Why should youth with disabilities get involved?
There are proven key benefits of participation in youth organizations for young people. They include:
- Opportunities for identity development;
- Offers a safe and healthy environment to belong, grow, and stretch one’s boundaries;
- Provides a powerful place for youth who have common experiences to relate to one another.
For youth with disabilities, there are additional benefits to exposure to Disability Culture and Community, including:
- Introduces and grounds them in "disability culture" and community;
- Eliminates negative stereotypes often attached to disability, including stigmas of being "abnormal" or "different;"
- Provides positive examples of people with disabilities
- Creates a sense of togetherness (a united movement) and shared experience of turning oppression and discrimination into empowerment
- Affords youth with disabilities opportunities to gain peer support that’s rarely offered in mainstream leadership development opportunities, including engaging in dialogue and other activities
How can I learn more?
Gill, Carol., (1995) A Psychological View of Disability Culture, Disability Studies Quarterly
The Institute on Disability Culture