You're Invited to #BEKind21 Zoom Party August 31st, 2020

You’re invited...

#BeKind21 Zoom Party tomorrow, September 1 at 2:30 pm PT hosted by Maya Smith and featuring special guests! Celebrating nearly 100 million pledged acts of kindness.

Click here to RSVP to the Zoom party, which will feature our team at Born This Way Foundation, extra special guests, and hopefully YOU! 

Click here to download the custom #BeKind21 Zoom background and share this link with a friend to sign up for #BeKind21:

Click here for mental health support resources and evidence-based self-care tips.

Promo for event. Text read same info as post. Illustration of an envelope with a heart and the number 21 on top.
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Writing & Self Advocacy for Disabled Youth Workshops. Deadline Extended to 8/28! August 28th, 2020

Six Wednesdays, September 2 - October 7.
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Each workshop will include time for community building, in-session writing practice, space for sharing your writing, and time for questions.

Sept: 2 Writing for social media
Sept 9: The power of poetry for telling your story
Sept 16: Letter writing to policy makers
Sept 23: Starting petitions
Sept 30: Op-eds
Oct 7: Creating campaigns for change

The series is free and will be offered via Zoom, but space is limited!

California residents only. ASL will be provided.

Registration Deadline: 8/28/2020

To register, email Please include:
-Your name
-Phone number
-Email Address
-Any access needs you have
-Proof of parental permission if under 18.

You will be contacted by our organization to do an intake via phone. Individuals who have completed the intake will receive an email with the Zoom link to join prior to the workshop.
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AAPD Disability Advocacy Certificate Program June 29th, 2020

AAPD Announces the Disability Advocacy Certificate Program Class of 2020!   
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is pleased to announce the Disability Advocacy Certificate Program Class of 2020.

Due to the current pandemic and many unknowns associated with COVID-19, AAPD has postponed the in-person Summer Internship to 2021. Despite this postponement, we remain committed to providing young leaders with an opportunity to gain meaningful employment and leadership opportunities for the 2020 cohort.

In partnership with American University, AAPD is providing a credit-optional Disability Advocacy Certificate Program. The 10-week virtual Certificate Program prepares participants to be knowledgeable and effective advocates and representatives for the disability community. The focus will be on preparing participants to advocate in their home universities, home states, and on the national level.

During this course, participants will have the opportunity to become familiar with the history of the disability rights movement through a variety of topics such as disability legislation, healthcare, employment, and more. Through conversations with issue experts, participants will apply their learning to advocate effectively to influence policy change. Participants will complete a government visit, learn how to communicate across multiple platforms to engage with diverse stakeholders, and understand their role as an advocate and in the disability rights movement. In addition to the Certificate Program, all participants are paired with a virtual mentor.
Below are the 2020 Disability Advocacy Certificate Program Participants. See their full bios through this site ( 

Matthew Arnold
Year: Rising Senior
Major: ESE/Elementary ED
College/University: University of West Florida
Kyra Beckish
Year: Rising Junior
Major: Public Relations/Digital Media Engagement
College/University: Temple University
Fanisee Bias
Year: Rising Junior
Major: Sociology, Change-making
College/University: University of San Diego
Hana Gabrielle Bidon
Year: Rising Senior
Major: Information Science, Systems, and Technology
College/University: Cornell University
Nadia Bon
Year: Recent Graduate
Major: History/Science and Technology Studies
College/University: Cornell University
Kaitlyn Brennan
Year: Rising Sophomore
Major: Political Science and Human Rights
College/University: Columbia University
Jonas Bryson
Year: Rising Senior
Major: Political Science/Minor, History
College/University: North Carolina State University
Shirley Carrillo-Acevedo
Year: Recent Graduate
Major: Communication Studies, opt. PR/Advertising & French
College/University: California State University-Los Angeles
Daniel Charney
Year: Rising Junior
Major: Politics/Communications
College/University: University of Puget Sound
Courtney Felle
Year: Rising Senior
Major: American Studies / English and Public Policy
College/University: Kenyon College
Naomi Hess
Year: Rising Junior
Major: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs intended major, Journalism intended minor
College/University: Princeton University
Jake Linn
Year: Rising Senior
Major: Film and Public Policy
College/University: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Osler Moore
Year: PhD Student
Major: Computer Science
College/University: Mississippi State University
Louis Paniccioli
Year: Recent Graduate
Major: Political Science with a dual minor in legal studies and philosophy
College/University: College of Staten Island
Alma Silver
Year: Recent Graduate
Major: Communications and Journalism / Psychology
College/University: St. Catherine University
Verlencia Somuah
Year: Master’s Student
Major: Masters in Social Work, Policy Practice
College/University: Columbia University
Jesica Weaver
Year: Rising Senior
Major: Political Science/History and Russian
College/University: SUNY at Binghamton
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Sign up! Virtual Crip Camp Experience May 11th, 2020

The Crip Camp Impact Campaign is proud to announce Crip Camp: The Official Virtual Experience! In these unprecedented times, there is no one better to think outside of the box and deliver community building right to your home. They are inviting all grassroots activists and advocates to join them this summer for a virtual camp experience featuring trailblazing speakers from the disability community. All are welcome, you do not need any activism experience to participate.

When: Every Sunday at 2 pm PST/5 pm EST from May 17th to August 30th for one and a half hours each.

Please note all times on the Zoom link will appear in your local timezone. Online workshops will occur via Zoom and are ASL interpreted with Deaf Interpreters plus captioning. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. We encourage you to attend all, or as many sessions as possible. They will send Crip Camp 2020 swag materials to everyone who attends 14 out of 16 sessions.

Register here:
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Access to Exchange Externship April 30th, 2020

Access to Exchange Externship 
Application Deadline: May 15, 2020

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) has just launched its first-ever “Access to Exchange” Externship, which is a remote internship opportunity for those interested in disability inclusion in international exchange.

The NCDE is offering 5 externship opportunities to individuals who share and implement an innovative idea for a virtual outreach activity to carry out over the summer to educate more people with disabilities about access to international exchange opportunities and the benefits of participating!

Projects could include a webinar, a written guide, and accessibility analysis of a specific country or the like. Each extern will receive $500 honorarium for their work. The externship also includes group trainings from NCDE staff on strategies for conducting effective and accessible outreach.
Applicants must reside in the U.S. and possess valid authorization to receive the honorarium payment.
Learn more and apply soon! Applications will be accepted until; Friday, May 15th.  
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University of California Suspends SAT/ACT requirements for 2021 April 1st, 2020

University of California suspends SAT/ACT requirements for 2021 applicants

The University of California is drastically relaxing its fall 2021 admissions standards for applicants who are currently high school juniors, including suspending the requirement that they take standardized tests and allowing pass/fail grades for this spring’s classes affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a university announcement Wednesday.

The dramatic action came in response to the cancellation of testing by the SAT and ACT this spring and to the widespread disruption at high schools in California and nationwide during the health crisis. However, UC officials emphasized that the dropping of standardized tests for this upcoming year does not imply a permanent change and said the UC, which has nine undergraduate campuses, will continue to debate that contentious matter in the future.

The one-year change about testing “is intended to reassure students and families who have to make decisions in the coming weeks about fall 2021 applications, and is consistent with actions taken by other colleges and universities. It is intended as an accommodation and not a permanent policy shift, and does not foreclose future (UC Regents) Board policy actions with respect to the use of standardized tests in University admissions for fall 2022 applicants and beyond,” a university policy statement approved by the UC regents said.

Critics of standardized testing hope the steps could be a trial run for a more permanent end to the use of SAT and ACT scores in admissions. The UC regents were expected in May to vote on whether to keep the tests as requirements, drop them or possibly reduce their weight in admissions decisions.

Students applying for fall 2021 can still take tests and send scores to UC if they are able. Doing so can support their  UC eligibility and help fulfill some university graduation requirements. But campuses must ensure that “no student is harmed in admissions selection should they not submit a test score,” according to the UC statement.

The 23-campus California State University system is reviewing whether to follow UC and drop its own testing requirement for 2021 admissions. “A final decision on how CSU will adapt its admissions process” is expected in the near future, according to a CSU statement Wednesday.

Given the chaos surrounding online education in high schools, both UC and CSU will not require a letter grade for the mandatory so-called A-G courses taken in high school this year in winter, spring or summer. That affects current high school seniors as well. Seniors already have received their acceptance or rejection letters from UC and CSU campuses but in normal years acceptances can be revoked in the summer if students’ grades significantly drop in the spring.

“We want to help alleviate the tremendous disruption and anxiety that is already overwhelming prospective students due to COVID-19,” said John A. Pérez, chair of the Board of Regents, the governing board for UC. “By removing artificial barriers and decreasing stressors – including suspending the use of the SAT – for this unprecedented moment in time, we hope there will be less worry for our future students.” The regents’ action was authorized under special procedures allowed for emergencies between regular meetings.

The A-G courses are the set of 15 year-long high school classes that applicants have to complete with at least a 2.0 or C grade in each to even be eligible for the UC and California State University systems. In normal years, California residents must earn at least a 3.0 grade point average across those classes to be considered. Then students’  academic records must put them in the top 9 percent of students statewide or in their own high school.

However, that does not guarantee them a spot at the most competitive UC campuses, such as UCLA or Berkeley, but will get them a place somewhere in the system. In some cases, they might be offered UC Merced, the youngest UC campus, even if they did not originally apply there.

A faculty report released in February said UC should continue to require that applicants for undergraduate admission take standardized college admissions tests like the SAT and ACT.  That report says that standardized exams remain good predictors of students’ success at UC at a time when grade inflation in high schools makes it harder to choose potential university freshmen. In fact, the report insists that test results actually help identify many talented Latino, black and low-income students who otherwise might be rejected because their high school grades alone were not high enough.

But opponents say they will continue fighting the testing mandate both in court and at the UC Board of Regents. And they appear to have won at least temporarily due to the coronavirus.  Critics say that the exams are biased against Latino and black applicants and hurt their admissions chances at UC’s nine undergraduate campuses, in part because they may not have access to expensive test preparation coaching.  Civil rights and education advocacy organizations filed a lawsuit against UC in late 2019 in Alameda County Superior Court, seeking an end to the testing mandate.

Audrey Dow, senior vice president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, an advocacy and policy group that seeks a permanent end to testing requirements, praised UC’s  moves for 2021. “The decision to go test-optional for the Fall 2020 application cycle positions the UC as a national leader in protecting college opportunity. The UC is moving with rightful urgency to meet the moment and to ensure no student is denied their rightful seat because of limited testing opportunities, instruction, or guidance resulting from the COVID-19 crisis,” she said in an email.

The CSU joined UC in accepting grades of “credit” or “pass” as fulfilling “A-G” requirements for high school courses completed during winter, spring or summer 2020 terms. But CSU officials warned that all previous coursework must be graded and a grade of C- or better must be earned for the course to satisfy that system’s requirements.

The UC deadline to accept an offer of admission and send a deposit for enrollment will remain May 1 for freshmen and June 1 for transfers. But now students who need additional time, or who need a deferment of a deposit, will be allow to seek a delay and UC campuses will be expected to offer flexibility, under the new policy. Eight of CSU’s 23 campuses have extended those deposit deadlines from May 1 to June 1 so far.

Transfer students received some other relief in the UC and CSU announcements. UC will temporarily suspend the cap on the number of transferable units with Pass/No Pass grading applied to their community college courses.  CSU will allow transfer students to submit Pass/Fail grades in the required community college courses in English, math and other general education requirements taken this winter and spring. Transfer students do not have to submit standardized test scores at either university system.

UC and CSU application numbers are enormous.

UC received 172,099 freshmen applicants for fall 2020.  Each of those applicants likely applied to several UC campuses. However, with demographic changes, the numbers have been declining somewhat- a 5.4 percent dip since 2018, according to UC statistics.

CSU says it has not finished compiling its 2020 application numbers. In 2019, the CSU system received applications from 363,478 students, a 2.3 percent decline from the year before.
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Apply Now! Tony Coelho Media Scholarship April 1st, 2020

2020 NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship

DEADLINE:  May 21, 2020


Thanks to a generous contribution from NBCUniversal, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is proud offer eight (8) NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarships for the fall semester of 2020.

The NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities who are pursuing an interest in the media, entertainment, or communications fields. Each recipient will receive $5,625 to help cover the cost of education.

This scholarship has been named in honor of Tony Coelho, a former United States Representative from California and the primary author and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

For more information please visit the AAPD website:

DEADLINE:  May 21, 2020
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Apply Now! AAPD: Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program March 30th, 2020

AAPD Announces the Launch of the Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is proud to announce its new initiative, the Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program. This program is designed for young (ages 18 – 30) Black disabled advocates who are committed to boosting voter registration and civic engagement across Black communities leading up to the 2020 elections.

Since 2016, AAPD has worked alongside local and state partners through its REV UP Campaign to foster civic engagement and advance voting rights of Americans with disabilities. Despite advancements in civil rights protections, youth, people of color, seniors, and people with disabilities experience higher levels of voter suppression and inaccessibility. The United States’ voting population in 2018 was the most racially and ethnically diverse ever for a midterm election. The 2018 midterm election saw major upticks in voter participation across all marginalized communities, with the disability and Black communities leading the way at 14.2 million ballots cast and 15.3 million ballots cast respectively. AAPD recognizes that in order to continue building the power of the disability vote, it is critical to support initiatives that develop the leadership of multiply-marginalized voters.
“In the 2018 midterm elections the disability vote surged by 8.5 points. There will be over 30 million eligible voters across the Black and disability community in the 2020 elections, and we are pushing for an even higher increase of voter participation come November” says Keri Gray, AAPD’s Senior Director of Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Communications. “Still, there are far too many who face barriers to the polls. It is our responsibility to continue Fannie Lou Hamer’s work in fighting for the rights of underrepresented voters,” continued Gray.
Fannie Lou Hamer is a well-recognized civil rights activist and organizer for voting rights. Her work centered on elevating the rights of Black voters and women, particularly across the state of Mississippi. Hamer had polio as a child and later became physically disabled due to a severe beating in a Mississippi jail. In honor of her legacy and sacrifice, AAPD is proud to launch the Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program.
Participants will receive a $1,500 stipend and have the opportunity to create a national nonpartisan campaign that promotes voter registration and participation. The program is scheduled to launch in May of 2020 and has three phases:

Political Educations- Participants will engage in 3 trainings with experts across the civil rights community to learn about key political issues and gain guidance on building a voting campaign.
Campaign Preparation- Participants will work creatively as a cohort to build nonpartisan material (ie- flyers, blogs, think pieces, social media content, videos) that can be used online to educate communities on the issues for 2020 and promote voter participation.
Campaign Execution- Leading up to the November 2020 elections, participants will launch their campaign across online and social media platforms.

Applications for the Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program are open through April 20, 2020.
Apply here:

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Anthem Lex Frieden Internship -- Seeking Interns! February 20th, 2020

Your Talent. Our Vision.
As one of the nation's leading health benefits companies, Anthem seeks to attract the best talent to help us achieve our mission to improve lives and communities with innovative solutions to simplify the healthcare experience. Diversity matters at Anthem—we foster a culture of inclusion where different backgrounds, perspectives, talents and life experiences come together to create innovative products and services for the people we serve.

The Lex Frieden Internship is an opportunity for Anthem to further develop a pipeline of talent that is inclusive of individuals with disabilities. Named for disability advocate and pioneer Lex Frieden, one of the architects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Internship offers a 10 week paid experience that includes a connection with a designated mentor, and a developmental series on office culture, soft skills, disability rights, and accommodations. A wide array of work experience opportunities are available for applicants currently enrolled in undergraduate and graduate level programs. The experience offers opportunities for the next generation of Anthem Associates to gain valuable work experiences, and for Anthem to continue to advance our inclusion and diversity goals.

We are seeking diverse & qualified interns to join our teams.
Our 2020 summer interns will be an integral part of our team in a variety of roles. Interns should be prepared for a fast-paced, team environment in an internship providing a robust developmental experience and exposure to various areas of healthcare including: policy, advocacy, sales, administrative and management support, communications, outreach and marketing. As part of this paid internship experience, interns are responsible for supporting their respective teams and contributing towards Anthem’s broader goals. Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Possible roles may include: Data Use Governance – Support Anthem’s team that focuses on the regulation of data usage and analytical consultation across the company.

Disability Policy Engagement 
Support Anthem’s team in ensuring people with disabilities and older adults are included in healthcare and essential life discussions that affect independence and access to care and services. Includes research, policy, participation and coordination of community events and conferences, and engagement with disability stakeholders.

Possible roles may include

  • Enrollment & Billing – Support teams with managing documentation of inventory, supply chain management and data governance. Responsibilities include receiving In-bound calls, providing excellent customer service, and creating records in our sales database.

  • Diversified Business Group – Support Anthem’s team that focuses on building partnerships within and outside of Anthem with the management of data and client reporting essential to our mission of strategic engagement.

  • Health Plan – Join one of Anthem’s leading health plans in their mission through areas such as Marketing and Communications.

  • Customer Care — Engage directly with members to maintain positive customer relations and ensures customer requests and questions are handled appropriately and in a timely manner. 

This job is for participants of an approved internship program for undergraduate college students. Specific work assignments will vary by department. C29 Assignments must meet the definition of meaningful work. Must be part of an approved academic course of study, and that course of study must be applicable to the company's operations or the support of those operations. Skills and ability requirements vary based on assignment.
An Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

The Internship Program Sponsors are tireless champions of diversity and disability inclusion, both internally and externally in the communities we serve This program is facilitated by a cross functional team led by Inclusion & Diversity Disability Policy Engagement with the support of Talent Acquisition.

We are excited to engage students who are currently enrolled in, or completing undergraduate & graduate degrees for a PAID internship opportunity with flexible hours in more than 14 different states.

To apply, please visit:
For questions about specific positions and how to apply, reach out to
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NBC seeking to cast real child actor with spinal muscular atrophy! February 10th, 2020

NBC casting a real child actor with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)!
We are searching for children from the SMA community to play a character with Spinal Muscular Atrophy in an upcoming TV pilot. We are committed to seeing children from the community who could be right for role. The character is 9 years old, so children who can realistically appear that age are welcome to apply (likely age 7-12). The show will be filming in Chicago between March 11th and March 30th, so the child and a parent/guardian would need to be able to travel to Chicago during that time (not the entire time but exact schedule is TBD). Both boys and girls are welcome…

Simply take a video, on your phone is fine. Have the young actor read the CHRISTOPHER lines (again, boys or girls are welcome) - with someone reading the other characters’ lines off camera. When you’re done and happy with the performance, please email the video to

Link to script:
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Youth Scholarships for 2020 NCIL Conference in DC! February 7th, 2020

2020 NCIL Youth Scholarship Applications Now Open!

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is proud to announce the 2020 Youth Scholarship Fund. For the sixth year in a row, we will be offering scholarships to our Annual Conference for youth with disabilities ages 18 – 26 who may otherwise be unable to afford the cost of attendance.
NCIL offers three tiers of scholarships:
Local: Up to $110 to cover the cost of registration for youth with disabilities living in the Washington DC/Baltimore metropolitan area (this includes youth who will be in the area at the time of the conference for a summer internship or job).
Regional: Up to $975 to cover registration, travel, and hotel costs for youth with disabilities living in the Region III area (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia).
National: Up to $1,200 to cover registration, travel, and hotel costs for youth with disabilities living in other areas of the United States.
At this time, we are unable to accept youth from outside the United States. If you are under 18 years old and would like to apply, please contact Cara Liebowitz directly at
For the second year in a row, we are also offering the Emet Tauber Youth Scholarship. Emet Tauber was a former Youth Scholarship recipient and NCIL board member who sadly passed away in 2019. Emet’s life was changed by the Youth Scholarship Fund and he was passionate about enabling others to have the same opportunities. Therefore, the Emet Tauber Youth Scholarship will be awarded each year to at least one youth with a disability who is also trans and/or Jewish in recognition of Emet’s activism within both of those communities. If you would like to be considered for the Emet Tauber Youth Scholarship, follow the prompts on the application form under the “Emet Tauber Youth Scholarship” section.
If you’d like to apply for a youth scholarship, please fill out the online application by April 24th, 2020. This is a highly competitive process and no applications will be considered after the deadline. Applicants will be notified if they received a scholarship within two weeks of the application deadline.
NCIL’s Youth Scholarship Fund is 100% funded by NCIL supporters like you. Please consider making a donation to the Youth Scholarship Fund so that we can keep providing this amazing experience for youth with disabilities.
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Webinar: Learn about Tax-Free CalABLE Accounts! February 7th, 2020

3 photos of various people with disabilities. 2 Asian women walking outdoors, one blind, holding a cane; 1 young man with down syndrome wearing a necktie and formal shirt; man in a wheelchair with a backpack outdoors in a city. Text: Dream. Plan. Achieve. Plan for the future. Protect your benefits with CalABLE.
Take charge of your finances! Learn more about CalABLE Accounts.
CalABLE is a savings and investment plan offered by the state of California to individuals with disabilities.
Individuals, family, friends and employers who qualify can contribute up to $15,000 a year without affecting your current benefits.

Learn more during the CalABLE 101 Webinar
Date: February 26, 2020
Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Dante Allen, Executive Director
Anne Osborne, Program Manager

Topics will include:

  • How to open a CalABLE Account

  • Features of a CalABLE

  • Account Contribution Limits

  • Fees        

Here is the registration link:
If you have any questions, please contact us at   
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#DisabilityCounts2020 Twitter Chat: All About the 2020 Census January 29th, 2020


#DisabilityCounts2020 Twitter Chat:
How an Accurate Census Count Benefits Disabled People

February 5, 2020
3-4 PM Pacific

In partnership with the Disability Organizing (DO) Network, the Disability Visibility Project will host a Twitter chat on the 2020 Census and what it means for the disability community with co-host Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF). While all participants are welcome to join us, we will focus on the Census in California and how the Disability community can benefit from being counted in the U.S. Census. We look forward to learning about your interest and advocacy with the Census!  
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Thank You to our Funders!

The support of our funders and donors helps keep YO! Disabled & Proud running strong year after year. The more funding we receive, the more youth we can organize in the pursuit of their rights and education. Please Make a Donation, Keep YO! Going Strong…