APRIL Logo with the words, "The United Voice  of Independent Living in Rural America."

Two men one standing one setting in a wheelchairYouth Advocacy Committee

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Mission of the Committee

To create a space and place for youth to learn about systems and self-advocacy while being given the opportunity to exercise that skill in state and national settings with the support of the committee. We also want to support the offspring of local chapters of youth advocacy committees. 

11 youth advocacy 

Goals Established by the Committee

Provide trainings for youth on certain laws and disability right policies.

Conduct advocacy trainings, work, support in our local areas and report back to the larger committee.

Collecting and creating glossary, resources, recording, frequent phrases list, and definition of “in-between” languages.

Creating a list of people, organizations, and websites to follow for the most up-to-date local policy issues.

Review current issues and legislation through a youth focus.

  a. What is the sustainability of the policy? (how will it impact the youth of today later in the future)
  b. Looking at issues from a youth perspective and how it will impact youth today.
  c. How does it impact preventative services/care?
        i. Education will maintain a focus.
           1. Mental health professional in schools (how many people can provide mental health in the schools in your area?)
           2. Restraint (keep all students safe act KASSA is one example of this)
           3. Seclusion and isolation issues.


Past Trainings


Self-Advocacy and Systems Advocacy Introduction Training
A training in partnership with University of Montana RTC: Rural Research & Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities. Learn more about self and systems advocacy, the disability right law and how they affect you, and how to speak up in your community to see change happen. This was led by Mike Beers and the Summit Independent Living Center, BASE staff.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Youth Training
A webinar’s presenters were from staff from Yo! Disabled and Proud and the Southeast ADA Center. This training dives into the understanding of the ADA and then goes into the different titles to learn how they apply to a young person. It has a review of examples and review activities that were done at the end of each training.


Fair Housing Act Youth Training
This webinar was presented by Dylan Richardson, a youth who has taught in high schools about the Fair Housing Act and who is a member of the Youth Advocacy Committee and the Youth Steering Committee for APRIL. We also had Don Dew, an Executive Director is Souix Falls, Iowa at a Center for Independent Living. Both of them led a presentation through understand the terminology found within the law and understanding the barriers and basics to know when needing to apply the law to everyday life while trying to live independently.


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