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Thank you for attending one of our Youth Leadership trainings! In this month's issue, we are sharing resources to help you learn more about self-advocacy, employment and your rights.


In this video from Youth Power!, young adults discuss what self-advocacy means to them and how they advocate for themselves in school, work, and their daily lives. 

Stepping Forward! A Self-Advocacy Guide for Middle and High School Students 

This resource book is designed to help you self-advocate in developing goals for your future after high school, including: learning more about your disability and learning style; understanding your rights and responsibilities under disability law; developing a personal self-advocacy plan; as well as exploring transition options and developing goals.  Download the resource book at

High Expectations and Accommodations Are NOT Mutually Exclusive

Disability is not one-size-fits-all. Everyone’s experience with their own disability is different. Most people do not understand the challenges of living with a disability. Even our strongest advocates – teachers, friends, and family – may not understand or experience the same difficulties. Danielle Drazen, 2018 AAPD Intern at the Institute for Educational Leadership, from Connecticut, shares her personal experience of high expectations and accommodations in the post-secondary environment.  Read the article at

Tips for Parents

6 Tips for Helping Your High-Schooler Learn to Self-Advocate
High school can present challenges for kids with learning and attention issues. That’s true both academically and socially. It’s important that your child be able to self-advocate in those situations. Doing it now is also good practice for life after high school. Here are ways to help your child speak up for her needs.
Read full article >

Executive Functioning Delays Can Affect Self-Awareness and Self- Advocacy
If you told your teen that you were going to go to the beach for 3 days, and to go pack a suitcase, can they do it? Do they have problems planning out and doing homework, and turning it in on time? Do others dislike them because they don’t know when to stop, as far as jokes and things like that? Schools have a tendency to these skills and focus on the academics. And as parents, we can be enablers –we set the alarms, we wake them, we drive them, we hold their hands in public and interrupt them when we know they’re going to say something inappropriate. But we can’t be there forever, they need executive functioning skills to be independent. The IEP goals can help you help your child. 
Learn more >


Discover What People With Disability Can Do At Work?

Join us in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month this October. The unemployment rate for people with a disability is more than double than for those without. Even though the law bars such discrimination, it can be difficult for these Americans to get hired. But this series of public service announcements (PSAs) has been designed to challenge misconceptions about the employment of people with disabilities and reinforce the roles we all play in fostering an inclusive workforce that benefits everyone.

Together, “I Can,” “Because” and “Who I Am” have aired more than 325,000 times on television and radio stations nationwide.  Watch these inspirational videos at

Career One Stop: Youth Program Finder Widget

The U.S. Department of Labor sponsors the website Career One Stop, a source for career exploration, training and jobs. Youth can use the tool: Youth Program Finder Widget to find opportunities for employment or training in their own zip code area. Try the widget at

Myths and Facts About Workers with Disabilities

The U.S. Census Bureau (2005) revealed that 11.9 percent of Texas residents ages 18–64 have disabilities. Only 39.3 percent of those are employed as compared to 72.1 percent of the general population. Persons with disabilities represent an untapped resource. If you are seeking a job, read and share the Employer Toolkit meant for those looking to fill employees shortages. The toolkit is available at

Ticket To Work for Young Adults with Disabilities

This SSI program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence, connects them with the services and support their need to succeed in the workforce. Service providers may also have a Benefits Counselor on its staff who can explain how working will affect your disability benefits and identify Work Incentives that may help you.  Learn more at

Tips for Parents

How Can You Make Your Home a Supporting Place for Job Hunting?
Parents of children with disabilities should be involved in helping their children think about work and explore careers. Academic achievement is important, but it should not be considered the most important part of the child's life. It is a means to an end. The end is a satisfying adulthood where your child can make a contribution. Looking for work is difficult for everyone, especially when high unemployment allows extreme selectivity among job applicants. Chances are strong that your child will face this challenge while living at your home. 
Learn more >

The Social Security Administration Red Book 2018
It is possible to work and receive disability benefits at the same time, though the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a number of rules and regulations that govern disability beneficiaries working. All of these rules and regulations are included in the SSA’s “Red Book.” The Red Book is an administrative manual. It is updated annually and used by SSA employees and other professionals that assist disabled individuals. 
Learn more >


Transition ARD and Students with Disabilities

This webinar, presented by Disability Rights, covers an overview of the Texas special education process and requirements for the Transition ARD, vocational rehabilitation services for transition age students, and options for making educational and other decisions after the age of 18.  Watch the webinar at

A Guide to Disability Rights

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted 28 years ago  reaffirmed our nation’s commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities (56 millions Americans) have the right to live, work, and fully participate in the community alongside with their fellow citizens. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability.  Learn more at

Tips for Parents

5 Parental Rights: It is Never to Late to Review Them
The federal law which mandates all children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education (FAPE) also includes a host of rights for you – the parent or parents. These rights are commonly called “procedural safeguards.” Use this resource to quickly review: Prior Written Notice, Parental Consent, Native Language, IEE, Due Process and Stay Put. 
Learn more >

Transfer of Parental Rights at the Age of Majority
The age of majority is the legally defined age at which a person is considered an adult, with all the attendant rights and responsibilities of adulthood. The state may transfer to the child all (or some of) the educational rights that the parents have had up to the moment. Not all states transfer rights at age of majority. But if your state does, then the rights and responsibilities that parents have had under IDEA with respect to their child’s education will belong to that child at the age of majority.
Learn more >

Featured Resource

Taking a Leadership Role in IEP Meetings

The average middle or high school student speaks only 3% of the time during an IEP meeting. Parents and educators can involve a student more deeply in the transition planning process by offering leadership in the IEP meeting.

Read the IRIS module >
The contents of this newsletter were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M150022, #H328M150023, #H328M150024. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government..
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