The National Council of Self Advocates (NCSA)

The National Council of Self-Advocates or NCSA is the voice of self-advocates in all of The Arc’s work.
We look to:

  • Engage self-advocates from diverse communities
  • Help chapters support self-advocates
  • Create opportunities for self-advocates to network and learn from one another
  • Raise awareness about self-advocacy in NCSA member communities

We need you! Help us by:

  • Sharing your expertise and furthering your knowledge on monthly calls on important self-advocacy topics
  • Informing the work of The Arc’s national office and chapters by sharing how the programs being developed can support self-advocates

Monthly Meetings

Meetings are held on the third Friday of each month at 1 pm EDT. The first meeting will be on Friday, June 19th.
To join the meetings, please call

866 740 1260 

Access Code 2321103

At our first meeting in June, we will learn about The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability from:

  • The Arc’s Program Manager of Justice Initiatives Leigh Ann Davis
  • Self-Advocate and member of the National Board of Directors Barb Coppens

You will also have the opportunity to connect with self-advocates of The Arc across the country to:

  • Share your expertise and further your knowledge by participating in monthly calls on important self-advocacy topics
  • Inform the work of The Arc’s national office and chapters 

Contribute to the Council – Donate to support the establishment and sustainability of this essential new program specifically for self advocates. You can contribute to this important program even if you have not yet decided to become a member.

Resources & Information

Creating a Healthy Future for All of Us

Friday, June 12 from 2:00 — 3:00PM EDT

Join us to hear from Dr. Kelly Hsieh and Sumithra Murthy from the University of Illinois at Chicago about an exciting opportunity for chapters and the individuals we serve to participate in a study on health outcomes for individuals with I/DD. 

The study, called the Longitudinal Health and Intellectual and Development Disability Study—LHIDDS*, aims to engage adults (aged 18 and older) with I/DD and their families, caregivers, or service providers in a five year study on health behaviors by completing a survey once every two years.

The study will gather information about why individuals with I/DD have higher rates of:

  • Obesity
  • Sedentary behaviors, and
  • Poor nutritional habits compared to the general population.

Dr. Hsieh and Ms. Murthy will share background information on the study and the impact they hope the research will have on the I/DD community. They will also discuss how you can get involved in this research. Register for the webinar today.

*The LHIDDS study is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). Grant #H133B080009 and #H133B130007, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health (RRTCDD), University of Illinois at Chicago. UIC IRB #2008-0861

Future Planning Stories from Self-Advocates: Successes, Challenges, and How to Make Your Voice Heard
Tuesday, June 16 from 2:00 — 3:00PM EDT

Join us for The Arc’s Center for Future Planning webinar to hear self-advocates Stephanie Logsdon-Breakstone, Nicole LeBlanc, and Amy Goodman speak about the successes and challenges they have had in future planning. Hear about how they have planned for success, how they have addressed challenges in planning, and what skills they have learned to make their voices heard. Register for the session here.

 Self–Advocacy Online

The Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC) at The University of Minnesota and The Arc have partnered to support an innovative website specifically for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to help them advocate for themselves and take charge of their lives. Self-Advocacy Online is a content rich, accessible online educational and networking tool developed by the RTC and promoted by The Arc.

Visitors to the site will discover multi-media lessons on a variety of topics such as living self-determined, healthy, contributing lives in their communities. The site includes a story wall of videos of self-advocates sharing their stories and a national listing of self-advocacy groups to connected people with I/DD both locally and nationally. One of many unique features of the site is the translation of research and other data-driven information into formats easily accessible to people with I/DD.

Woman at Library

Get Involved

Join the National Sibling CouncilJoin
the Council

DonateBecome a
Council Contributor

Join The ArcJoin
The Arc

*Your membership in The Arc at the local, state, or national level allows you to join The National Council of Self Advocates for no additional cost.

More Information

As the nation’s leading advocate for all people with I/DD and their families, and the premier provider of the supports and services people want and need, we can help: