We Are Youth As Self Advocates!
We model leadership and the power of self-advocacy. We are active in our schools, communities, families and places of employment. We share our message with other youth who have disabilities or chronic health conditions, as well as with our friends and peers.
Our activities include:
- Representing the voice of youth living with disabilities and chronic health conditions by speaking to policy makers at public events and hearings.
- Educating our communities, including students, teachers and administrators at our schools; medical students and physicians; and federally funded agencies and state programs.
- Serving as advisors to the over 40,000 members of Family Voices across the country and organizations and agencies interested in promoting youth involvement and leadership.
Our Theory of Change
In order to make a real difference in our communities and in this country, we work under a Theory of Change. What this means is that we have come up with ideas about the change we want to see for youth with disabilities in the U.S. and we have outlined how we are working to make that happen. See how this works!
The YASA National Advisory Board
We have a small group of young adult and youth leaders [ages 13-24] on the Advisory Board and as they leave, new people can apply to join. This is the highest level of YASA project leadership. The Advisory Board members help create the Annual Operating Plan, which is a plan that describes the work the YASA project will do and who will do it, as well as create as many of the documents that are on our website and that we give out to other people and groups. They also present at conferences and work with other national and local groups to get young people involved. The YASA Advisory Board can be a great way to learn how youth can lead a project, and to gain other advocacy and leadership skills.
The Advisory Board advises policy for the YASA project as a whole, including activities like this website, our materials, and meetings. The Advisory Board leads all of the programming for YASA. Advisory Board members are given an opportunity to sharpen their leadership skills. The Advisory Board acts as a valuable resource to the media, professionals and other young adults regarding issues concerning young adults with disabilities.
The YASA National Advisory Board and our members help determine what will be on the website based on your input and submissions. We hope you will use our website to learn about subjects like advocacy, leadership, health care, education, employment, disability culture, and much more! If there is something you want to learn about that is not on the YASA website, please let us know.