"to build power and community among youth with disabilities"

Dear NYLN Community,

Over the last 15 years, NYLN successfully demonstrated the value of youth perspectives in every way imaginable – from hosting national conferences, to establishing youth priorities that led to systems change, to breaking ground as the first organization independently run by and for young people with disabilities. NYLN helped self-advocates find their voices, find their power, and find (and fulfill!) self-determined visions for their futures.

We established a visionary youth presence through equal access and full-participation within the Disability Rights Movement, and within our communities, which continues to grow stronger every day. As an organization, we accomplished what we set out to do thanks to collaboration, determination, pride, and teamwork.

As of December 15, 2014, the identity of NYLN and our approaches to serving you will be changing. NYLN will no longer be serving in the capacity of an interactive, nonprofit organization. Instead, our website, www.nyln.org, will serve as an online clearinghouse/library/archive of curriculums, training guides, and empowerment tools created by and for young leaders. We developed these resources based on first-hand expertise in areas such as continued education, career development, active community participation, independent living, personal relationships, world travel, and more.

This resource library is free and open for everyone. Self-advocates, community activists, educators, Independent Living Specialists, parents and allies will all benefit from the unlimited potential of these valuable materials when bringing about change in their own lives and communities. These resources can fill an array of needs, ranging from individual decision-making to large group learning environments. Now that these tools are at your fingertips, we can’t wait to see what visions you will bring into reality!

We accomplished so much over the years. So as you share in our celebration, join NYLN’s family of leaders as we continue to lead, continue to make change, and continue to advocate for the rights and opportunities to which everyone is entitled. As Justin Dart reminded us, “Lead on! Lead on!” … an obligation that those within the NYLN family will naturally fulfill.

Sincerely,

Amy Doherty, NYLN Board President
Betsy Valnes Barkley, NYLN Founding Executive Director