Advocacy Academy

group of young adults in front of capital bldg

Advocacy Academy is an opportunity to get involved in the disability rights movement and learn the skills of advocacy! Participants will learn advanced leadership!

Advocacy Academy is a paid 6-week summer job where participants choose a disability advocacy issue to learn about and then create an advocacy campaign around that issue. Participants will earn about:

  • The history of the Disability Rights Movement in the United States
  • The skills of advocacy
  • Personal leadership skills
  • How to work in a group
  • Workplace skills
  • How to plan and implement a disability advocacy project

Advocacy Academy provides valuable experience and training which can be applied to other life experiences. Many of our previous participants have received employment recommendations based on their performance and attitude at Advocacy Academy.

Qualifications & Expectations

Four (4) individuals will be selected to participate in this year’s Advocacy Academy program. We are seeking applicants who:

  • Are between 16–29 years of age
  • Are able to commit to the entire 8 week position
  • Have a disability
  • Are motivated to increase their leadership skills

Selected participants are expected to be present for all sessions (see “Schedule” section below for details) and participate in the advocacy project process.

This is a paid position at $10.70 per hour.

2020 Advocacy Academy

The 2020 Advocacy Academy will run from June 15 through July 28, 2020 and meet on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday afternoons 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Participants are expected to be at each session.

Advocacy Academy meets at our Kalamazoo office located at:
517 E. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Schedule Exceptions:

  • Advocacy Academy will NOT meet on: June 29, 30 and July 1.
  • On Tuesday, July 21, the group will meet for a full day (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and travel to Lansing to visit legislators at the State Capitol.
  • A graduation ceremony will be held on the last day, Wednesday, July 28.

How to Apply for Advocacy Academy

To apply for this year’s Advocacy Academy, email or mail us your resume along with answers to the following questions:

  1. Why are you interested in learning about the Disability Rights Movement and advocacy?
  2. What does advocacy mean to you?
  3. What leadership skills do you want to develop?
  4. Please describe your disability.
    (This question is asked to ensure the Advocacy
    Academy team is comprised of a cross-disability

Send your resume and answers to the above questions to Miranda Grunwell
at her email:, OR mail to:
Advocacy Academy Application
c/o Miranda Grunwell
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
517 E. Crosstown Parkway
Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Please let us know if you need an accommodation to apply.


Applications must be received by Monday, May 18, 2020.

Contact Info

If you have any questions about this application process please contact Miranda at:
email:, OR
phone: (269) 345-1516 x 120