This week the Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum was on the Troy University campus.
The annual summer camp helps teens with disabilities learn self-advocacy and how to be independent.
“Many times as teenagers and youth they already have some kind of barriers,” says Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services State Transition Coordinator Tasha Betts. “Where they’re not always just so comfortable with speaking up for themselves expressing their needs, their wants, their desires. When you have a disability sometimes that’s even a little bit harder so we’re working with them on being their self-advocate, speaking up, telling what their needs are, learning how to request accommodations if that’s what they need whether if it’s on the job if it’s in college. Just things so they can say this is who I am this is what I need. Learning about a support system.”
The YLF delegates heard from their peers on what it is like to live on their own and the possible challenges they may face.
“Their peers are talking to them about real life situations,” says Betts. “Where they’ve had to learn to wash their own clothes. Where they’ve had to manage a budget. Possibly having a flat tire. So I think when our students and our youth hear it coming from their peers it means so much more than adults, grown-ups just telling them what they need to do.”
For the full story watch Georgia’s report.