• Featured ImageYO! Alumni Profile: Jonny Vallin

    Photo of Jonny Vallin
    Featured Alumni Jonny Vallin
    “YO! Disabled & Proud gave me a way to stay connected and practice the skills I learned after attending the Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities. YO! Volunteer Corps provided an opportunity for me to gain employment readiness skills while serving at my local Independent Living Center and eventually a paid position. YO! Volunteer Corps gave me the self-confidence I needed to earn my AA degree and transfer to a four year university.”


    1. Why did you originally get involved with YO?

    After attending YLF in 2009, YO was a way to stay connected and practice all I learned. I was able to advocate on behalf of youth with disabilities for rights and equal opportunities.

    2. What did you gain from being a part of YO?

    I gain many skills! I got to placed in an ILC and got work and volunteer experience. I built an intense network as well as develop youth-driven projects.

    3. Would you do it again if you could? Why?

    In a heartbeat. I had a blast and found my passion in life.

    4. Would you refer or recommend a youth to YO!?

    I have! many!

    5. What was the best part of being a YO! Volunteer or YAC member?

    I think knowing that I apart of a group of youth that was statewide and that we would work
    together to implement disability history week in schools.

    6. How would you describe YO! to a friend?

    Great work experience and friendly environment .

    7. What have you accomplished since you completed your Volunteer with time YO! or time on the YAC?

    I have had seasonal employment at the ILC and finished my AA.




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

  • Featured ImageYO! We’re Blogging

    Everyone and their mother seems to have a blog, does the Internet really need another one? Absolutely! You may be asking, “What is a blog?”  A blog is a place for people to share their ideas about something that is important to them, or something that they have personally experienced and want to share. A blog can be made up of words, pictures, or a video. Blog posts are placed on the same webpage each time a new story is added. That way youth on the Internet can visit the blog and see what other youth are talking about. Our Youth Organizing (YO!) blog will be about all kinds of disability topics that youth may care about or want to write about. Many amazing youth with disabilities have blogs/vlogs/plogs (picture blogs), but it’s often only one person talking about several different things. The YO! Blog posts will be written from a variety of youth with different types of disabilities and lived experiences.


    Based on our conversations with YO! Members and other youth across the country, YO! has compiled a list of blog topics that youth want to hear or know about. Many of us have no one else in our lives who are also disabled that we can relate to, who understand what it’s like to be disabled in a world that isn’t always accessible and accepting of us. Many youth are looking for a place where they can discuss disability culture and what it’s like to be faced with ongoing disability related things. Unfortunately these are the kinds of topics and issues that we are not often encouraged to talk about through school or other systems that should be there to “support” us, but really want to fix, ignore, or take away our disabilities. The YO! Blog is for all of the youth with disabilities out there who want to talk about real disability topics and how having a positive disability identity is okay (In fact, it’s cool!).


    If you’re a youth with a disability who wants to share your experiences with other youth, we invite and encourage you to submit a post. Show other people like yourself that we are not alone! New postings will be shared on a monthly basis, at minimum. Below is a list of blog posting guidelines for you to follow.

    Here are the topics: http://yodisabledproud.org/blog/blog-post-topics/


    Guidelines for YO! Blog Guest Writers

    Must be a youth ages 16-28 years old

    No hate speech directed towards a group (unless it is part of past events)

    Trigger and content warn your submissions (not sure what those are? We will help you figure it out)

    Keep cursing to a minimum

    Only individuals who fit the description of the intersectionality topic can submit on that topic, (just like a non-disabled people can’t speak to what it is like to be disabled, non-LGBTQ or non-people of color can not speak for those topics).

    We will feature written blogs, picture blogs and video blogs.

    Written Blogs:  should be between 250 – 1000 words.

    Picture Blogs:  Caption your photos with descriptions of the content. 5 pictures per topic.

    Video blogs: 1:30-3:00 minutes with caption.

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