By IDA

 - October 6, 2021

After holding its first webinar on “Capacity Building towards the Realization of Deinstitutionalization” in July 2021, IDA’s Youth Committee recently hosted its third monthly virtual session. This was an opportunity to evaluate the first webinar and plan activities that will be implemented in the future.

During the meeting, all members agreed that the event was a great success given the high attendance it registered (over 150 participants), the quality of the speakers’ presentations and the questions from the participants.

Three of the speakers were members of the Youth Committee:

  • Kamil Goungor, based in Greece and working with the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), talked about deinstitutionalization and the right to live independently for youth with disabilities.
  • Shirley Liu, based in Australia and working with the World Federation of the Deaf focused on inclusive education.

Dorothy Nakato, a Ugandan disability advocate and Bridge-CRPD-SDG alumni trained by IDA where she is a fellow, and Sudip Das, a member of an organization called Rights Action Disability in Bangladesh, also spoke. Dorothy shared her expertise on the connection between the right to deinstitutionalization and access to education for youth with disabilities while Sudip exposed the barriers he has faced to access employment in his country due to lack of reasonable accommodation in the recruitment process.

The Youth Committee members discussed several topics for the next webinar including inclusive education, humanitarian crisis situations, support services – specifically in the transition phase from education to work, the right to work/employment, and challenges faced by young women and girls with disabilities most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.

In addition to that, todays webinar (held on 6 October 2021) highlighted the subject of support services for youth with disabilities. News and a brief report soon.

The Youth Committee will also join the WeThe15 campaign with a view towards challenging the intersectional discrimination young people with disabilities face based on their disability, age, and other identities.

Moreover, the young advocates look forward to participating in the activities that IDA and its members are planning including the African Pre-Disability Summit in Ghana, the Youth Pre-Summit, Bridge CRPD-SDGs training, workshops in Inclusive Education and Social Protection, among others.

These activities will prepare youth with disabilities from different regions of the world to engage in capacity building initiatives and to get prepared to participate in the Youth Disability Summit planned virtually in February 2022.

The Youth Committee members would like to engage as many youth with disabilities as possible in the Summit and would also like to collaborate with other mainstream youth organizations towards the inclusive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

It was also emphasised that, unlike other youth networks, IDA’s Youth Committee members represent a movement of persons with disabilities as opposed to individuals.

According to Yannis Vardakastanis, the President of the European Disability Forum, “Youth Committee members are leaders of the disability movement, they are representatives, ambassadors.”

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