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About IIDL

Disabled people, families, service providers and policy makers have independently been focusing on identifying evidence of best practices and service delivery that will enable disabled people and their families who support them, to live personally meaningful and socially valued lives in society.   However, there has been little investment in understanding how disabled people’s networks, provider organizations and policy makers, essential to the enabling these outcomes to be achieved, can develop effective leaders. Such leadership includes the ability to locate, understand and adapt excellent organisational practices and develop robust organisational and managerial skills.

The absence of resources and supports for key leaders in Disability internationally hampers them, their organisations and communities from obtaining and adapting the skills and processes identified as most likely to enable people to live meaningful, valued and socially inclusive lives. With greater support for developing and demonstrating leadership, the Disability sector could develop services based on best practices and innovation and could, in turn, mentor future leaders.

Such leadership will not appear just because it is needed.  It will require a proactive effort to keep our current leaders renewed, relevant and challenged. In addition, this initiative is a means for identifying and recruiting new leaders as little has been done to prepare the upcoming generation for the leadership challenges.

National policies and directions have often been focused on clinical practices rather than leadership and innovation as key functions to assure that relevant and effective services and supports are delivered.  Many countries now realise that service sector leadership is vital to the success of community-based services.  To succeed in attaining good lives for people in community the service provider environment will require leaders who have the ability to promote and support much needed change in the delivery of disability services.

A key feature of this initiative is the opportunity it presents for disabled people, families, policy makers, funders and providers to work in a collaborative manner towards common goals.  Enabling leadership across all of these respective roles to support each other to provide the best possible life opportunities for disabled people and their families.

The direction of such change is not just limited to practice within any individual country, but to enable member countries to become part of an international movement.  National polices and directions established and developed in one country can be enhanced by changes occurring in others. The role of a leader in maintaining awareness of all changes is a daunting task.  It often leaves leaders without a network for personal support or organisational assistance to advance changes needed within the environment.

This exciting initiative aims to offer support and technical assistance to sector leaders by assisting them in promoting and engaging in change in the field by:

  • Providing a support network through partnership with other leaders equally interested in being agents for change from around the country.

  • Identifying and sharing the best in service design and delivery.

  • Linking leaders and innovators together to build a base from which best practice can be showcased within member countries.

With the objective that such an international leadership initiative will broaden national policies and service developments with an emphasis on evidence based practices.


The Need For Such an Initiative:

The absence of resources and supports for key leaders in disability services world wide hampers them, their organizations and communities from obtaining and adapting the skills and processes identified a most likely to support people to live fulfilling and meaningful lives.

The lack of support to develop and demonstrate leadership limits the competence and skills of sector leaders in developing services based on best practice, innovation and the mentoring of future leaders.


Overall/Outcome Objective of IIDL:

People with Disabilities and their families want to have personally satisfying everyday lives in the community.


Point of IIDL:

To influence and support policy makers and communities (deliverers), towards making this happen through challenging practices, thinking and visions that are outdated.

We want to be an international leadership forum that raises awareness, improves personal leadership, and shares ideas on innovative and best known (optimal) practice.

This means:

  1. Establishing international leadership exchanges, between key people in countries of similar economic and cultural development, that:

  • demonstrate and share knowledge of innovative and effective practice

  • encourage and support the use of effective vision, thinking and practice

  • help develop sustainable influential leadership

  • generate ongoing international networks of leading practitioners

  1. The ongoing provision of information around what is seen to be working and new ideas.


Structure - This initiative will develop under the umbrella of and in partnership with the well established and successful International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership.  (IIMHL)  www.iimhl.com.   The International Disability initiative will operate with a small steering group to set direction for and oversee the development of this initiative.

Membership - Any disabled person or family member in leadership roles, or providers can join at no cost.  The principle membership is via the Chief Executive of the Disabled Person’s or Family Association, or provider agency in order to ensure that innovation and development is to be supported at the highest level within the member organisations.

Core Programmes

  • Leadership Exchange: The matching of key Leaders and Executives in the sector to build networks for organisations

  • Forum for the international exchange of best practice initiatives occurring within member nations