Racism, Disability, Equality – An Agenda Overdue

Written by Parmi Dheensa FRSA Include Me TOO Executive Director

The Equality Act 2010 allows for positive action if a group is consistently disadvantaged in receiving services and support.

Over the last decade there have been substantial resources made available to improve services to disabled children, young people and their families.

However, to often the needs of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) disabled children, young people and their families are not met. Though there was increased government funding over the past few years, no positive action or resources have been allocated to reduce the inequalities experienced by BAME disabled children, young people and their families.

Despite their legal protection under the Equality Act 2010, their needs continue to be overlooked, they continue to be underrepresented, their participation and inclusion has limited support hence their voices continue to be unheard.

Include Me TOO, alongside BAME voluntary and community groups and organisations, BAME disabled people, BAME families with disabled children and young people have raised our concerns over the last decade presenting at the House of Commons (2012) a briefing paper and at the House of Lords a roundtable event (2016) on Race and Disability Discrimination.

We have met with government departments and their strategic delivery partners who all agree they have not met the needs of BAME disabled children, young people and their families and they are underrepresented in services, participation and representative bodies. The submissive responses from the government officials, the delay in addressing the consistent inequalities disproportionately impacting on BAME disabled children, young people and their families has resulted in another generation who has been failed.

There is over 20 years of research, studies and reports regarding the continuous barriers and challenges faced by BAME disabled persons and their families, all detailing similar conclusions and recommendations. There has been no progress in addressing the issues due to a lack of accountability and commitment to readdress these inequalities.

The BAME charity sector is under resourced and undervalued by government and large disability white led organisations.

No resources have been made available to support the voluntary structure in the BAME community, the peer support, community outreach, the skills experience and knowledge shared which have proven to be successful in reaching and engaging diverse families and communities.

CharitySoWhite, published a paper Racial Injustice in the Covid-19 which highlighted the urgent funding and other support for BAME charities that are at risk of closure. Reporting there are between 9,000 -10,000 BAME charities and community groups operating nationally, 65% of which have an average turnover of less than £10,000 annually.

‘Over the last decade we have seen the decimation of the BAME voluntary sector. Most existing BAME-led organisations are small, community-based charities working directly with those with the greatest needs’.

The civil society sector supporting disabled children, young people and families over the last decade seems to have become monopolised with charities who have grown by not only resources but also influence. However, they are out of touch with issues that affect BAME disabled children, young people and their families and whilst they advise ministers, members of parliament, government officials the issues at community grassroots the voices of BAME disability community go unheard.

Racism, Disability, Equality requires authentic leadership from those in positions of power and influence for systematic and structural change. Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic representation at leadership levels in the disability sector, access to platforms and seats around the tables will assist to distribute power and influence for an equitable society. Improving outcomes, better futures for all disabled children, young people, adults, their families and communities addressing Racism, Disability and Equality – An Agenda Overdue.

COVID-19 Hospital Communication Passport Asia, Africa and Pacific Launch.

COVID-19 Hospital Communication Passport Asia, Africa and Pacific Launch.

The COVID-19 Hospital Communication Passport has been developed to support efforts for a disability inclusive COVID-19 response to the health and medical needs of children, young people and adults with disabilities.

This resource is a valuable tool in gathering vital information, ensuring an understanding of how to support persons with disabilities access, communication, sensory, physical and personal care needs whilst supporting their rights. safety and dignity.

We are hosting three regional events to identify local and regional partners sharing how they can get involved and use the resource.

The sessions will be delivered as information, workshop and discussions covering:

  • The importance of this resource for persons with disabilities during this pandemic.
  • How to use the resource and how it can improve the healthcare access and support.
  • Discussions how this resource can be part of the COVID-19 hospitals and medical centers processes in their care and treatment protocol

 

Who can attend:

National Governments, Disabled Persons Organisations, Civil Society Organisations, COVID-19 response and recovery leads and Young People with Disabilities who would want to get involved.

Region Date Time
Asia Region Workshop and Discussion Monday 5th October 2020 10am (London) 2.30pm (Delhi)
Africa Region Workshop and Discussion Tuesday 6th October 2020 11am (London) 1pm (Nairobi)
Pacific Region Workshop and Discussion Wednesday 7th October 2020 9am (London) 6pm (Australia) 8pm (Fiji)

You can register for this event below:





COVID-19 Information and Resources

Hospital Communication Passport and Supporting Resources

We have been working with families, disabled children, young people and adults, professionals and organisations over the last week to get information out to prepare families for admission to hospital of their loved ones. It is really important to be organised and we hope that the information below will help you.

We know that the Coronavirus is putting our hospitals under great strain. Given the pressure that doctors and nurses are under they may not have much time to understand what disabled children, young people and adults need so we wanted to try and help make this easier.

We have produced an invaluable resource pack with two key documents added. The first of these is a two page summary record which is COVID 19 Hospital Communication Passport that lists the most important things that hospital and medical staff must know about disabled persons as soon as they arrive. It is important to complete your COVID 19 Hospital Communication Passport to ensure hospital and medical staff understand disabled children, young people and adults range of access and support needs.

This resource provides vital information to support their safety and dignity, their access, communication, sensory, physical and personal care needs that must be considered and supported. Once you have filled this in print and laminate or put in clear sealed plastic bag or poly pocket.

Do remember to also print and complete the second document which is the COVID-19 History Sheet and take both of these two documents to the hospital.

We have updated the ‘All About Me Communication Passport’ which we have supported many families with disabled children and young people complete over the last decade. We are making ‘All About Me’ available to as many families as possible to support planning ahead particularly if a parent or main carer fall ill with COVID 19.

‘All About Me’ will support other family members, carers, any new support staff understand more clearly loved ones communication, routines, personal care, sensory and physical needs etc. Whilst a parent or carer may not be available or not well due to COVID 19.

All About Me’ also has additional resources that can be included depending on each individual. We will be hosting webinars and zoom group video sessions to support completing the COVID 19 Hospital Passport and supporting families with the ‘All About Me’ resources and supporting discussions and questions, details will be shared soon. You can also contact our team if you wish to discuss.

We wish to thank Bringing Us Together (Katie Clarke and Ian Penfold), Helen Thornton, disabled children, young people and their families, carers and practitioners who have contributed in developing this resource pack.

Include Me TOO Resource Pack:

Other Helpful COVID 19 Resources

The Hand Washing Rap

This is a fun video produced by the Purple All Stars demonstrating good handwashing: https://vimeo.com/134952598

Easy read resources on the Coronavirus (COVID-19):

Mencap has produced an easy read leaflet:
www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/health/coronavirus

Talking Mats have produced an east read version of WHO social distancing recommendations:
https://www.talkingmats.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/20200319-coronavirus-easy-read-pdf.pdf

Inclusion North has produced an easy read leaflet, along with an audio copy:
www.inclusionnorth.org/coronavirus-easy-read-information

Photosymbols have created some posters too:
www.photosymbols.com/blogs/news/coronavirus

Beyond Words have produced a free e-book:
https://booksbeyondwords.co.uk/downloads-shop/beating-the-virus

Opening Doors have made an easy read guide: My Plan for staying safe and staying in. You can find the Opening Doors resources here

 

Free resources:

Makaton have made available free resources including resources explaining Coronavirus and how to wash hands and stay safe:
https://www.makaton.org/shop/shopping/browseStore/Free-resources

Challenging Behaviour Foundation are unable to send out their DVD resources. However they feel that it would be helpful during this difficult time to have practical information about behaviour that challenges. Their DVDs have therefore been published online and are free for anyone to watch.
https://www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk/information/information-sheets-and-dvds/dvdsonline.html

Mind: Coronavirus and your wellbeing
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

 

Further information and advice:

Coronavirus Act 2020 – Social Care and SEND Guidance Note for England
Written by the 39 Essex Chambers public law team in response to some of the many queries we have had about the implications of the Coronavirus Act 2020 for social care and SEND. It is not a comprehensive review – legal advice will need to be sought in respect of specific situations that arise.  See here for the full guidance note

GOV.UK:
COVID-19 latest information and advice https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

NHS Coronavirus Advice:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions coronavirus-covid-19/

The First Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network

Strengthening the voices and inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in the throughout the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network (CCYDN) has convened its first strategic meeting in London, following its official launch during Commonwealth Week earlier this year.

The network aims to increase access to various platforms designed to help young disabled people influence positive change on issues which matter to them.

CCYDN has been spearheaded by the disability rights charity Include Me TOO who for more than a decade have been advocating for the rights and inclusion and facilitating participation of children and young people with disabilities.Include Me TOO delivered a the week-long programme bringing together CCYDN representatives and committee members representing four Commonwealth regions, who helped outline the network’s future strategic direction.

 

This included:

  • Ensuring the inclusion, participation and representation of children and youth with disabilities leading up to and during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2020 in Rwanda and other national and international events.
  • Increasing reach and engagement of CCYDN by working in collaboration with Commonwealth youth networks and other relevant Commonwealth networks
  • CCYDN campaigns and increasing membership of children and young people with disabilities to join CCYDN and NGOs working with children and young people with disabilities as well as youth DPOs that are disabilities-led.
  • Ensuring CCYDN is representative and particularly supports those with complex needs and in need of additional support to ensure their voices are not left behind.
  • Promoting and increasing support for the Global Disability Children and Young People’s Charter developed during the Global Disability Summit hosted by DFID in London in 2018.

Commonwealth head of social policy development, Layne Robinson, highlighted the significance of the Commonwealth Youth Programme’s newest youth network.

This network developed by Include Me TOO is a practical response to the Commonwealth Heads of Government mandate to ‘address the stigma around disability in all its forms and manifestations, ensuring that no one is left behind. By working with young people with disabilities who are promoting their right to be included and to participate in decision-making at all levels, we come closer to fulfilling the vision of a society where our young people lead the change they want to see in a fairer, more prosperous and inclusive society for all. The Commonwealth Youth Programme will work with all relevant partners and agencies to give voice and space to children and young people with disabilities to lead their own agenda in the Commonwealth. #NowIsTheTime

CCYDN co-chair Jonathan Andrews said:

I’m very happy to see CCYDN recognised by the Commonwealth Youth Programme as an official Commonwealth Youth Network. As co-chair of the network, I look forward to working with the Commonwealth to ensure that no child or young person with a disability is left behind and to ensure that, across the pressing issues facing children and young people with disabilities, from economic empowerment to inclusive education and tackling stigma and discrimination, barriers are lifted and opportunities are provided for all. I’d particularly like to thank Include Me TOO for its support in driving the network forward and its development over the last two and a half years to this point. I very much look forward to continuing to work with Parmi Dheensa as fellow CCYDN co- chair, representing Include Me TOO, in the years ahead to ensure NGOs working with children and young people with disabilities, and those they work with, are included.

Parmi Dheensa CCYDN co-chair and Include Me TOO Executive Director said: ‘This year during the Commonwealth 70th Anniversary CCYDN has been launched aiming to ensure a connected Commonwealth which includes the voices and representation of children ad young people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth. We look forward to working with the Commonwealth Youth Programme and are delighted to have CCYDN officially recognised amongst the Commonwealth Youth Networks, particularly   as this is the first network which includes children and not only youth. This new model is essential to ensure children and youth with disabilities are connected within the Commonwealth for an inclusive future. We are looking forward to growing CCYDN reach and impact and working alongside Commonwealth and International networks and partners working and supporting children and young people throughout the Commonwealth’.

The week’s activities culminated with a roundtable discussion between the network’s committee members, internal teams from the Commonwealth and external partners working with children and young people with disabilities.

During the roundtable, committee members shared discussions from their side event held during the 12th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations in June this year.

Attendees also discussed areas of partnership and agreed to take forward collaborative efforts to strengthen the voices, rights, inclusion and participation of children and young people with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

#InternationalYouthDay #ConnectedCommonwealth #IncludeMeTOO #NowIsOurTime #InclusiveFutures #InclusionMatters

Global Disability Summit – Twitter Chat

Youth with Disabilities Participation, Inclusion and Rights MATTER!

Twitter Chat   #IncludeMeTOO  #NowIsTheTime

On Monday 23rd July 2018 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm London Time, Youth with disabilities will be hosting a Q&A twitter chat live from the Global Disability Summit with Include Me TOO. The discussion aims to include youth with disabilities from around the globe in the conversations taking place during the Global Disability Summit regarding participation, inclusion, rights, leadership, and commitments from global leaders needed for change.

We welcome everyone to take part in this discussion! We hope to provide a platform during the discussion to share views, solutions and experiences across the globe.

Include Me TOO and British Council have partnered with the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID) and International Disability Alliance to bring youth with disabilities voices to the Civil Society Forum and Global Disability Summit. For more information about the Global Disability Summit links

http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/summit

https://includemetoo.org.uk/gdsannounce/

We will be discussing:

  • Strengthening participation and voices of youth with disabilities as change makers
  • Commitments youth with disabilities what global leaders to support in regards to things that matter to them at the Global Disability Summit
  • Bringing new voices and different approaches to engagement, leadership, mentoring and inclusion of youth with disabilities
  • Ensuring empowerment of girls and young women with disabilities to advocate for protection of their rights and inclusion
  • Commitments for Global Disability Summit Children and Youth Charter

 

How our Twitter Q&A will work

Be sure to follow @includemetoo and @DFID_Inclusive on Twitter. All questions will be posted by the @IncludeMeTOO Twitter account.

Hashtags: We will be using two hashtags #IncludeMeTOO #NowIsTheTimeTwitter for this discussion. In each response copy in both @IncludeMeTOO and @DFID_Inclusive

We will be tweeting six questions over the hour, but please feel free to take your time answering these. All questions are available in advance below.

Format of Q&A
If you respond to a question such as Q1, your tweet should follow the format: “A1 [your message] #IncludeMeTOO  #NowIsTheTime

In this case, Q1 stands for Question 1 and A1 stands for Answer 1.

The hashtag will allow us to see your responses, and the number means we know which question you are answering. However, if you find it easier, feel free to quote retweet with your answer.

You might be overwhelmed by the volume of tweets and only want to see the chat’s questions so you can respond to them, check @IncludeMeTOO account. Each question will tweeted about 10 minutes apart.

For an explanation of how to participate in a Twitter chat, please check out this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uoqoc7hNIE

Check out this captioned ASL explanation of how to participate in a chat by @behearddc by clicking here.

 

Questions

Feel free to prepare your answers in advance, but please only post these once we have asked the questions on Monday 23rd July 2018.

Q1:    Please introduce yourself however you feel comfortable and reason for joining.

Q2:   What are the main consistent barriers for youth with disabilities participation and inclusion and why is it key to have youth with disabilities involvement in Global Disability Summit?

Q3:   What needs to change and be done differently to engage under represented youth with disabilities and support their voices to be heard and influence changes at grassroots community level to global policy level?

Q4:   a) How can we increase leadership and representation opportunities of youth with disabilities increasing their voices, choice and control?

  b) Do you have any good examples in your countries you can share of opportunities for mentoring    and leadership for youth with disabilities?

Q5:   What needs to be happen to ensure the empowerment of girls and young women with disabilities to advocate for their rights and inclusion and protect their rights to live without fear of violence and abuse,

Q6:   A Global Disability Summit Charter for Children and Youth will be discussed and principals drafted during the Global Disability Summit to be shared with global leaders. What commitments do you feel need to be included in the charter to support participation, inclusion, rights and aspirations for children and youth with disabilities?

We hope you can participate in the Global Disability Summit Youth with Disabilities #IncludeMeTOO   #NowIsTheTimeTwitter discussion!

If you miss it, don’t worry! You’re free to answer the questions at any point!

We have tried to make this Q&A accessible a possible. However, can you think of anything that could make it more accessible? We welcome suggestions, please email these to us: im2@includemetoo.org.uk

 

Strengthening the inclusion and voices of disabled children and young people at the Global Disability Summit  

Following the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April and the first ever Commonwealth Disabled Youth Round table Event organised and led by Include Me TOO with the Commonwealth Youth Council we will be continuing  to increase the support for inclusion, rights and participation for disabled children and young people at the forthcoming Global Disability Summit.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is co-hosting the Global Disability Summit alongside the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Government of Kenya in London on 24th July 2018. Include Me TOO and the British Council are supporting disabled children and young people to have their say as they represent their peers, children and young persons with disabilities from around the globe by arranging a range of activities which include a video campaign #IncludeMeTOO, young people’s; online survey; social media discussions; workshops being held by schools and NGO’s, a disabled young people’s workshop during the Civil Society Forum on 23rd July 2018; developing a charter and disabled young people’s led roundtable event during the summit.

Include Me TOO are looking forward to supporting disabled young people to continue the discussion held during the Commonwealth Disabled Youth Round table on issues of inclusive education, tackling stigma and discrimination, gender equality, employment and technology and innovation strengthening the involvement, inclusion and voices of disabled children and young people.

The children and young persons programme includes:

 

Resources:

Global Disability Summit – Children and Youth with Disabilities

#IncludeMeTOO Video Campaign

It has been 10 years since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted throughout the world. On 24th July 2018 Department for International Development (DFID) is co-hosting the Global Summit with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Government of Kenya.

Include Me TOO with the British Council are supporting children and youth with disabilities to have their say. We want to increase the voices, rights, inclusion, participation and visibility of children and youth with disability in areas which matter to them #IncludeMeTOO #NowIsTheTime #DisabilitySummit

The video campaign will bring together children and youth with disabilities across the globe and all video films will be complied into a film to be shared at the Global Disability Summit taking place on 24th July 2018!

#IncludeMeTOO campaign is aimed for children and youth with disabilities upto the age of 30 years.

Closing date for video submissions: Friday 20th July 2018.

Instructions:
Each film to be no longer than 90 seconds to provide the following statement by first introducing their name, age, nature of disability or impairments and country they represent. Ensure the filming is filmed in landscape.

We want to hear from you …..

  • What are your dreams and aspirations?
  • What is your biggest challenge and barrier to your rights, inclusion or participation which you would wish to see removed?

Remember to hold up a sign with the hashtag #IncludeMeTOO when you say this final statement.
‘It is important to #IncludeMeTOO because ………..’

We welcome the support of schools and NGO’s to assist and encourage as many children and youth with disabilities across the globe to participate.

With signed videos it would be great if you can add captions or subtitles if possible or have an interpreter add voice over. You can also forward the text and our team can add to the videos in English .

Any videos sent in with community languages can you also send a translation in English as this will assist us to subtitle the videos.

Please email your video to us at im2@includemetoo.org.uk or direct message us via twitter @includemetoo you can also forward us your video via whatsapp to +44 7940367753

When sending or posting your video to us or on social media please remember to hashtag #IncludeMeTOO #NowIsTheTime #DisabilitySummit

If you have any further questions please do get in touch with us via email: im2@includemetoo.org.uk

What next? Get filming on you smart phones, with your schools and friends and let’s together share how we can build a Disability Inclusive & Safe Society for all.

Include Me TOO and the British Council in consultation with UK Department of International Development and International Disability Alliance are supporting disabled youth to have their say as they represent their peers, disabled children and youth from around the globe. Include Me TOO take a social model approach which incorporates a Equality, Diversity and Inclusion method in our work supporting social model terminology and the Single Equalities Act 2010 in the UK.

The terminology Include Me TOO will be using leading up to and during the Civil Society Forum and Global Disability Summit will reflect UNCRDP terminology in line with communication associated with the events.

Disabled Young People from across the Globe gathered at the First ever ‘Commonwealth Disabled Youth Roundtable event’ during CHOGM in London

Include Me TOO, a national (United Kingdom-based) charity celebrated their 10th Anniversary this year during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018 held in London. During the CHOGM Summit the charity organised the first ever  Commonwealth Disabled Youth Roundtable Event as part of the‘Commonwealth Include Me 2’ joint project led by Include Me TOO with the Commonwealth Youth Council to increase the inclusion, rights and participation for disabled children and young people from the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) represents 1.2 billion young people from across 53 countries of the Commonwealth.

The roundtable event took place at the House of Lords as an official side event for the Commonwealth Forums Summit 2018 and hosted by The Hon Baroness Uddin and The Hon Lord Holmes.

It was a privilege to host the first ever Commonwealth Disabled Youth Event on behalf of CHOMG, given that 60 percent of the Commonwealth population is under the age of 30 years. Include Me TOO were instrumental in bringing together youth delegates from different parts of the world to the House of Lords as the event marked a step in the right direction for disabled youth to have a seat around the table and discuss issues that matter to them. The Hon Baroness Uddin

I was delighted to attend the Commonwealth Disabled Youth Roundtable event in Parliament this week.  The presentations given by the young people from across the Commonwealth were excellent and packed with insight.  They provided great hope for the future. The Hon Lord Chris Holmes

Disabled young people representing Uganda,Tanzania, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Botswana, Bangladesh and United Kingdom presented in topics which mattered to them and their peers, highlighting key issues impacting on disabled young people from their respective Commonwealth member countries. The focus was upon the Global Sustainable Development Goals ensuing disabled persons are not left behind. The presentations covered:

  • inclusive and fair quality education which promotes lifelong learning opportunities for disabled persons
  • addressing additional disadvantages disabled girls and women experience in particular when working towards their inclusion in the Gender Equality agenda
  • disabled persons and employment, improving access, support and negative attitudes in the workplace
  • highlighting key barriers and challenges disabled children and young people experience in Commonwealth communities regarding their rights, participation and inclusion
  • the importance of planning and implementing an inclusive accessible society, inc suitable toileting and changing places, inclusive playgrounds, sport and leisure facilities, public services.

‘It was a real privilege to hear directly from young people across the Commonwealth on the challenges and issues they face as young people with disabilities. I was inspired and moved by their personal journeys and the work they are now doing to seek justice and equality in their home countries. There were lots of important lessons and reflections to take forward to the DFID-hosted Global Disability Summit in July this year’ said Richard Boden (Deputy Team Leader and Summit Policy Lead, Disability Inclusion Team – Department for International Development)

‘The Commonwealth roundtable event, presented young people as change makers who have a clear understanding of the issues which impact them and their peers and solutions to increase disability inclusion, rights and participation for all. We are looking forward to working with disabled youth from across the Commonwealth strengthening their voices and impact on local and global issues including the Global Goals to be achieved by 2030 as well as the Disability Summit taking place this July 2018 in London with DFID. We will be working with our young ambassadors, disabled young activists and partners to establish the Commonwealth Disabled Youth Roundtable as a key component for future CHOMG’s summits.   said Parmi Dheensa – Include Me TOO Executive Director

During Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting they agreed on several issues regarding disability rights and inclusion:

  • Full social, economic and political participation of all including disabled persons recognising it is essential for democracy and sustainable development
  • Quality education and learning guided by the principle to leave no one behind, they agreed to support marginalised groups, which includes children with disabilities to progress through secondary education and training through appropriate policies, advocacy and strategic partnerships.
  • Address the stigma around disability in all its forms ensuring no one is left behind
  • Encouraging all member countries to ratify and implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Include Me TOO look forward to continuing working with disabled young people from across the Commonwealth to ensure their voices are heard and the issues which affect them are present on the agendas and discussions encouraging progressive action for disability inclusion and implementation of disabled persons rights.

First ever ‘Commonwealth Disabled Youth Roundtable event’ taking place in London with Disabled young people from the Commonwealth

Include Me TOO, a national (United Kingdom-based) charity celebrate their 10th Anniversary this year, the charity also developed the first ever National Charter of Rights for Disabled Children and Young People 10 years ago. The Charter received support by many national charities, government departments, government ministers and Prime Ministers signing up as signatories and providing statements of support for the charter in 2008.

Include Me TOO an award winning charity has led on disabled children and young people, and their families, from a diverse range of backgrounds participation and inclusion for over a decade, with innovative and creative approaches. The charity is committed in promoting and supporting social justice, equality, inclusion and the rights of disabled children and young people.

This year London is hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)2018 and the Commonwealth Forums Summit is one of the forums being held during the week commencing April 16th 2018. During the summit the first ever Commonwealth Disabled Youth Roundtable Event has been organised by the charity as part of the‘Commonwealth Include Me 2’ joint project led by Include Me TOO with the Commonwealth Youth Council to increase the inclusion, rights and participation for disabled children and young people from the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) represents 1.2 billion young people from across 53 countries of the Commonwealth.

The roundtable event is taking place at the House of Lords, on Monday 16th April 2018 as an official side event for the Commonwealth Forums Summit 2018and hosted by The Hon Baroness Uddin and The Hon Lord Holmes.

‘I’m a passionate supporter of improving life chances and opportunities for disabled people to live the life they want to lead. I know many other Queens Young Leaders, Commonwealth Youth Award nominees, and Associate Fellows of the Royal Commonwealth Society, agree with me – with disability being the issue most prioritised by Queens Young Leaders when last surveyed. There is real passion among young people to make a positive change, and the institutions of the Commonwealth must channel that passion into real action.’ said Jonathan Andrews – Queens Leader and Young Ambassador (Include Me TOO)

There will be presentations by disabled young people representing the Commonwealth discussing the Global Sustainable Developmet Goals (SDG’s) including disabled young Ambassadors, Lucy Watts, Jonathan Andrews, Saliha Rashid, Paul Ntulila, Vibhu Sharma and Honey Jones representing Include Me TOO. Young people will be sharing their views and perspectives from their countries regarding issues affecting disabled young people and increasing representation and involvement of disabled young people in the Commonwealth.

We are delighted to have the support of the Commonwealth Youth Forum and the Commonwealth Youth Council as we host a momentous roundtable event strengthening the application of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and building upon the National Charter of Rights for Disabled Children and Young People we produced with young disabled people which gathered many signatories from government and NGO’s a decade ago. Being the first Commonwealth Disabled Youth roundtable and providing them with an international platform to share their views and be heard is certainly a positive move for progress, inclusion and participation. We are looking forward to the event with all our partners and building upon the aim of this occasion with the Commonwealth.’   said Parmi Dheensa – Include Me TOO Executive

For further information please contact us via Email: dot@includemetoo.org.uk

Contact number: 01902 399888/01902 711604