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About NDLA

National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) is a national cross-disability coalition that represents the authentic voice of people with disabilities.

NDLA is led by 17 national organizations run by people with disabilities with identifiable grassroots constituencies around the country. The NDLA steering committee includes: ADAPT, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the American Council of the Blind, the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, the Hearing Loss Association of America, Little People of America, the National Association of the Deaf, the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Federation of the Blind, the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities, Not Dead Yet, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Self Advocates Becoming Empowered, and the United Spinal Association.

Originally created as the Justice For All Action Network, over the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, members of the steering committee held a retreat to determine the future of the network. The group formalized the network, adopted the new name and tagline, and adopted operational guidelines.


The National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) is a national cross-disability coalition, led by disability groups run by persons with disabilities, with support from allies to build a strong and unified cross-disability movement so that we, as individuals with disabilities, have the power to shape national policies, politics, media, and culture.


  • Self-determination: We have the freedom to make decisions that affect our lives.
  • Participation: We are able to participate fully in all aspects of society at large.
  • Choice: We have real choices in where and how to live our lives and are able to enjoy equal access and meaningful inclusion wherever we live, work or are educated.
  • Involvement: We are centrally involved in all policies and decisions affecting our lives—nothing about us without us.
  • Consumer control: We are in control of the organizations that represent us and provide services designed for our benefit.
  • Personhood: We are treated as persons, with dignity and respect for our civil, human, and linguistic rights.
  • Voice: We speak for ourselves and have the support we need to fully express ourselves.