You are invited to present at the 2018 NCE Summer Leadership Institute 

July 23-25, 2018

Philadelphia, PA

Revolution, Innovation and Leadership: Practical Tips for Guiding your Agency



Table of Contents


Proposal Deadlines

February 16, 2018 – Proposal submission deadline

March 2, 2018 – Final decisions made and speakers notified

The 2018 NCE Summer Leadership Institute is not simply an event; The Arc’s National Conference of Executives aim to create an experience that inspires and empowers attendees. Our goal is to find speakers that can help us create a meaningful and memorable occasion. Presentations should reflect the spirit of The Arc’s mission and provide attendees with tools and techniques to support accomplishing goals and are able to be utilized when they return to their organizations. Presenters should be eager to actively engage with our network leading up to, during, and after the event.

The 2018 NCE Summer Leadership Institute

The 2018 NCE Summer Leadership Institute brings together The Arc’s chapter leaders to work through the disability and nonprofit sector’s biggest challenges and engage in substantive discussion and knowledge sharing while networking with leaders at the forefront of disability issues.  

With over 660 chapters of The Arc in the United States, we are uniquely positioned to identify issues, seek and implement solutions, and raise awareness of the challenges facing people with I/DD as they strive to realize their place as equal participants and valued citizens in all aspects of community life.

While systems vary across the country, today’s challenges faced by people with I/DD and their families are universal: future planning, community integration, education, housing, employment, self-determination, access to justice, advocacy, empowerment of self-advocates, health disparities, and solving the DSP crisis, to name a few.  The Arc has long stood at the forefront of advocacy for the human rights of people with I/DD.

Our chapters work diligently to address these challenges, approaching them as opportunities to effectively meet the needs of a diverse, ever-changing, I/DD community. Questions we’d like to explore in Philadelphia include:

  • What are the skills professionals need to support the changing landscape in services and supports?
  • How can we protect the “lifeline programs” (e.g. Medicaid, Affordable Care Act, Medicare, SSI and Social Security) from budget cuts and other changes that will hurt people with I/DD and their families?
  • How can we prevent efforts to weaken civil rights laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act?
  • How do we effectively identify and support emerging leaders and champions?
  • What are some of the cutting-edge promising practices being explored and how can they be replicated?
  • What is new in the evidence base about supports and services?
  • What does success really look like? For chapters? For people with I/DD? For Families? For other stakeholders?
  • How can our organizations continue to effectively address the issues facing people with I/DD and their families in diverse communities throughout the country?
  • What can be done to address the growing concern regarding attracting and retaining DSPs?
  • How do we address the intersectionality of disability with other dimensions of diversity (e.g. race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.)?
  • How is research informing advocacy, practice, and policy?
  • How can we build a strong online disability rights movement and fully engage our chapters and their volunteer leaders and staff, and the individuals and families they serve and other constituents?

These are just some of the questions we seek to explore this July at the 2018 Summer Leadership Institute.

We invite proposals for breakout sessions of either 75 minutes or 90 minutes from community leaders, researchers, professional providers, and policy advocates addressing one (or more) of the following topics:



Theme 1:  Program Innovations

New developments and best practices in supports and services to people with I/DD.

Topic Areas Include: Education; Employment; Health, Wellness, Recreation & Related Issues; Housing; Community Integration; Access to Justice; Technology; Behavior Supports & Mental Health; Transportation; Art & Culture; Transition, Future Planning, and Autonomy, Decision-Making Supports, and Guardianship

Theme 2:  Personal, Professional and Organizational Development

New developments and best practices in staff skill building and building strong organizational systems for success.

Topic Areas Include: Fundraising/Development; Governance; Chapter Membership; Organizational Development; Diversity and Cross-Cultural Competence; Internal Communications; Social Media; Training and Leadership Development; Growing our Movement of Advocates

Theme 3:  Public Policy

Federal and state policies affecting people with I/DD including but not limited to:

Topic Areas Include: Proposed reforms to the Lifeline programs; Progress in implementation of the HCBS Final Rule; Managed Care for Long Term Services and Supports; ABLE Accounts; Successful CMS/WIOA transitions; and the Impact of “disability vote” on the Presidential Election

Theme 4:  Grassroots Advocacy / Self Advocacy

Effective strategies for engaging the I/DD community and the public in holding local, state and federal governments accountable; examples can be in:

Topic Areas Include: Mobilizing Communities and Individuals; Conducting Outreach to Diverse Communities; Effectively Engaging Self-Advocates; Developing Self-Advocate Leaders; Self-Determination



  • Comfortable in engaging with diverse audiences;
  • Knowledgeable about a topic of importance to the disability community;
  • Able to present in an interactive style which allows attendees to contribute their perspectives;
  • Equipped with concrete and replicable examples;
  • Able to incorporate the event theme into the session; and
  • Has a desire to not only present on a topic but be an active participant in our event, making lasting connections that can serve the disability community across the country.



  • Submission Guidelines
    • The same proposal may not be submitted multiple times
    • Sessions must be non-commercial. For-profit entities interested in sponsorship should contact:
    • All proposals must include the following information:
      • A complete mailing address, email address, phone number, and institutional affiliation for each presenter
      • A short (no more than 50 words) bio for each presenter.
      • A session abstract of 125 words to be included in the conference program book and online if the proposal is accepted.
      • Session description of approximately 500 words
      • A photo for inclusion into the program book and on the conference website
  • Presentation Guidelines for Accepted Presenters
    • Presenters are responsible for preparing all materials (PowerPoint Presentations, Handouts, etc.) to be distributed to attendees
    • All information presented must adhere to The Arc’s Language & Style guidelines and Usage agreements. All presentations must be consistent with The Arc’s Core Values and Position Statements. Presenters must use the official NCE SLI 2018 PowerPoint Presentation template
    • Presenters must submit their completed PowerPoint presentations by July 16 to be posted online for attendees to access
    • Presenters are responsible for their own handouts. Shipping information will be sent to presenters a week prior to the Summer Leadership Institute.
    • All presentations will be made available to conference participants on the 2018 Summer Leadership Institute website at: http://nce-sli.org  
  • Financial Guidelines for Accepted Presenters
    • The Arc does not provide honorariums.
    • Presenters are responsible for their hotel and travel arrangements.
    • Presenters, with the exception of government employees, attend NCE SLI gratis.  
    • If you have read and agree to all of the guidelines, click Submit a Proposal  to begin your submission



Proposals will be reviewed by the members of the NCE Program Review Team (which includes members of The Arc’s National Staff and chapter leaders) and selected based on the following guidelines:

  • Presenter(s) have exemplary credentials or experience for presenting on the topic and can demonstrate an effective, interactive mode of presentation.
  • Content demonstrates innovative and promising practices that are replicable and which reflect community based inclusive practices.
  • Session embodies The Arc Core Values and content aligns with The Arc’s Position Statements.
  • If your proposal is not accepted for SLI, the proposal will be forwarded to the Annual Convention Review Team for their consideration. The Arc’s Annual Convention is November 8-10, 2018 in Nashville, TN. 

Proposal submission deadline is Friday, February 16, 2018. All proposals will be rated, ranked and selected by the review team. 

Speakers will be notified via email of final decisions during the week of March 2, 2018.

Thank you for your interest and your work to advance the rights of individuals with I/DD!



For questions about the proposal process, please contact Dawn Cooper at cooper@thearc.org or 202-600-3487.