Youth Action Council On Transition (YouthACT)

Community Engagement and 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.

“Transition” is the process and period of change that youth go through to become adults. Transition typically occurs between ages 12 and 25. During transition, youth need a variety of opportunities and supports to learn and develop skills and experience, set and achieve goals, and make personal decisions about school, work, and life.

Many organizations and government agencies are responsible for helping youth transition to adulthood. This includes schools, employment and training programs, afterschool and recreation programs, health and mental health services, housing programs, disability services, courts and juvenile justice agencies, and child welfare and foster care programs.

Too often, youth don’t have a voice when agencies and organizations are deciding what youth services and opportunities to offer. It is important for agencies and organizations to hear from youth about what they need and want during the transition years so they can provide the right opportunities, services, and supports. For this reason, YouthACT aims to increase positive youth-adult partnerships where young people and adults work together, share power, and support and learn from each other to build stronger communities. All individuals in the partnership have the opportunity to engage in planning, decision-making, and action consistent with their own interests and skills.

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. NCWD/Youth will select four teams in 2015. The 2015 cohort will work collaboratively with the 2014 cohort.

YouthACT is led by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Learn more about NCWD/Youth.

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