WHAT NYLN DOES
NYLN is a youth-led organization. We work to build power among people with disabilities between the ages of 16- 28 years old. We want to support young people in their role as the next generation of leadership in the Disability Rights Movement. NYLN has been around since 1997. We are the only youth-led disability rights nonprofit organization in the country.
• Promotes youth leadership development.
• Values inclusion, interdependent support systems, and disability pride.
• Works to create access to the resources youth need to be leaders.
• Supports work being done by youth activists with disabilities on the local level.
• Trains youth with disabilities.
• Connects youth leaders with opportunities to serve and be active members of their communities.
NYLN is dedicated to breaking isolation and building community through supporting youth with disabilities to reach their full potential.
We imagine a world where all youth live truly authentic lives, where we make our own decisions, and where we define who we are. We want to set and reach our own goals. As youth with disabilities, we want to grow in real ways through relationships and opportunities. Communities must embrace interdependence, the idea that all people need each other, and recognize its importance.
Theory of Change:
We are the experts of our own lives. As young people with disabilities, we believe a lot can happen when our voices are heard and when people know how we want and need to be supported.
We promote three methods of change:
• SUPPORT YOUTH LEADERSHIP. Bring youth into leadership roles and make sure they have what they need to be successful in these positions. We prioritize youth having roles of equal participation, equal responsibility, and equal decision-making power.
• EMPHASIZE FULL INCLUSION. Create a culture of accountability and inclusion. We want this culture for ourselves, for each other, for our communities, and for the systems that serve us. We build the capacity of our allies so that we can work alongside each other.
• PUSH NEW THINKING. Spark new ideas, new methods, and new forms of measuring success. Some of these topics include: media, interdependent support systems, disability, oppression, and self-determination.
It is free to become a member of NYLN. If you want to become a member, fill out a membership form. Membership is open to youth with disabilities and adult allies (parents, providers, advocates,others).