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The Advocates in Action RI Leadership Series


Cartoon drawing of 3 flying geese and the wods: The Leadership Series Class of 2020


The Class of 2020 Kick-Off Retreat Takes Place:
Wednesday, October 2nd
9:45am to 3:45pm
Camp Canonicus, 54 Exeter Road, Exeter RI


speak up, make decisions, plan your future, know your rights, be responsible, learn about government, get out and vote, be a team player, become a leader!

Advocates in Action RI developed the Leadership Series and has been offering the class since 1995, to help individuals learn how to speak up for themselves and others, be in charge of their own lives, and raise disability awareness in the community.

Some of the topics that students will be introduced to include the following:

  • Current Issues Related to the RI Developmental Disabilities Service System
  • Disability Rights
  • Exercising Your Right to Vote
  • How Government Works
  • Making Informed Decisions
  • Person Centered Thinking
  • Individualized Services Plans
  • Personal Introduction Skills
  • Circles of Support
  • Qualities of an Effective Leader
  • Public Speaking
  • Community Integration
  • Self-Advocacy … and Lots More!

The Leadership Series curriculum includes pictures, video, audio, games and other interactive media that make the information accessible and easy to understand. As a result, students do not need to have any specific level of reading or writing skills in order to take the class. Participation is open to all Rhode Islanders who have a developmental disability. Family members, support staff and allies are also invited to apply and accompany individuals on our shared learning adventures.

Applicants are required to have a way to access e-mail and the internet between classes (either independently, or with help from the person they choose).

While there is no cost to attend, space is limited. Everyone who wants to be in the Leadership Series must complete an application and attend a group interview.

The Series begins with an all-day kick-off retreat, which is followed by regularly scheduled classes that meet 2-3 times a month from September thru June. In addition, there are also homework assignments and extra events to attend between classes, including RI's Annual Statewide Self-Advocacy Conference in the fall, and various community forums and informational sessions throughout the year. Class members will also be the presenters at Rhode Island’s Annual Statewide Self-Advocacy Meeting, which takes place in the spring.

Everyone who completes the Series graduates at a formal ceremony in June. Graduates are then invited to become involved in the AinA-RI Peer to Peer Network. The Network offers a variety of opportunities for graduates to put the leadership skills they learned to everyday use, including the option of being a Peer Mentor for future classes.

The Leadership Series is made possible with support from the RI Department of BHDDH. Thank you. Together we're making a difference!


the totally awesome Leadership Series Class of 2019

Leadership Series Class of 2016 photo


Click here to view video slide shows from previous Leadership Series and Partners in Policymaking classes.

This Page was updated on:
October 1, 2019