Division of Disability and Health Policy

NM Young Disability Leaders (NMYDL)

NMYDL Members (First row, left to right) Tara Chavez and service animal, Rica, Lindsay Sloan and service animal, Chantal, Tanisha Gallegos, and Laurel Deans. (Second row, left to right) Shane Bower, Roel Adamson, Adam Shand, Amira Rasheed, Emma Farris and service animal, Cooper. (Third row, left to right) Daniel Ekman and Sergio Resendiz. NMYDL member not in photo: Adela Tapia

New Mexico Young Disability Leaders is a collaborative project between the New Mexico Governor's Commission on Disability and UNM's Center for Development and Disability since July 1, 2010. NMYDL members are ages 23-33, who have a wide range of disabilities, and are interested in leadership development.

New Mexico Young Disability Leaders lead these current projects:

I am a dancer of live stage productions. I am friendly and fun. I love to teach the "Disability Leaders Camp" with K to 4th graders. I have Autism.
- Laurel

My favorite quote is: "The only limitations you have are the ones you put on yourself." I am the coordinator for statewide People First and work for the Center for Self-Advocacy.
- Adam

I am the father of a young boy. I am a computer technician who loves to work and surf the web. I am a suicide survivor and on a ventilator. I drivemy wheelchair with my chin.
- Shane

I am a public speaker. I work for the Arc NM. I volunteer with the People First Capter of Albuquerque as the Vice-President. I have Cerebral Palsy, Acquired Brain Injury, am blind and use a wheelchair. 
- Roel

I have traveled to 8 countries. I stayed 2 months at the Olympic Training Center to try out for the USA woman's goal ball team. I am visually challenged and have a guide dog, Chantal.
- Lindsay

I am a person with a BA in Linguistics who visited Paris, France and had lunch at the Eifel Tower. I am blind and use a guide dog named Rica as my mobility tool.
- Tara

I am a husband, uncle and college graduate. I am passionate about history, sports, and love learning new things. I graduated with a MA in Special Education. I have Autism.
- Daniel

I'm a self-advocate and I like to teach others what I've learned. I am a Program Assistant for the Arc of Southern New Mexico. I have a learning disability.
- Sergio

I have 2 college degrees. I am an aunt and enjoy family and friends. I am the regional representative for SABE. I am a disability advocate. I work at the Arc NM. I have Cerebral Palsy.
- Amira

I am a full time student working towards a Bachelor degree in Adolescent Psychology. I have a service dog named Cooper. I am a drummer.
- Emma

I went to Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) and I was chosen to be on the poster for Deaf-Blind Awareness Week. I use a white cane to help me be more independent and a Sign Language Interpreter.
- Tanisha

I like photography. I am deaf and use sign language to communicate. I have a daughter who is learning sign language like her mom. I have a professional job.
- Adela

If you are interested in becoming:

  1. A certified Peer Mentor for youth in transition.
  2. A trainer for the "Disability Leaders Camp" for K-4th grades.
  3. A Disability Leader Assistant, who helps and supports the NMYDL.
  4. A Disability Leader.

Or information contact: 

Barbara Ibanez, Project Manager
(505) 272-6271
Email: bibanez@salud.unm.edu


Apply to be a Certified Peer Mentor for the New Mexico Youth in Transition



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This project is funded by the New Mexico Department of Health through a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

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