About NCLD

The National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth (NCLD/Y) serves as a national youth-led information, training, and resource center. NCLD/Y has a four-pronged focus on working on developing leaders, developing the capacity of centers for independent living to serve those leaders, the capacity of the staff working directly with the leaders, and supporting the cadre of youth with disabilities-related organizations.

Housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership and funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. NCLD-Youth is taking a positive development approach to working with the next generation of disability leaders, and developing materials to better prepare them for the transition to adulthood, and leadership, rather than focus on the negative statistics one hears so often about youth with disabilities.

The specific goals of the NCLD/Y are to:

  1. Develop training modules to inform, educate, and train youth and emerging leaders with developmental disabilities in disability policy
  2. Work with a network of Youth Service Professionals to improve their capacity to serve youth and emerging leaders with developmental disabilities
  3. Work with the network of Centers of Independent Living on increasing their capacity to serve youth and emerging leaders with developmental disabilities
  4. Help grow and sustain emerging leader led coalitions in developing various efforts around the country.

By utilizing the five areas of youth development/leadershiplearning, connecting, thriving, working, and leading—NCLD/Youth strives to support and promote youth and emerging leaders in the disability community.

Why we're needed?

It is common knowledge that transition outcomes for young people with disabilities — especially youth with developmental disabilities — tend to be dismal. High rates of unemployment, early pregnancy, substance abuse, and incarceration are only a small segment of this stubborn dilemma. However, youth who experience opportunities to engage in youth development have a decreased risk of venturing down that path.

As a result of emerging leaders around self-determination, leaders in the disability community and NCLD-Youth are tasked with developing materials and trainings that will be used to empower youth and emerging leaders with disabilities to influence and promote youth development and leadership public policy agenda at the state and local level.

Through its research and training aspects, NCLD-Youth will review, refine, and disseminate a curricula focused on the five areas of youth development and leadership. All materials produced will be tested for age, stage, and developmental appropriateness for its audience and available on a youth designed and populated website. NCLD-Youth will also advise, speak, and staff YLFs, facilitate cross organization conference calls, recruit for internships, scholarships, and job opportunities, develop a database for leadership development opportunities and become one of the go-to places for connecting with youth with disabilities.

Andraéa LaVant, Youth Development Specialist

Curtis Richards, Director, Center for Workforce Development

NCLD-Youth, Institute for Educational Leadership
4301 Connecticut Ave, Ste 100
Washington, DC 20008

Contact Person:
Andraéa LaVant
Email: lavanta@iel.org
Phone: 202-822-8405 ext. 127

Primary Partners

Institute for Educational Leadership logo

Institute for Educational Leadership

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability logo

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council logo

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC)

The Arc logo

The Arc of the United States

Agency for Persons with Disabilities, State of Florida logo

Agency on Persons with Disabilities (APD)

New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities

New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council (NHDDC)

Inclusion Research Institute

Inclusion Research Institute, Washington DC

Our Partners

NCLD/Youth is built around several key partnerships:

The first is a strong partnership with The Arc of the United States. The Arc is the national organization of and for people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities and their families. With chapters throughout the country, The Arc brings the project access to a network of youth with developmental disabilities and their families as well as the in-kind advice and counsel of its Assistant Executive Director.

National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)- The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), individuals with disabilities, and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States. For more information check out http://www.ncil.org

Family Café/Florida Youth Council- The Family Café also serves as source of information for individuals with disabilities on an ongoing basis in a number of ways. The Family Café hosts an Annual Conference that would serve as a clearinghouse of information. The conference would provide a unique environment, where families could connect with peers, commercial service providers, and public entities to find out what services were available to them, which best met their needs, and how to go about securing those services. For more information check out http://www.familycafe.net

The Family Café also is the home of the Florida Youth Council The Florida Youth Council is a group of youth (age 13-17) and emerging leaders (age 18-30) with disabilities or special health care needs that live in Florida. The FYC is all about getting youth and emerging leaders involved in self-advocacy, peer mentoring and other activities that will improve the quality of life for youth and emerging leaders with disabilities in Florida. The program empowers youth and emerging leaders to decide what issues are important to their generation, to express those issues in their state and local communities, and to develop strategies to solve them. For more information and to check out http://www.familycafe.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=17&Itemid=81

Steering Committee

The Youth Steering Committee is composed of 11 persons youth and emerging leaders, and was formed within the first five months of the project. Each state partner and the Arc will have a representative on the steering committee, although in the first nine months those representatives will be adults who will transition when a youth replacement is identified. A representative will also be reserved for a member of the National Youth Leadership Network. The remaining six members will be recruited through the networks of IEL, The Arc, and others discussed earlier. All youth and emerging leader committee members will meet the definition of a person with a developmental disability under federal law, and it is anticipated that five will be youth and six will be emerging leaders as defined in the grant solicitation. All participants will have undergone some form of leadership training for youth with disabilities and will become familiar with basic disability civil rights concepts.

The Steering Committee will meet quarterly via teleconference. Initially, the Steering Committee will be oriented to the project framework, ie. Guideposts for Success and the five areas of youth development. Each participant will be expected to undertake, learn, and grow from the activities of the areas of youth development, as well as to take on a mentoring role with members of the State Youth Councils. Some of the Steering Committee members will become trainers in the second and third years of the project and others will be presenters at conference and/or attend the national meeting required by ADD.

The members of the Steering Committee are (more to be added as our Partners appoint their representatives):

Click here to view Steering Committee Bios