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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Youth Wanted: 2015 NCIL Conference

By Meredith Raymond

The 2015 NCIL Conference is landmark event for our movement. While the conference will be a time of celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA, it is also a call to action for the next generation of leaders to rise up and help shape the future!

Alt text: Generation ADA: Rise Up! 2015 Annual Conference on Independent Living (Image: red power fist outlined by a black circle)How do we rise up exactly? As a college student who worked at a CIL, I often wondered what opportunities there were for youth to serve and grow in the IL movement beyond my local CIL. In 2013 I attended NCIL’s annual conference and learned more than I ever imagined. I was equipped to be a better leader and advocate, gained a deeper understanding of the history of the disability rights and IL movements, and of the multitude of ways to get involved with NCIL- both as an individual youth member and in collaboration with my CIL. Additionally, I connected with other youth attendees and professionals in the disability community that I still keep in touch with to this day. Most of all, it was the sense of community and pride throughout the conference that is seared in my memory. I have never felt so empowered and enthusiastic for both my future and the future of our movement.

For these reasons and more, if you are a part of the ADA generation, you do not want to miss this year’s conference! It is centered on celebrating the past and equipping the future (us!). There will be a specific youth track and countless opportunities to grow, connect, and shape the future together.

Encourage your CIL to make an ADA Youth pledge to send you and other youth in your area to the conference!

See you in July!

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