This campaign started with a small mixed (PWDs and non-PWDs) from across the Commonwealth discussing the best way forward. On the 2nd December 2016 we had an opportunity to speak to young people with disabilities in Kenya to ask, “What do they want from this campaign?”
Although this piece is informative, it is a thought piece on how we can obtain solutions:
RECOMMENDATION FROM THE ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSION
1. Social and economic empowerment. Empower Young PWD so that they get basic skills to initiate economic empowerment project and build capacity.
The campaign will work on one aspect of economic empowerment by providing a platform where employers can be made aware of the abilities of PWDs and the reasonable adjustments to make in the workplace that can lead to a more comfortable working environment for everyone.
However, does the Commonwealth Young Alliance of Entrepreneurs (CAYE) or the agencies that facilitate small to medium enterprises in your home country can also play a role to foster entrepreneurship with PWDs.
2. A special social fund
Budgetary constraints continue to pose a problem as PWDs wish to participate fully in economic life but they struggle to afford interpreter services or transportation to ensure their access to events and markets. Should we set up a fund or should organisations have funds apportioned to ensure that PWDs can be accommodated.
3. Exchange programme for PWD to nature their talents i.e talent completions among Commonwealth countries
4. Member states to advocate for involvement of sign language interpreters in public institutions
5. The young PWDs called on the CYC to advocate for the involvement of YPWD in politics and change attitude of the society.
One of the focus areas of the research and solutions to the research will be political participation. We are also now considering how to create a toolkit to help government and civil society to create greater awareness about PWDs so that there will be a change in attitudes.
6. A magazine highlighting their achievements and abilities and recognise their strengths.
7. Research in various thematic area : have data showing disability i.e how many are employed.
Research for this year’s campaign will be focused on education, employment and political participation and we will be collecting data from the different countries of the Commonwealth.
8. Lobby and advocacy space to reach policy makers to involve YPWD in developing this country.
9. Make #IamABLE campaign a platform to network.
The campaign can start a Facebook or Whatsapp group where PWDs from across the Commonwealth can share and speak to each other.
10. Partnerships to build the campaign, including other stakeholders and the media.
11. Include education in the campaign and involve families and friends of PWDs to fight retrogressive cultures against PWDs.
12. The policy change that I would like to see: Free primary education for all PWDs in all Commonwealth countries and have assistive device at affordable prices. We also want to push governments to fully implement the Convention.
13. Access to reproductive and sexual health
14. Empower young PWDs to claim their rights.
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