participants sit around a table and discuss a concept.

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The Program

DC Advocacy Partners is a nine-month leadership training program designed to develop and train self-advocates and family members of individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities as well as professionals working with  people with disabilities in the policymaking, influencing and implementing processes. DC AP’s goal is to empower a core group of district residents to work with policy makers to improve policies, programs and services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities in the District of Columbia. There is no cost to participate in the program and there is financial assistance available for childcare/respite and local travel expenses. Thousands of self-advocates and family members have graduated from similar programs across the county and make a difference every day for themselves, their families, and their communities. 

Program Support

DC AP is funded by a grant from the DC Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC), which seeks to strengthen the voice of people with developmental disabilities and their families in DC in support of greater independence, inclusion, empowerment and the pursuit of life as they choose. To learn more, visit http://ddc.dc.gov.

About IEL

DC AP is a project of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL). Founded in 1964, IEL builds the capacity of individuals in education and related fields to work together across policies, programs and sectors in support of better results for all children and youth from pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education and work.  To learn more, visit www.iel.org.

Program Staff

Curtis Richards
Curtis is a nationally recognized leader in the disability community and he is currently the director for IEL’s Center for Workforce Development and the National Collaborative on Workforce & Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth).

Suzanne Ripley
Suzanne is experienced in areas of specialized information and referral services on a national level in the fields of education and special education, adult services and the broader field of disability studies, with an emphasis on developmental disabilities. 

Sherri Coles
Sherri is a graduate of the Partners in Policymaking program in Texas. She has been a classroom teacher, educational program coordinator and information and communication specialist. She is the mother of three children, one of whom has multiple disabilities.

Dana Fink
Dana is an assistant project coordinator at the Institute for Educational Leadership's Center for Workforce Development.  She supports the DC Advocacy Partners program as well as communications efforts for the Center.  
Frances Vhay
Frances is a program associate at the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Center for Workforce Development. She is responsible for supporting a variety of initiatives focused on youth in transition, including DC Advocacy Partners. She assists in managing communications, meeting and conference planning, and editing and disseminating  publications as well as providing general support for the Project Director and staff of the Center.

Contact Us

E-mail: faheyc@iel.org
Phone: 202-822-8405 x 122

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