• Category Archives Special Event
  • Show your Disability Pride and get FREE YO! swag!

    Instagram photo of disabled youth of Asian decent smiling, wearing a crown of flowers, eyeglasses, and a pink checkered shirt. Text reads: Disability Pride Photo & Hashtag for Free Swag! Instagram Photo Challenge. How to Enter: 1. Follow YO! on Instagram. 2. Post a photo of you living your best life, thanks to the ADA. Use #YOADA28. 3. Tag 3 friends and challenge them to show their disability pride. YO logo.
    Show your #DisabilityPride photos on *Instagram* and win FREE swag!

    This July, CFILC and all of its programs are celebrating the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by giving away YO! swag– Disability Pride posters, buttons, and tees!

    How to enter:
    1. Follow YO! on Instagram: @yodisabledandproud
    2. Between July 13-26, post a photo of you living your best life, thanks to the ADA. Use #YOADA28.
    3. Tag 3 friends and challenge them to show their disability pride.
    (Extra credit: describe the photo in your caption.)

    YO! Will contact folks showing the most Disability Pride in their photos to send prizes. Please note: we are only able to send prizes to participants within the continental U.S. The deadline to post photos is Thursday, July 26, 2018 11:59 p.m. PST.

    Do YOU wanna write for YO! Blog? [Click Here] to pick a topic and let us know!


    Photo description: A group of seven youth with various types of disabilities/gender/racial and ethnic identities smiling and posing for a photo.

    The Dayle McIntosh Center (DMC) in Anaheim has recently partnered with the City of Anaheim and received a program grant from the Department of Rehabilitation to serve youth.

    DMC is passionate about working with youth and has a firm commitment to ensure the successful continuation of the Independent Living Movement through future generations. DMC is also committed to having youth-driven programming, which has been a crucial key to its success. “Nobody gets youth better than youth!”

    The MY Best (Mentoring Youth By Enhancing Successful Transition) program has recently experienced some “successful transitions” of its own. MY BEST has expanded from two monthly activities to programming on every Saturday.  Saturday programs include:

    • Live Out Loud (LOL) Youth Peer Day, a social/recreation activity on the 1st Saturday
    • An Independent Living Skills (ILS) class for deaf youth on the 2nd Saturday,
    • A Cross-Disability ILS class on the 3rd Saturday
    • A peer group and improvisational theater activity on the 4th Saturday (started in February)

    Collaboration with other entities involved with youth programming has greatly boosted effectiveness of DMC’s youth program. The City of Anaheim, local school districts and transitional programs, Regional Center and the Department of Rehabilitation have all provided referrals and support.

    Anaheim has made it possible for MY BEST to move into donated space that includes kitchen facilities and an outdoor area.  Outreach in the community, especially sharing flyers with Regional Center, has created a huge influx of new youth consumers.

    A Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) was formed in October of 2017 to ensure that programs are truly youth driven. The YAC is composed of five youth with various disabilities who have either been long–time members of the youth program or have shown great insight and leadership potential. The Youth Advisors meet with DMC Staff on a monthly basis to provide constructive feedback and suggestions.

    Through the advice of the YAC, arts and crafts were added to the LOL format, new ideas have been recommended for lesson planning, and a youth advisor and youth outreach coordinator co-facilitate the Youth Peer Support group.

    Advice for other Independent Living Centers seeking to bolster youth involvement:

    • Think outside the box. Look at your community and partners you currently work with to see how the resources and relationships can support your youth program.
    • If your center doesn’t have the space for a youth group, approach a local city to see if you can use their community center or a local church that may let you use their space.
    • Assess your community to see what other agencies you might build partnerships with that might add great valueand support to your programming.
    • Find youth who want to give input. They will give you honest feedback about whether or not things are working. If their voices are heard, they will come back and bring friends!

    Do YOU wanna write for YO! Blog? [Click Here] to pick a topic and let us know!

  • Disney, Disability, and Seeing Someone Like Me

    YO! Disabled & Proud Blog

    By Yolanda Vargas

    Friday, October 13 7 PM PST Youth Organizing Disabled and Proud @yodisabledproud along with co hosts Alice Wong via  @disvisibilty and @DominickEvans  will be hosting a #FilmDis Twitter chat to discuss disability representation in Disney animated films.  we will not be including Disney’s amazing films created with Pixar…. That’s a Twitter chat all its own.

    Hi my name is Yolanda Vargas, I am the Youth Organizer for YO! and I approached Dominick Evans and Alice Wong, who are giants when it comes to addressing disability representation in media, because I love Disney and I don’t think I’m the only disabled person who does. To my surprise they agreed to co-hosts this Twitter chat. The dialogue that I want everyone to be a part of is extremely important to me not only on a professional level but a personal level.

    Being disabled can be lonely and frustrating, because it seems like you’re the only person in the world like you. I’ve had cerebral palsy since birth and have always used some kind of mobility aid to get around. When I was six years old I thought I was supposed to be elderly, because I’d only seen elderly people use wheelchairs and walkers. Then I saw a movie called The Little Mermaid and it blew my mind; not only was she obsessed with legs and trying to fit in she also had a ton of sisters and an overbearing father. So basically six-year-old me with red hair .Secretly though, my favorite part was that she got to fall in love and that in the end the person didn’t care that she had fins instead of legs (Though honestly Prince Eric you couldn’t figure out that she was the mystery girl who saved your life? The dog did!).

    Now that I’m older, I’m not obsessed with “fixing” myself or trying to fit in. I am proud of my disabilities .Thanks in large part to Ariel I realized that regardless of how you get from point A to point B it’s the actions in between that make your life an adventure. If I didn’t have Ariel I don’t know who I would be. Maybe I would listen to authority more, not take chances as much, and take my voice for granted (pun intended); which sounds absolutely horrible! A little mermaid taught me how to be a courageous Disabled Latina Queer Activist who embraces every part of myself, from the top of my head to the tip of my fin.

    Also I absolutely have to give a shout out to the best donkey in the whole animated world! Eeyore taught me that it’s okay to be depressed, to not pretend to be happy; even if all your friends are, and that good friends let you feel your feelings. This jackass taught me that depression is okay before I could even put what I was going through into words.


    So please, come share your thoughts, feelings, and hopes for the future as we talk about why disability representation in Disney films is so important!


    Image Description:

    Orange background with black print that reads:#FilmDis Twitter Chat
    Putting the “Dis” in Disney
    Time: 7pm PST/10pm pst
    Date Friday October 13th 2017
    Participate using the #FilmDis All ages welcomed

    Y.O Disabled And Proud (@Yodisabledproud) is Co-hosting a twitter chat with Alice Wong (@Disvisibility) and Dominick Evans (@dominickevans)

    Do YOU wanna write for YO! Blog? [Click Here] to pick a topic and let us know!