We build understanding, empathy and connections between the disabled and abled communities for everyone’s benefit.

Approximately 13% of all Americans have some form of a disability, whether visible or invisible. This population is many times misunderstood, misrepresented or neglected.

YCD workshops feature people with disabilities sharing their stories as a compelling way for students to better understand their experiences and perspectives, and to become allies and advocates for the inclusion of people with disabilities. We honor the disabled community’s commitment to “nothing about us without us.”

Additionally, YCD welcomes and encourages the participation of students and teachers with disabilities at our programs, and strives to make our programming accessible to all.

Organizations Supporting Students and People with Disabilities

National Organizations

TASH advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and support needs – those most vulnerable to segregation, abuse, neglect and institutionalization. TASH works to advance inclusive communities through advocacy, research, professional development, policy, and information and resources for parents, families and self-advocates.


The Arizona Disability Coalition is a statewide, cross-disability coalition. ADC includes individuals and organizations from across Arizona to advance the rights, choices, and value of people with disabilities through individual and collective advocacy and education efforts.


The Center for People with Disabilities, based in Boulder, provides resources, information and advocacy to assist people with disabilities in overcoming barriers to independent living, including referrals, peer groups, advocacy, transition services, and an employment program.

The Colorado Association of the Deaf* researches educational, linguistic, vocational, and social issues, shares findings, develops policies, and proposes legislative initiatives to advance the human and civil rights of all deaf* people.

The Colorado Center for the Blind is a world-renowned training center located in Littleton. Grounded in a positive philosophy of blindness, the Center provides innovative teaching techniques, daily challenges and self-confidence that are the building blocks of independence, opportunity and success for all blind people.

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, based in Denver, is Colorado’s only statewide organization run by and for people with all types of disabilities. Members consist of people with disabilities and our non-disabled allies (coworkers, employers, family members, friends, and neighbors), all working together to support disability rights. CCDC advocates for social justice for people with all types of disabilities through leadership development, grassroots organizing, advocacy, litigation, education and voter engagement.

New Mexico

Disability Rights New Mexico protects, promotes and expands the rights of persons with disabilities. They are the designated protection and advocacy program for New Mexico, and as such have authority under federal law to pursue legal, administrative and other remedies on behalf of persons with disabilities.


The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, connected to the University of Wyoming, assists individuals with developmental and other disabilities and their families by promoting and supporting full community inclusion, community membership, independence, productivity and social participation through education, training, community services, and early intervention..

YCD Workshops on Disabilities and Abilities

Below is a sampling of workshops YCD has offered at prior conferences and events around the issues of disabilities and abilities. Click on any workshop title to read more about the session, the presenter, and reviews from our participants.

An #ActuallyAutistic Tour of the Spectrum

A student speaks while others listen.

This workshop is a crash course on autism, the autistic community, and the neurodiversity movement. Led by an autistic self-advocate, this workshop will break down stereotypes and misconceptions about autism in order to help clarify who we are, what we think about ourselves, and how we perceive and interact with the world. It will also provide participants with the tools to support autistic friends and family and the language to advocate alongside us.

Character Counts: Not Judging People

Let’s have a discussion about students who may be “different” than their peers. Using a hands-on demonstration, we will also talk about not labeling ourselves or one another. Not judging people is harder than it may seem; do you have what it takes?

Come Roll in My Shoes: A Day in the Life of Someone with a Disability

A student in a wheelchair watches as two other students write on a paper in the hallway.

It is impossible to truly know what anyone else is going through – including people with disabilities.  However, we can get a better perspective by exploring different challenges commonly found in high school.  Participants will engage in several activities that explore what it is like to have autism, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, and others.  This workshop is perfect for those wishing to learn more about how to support these students in their own school or those thinking of a career working with people who face physical/mental challenges.

Disability, Advocacy, and Building Power

A student in a wheelchair watches as two other students write on a paper in the hallway.

Join two advocates from the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition in exploring how to become an advocate for disability rights or an ally for students with disabilities. We’ll explore the intersection of disability and white privilege. We will give you concrete ideas on how to disrupt disability oppression.

Including Students with Disabilities

We all can and should do better to include students with disabilities, both in the classroom and socially. But how?  This workshop will feature a panel of students and open dialogue to explore strategies for being more inclusive in every aspect of our lives. The session will be led by the Director of Academic Inclusion for UNC GOAL, a fully inclusive college opportunity for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities at the University of Northern Colorado.

Including Students with Disabilities

We all can and should do better to include students with disabilities, both in the classroom and socially. But how?  This workshop will feature open dialogue to explore strategies for being more inclusive in every aspect of our lives. We will explore physical, developmental and invisible disabilities and how we can become allies for the disabled community.

Intersectionality 101

Participants will learn the basics of identity and intersectionality through fun interactive activities and connecting with others through dialogue. Participants will then be able to connect their own experiences with identity to larger concepts such as privilege, stereotyping, and oppression. This workshop is perfect for those who need an introduction into intersectionality or want to deepen their understanding of social justice concepts.

Living Well with a Disability

Students with physical challenges address the room.

Join the Center for People with Disabilities (CPWD) for a panel discussion with individuals who have all types of disabilities.

How have they worked with issues of accessibility in school or on the job? What was a difficult social experience that they had in high school, and how did they work through it? What people in their lives have made positive differences for them? We will address how members in the audience can become allies to individuals with disabilities.

Living with a Physical Disability

A student in a wheelchair watches as two other students write on a paper in the hallway.

Sterling Winnegrad, a current Eagle Valley High School student, will give a presentation on what it’s like to live with a physical disability. Gain insight on what others around us face and open your eyes to a new perspective that allows you to understand what you can do to be more inclusive and supportive of people with disabilities. Come with questions; there will be a question and answer portion and time for discussion.

Reclaiming Our Stories

As LGBTQ+, people of color, and/or individuals with disabilities our stories are often crafted and told by others. During this workshop youth will learn about the untold stories of diverse people throughout history who advocated for their communities. Participants will engage in the process to explore their own experiences to create personal stories. They will be given and brainstorm ways to use these narratives for activism.

Sports for Everyone

Stereotypes, socioeconomics, and gender equality are all factors that affect our social lives—including sports and athletics. What does acceptance look like in today’s world? We’ll have an engaging discussion on how we all play a role in making athletics and sports inclusive for everyone.