A Self-advocacy Program for Students with Disabilities: Adult Outcomes and Advocacy Involvement One to Six Years after Involvement
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The Texas Statewide Youth Leadership Forum (TXYLF) provides self-advocacy training to high school youths with disabilities. TXYLF is an enhanced version of the Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) that is comprised of an initial five day training, a nine month support phase, regional YLFs, and the opportunity for participants to return to the five day training to serve as a mentor to their peers. This study’s purpose was to examine the TXYLF participants’ post-training outcomes and the relationships among advocacy involvement and adult outcomes. To achieve this purpose, former TXYLF participants were surveyed between one and six years after their participation in TXYLF. The correlational study analyzed descriptively the participants’ outcomes and inferentially, through logistic regression, the relationships among participants’ adult outcomes, self-advocacy involvement, and the various TXYLF participation components. The results demonstrated that TXYLF participants’ post-training postsecondary education attendance was higher than the national average for adults with disabilities. Participants with low incidence disabilities were involved in inclusive employment more often than the national average. A minority status increased the likelihood of involvement in secondary education advocacy, having a high incident disability increased the likelihood of post-training employment, and being under 21 years old increased the likelihood of living independently post-training, involvement in postsecondary education advocacy, and involvement in employment advocacy. Involvement in TXYLF for one full year, including involvement as a mentor, increased the likelihood of post-training employment; involvement in TXYLF’s nine month support phase and involvement as a mentor increased the likelihood of post-training postsecondary education attendance, postsecondary education advocacy, and employment advocacy. Attending a regional YLF further increased the likelihood of postsecondary education and postsecondary education advocacy. Furthermore, involvement in TXYLF as a mentor increased the likelihood of post-training employment, postsecondary education, and independent living. No significant relationships were observed for self-advocacy and adult-outcomes. Future research is needed that takes the findings of this study and establishes a causal relationship through a randomized group experimental design.
Roberts, Eric (2013). A Self-advocacy Program for Students with Disabilities: Adult Outcomes and Advocacy Involvement One to Six Years after Involvement. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from