Dougherty Leadership Development Institute integrates individuals with disabilities into community leadership roles

The Dougherty Leadership Development Institute (DLDI) brings together individuals with disabilities and community leaders. The institute focuses on educating participants about Dougherty County and raising awareness of community organizations and agencies serving people of disabilities. The program is a collaborative effort of the Albany Advocacy Resource Center (Albany ARC), the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and alumni of Leadership Albany. Since its creation in 1991, DLDI has produced over 400 graduates.

“In our community, we have individuals with disabilities who have the ability to be leaders but have never had the opportunity. DLDI integrates individuals with disabilities and community leaders in a leadership training program, opening doors for individuals with disabilities to become leaders and involved in our community by serving and volunteering,” says Annette Bowling, retired executive director, Albany ARC.

The program is modeled after Leadership Albany with the added goal of integrating persons with disabilities and non-disabled persons into the leadership community.

The DLDI has a threefold purpose:

    1. To allow individuals with diverse disabilities and non-disabled individuals to become more knowledgeable about common issues, needs, concerns, resources and opportunities which “cut across” disability lines;
    2. To provide the opportunity for leadership skills development aimed at empowering participants to have even more influence over decisions which affect their lives; and
    3. To establish a network for better communication and relationships between individuals with differing disabilities, as well as with organizations/agencies working for and with people of disabilities.

The institute’s class sessions include: diversity training; health and human services; education and communication; healthcare facilities/hospitals; courts and public safety; business and economic development; and arts and cultural activities.

For more information about DLDI, contact the Albany ARC at (229) 888-6852.

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