Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Calling All Youth with Disabilities!

Are you interested in getting involved with the national disability youth movement? Are you between the ages of 12 and 24? Are you interested in learning how to inform youth about their rights, give peer-support, training and to change systems to include youth? If you answered “YES” to these questions, Kids As Self Advocates (KASA) wants YOU! National Kids As Self Advocates [KASA] has positions open on our Advisory Board and Task Force. We are looking for youth with disabilities, between the ages of 12 and 24, to serve on the national KASA Advisory Board or our national Task Force.

The KASA Advisory Board and Task Force are two very different levels of leadership. For details, read on!

KASA Advisory Board
KASA is organized to be a youth-led network, led by a youth Advisory Board consisting of 7-9 youth ages 13-24. The Advisory Board decides how the project will run, how decisions are made and what work is done. This is generally a 2 - 4 hour/week commitment, with regular conference calls and some in-person meetings (as funds allow). This is the highest level of KASA project leadership. The Advisory Board members create many of the documents that are on our website and that we give out to other people and groups. They also present at conferences and work with other national and local groups to get young people involved. The KASA Advisory Board can be a great way to learn how youth can lead a project, and to gain other advocacy and leadership skills.

KASA Task Force
The KASA Task Force has 6-8 youth members from around the country, ages 12-18. The Task Force members are asked to put in an average of about 1 - 2 hours/week, with monthly telephone conference calls and ongoing email communication. The Task Force works with the Advisory Board and staff. They give advice about what information young people with disabilities need to know. The Task Force members have the opportunity to help develop materials for other youth and will also review (look over) what the KASA Advisory Board and staff write to make sure it is youth-friendly (helpful and clear). The Task Force members have lots of opportunities to learn. If funding is available, they will have training at an in person meeting as well as opportunities to represent KASA at other conferences and meetings. Youth on the Task Force also get to learn how a project can be led by young people with disabilities, with the staff only giving support.

You can download the applications at: www.fvkasa.org

DEADLINE for both KASA Board and Task Force applications: March 13th 2009
For questions or more information contact Naomi Ortiz, KASA Project Director at: email - ortizn@fvkasa.org or phone – (785) 273-3398

Send completed applications to jthomas@fvkasa.org and please put “KASA Application” in the email subject line.

KASA is a cross-disability project. This includes people with sensory disabilities, cognitive/developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, chronic health conditions, etc.

“I think being able to work with likeminded, passionate young adults is what provides KASA with such a great energy to get our voices heard and why I like being involved.” –Mallory Cyr, KASA Advisory Board co-chair

Kids As Self Advocates (KASA) is created by youth with disabilities for youth to educate society about issues concerning us. KASA believes in self-determination, creating support networks and self-advocacy for all youth with disabilities in our society.

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