CEED Trainee, 2016
Tia Nelis is a Self-Advocacy Specialist and a core team member at the Institute on Disability and Human Development and The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Tia uses her own disability experiences in order to promote and display the benefits of empowerment for people with disabilities. Leadership is very important to Tia, and she finds it critical to help others find their voice and meaningful place in the world. She has vast experience in conducting training and advocating for progressive polices with legislators and public officials. She has a long list of advocacy accomplishments, including: past chairperson of the national organization Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, founder and president of People First of Illinois, awardee of the Burton Blatt Award and the Elizabeth Boggs Award. Tia provides technical assistance to self-advocacy groups and educates people without disabilities about how to include self-advocates in meaningful ways.
The Advanced Leadership Academy provides training for self-advocates. The training incorporates leadership, employment, and the formation of an advanced leadership group. In this advanced leadership course, people learn the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey 1989), which help them find out what they want to do in their career and how to interact with others through learning about networking, relationships, and work-life balance. The Leadership Academy provides access to the materials and resources to help build confidence in leadership and also helps in formulating a career mission, making the right choice about jobs, creating resumes and mastering interviews. The Advanced Leadership Academy provides an opportunity to become a stronger leader, build friendships, and gain skills to create the dream career.