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Webinar Series on Transition: Youth Leadership and Transition Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT TO USE YOUR COMPUTER'S AUDIO: When the Webinar begins, you will be connected to audio using your computer's microphone and speakers (VOIP). A headset is recommended. OR

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Webinar Series on Transition: Youth Leadership and Transition Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT

  • TO USE YOUR COMPUTER'S AUDIO: When the Webinar begins, you will be connected to audio using your computer's microphone and speakers (VOIP). A headset is recommended.
  • OR
  • TO USE YOUR TELEPHONE: If you prefer to use your phone, you must select "Use Telephone" after joining the Webinar and call in using : +1 (702) 489-0001, Access Code: 497-815-430, and Audio PIN: Shown after joining the Webinar#.
  • Questions and Answers for presenters will be taken at the end of the Webinar
  • For live captioning: At the start time of the event, please login to:
  • Please check that your computer has the latest version of JAVA (
  • After the Webinar, you will receive a brief survey. Please take a moment to complete, and help us help you! Thank you.
  • Recognize the importance of youth leadership and successful transition.
  • Understand Utah Assistive Technology Program transition activities with VR, school district and peer program.
  • Increase knowledge of resources.
inclusion and leadership
Inclusion and leadership
  • The inclusion, meaningful participation and leadership of youth with disabilities in educational, employment, social, community and leadership activities is vital to their future success and to achieve all of their life goals.
  • Young adults with disabilities should expect good healthcare and employment with benefits and independence(Noyes-Grosser, 2007).
transition and post school outcomes
Transition and Post-school outcomes
  • Yet youth often lack the opportunities to learn their rights, navigate services, and participate in other activities necessary for building a successful adult life (Powers, et. al, 2007).
  • Current post-school outcomes often include unemployment, under-education, continued dependence on parents, social isolation, and lack of involvement in youth, leadership and community activities (NCD, 2000).
barriers to transition
Barriers to transition
  • Barriers include the lack of:
  • Assistive technology / accommodations,
  • Accessible classroom computers,
  • Transportation,
  • Coordinated services,
  • Quality learning experiences,
  • Employment opportunities, as well as
  • Continued stereotyping (NCD, 2000).  
p articipation and leadership
Participation and leadership
  • Youth often serve on an unpaid advisory boards without meaningful decision making. Adults usually serve in paid planning & administration.
  • Full participation and leadership translates to meaningful involvement in program planning, implementation and evaluation.
  • Meaningful implies that young adults have power and authority in decisions, with multiple avenues for becoming involved  (Matarese, et al, 2005).
benefits of youth leadership involvement for programs
Benefits of youth leadership / involvement for programs
  • Bring new perspectives and influence outcomes in new and unexpected ways.
  • Make programs more responsive to youth, stronger, more diverse and creative.
  • Improve the development and delivery of effective policies and programs .
  • Become more relevant to consumers (Aicafmha, 2008).
  • Train leaders of tomorrow.
how involvement leadership activities benefit youth
How involvement / leadership activities benefit youth
  • Increase self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Understand assistive technology.
  • Gain leadership and life skills.
  • Learn new strategies to address barriers.
  • Connect with other youth and staff.
  • Increase likelihood of successful transition.
  • Parents may see that independence is possible.
ideas for youth project funding
Ideas for Youth Project Funding

State Agencies

  • Developmental Disabilities Council (Councils for Developmental Disabilities nationwide

Fee for Service Contracts (assessment, training, etc.)

  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • School District
utah at program
Utah AT Program
  • Some Transition Youth Leadership Activities (AT Lab)
    • Vocational Rehab Skill Assessments
    • School District
    • Peer program
  • ILRU ( is a national center for training, research, and TA in independent living. ILRU developed a conference on youth programs to support CILs in providing transition to independent living, employment, and post-secondary education. Speakers covered how to design, fund, staff and operate transition services. Future webinars will also be offered on transition.
  • Building an Effective, Comprehensive CIL Youth Program training (Recorded 2 day training)
  • Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning
  • Youth Transition Resources
  • Best Practices to Enhance Transition to College and Careers (Recorded Webinar)
other resources
Other Resources
  • National Youth Leadership Network (promotes leadership, independent living youth with disabilities).
  • National Consortium on Leadership & Disability for Youth (Youth-lead information, training, and resource center).
    • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability
    • - Quality Indicators for AT. Areas: AT In Transition, assessment, IEP, effectiveness, implementation, etc .
thank you
Thank You!

Marilyn Hammond & Clay Christensen

Utah Assistive Technology Program

Utah State University


what is it
What is it?

The 2012 Massachusetts Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) is a four day forum designed for young adults with disabilities who want to:

  • participate in their communities
  • join the workforce, and
  • become successful adults.
The forum helps students in their final two years of high school prepare for the transition to higher education or work and provides them with resources that will be useful to them as adults.
ylf goals
YLF goals
  • An opportunity for students with disabilities to attend an intensive forum emphasizing leadership, independence and career goal setting;
  • An opportunity for young adults with disabilities to become peer leaders through leading activities and mentoring younger participants;
  • Encourage youth to pursue academic and career goals by exposing them to successful role models;
  • Give students the knowledge of resources that can help them to develop and achieve their goals;
  • Promote pride among youth about the cultural history of their predecessors with disabilities, including the long struggle for Civil Rights, and the enactment of the ADA.
  • Be available and accessible to youth with a variety of disabilities.
collaborating organizers
Collaborating organizers
  • Easter Seals, Massachusetts
  • Boston Center for Independent Living
  • Partners for Youth with Disabilities
  • Center for Human Development
  • Massachusetts Developmental Disability Council
  • EPIC
  • Mass. Rehabilitation Commission
  • 8 Staff Captains
  • 18 Peer Leaders (ideally 12 – 15)
  • 30-35 Delegates
  • Adult Mentors
  • Leaders from disability community
  • State Legislators
  • Assistive Technology professionals
participants cont d
Participants cont’d
  • Chosen by competitive process
  • Geographic diversity
  • Disability diversity
    • 50% on Autism spectrum
    • 30% with physical disability
    • 20% with learning disability
who applies
Peer Leaders

Post high school

Under age 26

Leadership qualities

Involved in college, volunteering or employed


High school juniors and seniors (or last two years of school)

An interest in learning to be a leader

Who applies?
a competitive selection process
A competitive selection process…

Both Peer Leaders and Delegates selected competitively by:

  • Application
  • letter of reference
  • formal interview held throughout Massachusetts at Independent Living Centers
  • Small committee selects based on a number of factors

Initial day for Staff Captains and Peer Leaders only

3 days of

  • small and large groups
  • interviews with adult Mentors
  • Personal time for individual work
  • AT Expo and workshop
  • evening social activities
peer leaders
Peer Leaders

Peer leaders receive two sessions of training from Partners for Youth with Disabilities. These trainings teach peer leaders how to help delegates develop their leadership plans throughout the event.

workshop topics
Workshop topics
  • Employment
  • Self-advocacy
  • Independent living history and philosophy
  • Goal-setting
  • Legislation and legislative process
  • Assistive technology
  • Voc. Rehab. reallottment funds - $110,000
  • AT Act funds - $1,500

Budget covered:

  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • PCAs
  • Stipends to Peer leaders
  • Meals
  • Reasonable Accommodations (Interpreter, alternative format documents)
role of at act
Role of AT Act

MassMATCH funding for AT-related training to delegates. Sessions included:

  • Overview of types of devices and purposes – hands on demonstrations and trials of devices
  • Information on funding, eligibility, resources and process for obtaining AT after secondary education
goals for delegates
Goals for Delegates
  • Develop personal leadership plans
  • Gain a better understanding of disability history
  • Learn leadership skills
  • Learn about assistive technology
  • Learn about employment
  • Learn to advocate
  • Interview experience
  • Resume building
  • Cross-disability awareness
  • Enhanced personal responsibility
  • Social networking/relationship building
  • Understanding of assistive technology
other outcomes
Other outcomes…
  • Individual Consumer Consultant registry has grown
  • Going to college manual developed
  • Development of ongoing Youth Leadership Network in Boston and Worcester
personal outcomes
Personal outcomes

These students learned from one another:

  • about appropriate social relationships
  • disabilities other than their own
  • pride from peer encounters
  • respect for peers
  • developing a sense of community.
personal outcomes cont d
Personal Outcomes cont’d

Development of independence from family was enhanced by:

  • Some students managed a consumer-directed personal care attendant for the first time
  • Learning responsibility for themselves by setting their own alarm clocks for the mornings
  • Learning to respect each other’s limitations and obstacles
ongoing efforts
Ongoing efforts
  • An ongoing Youth Leadership Network is being developed to provide opportunities for youth to achieve personal growth, educational and job opportunities.
  • The Youth Leadership Network will also provide an on-going opportunity for young adults with disabilities to become peer leaders through leading activities and mentoring younger participants.
thank you1
Thank you!

Ann Shor

Massachusetts Maximizing Assistive Technology in Consumers’ Hands

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

learning objective
Learning Objective
  • Participants will gain knowledge related to the national network of Youth Leadership Forums and will be able to identify five state models of AT program collaboration with YLFs
history of ylf
History of YLF
  • In the late 1980’s the state of California took a lead in an effort to promote the employment of people with disabilities
    • inspire and prepare young people with disabilities to overcome the barriers to employment and social participation they confront
    • In 1992 California held their first Youth Leadership Forum (YLF). Since that time as many as 30 states have implemented a YLF under the principles and guidelines that California set forth.
  • YLFs are funded and implemented at the state level by state and local partners
  • Montana utilized the national model for Youth Leadership Forums (YLF) developed by California
  • The forum is unique from other leadership programs because it focuses on youth with disabilities and issues specifically related to disability.
association of youth leadership forum
Association of Youth Leadership Forum
  • Late 1990’s - 2003 ODEP funded monthly conference calls for state YLF but ended support in late 2003
  • March of 2004 Montana took a lead in helping to reestablish the network and monthly calls
  • Participants moved forward in establishing the Association of Youth Leadership Forums which is the national organization comprised of those states with an active YLF and those who wish to implement a YLF
  • ODEP maintains a YLF web page
montana ylf mission
Montana YLF Mission
  • To identify students with disabilities who have exhibited leadership skills and equip them with additional training so that they may become leaders by example.
  • MYLF Students will expand their knowledge of the culture of disability, learn about all types of disabilities, and meet adults who are living successfully with disabilities.
mylf goals for participants
MYLF Goals for Participants
  • Developing a leadership plan
  • Developing an academic and/or career plan.
  • Developing work ethics and a belief that work is not only a right, but also a social obligation necessary to reach an individual’s full potential.
  • Developing a resource plan for independence through technology, peer mentoring, and community resources.
mylf eligibility
MYLF Eligibility
  • Twenty students with disabilities from across the state are recruited for MYLF which is held on a college campus.
  • To be eligible for MYLF a student must:
  • Have a disability (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • Be in the 9th - 12th grade as of December 31st (six months prior to the forum to be held the following July)
  • Must have demonstrated leadership potential in school and the community, and
  • Reside in Montana
mylf staff
MYLF Staff

The staff of the summer program includes:

  • volunteer group leaders from across Montana who are successful adults with disabilities
  • experienced professionals from the disability service network
  • participants from past forums.
  • also, paid interpreters, readers, and personal care attendants

Outcomes experienced by the students at previous Forums include:

  • Volunteering in their communities
  • Completing high school
  • Increased involvement in school activities
  • Increased involvement in their IEP meetings
  • Disability awareness presentations in school and community
follow up

Upon conclusion of the Forum, MYLF staff provides one year follow-up mentoring to the delegates.

  • Mentoring involves making regular contacts with the assigned participant either in person, by phone or E-mail.
  • The mentors help initiate activities related to the individualized plans, answer questions, and support the participant's involvement in their community.
  • MYLF will assist alumni in receiving mentor training and promote in-school peer mentoring for youth with disabilities, with MYLF alumni serving as mentors.
  • Each year MYLF receives support from a wide range of agencies and individuals.
  • The collaborations include volunteers at the summer forum, financial assistance, medical services and advertising services.
  • MYLF receives a general fund allocation of $50,000 from the state of Montana Governor's budget. This funding is a result of legislation that the Montana YLF committee got passed to provide partial funding for the Forum.
    • Montana was the first state to get such a law passed.
  • Some grant opportunities have dried up in recent years, so it has become more difficult to secure external funding.
  • Fundraising is always an issue. MYLF is a part of Montana Shares and MYLF has ongoing fundraising efforts, because state general fund dollars do not cover the full expenses of the program.
  • MYLF funding varies from year to year depending on the fundraising efforts.
montana at program
Montana AT Program
  • Has participated in MYLF for a number of years
  • Prior to each forum YLF provides an overview of participants for planning considerations
  • AT Program staff provide a half day workshop
mt at workshop
MT AT Workshop
  • Discussion with current users
  • Overview of AT services and options
  • Emphasis on education, employment, community living options appropriate to the group
  • Interactive demonstration of multiple items
  • Discussion of options specific to individual needs and/or interests
mylf delegates 2012
MYLF Delegates 2012
  • …  Not only did I meet a lot of people that I am still friends with today but I learned a lot too.  There is so much information out there that I didn’t know existed like MonTECH or Voc. Rehab or things I didn’t understand about myself.  If you don’t know what these opportunities are…trust me…..YOU ARE IN FOR A RIDE!  I definitely learned more about myself in ONE WEEK than I have in 18 years.

–Dakota Buerman

  • MYLF helps you advocate for yourself.  It teaches you how to lead your life and be independent.  From the moment I got to MYLF, the staff treated me with a lot of respect, once they welcomed me in.  The speakers are fantastic!  MYLF is the best thing that will ever happen to you.

–Allison Smith

california at program
California AT Program
  • Has proved support for at least three years
  • AT staff chaperone legislative visits at the Capital
  • Staff a table that promotes the CA AT Network during a resource fair period
  • Provide delegates with materials so they understand their rights to AT in College and the Workplace
  • Coordinate with CFILC’s Youth Organizing (YO!) Disabled and Proud program to arrange for professionals who are AT users to be speakers during the forum
  • YLF participants are encouraged to stay connected through participation in CFILC’s YO! program
  • AT network markets AT transition training to the YO! group
south carolina
South Carolina
  • Serve on the YLF Board
  • Make the on-line application accessible
  • Provide money and staff time each year
  • Ensure facilities on campus are accessible
  • Attend meetings and provide suggestions for ensuring the curriculum and activities are accessible as possible
    • Examples include employing Universal design principles for the curriculum; providing instructions more slowly and more than once; providing visuals to assist in following directions
    • Providing fabrications based on individual’s need for activity participation; an improved harness is now available so wheelchair users can easily and safely be hoisted to the top of a platform to participate in the Zip Line activity
  • With each passing year everyone is much more in tune with accessibility and board members are so committed they return each year
  • Past activities include providing a presentation with device demonstrations
  • This year AT staff trained YLF staff on skill development related to multi-media and iPad use
  • YLF staff then assisted the participating youth in a project to document their experiences
  • YLF youth then developed a closing multi-media presentation using the iPad
connecticut ylf
Connecticut YLF
  • Has participated for 2 years
  • Provides an AT workshop for participating youth
  • Is one of the highest rated activities for the week and the youth really seem to respond to it
  • They cover:
    • What is AT
    • Discuss who is currently using AT
    • Show a variety of AT that can be useful to them
    • Talk about services the program can provide once they graduate
    • Have a Q&A discussion
special thanks
Special Thanks
  • Kim Cantrell – Director of California Foundation for ILCs
  • Carol Page – Director of South Carolina AT Program
  • Mart Exline – Director of Missouri AT Program
  • Arlen Lugo – Director of Connecticut AT Program
thank you2
Thank you!

Kathleen LaurinMontana Assistive Technology Program


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SAVE THE DATE! Webinar Three: AT Transition Policy- October 31st 3:00-4:00p.m. Eastern TimePresenters: Linda Jaco (OK) and Kathy Hayfield (VA). Register at: