Leading Edge Resources: EmPOWERment through Leadership Training

"My Voice, My Choice" was developed to provide people with developmental disabilities the information they need about participant-driven supports. http://www.hsri.org/project/my-voice-my-choice/overview/

Self-advocates in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington have used this curriculum. They have demonstrated that self-advocates are ready to help shape policy and practice across the country. Specifically, the curriculum does five things:

  1. It provides self-advocates with information on what changes are taking place in the developmental disabilities field and why they are happening.
  2. It helps participants decide what they want from a service system. It explains community integration and self-determination for people with developmental disabilities. It prepares individuals to advocate for changes that are consistent with these principles.
  3. It encourages self-advocates to investigate what is happening in their state. The manual shows self-advocates how to look at things in their own local communities and states to see what kinds of services exist and how money is being spent.
  4. It allows participants to compare local action with their own standards for community integration and self-determination. Self-advocates are provided with opportunities to compare the changes that are happening in their local communities and states, with the changes they would like to see happen.
  5. It explores ways for participants to get involved by educating others or by helping to shape changes in their state. The curriculum informs self-advocates on the many ways that they can become active participants in the planning and decision-making activities in their state - in local and statewide systems change, and in planning their own services and supports.

NYLN: National Youth Leadership Network - The national voice for young leaders with disabilities

The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN - http://nyln.org/) is dedicated to advancing the next generation of disability leaders. The NYLN:

  1. Promotes leadership development, education, employment, independent living, and health and wellness among young leaders representing the diversity of race, ethnicity and disability in the United States.
  2. Fosters the inclusion of young leaders with disabilities into all aspects of society at national, state and local levels.
  3. Communicates about issues important to youth with disabilities and the policies and practices that affect their lives.