Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is YELL?

YELL is a curriculum-based program that includes twelve, one hour experiential learning modules on disability history, disability leaders, disability identity and pride, advocacy, becoming a leader, how to put this information into action to create change, and culminates in the implementation of youth-led advocacy projects. In addition, the content addresses the impact of ableism, and internalized ableism and how youth without disabilities can serve as allies. Alongside this experience, it assists faculty/staff/service providers in building capacity for inclusion.

What is the Goal of YELL?

The goal of YELL is to develop youth leaders, foster inclusive practices for schools/organizations, empower youth, and to create opportunities for community engagement in learning about the multiple benefits of inclusion and integrated community supports for all. Students with and without disabilities receive the tools they need to create social change in their schools (and larger communities) related to inclusion.

What topics does the YELL curriculum cover?

Participating students will learn skills and content about topics such as:

  • Disability History
  • Disability Pride and Culture
  • Identities and Intersectionality
  • Ableism/Internalized Ableism
  • Self-Advocacy and the Art of Interdependence
  • Leadership Skills and Styles
  • Creating social change
  • Advocacy and community engagement

Who facilitates the YELL curriculum?

A core element of YELL is that it was developed and facilitated by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, YELL Ambassadors, and taught to people with and without disabilities learning together how to explore the change they wish to see in the world and how to advocate for that change.

Ambassadors deliver the curriculum as a way to influence the next generation of leaders in the disability community. YELL Ambassadors are regionally located and can be hired to present the full curriculum throughout the State of Michigan and, virtually, can train anywhere.

What is the difference between YELL and Peer-to-Peer or LINKS programs?

Peer-to-Peer programs, LINKS and Unified Champions are often focused on social and/or academic support for students with disabilities from students without disabilities in a coach oriented structure.  YELL aims to engage all students in active learning around leadership skills and practices using tools that require mutual, reciprocal and equal participation and partnership.

Can YELL work with existing LINKS or Peer-to-Peer programs?

Yes.  We recognize that LINKS and Peer to Peer programs provide a natural structure and supportive environment for students with and without disabilities.  YELL would supplement and support existing programs with content and opportunities for students and school faculty.

What do educators have to say about the YELL Program?

Our experience with the YELL program has been nothing short of outstanding. I went into this year excited to see how much the students would take away and learn from this program. I hadn’t thought about how much I and other teachers/staff would take away for themselves. This opportunity has encouraged me to think in a whole new way about our culture, society, and school. I have loved learning how to approach situations and helping the students go into things as equals rather than one person supporting another.

Watching the students learn about disability history and disability pride has been a highlight for me. I have always stressed the need for advocacy for all people, but the YELL group provided them with examples and tools for self-advocacy in a way I could not have. –Amber Dale, Resource Teacher, Haslett High School

YELL has been an eye opening experience for our students with and without disabilities.  The program has expanded their knowledge of disability history and the stigma of being disabled.  The students have learned awareness and acceptance, and how to advocate for yourself whether you are disabled or not.  Accessibility has been an important topic and this has given students the opportunity to analyze their school and their hometown in relation to the accessibility of resources.  Students have learned about themselves; their abilities, differences, challenges and their skills.  Louise Saegart, Teacher Consultant, Eaton Rapids High School

The students at Sexton High School loved the program.  The videos, ice breakers, hands on activities, and class discussions targeted various learning styles of our students. I am excited to know that the YELL program will continue next year, as it is a program that is beneficial to all those involved. –Diane Cardenas-Johnson, Special Education Teacher/Department Chair, J.W. Sexton High School

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