Advocacy & Leadership

A man, woman and child lying on the grass, holding hands and smiling

Family picture

Vermont Family Network frequently has opportunities for families to speak up for systems changes. You might consider testifying before a Vermont Senate or House committee; attending a focus group to discuss an issue or review a proposed policy initiative; or contacting your state or national representatives. Family voices and stories can make a huge difference.

What is Advocacy?

  • is defined as the ability to speak and act on behalf of one’s self
  • it can be supporting a cause or
  • a political process by an individual or group
  • it can influence public-policy or
  • can involve actions taken by concerned citizens to demonstrate their support for an issue

It can also be about self-advocacy, which can be about an individual’s likes/dislikes, how to speak up for one’s self and make their own decisions.

Parents as Leaders

Active parent leadership will lead to improved outcomes for children. The Parents as Collaborative Leaders (PCL): Improving Outcomes for Children with Disabilities is a national partnership between the University of Vermont, the PACER Center, and several other parent and advocacy organizations.

  • The project developed research-based training materials to support parents of children with disabilities in becoming active leaders in policy development and evaluation.
  • This project was originally funded by the U.S. Department of Education and now receives support from the National Institute for Leadership, Disabilities, and Students Placed-at Risk. Materials may be modified to meet your organization’s needs. The group that developed the PCL training modules asks that you list the project as the original author of the materials.
  • If you have any questions about these training modules, please contact Katharine Shepherd at UVM’s College of Education and Social Services.

PCL Training Modules

Module 1: Defining Parent Leadership

Module 2: MAPS for Leadership

Module 3: Critical Elements of Collaboration

Module 4: Stages of Group Development

Module 5: Tips for Leading Effective Meetings and Effective Meetings video (3 minutes)

Module 6: Listening and Asking Clarifying Questions

Module 7: Understanding Conflict

Module 8: Re-framing Agendas from the Personal to the Policy Level

Module 9: Solving Problems in Groups

Module 10: Understanding Diversity

Translate »