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National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery | NCMHR

National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA)


NDLA is a national cross-disability coalition that represents the authentic voice of people with disabilities.

NDLA is led by 14 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, 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, Not Dead Yet, 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.


  • 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.

Steering Committee Organizations


ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom. To learn more visit ADAPT's website at www.adapt.org.

American Association of People with Disabilities

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the country's largest cross-disability membership organization, organizes the disability community to be a powerful force for change – politically, economically, and socially. AAPD was founded in 1995 to help unite the diverse community of people with disabilities, including their family, friends and supporters, and to be a national voice for change in implementing the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To learn more, visit the AAPD website at www.aapd.com.

American Council of the Blind

The American Council of the Blind strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, for all blind and visually-impaired people.To learn more, visit the ACB website at www.acb.org.

Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living

The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) is a national grass roots, consumer controlled, nonprofit membership organization consisting of centers for independent living, their satellites and branch offices, statewide independent living councils, other organizations and individuals concerned with the independent living issues of people with disabilities living in rural America. To learn more, visit the APRIL website at www.april-rural.org.

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement in the world of autism. Drawing on the principles of the cross-disability community, ASAN seeks to organize the community of Autistic adults and youth to have our voices heard in the national conversation about us. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which Autistic people enjoy the same access, rights, and opportunities as all other citizens. We hope to empower Autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community. Nothing About Us, Without Us! To learn more, visit the ASAN website at www.autisticadvocacy.org.

Hearing Loss Association of America

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation’s leading grassroots organization representing the 36 million people with hearing loss. The HLAA mission is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy, and support. HLAA impacts accessibility, public policy, research, public awareness, and service delivery related to hearing loss on a national and local level. HLAA’s national support network includes 200 local chapters nationwide and 14 state organizations. HLAA provides information to consumers, family members, policy makers, health and business professionals through www.hearingloss.org, Hearing Loss Magazine, HLAA ENews, and annual conventions.

Little People of America

LPA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with dwarfism throughout their lives while celebrating with great pride Little People's contribution to social diversity. LPA strives to bring solutions and global awareness to the prominent issues affecting individuals of short stature and their families.To learn more, visit the LPA website at www.lpaonline.org.

National Association of the Deaf

The NAD is the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. To learn more, visit the NAD website at www.nad.org.

National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery

The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery ensures that consumer/survivors have a major voice in the development and implementation of health care, mental health, and social policies at the state and national levels, empowering people to recover and lead a full life in the community. Mental health consumers/survivors are leading the transformation of the mental health field through our authentic voice and vision for self-directed recovery. Our vision of recovery goes far beyond treatment, because it is about all the elements that go into good lives–housing, education, jobs, social relationships, and full participation in the community. To learn more, visit the NCMHR website at www.ncmhr.org.

National Council on Independent Living

The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), individuals with disabilities, and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States. As a membership organization, NCIL advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities through consumer-driven advocacy. NCIL envisions a world in which people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully. To learn more, visit the NCIL website at www.ncil.org.

National Federation of the Blind

With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind. To learn more, visit the NFB website at www.nfb.org.

Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet (NDY) is a national grassroots organization of people with disabilities formed in 1996. Not Dead Yet’s mission is to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities by advocating against legalization of physician assisted suicide, euthanasia, and other forms of medically or socially sanctioned killing of people with disabilities. NDY brings a disability rights perspective to the public debates around euthanasia and assisted suicide, arguing against policies that are based on the assumption that the lives of people with disabilities have less value than the lives of others. In recent years, Not Dead Yet has also taken a leading role in opposing “futility” policies that empower doctors and hospitals to deny treatment to severely ill people against the express wishes of their families, advance directives or even their own current clearly expressed wishes. To learn more, visit the Not Dead Yet website at www.notdeadyet.org.

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) is the self-advocacy organization of the United States. Founded in 1990, we have been working hard for the full inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in the community throughout the 50 states and the world for 21 years. Our non-profit advocacy organization is run by a board of self-advocates representing 9 regions of the country. To learn more, visit the SABE website at www.sabeusa.org.

United Spinal Association

United Spinal Association is a national nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans who pioneered the disability rights movement. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of all Americans living with spinal cord injuries and disorders, including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and post polio. The core belief of United Spinal is that, despite living with a disability or mobility impairment, a full, pro-active, and rewarding life is not only possible, it is within the reach of anyone with the strength to believe it and the courage to make it happen. For over 60 years, we have been an active voice in the disability community and a leading provider of outstanding programs and services for individuals with disabilities. To learn more, visit the USA website at www.unitedspinal.org.

Steering Committee membership and activities are conducted under agreed Operating Guidelines. National disability run organizations may apply to become members of the NDLA Steering Committee by submitting an Application to application@disabilityleadership.org.