ORIGINAL PAPER
The outcomes of family and consumer leadership education: creating positive change in disability policy and practice
 
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Submission date: 2014-12-19
Final revision date: 2015-03-18
Acceptance date: 2015-03-18
Online publication date: 2015-04-24
Publication date: 2015-04-24
 
Health Psychology Report 2015;3(2):115–122
 
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ABSTRACT
Background
When individuals with disabilities are trained in evidenced based practices and how to advocate for themselves and their families, they are best able to ensure that services and supports meet their needs and create and realize a positive vision for their future.

Participants and procedure
In New Hampshire in the United States a Leadership Series provided seven weekend training sessions to an annual cohort of about 25 family members and 10 adults with disabilities about better practices in service provision, defining a vision for the future, and community organizing and advocacy strategies, using informational sessions and participation in small work groups.

Results
A total of 100 participants completing the Series over a six-year period completed pre and post surveys consisting of both closed-ended and open-ended questions. Respondents reported highly significant increases in their knowledge about service provision and advocacy strategies, significant increases in their clarity of vision for six out of seven life domains, and significant increases in their membership in community organizations and frequency of advocacy activities.

Conclusions
The Leadership Series fostered increased efforts to create positive change in the lives of the participants and their family members with disabilities and in the services and supports provided to family members with disabilities.
eISSN:2353-5571
ISSN:2353-4184