Purpose of the Chapter

Starting a student run chapter is the best way for students at local colleges and high schools to be involved with the Disability Allies. Founding members will build a foundation that will forever have a lasting impact at their school or college.

Starting a chapter is a very long process that can take several months to set up. As a prospective chapter you do not need to be approved by the college or highschool before you begin planning events and activities. Approval form the college or will come at a later stage. Typically college and high schools do require that you have an Executive Board, Constitution and a faculty adviser before you start planning events.

The chapter will do the following:

  1. Host their own events at their school or college that involve connecting college or high school students with individuals with disabilities. This can also include students with disabilities at your school or college.
  2. Host events similar to Transition to college day where we pair up students with disabilities from local high schools with college students and help them with the transition process to college.
  3. Plan and facilitate events for a specific disability organization. CLICK HERE for more information.

The members of each chapter will be mentors for the consumers with disabilities at all the events.

 

How events will be organized

The Disability Allies Chapter can create a council consisting of different student organizations on campus and plan events on their own.The events that are planned by the council can relate to the mission of each student organization. Many of the events can be centered around Team Building Activities.

Examples of Events

  • The Comic Club can plan a cartoon workshop. Teams create their own cartoon and present it to everyone
  • The Soccer Team can organize a soccer clinic
  • The Engineering Club can organize the marshmallow toothpick bridge building challenge
  • The Future Teachers Association can organize an activity where everyone comes up with a lesson plan and practices their public speaking
  • The Video Game Club can organize a video game tournament
  • The Theater Club can organize a performance. Members of the Theater Club and the consumers with disabilities would both be part of the performance.

Several of these activities can be combined into one event or made into separate events.

Transition to college event

The student organizations that are part of the council will run a variety of different workshops for high school students with disabilities to help them with the transition process into college.

The High School students will be divided up into smaller groups and paired with the appropriate student organizations running the event based on their interests. They will discuss what college life is like and alleviate some of the concerns about college.

We will discuss how to be involved in different clubs and organizations. The college students will provide tips on how to get along with their suite mates and live independently. They will help the High School students navigate an appropriate career path. They will also discuss student resources such as counseling, services, student advisement and career services. The High School students will learn about accommodations and how to advocate for themselves. Everyone will also engage in a variety of team building activities that promote teamwork, understanding, and growth.

 

The Disability Allies Executive Board

The Disability Allies Executive Board will oversee all the operations of the chapter including the Disability Allies Council. The Disability Allies Executive Board can consist of the following positions. For more information about the Executive Board Positions please refer to our sample constitution.

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • College Liason
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Orientation Director
  • Secretary
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Recruiter
  • Event Planner
  • Fundraising Coordinator

 

You must follow these steps to get started

  1. Email Ross Yellin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let him know that you are interested in starting or joining an existing chapter.
  2. If you would like to start or join a chapter Fill-out our application and specify that under the section titled "What opportunities are you interested in".
  3. Gather names, phone numbers and emails of 10 interested students who want to be on your Executive Board as well as General Members.
  4. Determine a weekly Executive Board and General Meeting time that works for as many people as possible. Ask Ross Yellin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) his availability before you st up weekly meetings. We recommend that you hold your General Meeting and Executive Board Meeting back to back.
  5. Determine who will be on your Executive Board. The positions for the Executive Board Members are in our sample constitution. The members of your Executive Board must be able to attend most of your meetings. If you are comfortable you can interview the candidates before making your final determination on who will be on your Executive Board. CLICK HERE for a list of interview questions. You must assign a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Feel free to add additional Executive Board Positions referenced in our sample constitution.
  6. Find a faculty member that would be willing to be your adviser. We recommend reaching out to Disability Services and the Education or Social Work Department.
  7. Schedule a meeting with yourself, Ross Yellin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), and the Student Life Coordinator or Activities Board at your college or school. At this meeting you will find out any additional requirements needed to be approved by the college or school
  8. Register and submit an organization form to your college or school. The name of the club will be called Disability Allies.
  9. Make sure you attend the student activity fair at the beginning of the year. If you are unable to set up a table make sure you walk around and advertise your club.
  10. Work with Ross Yellin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to draft a constitution. CLICK HERE for a sample constitution that you can use. Feel free to use the constitution as it is or make any modifications.
  11. Find another student run organization on campus that does community service that you can partner with. Partnering with another organization will provide you with access to resources that only approved clubs have.
  12. If you are having a difficult time getting approval to become a club consider making the Disability Allies an initiative of another approved club or under the umbrella of another club. The same adviser can be used for your club. Everything other then that would be exactly the same.
  13. Begin planning activities and events. As a prospective club you can start planning activities before you are officially approved by the college.

 

How to find members and partners

Make sure you obtain the following information from students who want to be part of the chapter

  1. Full Name
  2. Phone number
  3. Email
  4. Do you want to be on the Executive Board
  5. Would you like to be a mentor at our events
  6. What is your status (Are you a Freshman, Solphmore ect...)

How to make a presentation 

  • When you make a presentation make sure that you arrive 30 minutes early and reach out to everyone personally.
  • Make sure you hand out a signup list for interested members to fill out

Reaching out to student run clubs

Attend the meetings/events of different clubs, fraternities and sororities and reach out to the president to schedule a meeting to discuss a partnership with the Disability Allies

  • Send an email to all student organizations telling them that you are interested in being more involved and ask them to join their emailing list. 
  • Send an email to the president of every student on campus to meet with them
  • Ask students on campus if they attend any student organiziations on campus. If they do ask them when the next meeting is and ask them for the cellphone number of the president
  • Go to the areas on campus that clubs usually meet 

Reaching out to Professors and other departments

  • Send out an email to the departments and professors listed below. If they don't answer their email stop by their office hours
  • Ask your professors and professors from the Education, Psychology, Social Work, Buisness and other departments if you can make a presentation to their classes.
  • See if the departments listed above as well as the Business, Career Services, Educational Opportunity Fund, and Bonners Departments are willing to give students internship credit to help start the chapter or turn it into a project biased assignment
  • Reach out to the departments listed above in addition to Student Life, Residence Life, Volunteer Services, The Student Government, and Disability Services and ask them if they are willing to reach out to students and refer them to you.

Enagaging the Student Population

  • Engage students at different social and networking events on campus.
  • Engage students in the cafeteria, coffee shops, student lounges and other highly populated areas on campus. Ask for permission to set up a table.
  • Post flyers throughout campus. Make sure the flyers have your contact email and phone number
  • Set up a table at college career fairs and club fairs
  • Post Executive Board member opportunities as an internship opportunity on the colleges website and volunteer websites
  • Find out from volunteer services what local volunteer opportunities are available to students off campus. Attend these volunteer opportunities and recruit members to join the club

 

Chapter Requirements and Benefits

Fundraising Requirement

Chapters must raise at least 250 dollars a year that will be sent to nationals. 50 percent of any funds that are raised must go to nationals. Each chapter must create their own team for our yearly Walkathon.

Click on the links below for some fundraising ideas

Chapter Advisor

A Regional Director will work with your chapter and serve as your adviser. He or she will attend your Executive Board meetings, and help you with structuring your chapter, organizing your events and conducting outreach. The Regional Director will ensure that your chapter is meeting our guidelines. Each chapter will also be requires to have a faculty adviser

Inter-Chapter Meetings

The President of the chapter must be present at our board meetings and inter-chapter conference calls. The president will provide us with an update on their chapter. If the president is unable to attend the Vice President can take his or her place. If the Vice President is unable to attend, the President can delegate a representative from the Executive Board. We also strongly recommend that that all the entire Executive Board attend our inter-chapter conference calls.
CLICK HERE for the meeting information.

Regional Conventions

We hold a convention once a semester at different colleges throughout the region. Each chapter will have the opportunity to host the convention at their own college . At the convention we will hold leadership workshops and exciting Team Building activities. The convention will be a great opportunity to socialize with other chapters and share feedback.

Bylaws and Constitution

Each chapter must adopt our constitution and adhere to our mission. CLICK HERE for a sample constitution that you can use. Feel free to use the constitution as it is or make any modifications.

The following sections can not be modified:

  • Prelude
  • Amending the Constitution
  • Disability Allies Inc. Requirements

Employment and internship opportunities

We hire our most dedicated chapter members to work on a one to one basis with consumers with disabilities. The rate of pay is based on the performance of each chapter member. Student can also obtain internship credit for helping us start the chapter.

Disability Training

Each chapter must train all members on how to appropriately interact with individuals with disabilities. We recommend that you involve social work students and professors to help with this training.
CLICK HERE for an example of a training presentation that you can create. Feel free to use what you want from the presentation.

Involvement from non college students

The chapter must allow individuals from outside the college to attend events. We strongly encourage that the chapter utilizes professionals from outside the college to serve as chapter advisor.

Marketing Materials

Each chapter must incorporate our brand into their marketing materials. Your chapter must post all your events to our website.
CLICK HERE for our template flier. You can also use our Logo and Banner.

Consumer Referrals

Disability Allies INC. gets many referrals from families, the Division of Developmental Disabilities and local nonprofits. We will send any individual with a disability who is interested in our services to the nearest student chapter.