Youth Development & Leadership

Apply for the Youth Action Council on Transition 

The Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT) is a national initiative to get more youth with disabilities and their allies involved as leaders who partner with adults and organizations to improve opportunities for youth to succeed in life. “

YouthACT works with youth, ages 12 to 25, to develop skills and knowledge in leadership and advocacy so they can speak up about what all youth need to be successful during transition to adulthood. YouthACT also supports youth in learning how to partner with adults and work with peers as a team to advocate for improving youth opportunities and services in their local communities. Learn more about YouthACT!


YouthACT Transition Truths

NCWD/Youth and ODEP recently hosted YouthACT Transition Truths, an online dialogue that invited youth with disabilities to share ideas on strategies and supports that can help them and their peers become successful adults. The final report on the dialogue provides a summary of top ideas, comments, votes, and participant data. 


Why Youth Development & Leadership (YD/L)

Youth Development is a process that prepares young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood through a coordinated, progressive series of activities and experiences which help them gain skills and competencies. Youth Leadership is part of that process. In order to control and direct their own lives based on informed decisions, YD/L need to be included as core components of transition programming for all youth, including youth with disabilities.

NCWD/Y organizes YD/L into five areas learning, connecting, thriving, working, and leading, consistent with the framework supported by the Forum for Youth Investment.  

Five Areas of YD/L

Using the Forum for Youth Investment’s Framework, NCWD/Y has outlined intended outcomes and activities for each of the following five areas.

Find out more information about each of these areas by clicking on them below.

  1. Learning
  2. Connecting
  3. Thriving
  4. Working
  5. Leading



Programs & Networks

Additional Resources


Youth Tip Sheets

More Publications for Youth

Publications for Youth Service Professionals


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