Everyone wants to be independent, work, and follow their dreams. As a young person with a disability, you may face a few more obstacles in life than your friends without disabilities. The greatest adventure is learning what you need and then how to request accommodations that promote your success at school, work, and play.
We hope to give you the tools that will help you begin your self-discovery journey. Don’t be afraid to try new things and, most of all, to dream big.
Do You Know Your Rights?
As a youth or young adult, you may not think you have many rights within your school. The good news is that you do! There are many laws in place that ensure you can get the same education and be successful in school.
Learn more about your rights in the classroom
How to Become an Advocate
Do you want to be an advocate in your school? Try out our activity suggestions to raise awareness of disabilities in your classroom and promote inclusion in your school.
Read more about becoming an advocate
Whether you’re applying for a job after college or a summer job, every business has a formal interview process. To help you prepare for these interviews, we’ve compiled several articles from various sources that describe best practices, tips, sample interview questions, and proper etiquette.
View our interviewing tips
Test your knowledge about people with disabilities through several different quizzes.
Take the quizzes here
We’ve compiled some useful resources to help you with your journey.
View our list of youth resources
HOW TO BECOME AN ADVOCATE
If you complete four or more of these activities in the spirit to change your community to be more inclusive for all, please write us to let us know the results. With your permission, Mission Empower will post your experiences in our advocate club. Now, go out there and make your community a better place for all!
Activities for Advocates-in-Training
- Interview your friends, fellow students, or adults with disabilities to find out what kind of barriers they face daily.
- Read or watch two or more of the following books or videos to learn more about the experiences of people with disabilities. Share what you have learned.
- Stuck in Neutral
- A Ramp to Nowhere
- All Cats have Asperger Syndrome
- Billy Broke His Head
- Including Samuel
- Max and the Magic Pill
- Try to experience barriers that people with disabilities face. You could ask your teacher to use this for an activity during class. Examples include:
- Blindfold yourself
- Plug ears with cotton or earphones
- Tape fingers of one hand together
- Tie your two legs together
- Use a wheelchair or crutches (without cheating by standing or using your feet)
- Read all materials upside down
- Try to communicate without using spoken language
- Research using the Internet or the library about how people with disabilities were treated throughout history. What did you learn?
- Research how people with disabilities are making a difference in their communities.
- Take the quizzes to test your knowledge.
- Brainstorm and write all the words you can think of that relate to disability. Then see if most of the words are positive, neutral, or negative.
- Watch a newscast, TV show, or read an article in the newspaper to determine the words that relate to disability. How does the media deal with disabilities?
- Interview your parents or grandparents to find out their attitudes toward and experiences with people with disabilities. Are their attitudes different from yours?
- Learn sign language.
- Learn Braille.
- Complete a survey on the accessibility of a restaurant, business, or your school with the accessibility checklist. Are there improvements that can be made?
- Think of ways to make your school, church, or community more accepting for all people with disabilities.
- Ask your school, youth group, girl/boy scout group to invite Mission Empower to conduct a disability education presentation.