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MDRC cultivates disability pride and strengthens the disability movement by recognizing disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while collaborating to dismantle all forms of oppression.

disabled and proud bumper sticker People with disabilities often lack the feeling of being proud and powerful. Connections for Community Leadership is launching a campaign to help people with disabilities empower themselves, gain self-acceptance, and realize the power they can have in their own life and in the community.

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Proud and Powerful Training

CCL staff offer a wide variety of customized trainings regarding disability history, culture, identity, and pride.  These trainings include activities developed by CCL that have been called, "life-changing."  woman in orange shirt holding a disability pride picture frame

Who are the trainings for?

  • Service professionals
  • Organizations
  • Parents and family members
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Personal assistants
  • General community members

Each target audience receives a customized training and we do not recommend mixing target groups together in the same training.

What does the training cover?

Each training is customized and can include topics such as:

  • Disability history and culture
  • Disability identity
  • Models of disability
  • Cycle of developing a proud identity
  • Building blocks of pride
  • Ableism and internalized ableism
  • Levels of oppression
  • Combating stigma

How do I request a training?

Please contact us to discuss availability and pricing.  1-800-760-4600 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Visit MDRC's archieved AT webinars to view a glimpse into our trainings.

Share Your Pride, Share Your Power

Connections for Community Leadership is asking people with disabilities to send us your thoughts, your work, your stories, pictures, movies, ideas, examples of experiences, events, and activities you are proud of which give you a sense of personal value and power. We are interested in gathering such personal pride and power intellectual paraphernalia to share with others with the goal of inspiring leaders and showing the world what a difference people with disabilities can make.

By submitting you work, you agree that your submissions can be shared publicly with through our newsletter, website, CONNECT E-zine, and other publicity materials.

We Want to Hear from You!

Proud and Powerful submissions can be made by:

  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Fax: (517) 333-2677
  • Mail: Connections for Community Leadership, Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, 3498 E. Lake Lansing Rd., Suite 100, East Lansing, MI 48823 (submissions will not be returned)

For more information about Connections for Community Leadership or the Proud and Powerful strategies, please call us toll-free at 1-866-532-2669.

Self-Empowerment

Knowing and feeling one’s pride and applying our unique voice, skills, and actions with energy and confidence to achieve a vision (of full citizenship in all places: personal relationships, home, school, work, community, institutions, etc.)

  • Includes the commitment to provide personal and institutional support for people with disabilities who are seeking to claim their full and rightful place, power, and pride.
  • Knowing, practicing, and using the skills to make changes.
  • Is expressed when disability communities protest discrimination and celebrate disability culture, heritage, and history.

Disability Pride

Accepting and honoring our uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity. Pride comes from celebrating our own heritage, culture, unique experiences and contributions.

  • Disability Pride recognizes the power we have to make change.
  • Disability Pride results when we challenge and ultimately undo the negative beliefs, attitudes, and feelings and systematic oppression that come from the dominate groups' thinking that there is something wrong with our identify or our disabilities.
  • Disability Pride rejects shame and the need to "blend in".
  • Disability Pride is self acceptance and validation of our uniqueness.
  • Disability Pride results in making choices based on the respect for interdependence, accommodations, and creativity.
  • Disability Pride is the feeling of strong connection with a community of other people.
  • Disability Pride recognizes that it is our uniqueness that will transform all people and institutions (society).

There are several websites that provide information about feeling proud and powerful. Here are just a few of those: