Information for Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) hosts an annual Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) at Camp Taloali in Stayton, Oregon. This program is an intensive and educational four-week summer program for deaf and hard of hearing high school students. The 2023 YLC session will take place from June 26 to July 21, 2023. 

The YLC program is designed to provide deaf high school students with the training and educational opportunities necessary to transition to opportunities in higher education, meaningful employment, and leadership development. The following activities are part of our specialized program to identify and promote each deaf and hard of hearing student’s self-advocacy and leadership skills: 

  • Analyze and evaluate each student’s leadership style, team-building skills, and communication and interpersonal skills through evaluations as well as observing their ability to work with peers and staff members.
  • Provide training in outdoor activities, including a Discovery low-ropes course, to engender teamwork, self-confidence and communication skills.
  • Conduct daily workshops on topics of self-advocacy, peer mentoring, communication, media, career exploration, personal discovery, leadership development, and disability rights.
  • Bring Deaf professionals and role models to provide leadership seminars and teach the students about education, vocational, and leadership opportunities available after graduation from high school. 
  • Promote improved literacy skills by instructing students to develop written content for the camp newsletter, Daily Drum, as well as social media video content in the program’s media class. 
  • Instruct the students to gain a better understanding of Deaf Culture and history, as well as their disability and civil rights to prepare them for life after high school.
  • Introduce students to different options for post-secondary education and training opportunities.
  • Provide hands-on training and opportunities to use self-advocacy skills through various activities. 

A brief description of our daily schedule is shared here

The program meets the goals of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) program in the following areas: 

  • Students receive career exploration. 
  • Students are required to engage in community service. 
  • Students receive information on career and post-secondary educational opportunities.
  • Students learn self-advocacy skills through team-building activities, leadership seminars, workshops, and group activities. 
  • Students receive full mentoring opportunities that encompass the full range including peer mentoring, disability mentoring, and group mentoring. 
  • Students learn about personal rights and responsibilities. 
  • Students develop social and independent living skills. 

As each student completes the NAD YLC program, we will provide VR professionals with: 

  • Assessments of students’ leadership skills, conducted at the start of the program. 
  • Each student’s self-evaluations and leadership assessment, conducted at the end of the program.
  • Completed state VR evaluations or assessments (both pre and post, if applicable). 

The tuition fee of $3,500 includes four weeks worth of lodging, meals, activities, and transportation during camp.  The tuition fee does not include airfare or travel costs to Oregon. 

For additional information about the YLC program, please visit our FAQ page or contact us at [email protected]