Institute on Disabilities at Temple University


The Supported Leadership Facilitation Initiative


Promoting and encouraging people with intellectual disabilities to become active, contributing and valued members of boards and committees throughout Pennsylvania

SUPPORTED LEADERSHIP promotes the full participation of individuals with intellectual disabilities as members of local boards, advisory committees and other decision-making entities throughout Pennsylvania.

Three key steps to successfully integrate people with intellectual disabilities onto boards and committees: Technical Assistance, Individual Supports and Training.

Technical Assistance

The Supported Leadership Initiative assists organizations interested in building diverse boards and committees by helping to develop the necessary supports and resources to make meetings more accessible to people with intellectual disabilities.

Individual Supports

The Initiative supports individuals with intellectual disabilities to develop the skills necessary to become a vital, contributing and respected member of a board or committee. We do NOT speak for the individual— —We SUPPORT individuals, so they become fully participating members of a Board or Committee.

Supports for an individual board/committee member include:

  • Assessing support needs of an individual in becoming a fully participating board member
  • Meeting in advance of each board/committee meeting to review materials and set individual objectives
  • Assisting in practical aspects of meeting: time management, transportation, appropriate attire, meeting protocol
  • Individual support during a meeting
  • Post-meeting follow-up

Members on the following boards and committees are supported:

  • The Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Program's Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) and its various sub-committees
  • The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council
  • The Pennsylvania Training Partnership for People with Disabilities and Families - Management Team
  • Philadelphia's Office of Behavioral Supports and Mental Retardation Services Quality Improvement, Legislative and Supports Coordinator Committees
  • Vision for Equality's Board of Directors


Two training modules are offered to people with intellectual disabilities to increase awareness of the benefits of becoming an active member of a policy body or to those who want to develop and strengthen their leadership skills, their advocacy voice and their presentation style.

In addition, The Supported Leadership Initiative will develop and deliver a specialized training to an individual or to a group.

Available Trainings


  • Teaches individuals with intellectual disabilities how to become more effective public speakers
  • Interactive, six-hour training, over two days
  • Brings together individuals with support staff to present:
    • Basics of developing key points for a presentation;
    • Tips for smooth delivery of ideas;
    • Opportunity to practice public speaking in a risk-free environment.;
    • Use of technology during a presentation;
    • Tips on ensuring staff play a supportive role during a presentation.


Two-hour workshop for individuals with intellectual disabilities on the benefits in becoming involved on an Advisory Board or Committee.

Participants will:

  • Find out what it means to be a member of an Advisory Board and/or a Committee;
  • Discover why it is important for people who receive supports to participate on decision–making committees;
  • Meet other people who are interested in having their opinions count;
  • Get information on available opportunities to participate on a Committee or an Advisory Board


You tell US what you need. We will customize a training to meet the needs of an individual, group or organization.

Funded through:
Pennsylvania's Office of Developmental Programs
Philadelphia's Office of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service