Diversity, leadership and disabilities

January 12, 2016 by Sue Reeves

AUCD3A poster that was presented at a recent Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) conference highlighted the activities of two programs at Utah State University—Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND), housed at the Center for Persons with Disabilities, and Gear Up, housed in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.

The poster, presented by Eduardo Ortiz, Judith Holt and Eric Packenham, described a collaborative effort to provide early leadership experiences for middle and high school students of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

According to the poster, by 2020, more than half of the population of the United States under the age of 18 are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group. Many potential leaders are coming form a more diverse group, and are receiving information that will influence and shape their thinking. In preparation for this, URLEND and Gear Up have produced a coordinated series of leadership messages which promote self-efficacy skills and creative problem-solving skills related to the complex problems and issues related to disability.

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