Youth Leadership and Advocacy Project: East Texas
Young people have a great deal to contribute to the current advocacy environment. Today’s youth with developmental disabilities (DD) have grown up in a time when the rights of people with disabilities have been established through important civil rights acts that were passed over the last 30 years. However, youth with DD often need training to fully understand their rights and how to effectively advocate for those rights so that they can become fully integrated and included into all aspects of community life. Teaching leadership and advocacy skills to youth with DD gives them a voice while providing assurance that disability advocacy will continue into the next generation.
Establish a youth development and advocacy training project to recruit participants from the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and two school districts.
Goodwill Industries of Central East Texas, Inc. established a youth leadership and advocacy program in Angelina and Nacogdoches counties, which included all program components necessary to effectively serve 60 youth per year with DD from diverse backgrounds. They provided sustainable services to a group of youths with varying disabilities to provide them with the leadership and advocacy skills and knowledge needed to effectively advocate for their rights and become fully engaged in their communities.
- 212 youth in two counties received services
- Over 85% of participants showed an increase in leadership and self-advocacy skills as demonstrated by pre- and post-test scores