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Youth Advisory Panel

Purpose of Youth Advisory Panel

The Youth Advisory Panel was established to advise the Office of Special Education on proposed policies related to the education of students with disabilities.  Panel members engage in facilitated discussions with NYSED staff on policy issues relating to the education of students with disabilities.  In addition to commenting on and providing their recommendations regarding proposed policies, panel members share their concerns and recommendations for future policy consideration.  Their participation serves to advise NYSED from a first-hand perspective on ways to improve the quality of special education services and student outcomes.  Participation on the panel also provides students with the opportunity to sharpen their self-advocacy and leadership skills and network with other youth.


The Youth Advisory Panel consists of 10 to 15 youth who are currently attending high school and are receiving special education services through an individualized education program pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.   Members are appointed for a two-year term. Members who are appointed in their last year of high school may remain on the panel to complete their full term.

Nominations for membership are accepted on an ongoing basis and kept on file for any available openings for as long as the student remains eligible.  A youth may be nominated by a parent, teacher, employer, or other adult familiar with the individual.  Youth who are 18 years of age or older may nominate themselves.

Completed nomination forms should be mailed to:

New York State Education Department
Office of Special Education
89 Washington Avenue, Room 309 EB
Albany, New York 12234
Attention:  Youth Advisory Panel

Nomination forms  may also be faxed to (518) 473-5387 or emailed to


The Youth Advisory Panel typically meets two to three times per year either at the State Education Building in Albany, New York or by video conference.  For meetings held in Albany, it is preferred that members attend those meetings in person.