artwork by Ivanova Smith.
Drawing: Ivanova Smith • Webpage design: Ben Moore

Become a UW LEND Self-Advocate Trainee


Because your neurodiverse voice and perspective is a much-needed one that healthcare professionals don’t often get to hear!

What is UW LEND?

UW LEND = Leadership in Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

A 9-month training program for students, clinicians in medical and education professions, self-advocates and family members.

UW LEND located at the University of Washington at the Center for Human Development and Disability.

What will I do as a trainee?

  • Learn about child and young adult disabilities like autism, Down syndrome, and many others
  • Learn how to use your voice for advocacy and to make change
  • Be a learner alongside trainees of all different backgrounds
  • Be a teacher by sharing your personal experiences of having a disability
  • Self-advocate trainees earn a stipend for participating!

What experience do I need?

  • Be an individual who identifies as having a developmental or related disability
  • Have passion for disability self-advocacy and making the lives of fellow disabled people better
  • Have a desire to become more involved in the disability community and become a leader
  • Have some post-high school experience

How do I apply?

  • Contact Ivanova Smith, Self-Advocate Faculty
    Kathleen Lehman, Associate Director.
  • You will get help filling out the application forms, if you need it, so don’t worry!
  • You will get help scheduling an interview
  • You will contact two people you know to write a letter of recommendation

Hear the voice of Self-Advocate Faculty Ivanova Smith

Hear the voice of Self-Advocate Trainee John Wennberg

Hear the voice of Self-Advocate Trainee Isaac Shiu

Where Pediatric Clinical Care and Leadership Training Intersect

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities