Youth Peer to Peer Mentoring: Recruitment and Retention

Youth Peer to Peer Mentoring: Recruitment and Retention 

7 RxR

Recruiting youth can be very daunting. Breaking it up into smaller bite sized achievable tasks can make it seem less scary. This thing about working with young people with disabilities is that youth cannot be a service, youth are a population.  Just like any population you might serve, young people have their own culture.  They may respond differently than other groups you work with. As such, it is important to find out what youth want, and to do your best to try and include them and their specific needs and culture. One of the first things you might want to do is needs assess youth to figure out what it is that they want out of a program and how to best entice them to get involved. Even if you already have an idea of what you are going to do, you still need young people to come and use your services.

So... where do you find youth? How do you get them to come? 


APRIL Youth Peer to Peer Manual: Recruitment and Retention

These are brainstormed lists from youth involved with APRIL from across the country on where to look for young people to get involved, how do you make your programs and CIL attractive and accessible for young people, and information on how build upon programs you already have that could be attractive to young people as well as how to partner with organizations and programs for youth that are already working.  


Sometimes the hardest part of a new program is figuring out where to get started. Below are some examples from our partners on fliers, letters, or advertisements they used in order to get started. Along with our material of resources and activities to assist you in being successful in this area of programming. 


8 RXRFlyers:

Youth Matters Flyer

High School Flyer



 ABLE School Program Letter 



Community Tool Box, Assessing Community Need and Resources

Community Tool Box, Developing Strategic and Action Plans

APRIL Strategic Planning Tool




Animal Prints     Ask Them     Beach Ball 

Bumper Stickers   Guidelines   Height Game

Label Game   Name_Game   Ouch-Oops

Pass_the_Artichoke   Pictionary   Say_What

String_Game   String_Theory_of_Connectedness

Telephone   Traffic_Jam   Two_Truths_and_a_Lie

Why_and_Because   Zombies

 For more information contact Sierra Royster,

Youth Programs Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or by phone at 919-567-3602  


Many THANKS to those that have helped make this material a reality!!

ADAPT brothers and sisters, Billy Altom, Josie Badger, Mike Beers, Mike Blatchford, Rebecca Cokely, Mike Collins, Rene Cummins, Justin Dart  Jr., Yoshiko Dart, Ellisa Ellis, Barry Fox-Quamme, Letiah Fraser, Gloria Garton, Chiaki Gonda, Linda Gonzales, Carrie Greenwood, Kathy Hatch, June Hermanson, Judy Heumann, Travis Hoffman, Alex Jackson, Mary Leary, Melissa Madill, Mike Mayer, Jude Monson, Michael Murray, John Nousaine, Tom Olin,  Mary Olson, Sierra Royster, Julia Sain, Tom Seekins, Tim Sheehan, Amber Smock, Julia Thomas, Sarah Triano, Craig Ravesloot, Eddie Rea, Curtis Richards, Ed Roberts, Betsy Valnes, Amber Wallenstein, Glen White, YLF Alumni from Montana, YLF Alumni from North Carolina, YLF Alumni of Oklahoma, ABLE CIL, Erin Weierbach, Center for Independent Living of Central PA, Alie Kriosfske-Manielle, Susan Cerverlla, Dustin Gibson, Moriah Grace, Grant Heffelfinger, and Rachel Kaplan.



2017 APRIL Conference T-shirt

32 In Stock

Call Senators Today

TAKE ACTION: Oppose the GOP Tax Reform Bill


Tax Bill Passes Senate: Fight Moves Back to the House!

THANK YOU to everyone who has taken action to fight the GOP’s tax bills. In the very early hours of Saturday morning, the Senate voted to pass their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Every Republican except one voted for the bill, with no Democratic support. 

This is bad news, but it’s not over yet. The House now needs to decide whether they will work with the Senate to reconcile the differences between the two bills by going to conference, or they can forego that process and vote on the Senate version – and this can happen as early as today!


The fate of this bill is in our Representatives’ hands. It is vital that they hear from you today! Take Action Now!

  • Find your Representative’s number at Contacting Congress or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).
  • Use Resistbot to turn your text into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters.
  • Fax your Representative (use faxzero.com to find their fax number).
  • Email, post on Facebook, or Tweet your Representative with information on Contacting Congress.

Tell them:


Outraged Disability Rights Leaders send a message




Outraged Disability Rights Leaders Send a Message to their Governors and the National Governors Association about ACA Repeal/Replace/Repair

For Immediate Release:

(name, phone, email, Twitter)


February xx, 2017 (add city) – Disability rights leaders in (add state) are sending a “loud and clear” message to Governor (insert name) to take with (him/her) to the National Governors Association when it meets in DC later this week, February 24 – 27: 

61 million Americans with disabilities are at risk of losing health care coverage, benefits and their right to live in the community.

Disability leaders are asking their Governors to put people first, over partisan politics. Several Republican Governors, including Governors Kasich (OH) and Snyder (MI), have been very outspoken against the Medicaid cuts.  In similar statements across America, disability leaders are united in their demands:

We oppose the GOP repeal and replace proposal as well as the damaging proposed reforms to Medicaid because:

- Medicaid block grants and per capita caps are nothing more than an attempt by the federal government to cut support to states for Medicaid.

- Over the next 10 years Federal support is projected to be cut by $1 trillion; states and/or counties will have to come up with the replacement revenue or make major cuts.

- Cuts will be made to prescription drugs, physical, occupational and speech therapies, Personal Care, HCBS waivers and state plan amendments, Community First Choice and Health Homes, etc. These so called “optional” services often mean the difference between “life and death” for many people with disabilities.

- Under block grants, states would receive a fixed amount of money each year for the program regardless of actual needs or costs. Per capita caps provides a fixed amount of funding per Medicaid beneficiary with states liable for all medical and LTSS costs beyond the caps.

- Neither Block Grants nor per capita caps can or will control health care and LTSS costs.

- Enhanced Medicaid expansion matching funds in 31 states and DC would be reduced, another loss of revenue to states, further squeezing state budgets, and resulting in a resurgence of uncompensated care to emergency rooms and hospitals, reduction in treatment for people addicted to opioids, and millions of people losing access to health care they only recently received.

- Reduction in federal revenue to the states will result in enrollment caps, increase in waiting lists, and human pain and suffering. 10 million people are covered by Medicaid expansion, and about 20% of those are people with disabilities (PwDs).

- Reduction in federal revenue will result in a major loss of jobs in health care and long-term services and supports (LTSS) in every state.

- Eight states with Community First Choice (CFC) will lose their 6% enhanced Medicaid match: CA, CO, MD, MT, NY, OR, TX, and WV.

- Of the 73 million Americans covered by Medicaid, 15 million (21%) are children and adults with disabilities and senior citizens.  PwDs account for 48% of total Medicaid dollars due to higher acute care costs and costs of LTSS. Kids and moms receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) benefits are generally healthy, and so are quite inexpensive to Medicaid. Therefore, capping Medicaid will result in potential draconian cuts in services to PwDs and senior citizens.

- PwDs who are employed may have to quit their jobs due to loss of funds for Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) or access to state optional Medicaid buy-in plans, now existing in 46 states (only AL, FL, HI, TN and D.C. do not have buy-in plans).

- End of enhanced federal matching funds for Money Follows the Person (MFP) that liberated over 63,000 people from institutions, and loss of Community First Choice (CFC) will make it far more difficult for people to leave or avoid institutions, which in the aggregate are 2-3 times more expensive for a poorer quality of life than the costs and benefits of community services and supports.

- If ACA is repealed we will revert to Lifetime Caps in commercial insurance which harm people with significant medical and community LTSS needs.

- There can be NO repeal without replacement, and any replacement plan must assure access to quality coordinated health care in Medicaid including Health Homes and cost-effective LTSS FOR personal care, CFC, and HCBS state plans and waivers rather than nursing homes and INSTITUTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL/intellectual disabilities (ICFs/DD).

- On the commercial insurance side, we cannot accept High Risk Pools – they are proven to not work, are very expensive and have high deductibles and co-pays. Health Savings Accounts have NO savings in them for low and moderate income PwDs.

- Disability leaders cannot support reinstatement of annual and lifetime caps by insurance companies, and denial of coverage or massive surcharges for preexisting conditions.

The disability community is united in its determination to protect access to affordable, quality health care and long term supports and services that promote community living and employment and we insist that your policy changes do no harm.


          - It’s about saving lives and improving health

          - It’s about independence and community participation

- It’s about civil rights, freedom and liberty  

We can help improve Medicaid without harming people.

Nothing About Us Without Us,

(Your Name/Group)


RTC: Rural UMT


rtc rural solid




APRIL is proud to partner with the RTC: RURAL on many different projects that benefit people with disabiliteis throughout the country.


The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) conducts research on disability as part of the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana. RTC: Rural is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to improve the ability of people with disabilities to engage in rural community living.

Research projects at RTC: Rural focus on community participation and independent living, health & wellness, and employment and vocational rehabilitation.  Research products include: Living and Working Well with a Disability, health promotion programs for people with disabilities; Telecom Toolbox, a resource for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors; and the Transportation Voucher program available from the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL).


As a NIDILRR-funded program, the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities strives to ensure people with disabilities participate in all stages of the development and implementation of research projects.  Our goal is to make sure research results and products are useful and relevant to people with disabilities, their families and service providers.


Welcome to the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)


APRIL Who We Are:

The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) is a national grassroots, nonprofit membership organization consisting of over 260 members from centers for independent living, their satellites and branch offices, statewide independent living councils, other organizations and individuals concerned with the independent living issues of people with disabilities living in rural America.

 Our Mission:

APRIL provides leadership and resources on rural independent living. As a national membership organization, APRIL is dedicated to advancing the rights and responsibilities of people with disabilities in rural America by serving as a center of resources and by leading systems change.

 What We Do:

APRIL is the united voice of Rural Independent Living. Some of the highlights of our work include:

Rural Transportation


2016 Annual Conference

Peer to Peer

IL Conversations Page


 If you would like to learn more about the work that we do please visit our Annual Reports.

You can also contact us:

 Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living

11324 Arcade Drive, Suite 9

Little Rock, AR  72212




2016 Board


Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)


as of

January 1, 2016

President   Vice President Treasurer  
Tim Sheehan   Ronald Rocha  Karen Michalski
CIL of Western Wisconsin  ARCIL Blue Ridge ILC
2920 Schneider Ave E   825 East Rundberg Lane  1502B Williamson Rd., N.E.
Menomonie, WI 54751  Suite E6  Roanoke, VA 24012
(715) 233-1070    Austin, TX 78753 (540) 342-1231
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (512) 832-6349  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   
At-Large Exec. Officer   Secretary 
Kim Gibson   Jim Whalen 
1901 Montreal Road, Ste. 102   1042 Griswold St., Ste. 2
Tucker, GA 30084   Port Huron, MI 48060
(404) 682-8890   (810) 987-9337
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
                                                      MEMBERS AT LARGE
Virginia Harris                         Beth Quarles                           Melva Heinrich                      BAIN, Inc.                               Future Choices                       LINC – Twin Falls           
316 Shotwell St.                        309 N. High Street                1182 Eastland Drive North, Ste. C Bainbridge, GA 39818               Muncie, IN 47305               Twin Falls, ID 83301
(229) 246-0150                         (765) 741-8332                         (208) 733-1712
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.           
Kimberly Tissot                            Ron Garcia                                   Emilio Vela                       
Able South Carolina                       New Vistas                                    WA SILC                       
136 Stonemark Lane; Ste.100       1205 Parkway Dr. Suite A             PO Box 45343                       Columbia, SC 29210                     Santa Fe, NM 87507                     Olympia, WA 98504-5343
(803) 779-5121                               (505) 471-1001                            (360) 972-4499           
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                                                                                                           
Scott Burlingame                     Sidna Madden                            Mike Beers
Independence Inc.                    SILC of Oklahoma                     Summit ILC
300 3rd Ave SW, Ste. F          3535 NW 58th, Suite 480          700 SW Higgins Avenue, Suite 101
Minot, ND 58701                     Oklahoma City, OK 73112               Missoula, MT 59803
(701) 839-4724                         (405) 951-3581                          (406) 728-1630
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.              This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cassie Weightman-Wick                 Sara Minton                                        
Montana ILP                             Crockett Resources CIL            
3475 Monroe, Suite 100          1020 Loop, 304 East                    
Butte, MT 59701                       Crockett, TX 75835                       
(406) 782-4834                         (936) 544-2811                                           
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.               This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.               
Melissa Ann Santora
Arizona SILC
5025 E Washington St, Ste. 214
Phoenix AZ 85034
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Matt Berwick
TRCIL Services Inc.
900 Rebecca Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
(412) 371-7700
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Empowering persons with Psychiatric Disabilities: The Role of Peer Model in CILS


CIL-NET   Presents… A Brand-New National Onsite Training

Empowering   Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities: The Role of the Peer Model in CILs

June   2-4, 2015; Baltimore, MD

Register   online or by using the printable registration form (PDF)

Registration   Fee: $150.00


As consumer-controlled, cross-disability   organizations, CILs have a duty not just to provide services to consumers   with psychiatric disabilities, but to ensure that they are an integral part   of the organization: on staff, on the board, providing leadership and peer   support. Every CIL serves people with psychiatric disabilities, whether they   realize it or not. But there’s a lot of work between serving a few consumers   and developing the staff competencies, peer support, and funding necessary   for an exemplary approach. Let us help you improve and expand your work with   people with psychiatric disabilities with a framework for inclusion and   program development. Our presenters will give you the skills and knowledge to   conceptualize, build, and implement an outstanding mental health program at   your CIL. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity for your Center. Sign up   today! 



Learning Objectives


By the end of this training, participants will learn:

  • The role of CILs in serving people with psychiatric disabilities
  • An overview of the Mental Health System
  • Philosophical reasons for a CIL to get involved
  • What CILs need to know about involuntary treatment
  • How CILs can confront prejudice, fear, and discrimination
  • How to ensure meaningful involvement of consumers/survivors
  • Steps involved in planning and implementing programs
  • Strategies for gaining board of directors and staff buy-in
  • Promising practices shared by centers with successful programs
  • How to address potential barriers and gaps
  • How to build relationships with survivors and other stakeholders
  • Funding streams available to expand and finance services
  • Ways to build staff competencies
  • Steps to establish and manage contracts, set rates, and maintain relationships with funders


Target Audience

This training will provide strategies to   confront discrimination related to mental health in the independent living   field, and identify steps in planning and implementing programs in centers   and the necessary funding needed to serve individuals with psychiatric   disabilities. Executive Directors, Board Members, Program Managers and staff   at centers interested in expanding services for people with psychiatric  disabilities would benefit most from this training.



Baltimore Marriott Waterfront

700 Aliceanna Street
Baltimore,   MD 21202

Front Desk Phone: (410) 385-3000

For reservations, please call Marriott at   800.228.9290 by May 11, 2015. The discounted group rate is $199.00 / night   for single / double occupancy, plus applicable taxes. Be sure to mention   IL-NET Training when making your reservation to receive the group rate.



Meet   Your Presenters

Mike   Bachhuber: Executive Director, Independent Living   Council of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Mike has worked in disability rights since   1997 and previously worked for an IL Center in Wisconsin, in addition to the   state’s Protection and Advocacy System. As a consumer, Mike sat on and   chaired the state’s Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council and served as   a founding Board member for its Mental Health Consumer Network. He currently   devotes time to organizing the civil rights efforts of the National Council   on Independent Living as Co-chair of its ADA/Civil Rights Subcommittee. He   received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his J.D.   from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Daniel   Fisher: Executive Director, National Empowerment   Center, Lawrence, MA

Dan is a person who has recovered from   schizophrenia. He is one of the few psychiatrists in the country who publicly   discusses his recovery from mental illness. He is a role model for others who   are struggling to recover, and his life dispels the myth that people do not   recover from mental illness. His recovery and work in the field were   recognized by his selection as a member of the White House Commission on   Mental Health. He received his B.A. from Princeton University, his Ph.D. in   biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and M.D. from George Washington   University. Dan is a board-certified psychiatrist who completed his residency   at Harvard Medical School. Dan is also an Adjunct Faculty member of the   University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Kathie   Knoble-Iverson: Executive Director, Independent   Living Resources, La Crosse, WI 

Kathie was part of a five year grassroots   effort to establish Independent Living Resources, Inc. in a 13 county area of   southwest Wisconsin. She has a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation   Administration, and has been the Executive Director of Independent Living   Resources (ILR) for 20 years.    

PRESENTED BY CIL-NET: A program of the IL-NET   national training and technical assistance project for Centers for   Independent Living (CIL-NET) and Statewide Independent Living Councils   (SILC-NET). The IL-NET is operated by ILRU, Independent Living Research Utilization,   in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and the   Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL). 

Improve verbal sports announcing on television for the benefit of the sight impaired.

Improve verbal sports announcing on television for the benefit of the sight impaired.

By: Louis Vodopya, Clarksville, TN  Sign on Petition Here

Petition to Sports Announcers

We, the blind sports fans of America request that all sports announcers describe sports using the numbers related to the activity. This is the only way we can ‘see’ what is happening. The deaf have the benefit of Closed Captioning, the blind have nothing. We can only tell what is happening if you speak the numbers.

Golf-The following should be spoken for all distances:

Drives, to the green shots, putt lengths, club selection, all scoreboards shown singular or multiple, any other lists shown on the screen such as club speed or ball speed.

Football-The following should be spoken for all distances:

All runs, passes, and kick yardages including negative yardages. Yard lines should also be spoken. All scores should be spoken and updated as they occur. Time should be spoken regularly and at the end of each quarter or half and the final two minutes after every play.

Read more: Improve verbal sports announcing on television for the benefit of the sight impaired.

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Address Information

11324 Arcade Drive Suite 9 ~ Little Rock, AR 72212 ~ Phone: 501-753-3400 ~ FAX:  501-753-3406