Robert “Taylor” Carley, the first young adult self-advocacy coordinator at The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS), has been recognized for his leadership contributions by receiving an Emerging Leader Scholarship.
Taylor was one of only three people in the nation to receive this scholarship that assisted with travel expenses and registration to the 2016 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Annual Conference "Navigating Change: Building our Future Together” on Dec. 4-7, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
Taylor applied for this scholarship based on his leadership in Mississippi through his Chit Chat Thursdays with Taylor YouTube video series. Chit Chat Thursday with Taylor is hosted by Taylor and is produced by IDS, Mississippi’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDD).
The program started with the concept of reaching and promoting self-advocates in Mississippi. The video series was inspired by AUCD’s Tuesday’s with Liz, a national weekly video series highlighting current issues in disability policy and hosted by Liz Weintraub, a long-time disability advocate.
The scholarship not only allowed Taylor to attend the conference but to present at his first national venue. Taylor co-presented with Liz Weintraub on their YouTube series through the conference presentation titled “How Self-Advocates Are Influencing Others Through Storytelling.”
Taylor has served as the first young adult self-advocacy coordinator at IDS since November 2015. He lives his life by the following motto: "A disability is an ability!" For more information about Chit Chat Thursdays with Taylor, contact Taylor Carley at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the ChitChat with Taylor YouTube channel.