What is the Youth Leadership Forum?
The Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) is a unique program designed to provide leadership training to Oklahoma high school juniors and seniors with disabilities. Delegates representing their communities come together at a week-long event at a university campus to cultivate leadership skills, meet with government officials and explore career options.
The first YLF was developed in 1992 by the California Governor's Committee
on Employment of People with Disabilities. The U.S. Department of Labor,
Office of Disability Employment Policy, encourages the establishment of this
initiative by individual states.
Why is YLF Only for Students with Disabilities?
Delegates have access to vital resources including assistive technology and community support systems. Successful individuals with disabilities serve as role models in helping the students realize their ability, right and obligation to pursue meaningful employment and contribute to society.
It is critical that students with disabilities who are transitioning from school to work learn to identify themselves with pride, as individuals and as members of the community. YLF offers students with common challenges and experiences the opportunity to learn from each other in a framework of history and an atmosphere of encouragement.