Spotlight on Maryland Youth Leadership Forum

Photo of maryland youth leadership forum delegates with an adaptive bike

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  MDYLF, youth learn about the most recent technology that can help to lead an independent life. Students have a chance to learn about and try out different kinds of assistive technology. We host at least one discussion focused on apps that both students and peer staff use to make themselves independent. Most recently, we have added a STEM focus to MDYLF in conjunction with The IMAGE Center and Volunteers for Medical Engineering (VME).  Students gain hands-on experience building something and an opportunity to speak with several engineers working in the field. By far one of the highlights of MDYLF is hearing about and meeting a Guide Dog, a completely different support for independence!

The next Maryland Youth Leadership Forum is taking place virtually from Wednesday, August 4 to Saturday, August 7, 2021. The deadline to apply for MDYLF 2021 is Friday, March 21, 2021. Learn more and apply at, or contact Damon Walker at or 240-638-0070.

Spotlight on Maryland Youth Leadership Forum
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