Development and Leadership Opportunities Open for Youth with I/DD

Applications due Friday, March 8, 2024

The Center for Transition to Adult Health Care for Youth with Disabilities, an ACL grantee, is recruiting youth and young adults ages 12-26 with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to participate in development and leadership opportunities. These opportunities will allow members to grow, build relationships, and impact national work while receiving a stipend for their time and work. There are two opportunities available:
  • Youth Steering Committee (YSC) Member: The YSC is a group of youth ages 17-26 who guide the center's design and operation. The YSC guides the work plan, develops resources, and supports evaluation efforts. YSC members receive ongoing support and education to build their knowledge about health care transition and leadership skills.
  • Youth Development Initiative (YDI) Committee Member: The YDI is a group of youth ages 12-17 with I/DD who will receive training and mentoring by young adult leaders also with I/DD. This initiative will help them understand health care transition, advocacy, and self-determination. These skills support youth in their own transition and prepare them for potential leadership opportunities.
For more information or to apply, visit the SPAN Parent Advocacy Network website. Contact with any questions.
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Volunteers Needed for a Research Study for People with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

The study will test a health promotion program for people aging with SCI.

You may be eligible if you:

  • Have had a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) 
  • Are at least 45 years of age OR have had your injury for at least 15 years
  • Have access to a smartphone, tablet or computer with internet connection
  • Are able to communicate in an online group in English
  • Live in the U.S

The 8-week Living Longer and Stronger with SCI program (LLS for short) is a group health promotion program offered online in Zoom.  

Eligible participants will be randomized (like flipping a coin) to either the LLS program or a control group.

All participants will complete online questionnaires on three occasions. Participants will receive a small payment for their time.

Contact the study staff to find out if you are eligible by phone: 713-797-7572 and by email:

The study is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). The study is conducted by TIRR-Memorial Hermann’s Spinal Cord Injury and Disability Research Center in Houston, Texas in collaboration with investigators affiliated with the University of Texas Houston Health Science Center, and the University of Montana.

Apply Now for AAPD's 2024 Fall Internship Program

The 2024 AAPD Fall Internship Program Application is now open! AAPD’s Internship Program places students and recent graduates with disabilities in paid internships. Interns build leadership skills, explore career opportunities, and connect with the disability community.
The 2024 AAPD Fall Internship Program will be fully virtual. Ten interns will be selected to complete remote internships at placement sites. Interns will work part-time for 15 hours a week, and be paid $18/hour. The program will run for 14 weeks from September 3 to December 6, 2024.
Interns will:

  • Attend a virtual kickoff call in June.

  • Attend an in-person gathering in Washington D.C. from Wednesday, July 24, 2024 to Saturday, July 27, 2024.

  • Participate in a virtual orientation on Sunday, August 25 from 12-4pm ET with breaks.

  • Take a disability advocacy class every 2 weeks, currently planned for Fridays between 12-3pm ET.

  • Connect with a virtual mentor

  • Join virtual community events throughout the fall

Apply Here by March 13 at 5pm ET
Interested potential applicants can join a virtual information session on Monday, March 4 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm ET to learn more about the program and the application process and get your questions answered. CART and ASL will be provided. The session will be recorded and available on the AAPD website. 
Register for the Information Session
For additional information, please visit our Fall Internship Program webpage. If you have any questions, please email or call 202-975-0241.

New Research Funding Opportunity for RERC on Information and Communication Technologies Access

Proposals due Monday, April 15, 2024

ACL's National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) is announcing a new funding opportunity for a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC) program on information and communication technologies access.
The purpose of the RERC program is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act by conducting advanced engineering research and development of innovative technologies designed to solve particular rehabilitation problems or remove environmental barriers. 

The RERC on Information and Communication Technologies Access will conduct research and development toward innovative technologies and strategies that will make information and communication technologies optimally accessible and usable for people with disabilities. 
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According to the World Economic Forum, of the 90% of companies that claim to make diversity a priority, only 4% are inclusive of people with disabilities. Companies can take steps to improve efforts by focusing on a key area of business: communications and events. This article explains  some effective ways a company can ensure it is making efforts when it comes to disability, inclusion and accessibility in its communications and special events.

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Self-Determination Network News:

February 2024

Connect Share |Learn


Please Help InControl Wisconsin's Caring Across Cultures Project

Are you someone who hires direct care workers?  Are you a family member of someone who receives support from a direct care worker?  Are you a direct care worker?  If so, InControl Wisconsin would like you to share a short video, audio clip, or written story of your personal experiences to help others understand the relationships between direct care workers and the people who hire them.  We will give you questions to answer, to make it easier for you.

Your stories will be used in online learning courses and/or other resources hosted on InControl Wisconsin’s website as part of the Caring Across Cultures learning platform. (See this link for more details about the project.)

Why are we asking for your help? Caring Across Cultures is a project with a goal of helping direct care workers and the people who hire them to build strong relationships. We want to help them connect and build trust across cultural differences.

What better way for someone who is thinking about hiring direct care workers to hear directly from people who are already doing it? The same is true for someone thinking about becoming a direct care worker. There’s nothing like hearing from someone first hand about what it’s like.

You can record a video or audio clip yourself with your phone (or other device) or you can ask us for help.

Here is a document to help you record your own video or audio.  This document will also tell you how to send us your finished recording: CLICK HERE

Need some help?

  • You can work on this at home. If you need some help, Contact Sarah Godfrey, at / (262) 349-1968, and she will schedule a phone or video call with you.

  • Are you coming to Disability Advocacy Day, State Capital in Madison, March 15?  We will have recording equipment on site.

Ready to Do This?

Disability Advocacy Day 2024

Registration is open for Disability Advocacy Day 2024! Join us in Madison on Wednesday March 20th with other advocates from around the state and meet with your elected officials. This is a great opportunity to share your story and educate your legislators on disability rights! It's free to attend, but you must register by March 1st! Register now!

2024 Self-Determination Conference Call for Presenters

Are you interested in presenting at the 2024 Self-Determination Conference?  Session proposals for are now being accepted for Tuesday, October 22nd and Wednesday, October 23rd, 2024. This year’s theme: A Seat at the Table: Nothing About Us Without Us! will help people with disabilities have a voice in supports they need to lead a more Self-Determined life. Proposals due by on May 10th. Submit an application today!


The Self-Determination Network includes some very talented members and we want to help you to get to know each other a little better. Member Spotlight is a great way for us to get to know each other better.

This month, we shined the spotlight on Chad. This rock climbing fanatic volunteers his time doing all sorts of advocacy things. Check out this month's Member Spotlight to get to know Chad.   

Who should we shine the spotlight on next?

128 Stacy’s Journal

"While I don’t like being seen as overly dramatic sometimes, I’ve learned to trust my gut when it comes to my health. My uncanny instinct has saved my life more than once!"

In this month's journal entry, Stacy talks about her keen instincts when it comes to her health. She discusses why she's hyper vigilant about her health. Do you find yourself being overly concerned about your health?

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Check out the Latest Videos!

The Self-Determination Channel is a YouTube channel by and for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities. Unlike other channels, the Self-Determination Channel stands stand out from other channels on YouTube because self-advocates host the videos, and decide and create the content. Videos are posted a couple times a month on a variety of topics self-advocates care about such as technology, employment, caregivers, independent living, and advocacy.

Check out the newest videos on the channel:

We encourage you to subscribe to the Channel (you can do so by clicking the red Subscribe button on any of the video pages).


Take five minutes to check out what's happening on the Self-Determination Network:

  • New Report: Kaiser Family Foundation has published a new report that provides insight into one important measure of unmet need for home and community-based services across states. Learn what the report reveals.
  • Competitive Rock Climber Proves People with Disabilities Can do Anything: For this competitive athlete, rock climbing is just a sport. Find out how this climber excels despite having limitations.
  • Long-Range Plan: The Administration for Community Living has released its 2024-2028 Long-Range Plan for the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. Learn what it includes.
  • New Enrollment Process for Providers: Beginning in September 2024, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services will require all adult long-term care waiver service providers to enroll with Wisconsin Medicaid through the ForwardHealth Portal. Read more about this process.
  • Medicaid Issues to Watch: In 2024, many issues are at play that will affect Medicaid coverage, financing, and access. Read about what else to watch for.
  • Proposed Changes to the Census Dropped: After strong pushback from the disability community, the U.S. Census Bureau is no longer moving forward with a proposal that could have decreased the estimated disability rates in the country. Learn about what the proposal would have asked.
  • Businesses Continue to Fall Short: A recent survey shows that businesses continue to fall short when it comes to meeting the needs of customers with disabilities. Find out what many advocates think that the main problem is.
  • Inclusive Town: The town of Union Grove banded together behind a common goal - to give everyone an equal chance by hiring as many people with disabilities as possible. Read about what the town has done.
  • Self-Direction Inventory: Applied Self-Direction conducted an extensive national survey of self-direction programs in the United States. Check out the many interesting statistics in the report. 

128 Upcoming Events 

Here's a sample of upcoming events listed on the Self-Determination Network:

Post your event on the Self-Determination Network and it can be included in future Network News emails to members! Questions? Suggestions?  Contact Stacy Ellingen. 


The Self-Determination Network is powered by InControl Wisconsin and supported financially by our members and Sponsors. We couldn't keep this Network going with you!  Find out how you can help support the Network.

The highly anticipated fifth Self-Direction National Inventory for the 2023 AARP Long Term Services and Supports  (LTSS) State Scorecard has arrived!
Applied Self-Direction conducted an extensive national survey of self-direction programs in the United States. The research revealed eight key findings on the growth of self-direction, along with data on program expansion and ideas for future policy development. 

According to the 2023 Inventory, there are more than 1.5 million people who self-direct their long-term services and supports. This represents a 23 percent increase since 2019. By comparison, enrollment grew by 17 percent from 2016 to 2019. Most states (44) reported an overall increase in self-direction enrollment and six of those states have more than doubled self-direction enrollment since 2019.  

Inventory data confirms the pandemic accelerated the expansion of self-direction nationwide. States reported that self-direction uptake rates spiked during the early days of the pandemic due to a combination of factors, such as emergency Medicaid waiver amendments. Self-direction became critical to filling the void left by the widespread closure of day services and other supports across the country, and in many states helped family caregivers receive payment for the care they provide. It has also helped mitigate, but alone cannot entirely make up for, pervasive workforce shortages. New to this edition of the Inventory - a comprehensive list of state strategies to address workforce shortages.

Read the  report

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The town of Union Grove banded together behind a common goal - to give everyone an equal chance by hiring as many people with disabilities as possible. There is a school in Union Grove called Shepherds College that specifically teaches students with disabilities. Students live in dorms, learn to be independent, and pick a major to hopefully get a job after graduating just like any other college student in America.

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According to a recent survey, businesses continue to fall short when it comes to meeting the needs of customers who have disabilities. Many people think that the main problem is knowing the steps required. This article explains in detail about all what businesses should doing 

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After strong pushback from the disability community, the U.S. Census Bureau is no longer moving forward with a proposal that could have decreased the estimated disability rates in the country. This proposal would have had a new set of questions that would have asked people to rate their level of difficulty with certain activities. 

Read more

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