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