CCYDN London 2019

The Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network (CCYDN) convened its first strategic meeting in London during August 2019, following its official launch during Commonwealth Week in March 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.

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

GDS Children & Young People’s Report & Charter Launch

Children and young people with disabilities across the world share key messages regarding their inclusion, rights and representation as Now Is the TIME. 

 Include Me TOO are a UK-based charity that has supported the inclusion, rights and empowerment of young people with disabilities and their families for over a decade, increasing young people with disabilities’ support networks and being recognised for the value they bring through their lived experiences as experts and changemakers

During the Commonwealth Week on Tuesday 12th March at the Place of Westminster the Global Disability Summit Children and Young People’s Report, and the Global Disability Children & Young People’s Charter were launched in partnership with International Disability Alliance, The Royal Commonwealth Society, the Commonwealth Secretariat and Leonard Cheshire.

Ana Arellano Chairperson of International Disability Alliance provided the keynote speech, followed by key messages shared from the report and the charter presented by Include Me TOO Youth Ambassadors Suleman Arshad, Joesph Migila, Sarah Mwikali, Honey Jones, Paul Ntulila, Devika Malik, Jack Milne and Jonathan Andrews. Regina Mwangi a young person representing Leonard Cheshire also presented on the 2030 and counting as a citizen reporter.

Michael Horner from the Department for International Development, Layne Robinson, Commonwealth Secretariat and Helen Jones, Royal Commonwealth Society, Chris Merit, World Merit were also amongst the speakers.

The report shares the contributions that were made by children and young people with disabilities representing *23 countries of which 20 countries are Commonwealth members during the Global Disability Summit which took place in July 2018.

I was proud to host the launch of Include ME TOO’s Global Disability Summit Children and Young People Programme Report in Parliament. It is a fantastic piece of work which the International Development Committee will be considering in detail as part of our inquiry into DFID’s work on disability.

 People with disabilities have been left behind for too long. If we are to meet the Global Goals it is crucial that we give voice to and empower young people with disabilities. That is why the work of Include Me TOO is so important in providing a platform for young people with disabilities from around the world to share their aspirations but also the challenges they experience in respect to their inclusion.’

Stephen Twigg MP Chair of the International Development Select Committee

Minister of State for International Development, Lord Bates said:
‘Young people and children with disabilities often struggle to be heard. It is great that Include Me TOO is giving them a platform and it is important that we listen.
“I am proud last year’s Global Disability Summit played such an important part in producing today’s report and its key messages will be carefully considered in our work going forward.’

There are 93 million children with disabilities who are least likely to have their voices heard and most likely left behind.  The report shares their authentic voices on many issues including: ending stigma and taboos associated with disabilities; inclusive education; opportunities and choices for economic empowerment; safeguarding and ending all forms of abuse and harmful practices; gender equality and how they wish to be included and represented.

Children and young people also shared the commitments they would wish to see in a charter to support their rights, inclusion, independence, equality, dignity and dreams.

The Global Disability Children and Young People’s Charter has 12 commitments which underpins the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, United Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Sustainable Development Goals.

‘We are proud to have had the opportunity to support the Global Disability Summit ensuring that the voices of children and young people were included. This has been captured in the report and the key messages they shared for their Global Disability Children and Young People’s Charter, which will certainly strengthen the Global Disability Summit themes delivery in regards to impacting positively on the lives of children and young people with disabilities.  

 Furthermore we are looking forward to continuing the development and increasing support for the Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society and working alongside the Commonwealth Secretariat to achieve inclusion, rights and representation of children and young people disabilities increasing reach and engagement across the Commonwealth to ensure their voices are heard, improve access and inclusion so they may reach their full potential and have their contributions, achievements recognised and valued.’

Parmi Dheensa (Include Me TOO Founder and Executive Director)

Commonwealth Children & Youth Disability Network (CCYDN), supported by Include Me TOO in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society was launched at the event marking the Commonwealth Week. The CCYDN is disabled young people’s led and aims to strengthening rights, inclusion, participation and representation;  increasing access and opportunities for disabled children and young people, to share their narratives, their achievements, reaching their potential and providing access to mentors, resources and an inclusive tomorrow.

‘The Commonwealth Secretariat, through its Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) will continue to support the Commonwealth Children & Youth Disability Network as a practical response to the 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 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 CYP will work with the all the relevant partners and agencies to give voice and space to children & young people with disabilities to lead their own agenda in the Commonwealth. #NowIsTheTime.’

Layne Robinson, Head of Social Policy Development, Commonwealth Secretariat.

‘The Royal Commonwealth Society has a strong record of working in support of diversity and inclusion and the empowerment of young people in the Commonwealth. We are excited to be supporting the voice of Commonwealth young people with disabilities through the youth-led Commonwealth Children & Youth Disability Network, and to be working with Include Me TOO and the Commonwealth Secretariat.’

Helen Jones MBE, Head of Programmes and Youth, RCS

Global Disability Summit Children & Young People’s Report

 ________________________________________________________________

Editor Notes:

 Global Disability Summit children and young people participated represented the following  *23 countries – Australia, Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Philippines, Canada, Mozambique, Rwanda, Czech Republic, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Mauritius, Maldives.

BACKGROUND:

During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April 2018,  the first ever Commonwealth Disability Youth Roundtable Event was organised and led by Include Me TOO.  Young people with disabilities representing Uganda, Tanzania, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Botswana, Bangladesh and United Kingdom presented topics which mattered to them and their peers. They highlighting the key issues impacting on young people with disabilities in their respective Commonwealth member countries.

It was vital to continue the discussions held during the Commonwealth Disability 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 children and young people during the Global Disability Summit (GDS). Include Me TOO led on the children and young people’s programme continuing with their youth-led approach via a youth-led roundtable, workshop, social media discussions, and presentations in plenaries throughout the Global Disability Summit. The Global Disability Summit was co-hosted by the UK government alongside the Government of Kenya and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) in London July 2018.

* Include Me TOO promotes the social model approach to disability and we usually use terminology such as ‘disabled young people’ and ‘disabled children’. However, during the Global Disability Summit 2018 where children and young people were consulted and participated, we used international language. This means within the Global Disability Summit Children and Young People’s Report and the Global Disability Children and Youth People’s Charter we have used the terminology ‘children and young people with disabilities’

Issued by Include Me TOO, Newhampton Arts Centre, Dunkley Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4AN

For further information and to get in touch for more details please contact us via

Email: dot@includemetoo.org.uk

Contact number: 01902 399888/01902 711604

Mobile: Dot Owen 07940367753

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:

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    

Disabled Champions come together to support National Summit in Birmingham for Disability Inclusion and Rights

World Health Innovation Summit, Include Me TOO and Birmingham City University have come together to build and strengthen a national platform for Disability Inclusion and Rights with a host of disabled champions. The national summit event is taking place on Saturday 18th November 2017, 10am to 4pm at Birmingham City University.

In the UK we have over 12 million disabled people of which over 800,000 are children under the age of 16 years.

This event marks the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 10th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration. The event will provide an insight to the numerous areas overlooked impacting on the lives of disabled people, sharing expertise, learning and inspiring to achieve the future we aim to achieve a Disability, Inclusive, and Safe Society for All.

Amongst our speakers are disability advocates and personalities Kamran Malik CEO Disability Rights UK, actress Sam Renke, journalist Mik Scarlet, award winning campaigner and presenter Adam Pearson and TEDx speaker and World Champion Para triathlon (swim, bike and run) Steve Judge.

‘The national summit will be providing a platform to review the challenges and the progress made over the last 10 years since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We aim to share ideas, create solutions and opportunities for building a Disability Inclusive Society. We are delighted to have such a diverse range of speakers sharing their knowledge, experiences and achievements. Furthermore they are supporting the event as they recognise to make real progress for disability rights and inclusion and the many issues the disabled community experience throughout their lifetimes a collective effort is crucial. This event is a start of a much needed conversation as we all have a role in creating a world where our diverse disabled community can truly have a sense of belonging and are valued’.
Parmi Dheensa Include Me TOO

‘In societies which function well, every single member of that society both contributes to and benefits from the collective energy and productivity created by everyone working together for the common good. Including everyone isn’t just the right thing to do, it actively strengthens and builds a sense of community and well-being throughout society. One in 15 of us are disabled, and often don’t feel properly included. We short- change all of us when we exclude even one person. Help us change that, come to WHIS Birmingham and help us start essential conversations to ensure that nobody gets left behind.’
Gareth Presch and Yvonne Newbold, World Health Innovation Summit

‘I’m proud to be an elected student officer who campaigns on behalf of students with disabilities, to ensure they get the best possible student experience, whilst they are studying at Birmingham City University.  Myself and my colleagues within BCUSU and the University, work hard to ensure Birmingham City University is a fully inclusive place to study’
Amanda McCabe, Disabled Students Officer for Birmingham City University’s Student Union (BCUSU)

The event topics will be covering:

  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP) what the reality is in UK
  • Inclusive technology supporting Independent Living, Support and Access
  • Building stronger foundations for Disability Inclusion through Media
  • Safeguarding and ending violence, and all forms of abuse against disabled children and adults   
  • How can we ensure we have disability inclusive implementation of the Global Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Increasing opportunities and choices to disabled persons inclusion and contribution towards sustainable economic growth and access to employment
  • Building a disability inclusive, safe and accessible society with inclusive transport and public spaces

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Issued by Include Me TOO, Newhampton Arts Centre, Dunkley Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4AN
For further information please contact us via email:im2@includemetoo.org.uk or visit the event page on our website.
Contact number: 01902 399888/01902 711604

A call to Government for a SEND Equality Review

A call to government for a SEND Equality review following a decade of failings to disabled children & families from diverse community backgrounds.

Charity is calling for the government to review the last 10 years of equality duties failings in SEND delivery to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Disabled Children Young People and their families.

BAME disabled children, young people and their families continue to be underrepresented in services uptake, participation and representative bodies. Furthermore have limited support to accessible information and advice.

During July 2016 House of Lords roundtable event Include Me TOO led on with Baroness Uddin a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Disability and All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism; Lord Chris Holmes, Chair of the Disability Committee at the Equality and Human Rights Commission and an Ambassador of Include Me TOO and partner organisation Equalities National Council, asking to readdress the balance of equality, race and disability.

The roundtable discussions highlighted concerns of SEND reform and delivery failing the Equality Duties in regards to the multiple characteristics BAME disabled children, young people and their families are protected under including the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child and Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities.

‘Whilst as diverse communities we need to increase disability awareness, acceptance, change attitudes and increase community support we also need to strengthen our voices in ensuring disabled children and their families are receiving support from services and having their needs met. Our main concerns and our involvement in this article was to highlight that substantial resources have been available over the last decade to improve services and support to disabled children and their families yet there are only a few pockets of practice which are seen as making progress regarding the needs of the BAME disabled children, young people and families. When resources are allocated to the BAME sector these are tokenistic small resources that are yet again to consult on how to improve BAME engagement and access, this is a waste of resources which could be allocated to strengthen the BAME sector who already are supporting these families and communities.

The bias culture needs to change and after a decade of meetings, advising on steering groups, highlighting the importance of equality and diversity with government officials and their strategic partners sadly there has been no progress to address the inequalities a generation of BAME disabled children, young people and their families have experienced and as a result the government and their partners in delivery have failed them. The barriers to diverse representation and contribution by having a ‘seat around the table’ are consistently made impossible surely this is an area which needs to be challenged as the strategic representatives and delivery partners for SEND do not represent the BAME sector of disabled persons, families and communities’. Parmi Dheensa (Include Me TOO Executive Director)

Include Me TOO are calling for a review to readdress the balance as a first step towards progress:

• Equality duties considered in decisions made by the DfE in regards to SEND policy, implementation and service delivery.

• Review of contracts and equality impact/outcome assessments of SEND programmes delivered since 2006 highlighting areas to meet ‘hard to reach’ communities.

• Review of the last 10 years of BAME representation in government level strategic decision making processes, advisory panels and delivery partners in the implementation of SEND

• Identify resources allocated specifically to reduce the inequalities of BAME disabled children, young people and their families to provide them with an equal chance.

• Review the last ten years national programmes such as Aiming High for Disabled Children, Parents and Carers participation, Early Support, Preparing for Adulthood, Short Breaks, SEND reform, Independent Supporters etc…

• Highlight lessons learnt and produce a disability equality and diversity strategy providing clear outcomes and tools to measure the needs of BAME disabled children, young people, young adults and their families are considered and supported.
Include Me TOO are further concerned that without real action and collaboration to readdress the balance within the existing mechanisms the barriers to the inclusion, participation, support and rights of BAME disabled children, young people and their families will continue.

For further details please do contact us on im2@includemetoo.org.uk Contact number 01902 711604 Mobile contact number 07940367753

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/08/midlands-mother-autistic-son-ingrained-minority-ethnic-prejudice

Include Me TOO and Commonwealth Youth Council

Strengthening The Participation and Inclusion of Disabled Young People Internationally.

Include Me TOO, a national (United Kingdom-based) charity, joined hands with the Commonwealth Youth Council, an international youth-led NGO, to advance mutual objectives.

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.

The Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC), as mandated by the Commonwealth Heads of Government as the official voice of the 1.2+ billion young people of the Commonwealth, have embarked on an 18-month campaign to promote the interests of youth with disabilities. Their priority areas are empowerment of young people with disabilities, both economically and as community leaders; recognition of the work of young PWDs; data collection about young PWDs. The CYC is supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat that recently launched the Global Youth Development Index and a clear call was made for age-disaggregated data. The CYC is going further to make a call for age, gender and disability disaggregated data so that no one feels invisible to evidence-based policy. Overall, the campaign seeks to change perceptions.

Both organisations are coming together to strengthen the participation, inclusion and rights of disabled young people internationally with Commonwealth member states. The partnership’s project titled ‘Commonwealth Include Me 2’ will also be promoting disability awareness and understanding aiming to increase the positive attitudes and acceptance as well as developing a platform for diverse representation of disabled role models. Another key areas of the project is increasing the involvement of disabled young people in the planning and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) 2030’s agenda.

Over the next year there are a host of activities to expect from this partnership supporting this year’s Commonwealth theme, a ‘peace-building’ Commonwealth, Include Me TOO and Commonwealth Youth Council will be hosting

  • Two Twitter chats on the 14th and 17th March 2017 at 1PM GMT (Commonwealth week) to discuss ‘Ending violence and abuse against women and girls with disabilities’ and ‘Disability inclusion, rights, participation what matters’.
  • A Roundtable discussion where are we currently in supporting disabled children and young people’s rights in the Commonwealth.
  • Video campaign gathering stories of disabled young people globally their aspirations and goals.