The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council and The Arc Michigan are committed to the idea that all people have the right to make decisions, to direct their life, to be treated with dignity, and to be respected as there own person. Unfortunately, in the state of Michigan, far too many people have this right taken away from them by a legal process called guardianship. We believe that it is important for people with and without disabilities to be educated on the many alternatives to guardianship so that fewer people will lose their rights.
We believe it is important to empower people with disabilities to speak for themselves and to be the ones educating people on how they want to live their lives. The best time to start is while people are still young so they are empowered for a lifetime, and that is why we are so happy to be participating in the Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice’s Youth Ambassador Program.
We are looking for a diverse group of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, age 14 to 26, from various regions across our state, who are willing to commit to a five year program that will provide them with training on a variety of topics, including ways to avoid guardianship, give them the opportunity to work with other young people and self-advocates, and empower them to share their story through presentations and social media. For more information on the Youth Ambassador Program or on Youth Voice, Youth Choice please visit https://youth-voice.org/.