By The 23-24 SPYAC Cohort

The Student Potential Youth Advisory Council (SPYAC) is a new initiative and program part of the Investing in Student Potential coalition that aims to gather, support, and center the voices of students with disabilities in Washington education policy and advocacy work. The program launched last year through ISP and is an essential part of the coalition’s commitment to adjusting our systems to accommodate the complex and diverse needs of students in Washington public schools. The SPYAC is made up of a diverse group of young people of different ages, geographies, disabilities, backgrounds, school districts, and more. They are passionate young leaders interested in disability rights, educational systems, state and/or local law-making processes, and tools for effective advocacy and leadership. The SPYAC also shares decision-making power with the broader ISP advocacy coalition and helps shape the future of this program for following cohorts.


Over the course of the 2024 legislative session, SPYAC members created blog content as a way to advocate for special education and other issues that matter to them. Through this blog series, the coalition is sharing their work and uplifting their important perspectives on school, disability, our education system, and more because we believe youth are experts in their own experiences.


The first post in this series is content the SPYAC created together, and it shares about who SPYAC members are. In addition to exploring their identities as advocates for special education and more (the inner circle), it also shares who they are as people beyond that (outer circle).  This work shows the importance of recognizing the whole person – their interests, dreams, passions, and contributions – that include and extend beyond a singular identity or experience.