The resources provided are to serve as the beginning of a transformation of how we talk about youth development/youth leadership as it relates to youth with disabilities. All of these products are developed by and for youth with disabilities and NCLD-Youth staff and steering committee members can be contacted at the address below for tips on using these documents.

These products are free to use, all that we ask is that you share with us your feedback AND you cite us as the source for the materials you use. Products will be available both in .pdf and word versions, so click on the links below to lead you to various areas of our resource catalog.

Information Briefs

Info Brief #1 -- "Welcome to NCLD-Youth"

Info Brief #2 -- "Youth Development and Leadership"

Info Brief #3 -- "5 Areas of Youth Development/Leadership"

Guides, Plans and Manuals

Internships: The On-Ramp to Employment, A Guide for Students with Disabilities to Getting and Making the Most of an Internship

Completing an internship is an ideal way for young people with and without disabilities to prepare for their career field of choice. This guide leads young people through the step-by-step process of finding, applying for, participating in and even evaluating an internship. Providing tools necessary to maintain a competitive advantage over fellow job seekers, it guides young people through activities focused on career exploration, interview and resume building, goal setting, networking, and more to prepare them to successfully complete an internship and transition toward employment. In addition, the guide includes information and tips of specific relevance to youth with disabilities, including finding accessible housing, navigating the transportation system, disclosing a disability, and employing a personal care attendant.

Download Internships: The On-Ramp to Employment

Disability Knowledge and Identity Self-Assessment

Based on feedback from members of the Independent Living Community, NCLD/Y has produced both print and web versions of The Disability History and Identity Self-Assessment, and Answer Key. This self-assessment was adapted for programs empowering youth with disabilities through the use of the history of the disability rights movement to find out what students know already, what they want to know more about, and includes a short section where a young person can discuss their personal experiences living with a disability. Written by young people with disabilities and grounded in the five areas of youth development and leadership, this tool is not only sure to be an enjoyable exercise for youth in your program, but also adult staff!

Download Disability Knowledge and Identity Self-Assessment:

Download Disability Knowledge and Identity Self-Assessment - Answer Key:

Nothing About Youth with Disabilities Without Youth with Disabilities: A Guide to Legislative Advocacy.

A major focus of NCLD/Y’s work incorporates the celebration of disability history as part of America’s history. As a result NCLD/Y is pleased to be the technical assistance center working with youth-led coalitions around the country, working to have disability history and awareness integrated as part of K-12 public education for all students. To date, seven state laws have passed (WV, ID, NC, WA, and FL) with many more to come. This Guide is a result of the work we’ve done in preparing youth with disabilities, in those five states and beyond, to be effective legislative advocates and to create policy change on the local, state, and national level.

Users of this guide will learn:

  • How to determine a good issue
  • How to create an effective strategy for change;
  • How to decide what type of campaigns is most useful; and,
  • How to build and sustain relationships with people in power, in position to enact the change you want!

Download A Guide To Legislative Advocacy:

Plotting the Course for Success: An Individual Mentoring Plan for Youth with Disabilities.

Spinning off of our sister center’s “Paving the Way to Work: A Career Focused Mentoring Guide for Youth with Disabilities,” this plan guides mentors and mentees through a number of activities to help them think about a young person’s developmental needs and goals, and what sorts of activities, experiences, and connections can help them be achieved. Not only does this plan outline specific activities and action items for the mentee, but it also enables the mentor to have an opportunity to express how he or she would like to see himself or herself grow in the relationship. Driven by youth with disabilities and grounded in the research-based fields of youth development and leadership (learning, connecting, thriving, working, and leading), this plan will guide mentors and mentees as they “plot the course” to help youth and emerging leaders make a successful transition from youth to adulthood.

Read this guide as a PDF or Word document

Youth-Focused Assessments

Learning to Lead?: A Self-Assessment for Youth, and Are They Learning to Lead?: A Self-Assessment for Staff.

The first document, focusing on the needs of youth with disabilities, intends to help an emerging leader look at how they're growing in terms of achieving outcomes identified in the field of youth development and leadership in the five areas of learning, connecting, thriving, working and leading. The second document focuses on giving staff of youth development and leadership programs an opportunity to evaluate how their program is helping youth achieve outcomes in these research-based areas. Together, these two publications are very content rich resources for those of working to improve youth development and leadership experiences for youth with disabilities in both generic, and disability specific programming.