We are Kids As Self Advocates!

former KASA board member Chad Murphy-Price leading a workshop. We model leadership and the power of self-advocacy. We are active in our schools, communities, families and places of employment. We share our message with other youth who have disabilities or chronic health conditions, as well as with our friends and peers.

Our activities include:

  • Representing the voice of youth living with disabilities and chronic health conditions by speaking to policy makers at public events and hearings

  • Educating our communities, including students, teachers and administrators at our schools; medical students and physicians; and federally funded cafe and agencies and state programs

  • Serving as advisors to the over 40,000 members of Family Voices across the country and organizations and agengies interested in promoting youth involvement and leadership

Our Theory of Change

In order to make a real difference in our communities and in this country, we work under a Theory of Change. What this means is that we have come up with the change we want to see for youth with disabilities in the U.S. and we have outlined how are working to make that happen. See how this works!

  • The KASA National Advisory Board

We usually have 6-9 young adult and youth leaders [ages 13-24] on the Advisory Board and as they leave, new people can apply to join.This is the highest level of KASA project leadership. The Advisory Board members help create the Annual Operating Plan, which is a plan that describes the work the KASA project will do and who will do it,as well as 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.

The Advisory Board advises policy for the KASA project as a whole, including activities like this website, our newsletter, and meetings.The Advisory Board leads all of the programming for KASA. Advisory Board members are given an opportunity to sharpen their leadership skills. The Advisory Board acts as a valuable resource to the media, professionals and other young adults regarding issues concerning young adults with disabilities.

The KASA National Advisory Board and our members help determine what will be on the website based upon your input and submissions. We hope you will use our website to learn about subjects like advocacy, leadership, health care, education, employment, disability culture, and much more! If there is something you want to learn about that is not on the KASA website, please let us know.

The KASA Board Members

    Hamza Jaka
    Hamza sitting in his wheelchair, holding Ed Roberts Medal of Honor from the California Hall of Fame.
  • Hamza Jaka
    • Age: 22
    • Hometown: Fontana, Wisconsin
    • Years working with KASA: 2007-2014
    • About me: I am a long time self advocate, having worked in local, state and international disability rights for eight years. I graduated from the University of California Berkeley in May 2014. I enjoy learning more about civil rights, and how disability and civil rights mix together. I love studying languages, traveling and exercises and reading, especially Spider-Man

     

     

  • Lyndsi Holmes-Wickert
    Lyndsi Holmes-Wickert
    Lyndsi Holmes-Wickert
    • Age: 25
    • From: New York
    • What I am involved in? I am currently a special education teacher and that takes up most of my time! In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, including my wonderful husband. I also enjoy reading, playing tennis and softball and traveling.
    • What is my disability? I have spina bifida.
    • What do I hope to contribute to KASA? I hope to be able to share my personal experiences in life. I hope to help kids and young adults become future leaders in their communities and learn advocacy skills. I also hope to be able to help communities to be more disability friendly.

     

     

  • Ronald Tasker
    • Age: 16
    • From: North Carolina
    • What I am involved in? In school I am currently not involved in any clubs but I hope to get involved next year. I am very involved in my community, being a part of several mission trips and retreats per year. I love interacting with our youth.
    • What is my disability? At 6 weeks old I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Luckily my disability isnít as severe as doctors first thought. I talk at ease, use a manual wheelchair, and walk with a walker regularly. I am involved in water skiing and hope to be involved in rugby next year.
    • What do I hope to contribute to KASA? I hope to bring a fresh perspective. I also hope to help youth by sharing my experiences and giving them tips to succeed.

 

 

The KASA National Task Force

  • The national KASA Task Force has 6-9 youth leaders [ages 12-18].Task Force members at the Disabilty Pride Parade The KASA Task Force gives advice and opinions to the KASA Advisory Board and staff about what information and training youth with disabilities need. The Task Force members have the opportunity to help develop these materials and also review {look over} what the KASA Advisory Board and staff write to make sure it is helpful and clear {youth-friendly}. They work together on large projects like reports and toolkits on issues they care about. The Task Force members also have lots of opportunities to learn. Along with learning from presenters, they are trained in advocacy skills and also have opportunities to represent KASA at conferences and meetings.

  • Youth on the Task Force get to learn how a project can be led by young people with disabilities, with the staff only giving support.