Sangha Unity Network, Inc. (SUN), with funding from The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, is launching a Learning Journey led by Michelle Schwartz, M.Ed. CCC-Sp, and Katie Chandler, LCSW. 

This Learning Journey is designed for provider agencies who seek to further commit to a foundation of supporting self-advocates and person-centered practices. It is a 6-month commitment that offers an opportunity for personal growth for each individual participant and collective discovery for provider organizations.

Provider organizations/members who apply for this opportunity will make a personal and organizational commitment to begin and sustain this journey. One provider organization will be chosen from each Region. 

To apply, a provider agency must have committment from a 9-member team comprised of:

  • 3 Self-Advocates (people with I/DD supported by the agency)
  • 3 Direct Support Professionals 
  • 2 Supervisor/Managers
  • 1 representative from Executive Leadership

Agencies must also complete the 9 question-application and submit a letter detailing the agency's commitment on agency letterhead by August 20, 2021 (send to
More Information on the Learning Journey:

The 6 teams involved in the Learning Journey will learn about ...

  • Self-advocacy from self-advocates: We will better understand a self-advocate's role as active decision-makers in service provision and be able to support each person to have more autonomy and be more self-determined.

  • The Power of Communication and the Power of People: Workshops designed for providers to incorporate training and mentoring to agency staff members around communication development, supports, and implementing person-focused service provision. 

  • Tools to use to support people to move from typical “client” role of waiver recipient to role of citizen, focusing on asset-based community opportunities.

Organization Expectations (Provider Teams will Commit to):

  • Increasing person-centered practices within their organizations while supporting self-advocates.

  • Participating in (*schedule below)...
  • September 1st Kick-Off Session
  • 3 full-day virtual workshops in September
  • Half-day organization team reviews (virtual) with SUN in October, November, and December to discuss learning progress. Barriers will be identified and individualized feedback provided.
  • Full day workshop in January
  • Final organization team reviews follow-up sessions in February

  • Receiving mentoring and follow-up support provided by SUN.

  • Sharing successes via stories, videos, etc. to support what was taught and learned.
*In addition to answering the 9-question application, please submit your agency commitment letter via email to

The letter needs to:
  • Be submitted on agency letterhead.
  • Include names and roles of participants who will attend all sessions (3 DSPs, 3 Self-Advocates, 2 Supervisors/Managers, and 1 Representative from Executive Leadership).
  • Include agency commitment to complete follow-up requests and participate.
Application due August 20, 2021

Selection will be announced August 24, 2021
As questions come in from providers, we will post the questions and our answers here for everyone to view:
For Questions, Contact:
Katie Chandler, LCSW