The #InclusionRevolution is here. Get Ready.
Inclusive Youth Leadership and Advocacy provides students with and without intellectual disabilities opportunities to take on leadership roles to promote Unified Schools activities in the school and in the community.
An Inclusive Youth Leader believes that people of all abilities can participate in leadership opportunities. This leader sees each peer first as a person, someone who can be part of the team if the team supports his or her leadership growth. Inclusive Youth Leaders pave the path for their fellow students, recognizing that their peers with intellectual disabilities have the potential to be phenomenal leaders, just like their peers without intellectual disabilities.
Opportunities for Inclusive Youth Leadership in Washington State
Unified Clubs are inclusive school-based clubs (K-12 and College) which are youth-led and youth-drive. Unified Clubs focus on acceptance and inclusion through sports, social interaction, recreational opportunities, school activities, and supporting the Unified Programs on campus! The goals are simple: build student character, increase acceptance, develop leadership skills, and enhance your school community!
State Youth Activation Committee
The State Youth Activation Committee (YAC) is about activating youth to promote school communities where all young people are agents of change – fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. Most importantly the goal is to be advocates for inclusion and HAVE FUN doing it! State YAC is a group of middle school, high school and college students with and without intellectual disabilities who support Unified programs including – Unified Sports, Spread the Word To End The Word, Unified Summits, and State & Area Sports Competitions. State YAC members develop strategies, lead initiatives, and organize events that promote the respect, inclusion, and acceptance of all people, regardless of abilities. The State Youth Activation Committee is a committee of YAC members representing schools from across the state.
Youth Leadership Experiences
A Youth Leadership Experience (YLE) is a deliberately planned series of activities designed to engage Special Olympics youth leaders and develop their knowledge of inclusive youth leadership, management of Special Olympics events, and community programming. The skills learned at a YLE will empower youth leaders to return to their schools and communities as agents of change. Youth leaders within the Special Olympics movement may participate in a Youth Leadership Experience at a state and regional games, or other events and competitions planned by Special Olympics Washington such as tournaments, clinics or trainings, for example. Youth participants may serve as embedded volunteers who are part of the overall games/event structure, and have a chance to reflect on, review, evaluate, and learn from their experiences.