Independence Now has been hosting the Maryland Youth Leadership Forum (MDYLF) for over 20 years!
MDYLF is a once in a lifetime experience for students with disabilities in their final years of high school who attend a four-day event with training on leadership, disability history and culture, advocacy, and careers. During the month of February, MDYLF will continue to be a focus on our website and social media.
During MDYLF youth learn the history of the Disability Movement and lesser-known facts about people with disabilities in history. We use a timeline that gives students an opportunity to place disability-related events in times in history. Most students are surprised to learn that the Americans with Disabilities Act is only 30 years old!
MDYLF also shows how the fight for civil rights for people with disabilities very much mirrors the civil rights movement of the Black community. It is important for these future leaders to know the history and the shared struggle of Disability Rights.