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AZYLF is an innovative, 5-day conference, designed to foster personal growth for students and young adults who have disabilities, as they prepare for and progress through transition to adulthood. AZYLF believes leadership is a personal journey, and begins with maximizing leadership roles and responsibilities in your own life. AZYLF provides experiential learning opportunities to assist each individual as they identify and embrace their strengths and gifts, in conjunction with planning for their future. 

Up to 25 youth from across Arizona will be selected to participate in each 2020 conference opportunity, through a competitive application process. The AZYLF conference successfully integrates youth who represent the diversity of disability and culture in Arizona. 

In 2020, if we are able to meet in person, AZYLF will be held in the following 6 regions of Arizona: 

AZYLF Locations Dates Counties in Region
Dine College                      Tsaile, AZ May 27-31, 2020

⇒ Apache
⇒ Coconino
⇒ Navajo

Prescott College              Prescott, AZ June 3-7, 2020 Mohave
⇒ Yavapai
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ June 10-14, 2020 ⇒ Coconino
⇒ Mohave      
Arizona Western College    Yuma, AZ June 17-21, 2020 ⇒ Yuma
⇒ La Paz 
Arizona State University    Phoenix, AZ June 24-28, 2020

⇒ Gila
⇒ Maricopa
⇒ Pinal

University of Arizona        Tucson, AZ July 6-19, 2020   Cochise
⇒ Graham
⇒ Greenlee
⇒ Pima
⇒ Santa Cruz

If we are unable to meet in person, AZYLF will be offered in a manner that maximizes safety, meaningful experiences, and accessibility for participants.  

Students and young adults who have disabilities who are making the transition to adulthood are invited to apply, and recruit others to apply for this life changing opportunity!

AZYLF is intended to serve youth who have a variety of disabilities and diversities. Therefore, Arizona youth who will have completed at least one year of high school before attending, those who have recently graduated, or those who are young adults in transition, are encouraged to apply and will receive selection consideration.

AZYLF is facilitated by Diverse Ability Incorporated, in partnership with the AZYLI Alumni Association, Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council,  and other invested partner organizations.

Accommodations to ensure your success are provided, and there is no cost to you for participation.

Delegate Selection Process 

To be eligible for selection as a Delegate to Arizona Youth Leadership Forum, youth must:

  • Have a disability that they acknowledge and that others regard them having;
  • Have completed at least one year of high school before attending, and be under the age of 30;
  • Have the desire to interact effectively with peers and elder role models;
  • Have a desire to increase personal leadership, self-reliance, and self-advocacy skills;
  • Reside in Arizona

Applicants must electronically submit their complete application by 11:59pm on April 30, 2020. Applicants who do not have internet access may call: 602-425-5135, for assistance with completing their application by 5:00pm on April 22, 2020. 

We will be responding to applicants to arrange for telephone/video interviews, as applications are received. Successful applicants will be notified of their selection as Delegates, as soon as possible following the application closing date, and interview completion.   

After being selected, Delegates will be required to provide additional health and safety information, before attending AZYLF.

There is no charge for Delegates to participate in AZYLF. Transportation to and from the conference is the responsibility of the Delegate, and AZYLF will provide a travel stipend after the conference to the driver of those Delegates traveling more than 100 miles round trip. All costs associated with AZYLF once on campus and accommodations such as: ASL interpreters, materials in alternative formats, and personal care assistance services, are provided at no cost. Delegates may be required to complete documents for specific funding sources, prior to participation.  

***PLEASE NOTE: AZYLF Graduates are NOT eligible to return as Delegates, and are encouraged to engage with the AZYLI Alumni Association. Visit:***

Public Transportation

Rules of Conduct for AZYLF

Youth, referred to as Delegates, are selected to attend Arizona Youth Leadership Forum (AZYLF) based upon their leadership potential and skills. Delegates are expected to conduct themselves accordingly, and must:

  • Be punctual and follow the scheduled program. Attendance at all sessions is mandatory. You must remain with your assigned group at all times. Wake up and lights out are scheduled for all participants.
  • Maintain a respectful attitude toward peers, presenters, and AZYLF staff.
  • Respect the facilities (maintaining the condition of dormitory rooms and all other areas). Participants will be charged for property damage they cause, and for lost room keys or linens.
  • When not in assigned groups, Delegates are to be in their own assigned rooms. All other campus residence halls and facilities are off limits. Visitation in common areas is allowed, when scheduled and supervised.
  • Possession or use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal substances is strictly prohibited. (Prescription or approved medications require documentation. Medication reminders and requested accommodations will be provided.)
  • Headsets, radios, electronic devices, and cellular phones are NOT permitted during scheduled AZYLF activities. Use of such items will only be permitted during designated breaks, unless they have been identified as an accommodation. An emergency telephone number will be provided to Parents/Guardians/identified Supporters.

Any violations of these rules will result in Delegates being sent home immediately at the expense of themselves or their parent/guardian. Your application to Arizona Youth Leadership Forum confirms your acceptance of these rules.

Remember the responsibility that goes with the honor of being selected to AZYLF…and plan to have a great time!

AZYLF attendees playing basketball at the Sports and Fitness Center.

Application Instructions

Online Application Link:

Although online applications are preferred, we recognize this submission method may not work for everyone. In addition, we strive to provide information in the language and format that best meets your needs. Please email or call Mellie Santora with any questions you may have, and/or if you are in need of options in regard to application submission.

Mellie Santora: 602-425-5135, or

Letters of Recommendation 

If you are submitting a letter of recommendation on behalf of an applicant please use this link: