About the ADA Trainer Leadership Network
The ADA Trainer Leadership Network (TLN) is a group of disability professionals, employment counselors, educators, diversity and inclusion coordinators, and self-advocates who use a nationally vetted curriculum to train individuals, organizations, businesses, and government agencies about their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). TLN members serve as change agents in their communities by staying aware of current events and trends that influence local needs for training and assistance with ADA implementation.
The overall goal of the TLN program is to enhance the capacity of the ADA Centers to meet the need for training on various aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act to implement programs in local communities and regions that will contribute to improving the economic, employment, social, community, and democratic participation of people with disabilities in our society.
Established in 2007 by the Northeast ADA Center at Cornell University to enhance its capacity to serve people throughout New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, the program became an initiative of the ADA National Network in 2013, extending the program across many regions of the country.
How TLN members impact their local communities:
- Individuals with non-obvious disabilities and chronic health conditions now understand they have rights under the ADA.
- Job seekers with disabilities are better equipped to make decisions about disability disclosure.
- School personnel, social workers, job coaches, and independent living staff feel more comfortable about presenting reasonable accommodation suggestions to employers.
- Bus drivers now call out stops for riders who cannot see or read signage.
- Employers understand the interactive process involved in responding to workplace accommodation requests.
- Municipalities are better prepared to provide information and services to people with all types of disabilities.
The best candidates for TLN membership:
- have a basic understanding of the ADA
- are comfortable presenting information to groups (and/or 1:1)
- have regular contact with individuals and groups who can benefit from ADA-related information
- are committed to learning more about the ADA, and
- understand that how the law is likely to apply depends on the specific details of a given situation.
How to join the TLN:
To join the TLN and have access to the curriculum, individuals must complete the “Train-the-Trainer Workshop.” While the “pre-session” prior to the start of the workshop provides a brief overview of the ADA, the workshop itself, is not training about the ADA. Rather, it is about how to use the curriculum.
The TLN Curriculum consists of 57 training modules covering an array of topics including overviews of the ADA; disability awareness and respectful communication; the ADA and employment; serving customers with disabilities in public entities and private businesses; and accessible technology. Each module is designed to take 10-30 minutes to deliver, and content is presented in a variety of formats: PowerPoint presentations, audio/video clips, games, case scenarios, small and large group discussions, and individual reflection, to address different learning styles and enhance participants’ ability to retain what they have learned. TLN members decide which modules to use based on the specific training request, primary audience, and allotted time for each session they present. TLN members are offered professional development opportunities and ongoing support from designated staff at participating regional ADA Center.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are no membership fees. However, some ADA Centers may charge a nominal fee for participation in the Train-the-Trainer Workshop.
TLN members decide what type (in-person, hybrid, or virtual) and frequency of training they want to provide. Your regional ADA Center may offer incentives (such as sponsorship at ADA-related conferences) for trainers who do a certain number of trainings each year.
TLN members will have to decide whether to charge a training fee or recoup out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., mileage, hotel, printing, etc.). Many TLN members are disability service professionals who use the curriculum to do training as part of their job. When this is the case, it is up to the employer as to whether a fee can be charged, or out-of-pocket expenses can be recouped.
- Curriculum tools, facilitation tips, and eBlasts that include training tips, resources, and more.
- Ongoing support and guidance from designated staff at participating regional ADA Centers.
- Professional development opportunities.
- Closed National ADA TLN Facebook group.
Each region’s TLN program is a little different, and some Centers have additional requirements for membership. For example, some Centers may limit membership to those with whom they already have a professional relationship. Additionally, some Centers conduct in-person Train-the-Trainer Workshops. Before registering for the online ADA TLN Train-the-Trainer Workshop, please contact your regional TLN Coordinator about membership requirements in your area.