Spotlighting Social Communities for Disabled Youth

Children and adolescents with disabilities are one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society. But, Gen Z is changing the narrative thanks to their inclusive nature, and their support of brands and organizations who show greater representation in their marketing. Recently, we’ve seen several positive steps forward from global brands looking to increase awareness and champion inclusivity for disabled communities. For example, Mattel's first Down Syndrome Barbie and British Vogue made history by publishing a landmark ‘Reframing Fashion’ issue with disabled talents as its May cover stars, including Gen Z models Aaron Rose Philip and Ellie Goldstein, across a series of covers. We applaud those taking action globally. However, some are helping to amplify voices in disabled communities on a more local level. Join us as we zoom in.

Image of the I-Create Youth logo over a light blue background


I-Create Youth (ICY) is a Gen Z-founded organization that empowers, educates, and connects disabled K-12 youth through language in its various forms—from poetry to programming. Born with a visual impairment, 18-year-old founder Jessica Kim didn’t know how to advocate for her needs for much of her life. However, as she’s grown older, Jessica has discovered a path to self-advocacy through her writing. In June 2020, she decided to make her activism a collective one, leading to the creation of I-CREATE YOUTH for fellow disabled students to meet, share their stories through language in its various forms, whether it be writing, programming or speech, and to raise awareness for their unique but shared experiences.

Text quote, “I think it’s absolutely wonderful, I want it to be shown often, so when my children see someone with a disability, they don’t stare and have more compassion for the person.”

— Ashley, parent, TN (Cassandra Collective)

Image of the Neurodiversity Horizons logo


Imagine being a freshman in high school and deciding to build a global nonprofit community changing the mindsets, approach, and conversation around neurodiversity. Meghana Guntur did just that, and today is creating content, awareness, and resources with Neurodiversity Horizons, which currently boasts 24 chapters in eight countries to build a more accepting and inclusive world where Neurological differences are to be respected.

Text quote, “I think it would be good for more places to support disability rights in a real way."

— Rebecca, 25, MN (Cassandra Collective)

Image of the Victoria’s Educational Services with logo with the text, "We provide personalized support to help you reach all of your social and academic goals!" over a rainbow gradient background.


Over in Staten Island, NY, Millennial founder Victoria Bennett launched Victoria’s Educational Services for children and teenagers with (and without) developmental disabilities. After launching social groups last year, which meet in various locations and structured environments to practice social skills and develop meaningful relationships with peers, Victoria found many of the participants were also looking to find a romantic partner, and as such, recently expanded offerings to include dating workshops and speed dating events in the local community to help build confidence and build meaningful connections.