowship period. The program will benefit from having "one of its own" participating in national level activities and subsequently informing home UAP/Lend/MRDDRC staff of their activities and knowledge gained. The AAUAP will benefit from having increased human resources to assist in carrying out its work. The overall goals of the Fellowship are:

  1. To enhance the leadership capacity of the fellow through a range of work experiences, responsibilities and contacts with national leaders.
  2. To provide experience and skills in the development of national policy and legislation related to individuals with disabilities, their families and those who work on their behalf.
  3. To broaden the experience and knowledge of the fellow of the AAUAP membership, their work and issues
  4. To broaden the knowledge of and contacts with other organizations including federal agencies, other associations, advocacy groups, and other public and private entities related to the disabilities field.


Staff working for at least 2-5 years at a UAP, LEND program, or MRDDRC in a management/faculty/research/clinical position who are US citizens. Persons with disabilities or family members and persons from culturally diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.


  1. Recommendations of Center Director, consumer, and leadership personnel from other agencies
  2. Experience in project management & leadership
  3. Demonstrated experience in working collaboratively with local and state organizations
  4. Experience in local or state policy development
  5. Demonstrated work excellence and leadership potential
  6. Interest in participating in national level project development, technical assistance, interagency collaboration and policy development
  7. Willingness of sending program (UAP, LEND, MRDDRC) to participate in the support of the fellowship. Estimated at approximately 10% of overall stipend and relocation costs.

Application Submission:

Applicants would submit a letter of interest delineating why they think they meet the criteria, what they hope to get out of the fellowship and how they expect to use the knowledge and skills gained when they return to their home program.

In addition the applicant will submit a current resume and at least three letters of reference one of which should come from the director of the center or program. Examples of recent current written work will also be accepted but not required.

Finally, the application must complete and submit the application form.

Selection Process:

Selection Committee made up of four board members with one representative from the Executive committee of the Board, and the AAUAP executive director will review all applications and select finalist for interviews, in person if feasible or at least by telephone conference call.

Fellowship Responsibilities:

The fellowship program will be jointly developed between the fellow and central office staff based on the current and expected workload of the central office, upcoming policy issues before Congress and Executive Branch Agencies and the interests and experience of the fellow. See attached detailed list of possible fellowship activities.

Examples of Potential Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Development of projects or new initiatives with the involvement of other UAP/LEND programs and other collaborative partners. May involve grant proposal development and submission, developing collaborative arrangements, presenting concepts to executive branch agency leadership.
  2. Provision of technical assistance to association members
  3. Participating with national advocacy organizations and AAUAP membership to develop and advocate for particular policy positions or legislation
  4. Work with Governmental Affairs staff on legislative development or appropriations in particular bills
  5. Work with AAUAP executive director on developing new capacities and activities for the Association such as development of policy positions, developing an effective information dissemination service, or enhancing communications among network membership.
  6. Work with executive branch agency leadership on particular projects or policy issues
  7. Meet and work with disability advocacy leadership on current "hot" topics
  8. Conduct research related to policy development, provision of technical assistance, information transfer, services and supports for persons with disabilities
  9. Assist Central office in completing grant tasks under contracts with federal agencies

Length of time:

The fellowship could last from 6 to 12 months. At least an academic year time period (9 month) would be preferred. Shorter length fellowships will only be considered when a particular project or issue of short duration is available.


Fellow will receive current salary plus costs for travel and relocation to Washington DC. Cost of living differentials between Washington DC area and home community may be considered in negotiating the fellowship stipend. Housing and per diem expenses while in Washington will be the responsibility of the fellow.

Reporting and monitoring:

Fellow will submit a brief quarterly report to the Board on activities, accomplishments and challenges encountered in the previous period. Fellow will also develop a final report, which will describe principal activities, accomplishments, challenges encountered and recommendations for improving the fellowship program.

Application deadline and start dates:

Applications are due at the AAUAP offices by June 30, 2000. The fellowship is expected to begin in late August or early September of 2000.


8630 Fenton Street
Suite 410
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tele: 301-588-8252
Fax: 301-588-2842

For additional information please contact: George Jesien (gjesien@aauap.org) or Donna Meltzer (dlmeltzer@aauap.org) at AAUAP.

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