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LEND is a training program for graduate students and Self-Advocates and family members. It is a leadership program that prepares future leaders to support and work with children with disabilities and their families. It includes both didactic (classroom) teaching and learning by experience. This is done through focusing on care that is appropriate for families and respecting people’s cultures. LEND also focuses on public health services and policy change. It encourages people from many backgrounds to learn to work together. LEND is based at University of Miami School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics.

LEND's signature program for self-advocates is Project SALT (Project Self Advocate Leadership Training). SALTS's vision is to produce an ever-growing cadre of individuals with disabilities with the capacity for self-determination, independence and the ability to participate in their communities in meaningful ways. We teach a leadership skills curriculum to individuals with disabilities so that they can learn strategies to advocate for themselves, others and affect larger systems change. The main outcomes of our program are: to increase the knowledge of self-directed decision making, increase community involvement, join self-advocacy organizations or support groups, increase knowledge of serving on boards, increase knowledge of the legislative process and are mentoring other Self-Advocates. The 3-day intensive curriculum engages a small of group of ten individuals with varying disabilities over age 22 in experiential learning, practical skill building activities and dynamic interactions with established and emerging community leaders.
The Emerging Transformational Leadership Program (ETLP) is our more advanced leadership program, and may include graduates of SALT. The year-long curriculum engages a small group of  early to mid-level professionals in experiential learning in the community, practical skills building activities, and dynamic interactions with established and emerging community leaders.  A group project encourages participants to learn to harness the full potential of individuals and groups in our community, to foster relationships that bridge diversity on many levels, and to create innovative, sustaining solutions to the complex issues that face the disability community in South Florida.
Graduates of these and similar programs are also eligible to be part of our Mailman Advisory Council (MAC). The MAC meets quarterly to help shape the future of the Mailman Center research, training, and clinical programs.
All of these leadership training opportunities have an application process and some require a nomination for admission.
For more information, please contact Shelly Baer, LCSW, Director, Leadership Training Initiatives at or 305 689-7058.

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