Honey Jones BCyA is a 16 year old British Actress and a Human rights advocate.Honey was awarded the Include Me TOO Creative Arts Award for her work mixing Acting and Advocacy at 11 years old in Birmingham UK. In the years following Honey has worked with Plan International UK to share what it’s like to grow up as a young Autistic woman in the UK today, gained the lead role of Layla in the Guardian Newspapers Autism and Girls award winning Virtual reality film, participated in the National Autistic Society’s Playmobil advert for World Autism awareness week, spoken at the United Nations Geneva General assembly in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the CRPD, for which she was awarded the British Citizen youth award at the House of Lords in 2016. Honeys works to fully and proactively support the UKs mission to achieve global sustainable development goal 5 for gender equality for all.
I am honoured and proud to be an ambassador of Include Me TOO as I want to help raise the voices and experiences of young people with disabilities in the UK today.
I was born in Melbourne and currently based in Canberra, Australia. I have recently graduated with an MSc in Business Analysis and Strategic Management at The University of Manchester. I have volunteered in South Africa, twice undertaken research in Asia with the first time in India and second was in Malaysia, China and Vietnam, and I have attended Global Youth Forums in Germany and the recent CYF. I was appointed as one of the 2016 – 2018 Commonwealth Youth Council’s Vice President’s lead advisors on the design and delivery of the I Am Able campaign, and at present the Australian Youth Coordinator of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and currently employed with a Government Service Provider. I have experienced some of the challenges that people with disabilities encounter on a daily basis, whether it’s in education and employment. I have joined Include Me TOO as an Ambassador as I am passionate about strengthening and leading the global movement of where it was reported by UNICEF in 2013 that the number of children with disabilities had ranged between 93 million and 150 million. I was once of those young people. These alarming statistics indicate we need to collectively through global efforts ensure that there is Global Youth Disability Summit, an opportunity where young people lead their destiny, their futures through taking a powerful stance on where their voices that aren’t heard are heard, the eyes that can’t see can see, the ones that aren’t able are able. More importantly ensure every child doesn’t get left behind.
My aspiration for Include Me TOO is to expand their operations and advocate through partnerships and collaboration with driving the international development agenda through Australia, New Zealand and UK through into the Pacific Islands. This drive will increase the resilience in local communities, prosperity in Small Island States and create a platform where there is inclusion and participation of disabled children and young people, especially with achieving UN SDG 4 and 8.
Role models give children an idea of what they could be – and for disabled children and young people, what better role models can there be but others like them succeeding? Every child should have the chance to see themselves in whatever path they want to take and achieve whatever their talents allow, regardless of disability. I made it into the legal profession being completely open about autism, seeing this not as a weakness but a strength and opportunity. Since then I’ve acted as an advocate across business for employing autistic people and utilising our talents productively – and showing companies that it’s good business sense, as well as socially conscious, to hire people with disabilities. As a Queen’s Young Leader, European Campaigner of the Year, and the joint first person to represent the UK at the Commonwealth Youth Awards, I have spread this message far and wide – but it can always be spread further. And I want as many companies as possible to understand these benefits, especially given the low autism employment rate and the talent being wasted as a result.
As an Include Me TOO ambassador, I look forward to working with disabled young people across the UK and Commonwealth, improving their wellbeing, opportunity, and life chances.
Lucy Watts MBE Youth Ambassador
Lucy Watts MBE is a 24 year old young adult with a progressive, life-limiting neuromuscular disease, causing complex medical needs. Lucy is a disability activist, patient leader and palliative care advocate, working both within the UK and on an international scale. Lucy received an MBE in 2016 for services to young people with disabilities.
I am delighted to become a Young Ambassador for Include Me TOO, an incredible charity and look forward to supporting them with their work, especially from a palliative care perspective. I hope Include Me TOO will continue their pioneering work and really ensure BAME children, young people and families have equal opportunities and access to care, including palliative care, from the point of diagnosis, as well as achieving the best quality of life possible.
Paul Ntulila is passionate about changing the world, ambitious, a leader, motivational speaker, a D/deaf and disabled campaigner and a trainee trainer. In 2012 Paul achieved his bachelor’s degree in Politics and Deaf Studies at the University of Central Lancashire. He has also been actively involved in various voluntary work and projects. He is currently the Chair of Newham Deaf Forum and is also a Board Member of the charity Inclusion London. In the past, Paul was the co-chair of the Youth Panel and sat on the Diversity Board for the London 2012 Olympics and was a Board Member for the Mayor Fund for London. Paul is currently undertaking an MSc London in Diplomacy, Statecraft and Foreign Policy at the Loughborough University London and has been lucky enough to have been awarded a bursary for this course from the university and is the first Deaf person to do so. Paul enjoys travelling and has visited a number of countries, this has increased his interest in seeing more of the world taking on new challenges and exploring various cultures, languages and particularly societies and how they differ from country to country. Paul currently resides in London, England.
I want to support Include Me TOO as an ambassador and I consider myself very privileged to have been asked to represent the UK. As a Deaf person myself I want to find ways to improve the quality of life for Deaf and disabled people globally. I see a world where we are on an equal footing with others and where Deafness and disability are not seen as a barrier to inclusion as full citizens of the world. As a Deaf person who uses sign language I want to show other young Deaf people how empowered they can be and that through using sign they can have access to knowledge and information to allow them to be equal and achieve whatever goals in life they set themselves. As I know growing up finding role models like me was difficult particularly as a young Deaf black man and I think it’s important that everyone can find role models they can look up to and aspire to be like.
Throughout my life I’ve had to fight to feel accepted. Starting at school, for my peers to see me as an equal. To be invited to birthday parties. I was 14 years old when I attended my first sleep over. Then the struggle continued into higher education. My first choice of universities could not provide the support I needed on my degree meaning I couldn’t attend. Feeling accepted in my first employment, having to prove to my work colleagues I was just as good at teaching as they were! Even today as an actress having to fight for more on screen disabled talent and not having to wait months between auditions.
No one should have to fight to feel included within society. Inclusion isn’t just inviting me to a party it’s asking me to dance and that’s why I am proud to be an ambassador for Include Me TOO.
I am currently a student at the University of Edinburgh studying MSC Inclusive Education. Whilst I was completing my Under Graduation in English Literature at the St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi I convinced the board to provide question papers to the visually challenged students in an accessible format in Microsoft Word which allows them to write their answers independently on the computer with the help of JAWS. I was the first student in the country to have written my board exams absolutely independently as against the traditional practice of amanuensis. The enabling provision is now in place, and I am proud that my juniors are now availing and benefiting from this gigantic policy change that I had brought about. I have studied in the inclusive education system, and look forward to effectively contributing to persons with disabilities, especially, the visually challenged. My areas of interest for work are education, equal opportunity, social and peer inclusion, besides proper and adequate mentoring for youth with visual impairment. I have represented the concerns of the visually challenged in several international conferences, such as those organized by the Spanish National Organization of the Blind, the World Blind Union, the International Council of Education for People with Visual Impairment, Asian Blind Union. I also represented India in the Fifth Session of State Parties to United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in a side event organized by Leonard Cheshire Disability. I am a member of the Global Partnership of Education of Children with Disabilities Youth Council (UNICEF), since 2013, and currently serve as its co-chair, besides being a member of the Leadership and Mentoring Taskforce of the GPCwd. I have also been recently awarded an Associate Fellowship of the Royal Commonwealth Society and chosen a member of the Youth and Leadership committee of the World Blind Union.
I am joyous to join Include Me TOO as an Ambassador. Among the many objectives of the charity, the ones that are very true to my heart are ensuring and promoting equality and realization of rights for youth with disabilities. I am captivated by the fact that the organization enables provision of peer support and goes beyond the boundaries of international borders in making this available. I joined Include Me TOO, because these are values that I hold close to my heart. It is also important that they have a reasonable voice in all decision making relating to them, and that they are aware of the ways to voice their concerns. Include Me TOO, does just that; its objective is to ensure that these people have relevant involvement in decision making concerning them. What also fascinates me about Include Me TOO is its objective on increasing disability awareness, which is very essential, and which would be made possible by so many young people with disabilities coming together, and strategizing doing it and then implementing it in their countries. As an Ambassador, I would like to be involved in contributing to the fulfilment of Include Me TOO objectives. I would also aspire for Include Me TOO to initiate a mentoring programme where we mentor young people with disabilities to become advocates of issues concerning them.
Devika Malik was born with hemiplegia, which causes paralysis to one side of the body. She has overcome the challenges of her disability to become an international para-athlete with 8 national & 3 international medals, a psychologist and co-founder of the Wheeling Happiness Foundation. The foundation promotes inclusion, disability sports, raises funds for people with disabilities and promotes better access and equality for those facing physical, emotional and social challenges. The foundation believes in the transformative power of sport and has helped over 50 persons with disabilities to become sportspersons, thereby focusing on abilities beyond disability and enabling self-reliance & emotional well-being. Devika is currently pursuing her PhD, the first Indian to be pursuing academic research (PhD) in the field of disability sports for women in India. Her efforts have been recognised nationally and internationally, this includes receiving the Queen’s Young Leaders Award from Queen Elizabeth II in London, having an audience with the Prime Minister of India and being a Speaker at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018, in presence of 53 Heads of States and the British Royal Family
As a young person with disability working in the field of inclusion, I am very happy to support Include Me Too, as my organisation Wheeling Happiness also shares a similar vision. Include Me Too provides people with disabilities a platform for self-advocacy. I look forward to continue working with Include Me Too towards universal inclusion, integration and equal access to opportunities.
Ummy is a Tanzanian and has a physical disability. She graduated from University of Dar es salaam with Hon Bachelor Degree in Political Science and Public Administration. Ummy is the Chairperson of Tanzania Federation of Disabled Peoples Organisations (SHIVYAWATA), a trainer for entrepreneurs, motivational speaker and youth advisory panellist at DFID.
As a young person with disabilities I am delighted to become a youth Ambassador for Include Me TOO as the charity supports and increase the voice for the voiceless young person and children with disabilities. By joining the efforts of Include Me TOO we reach out to more youth and children with disabilities to get involved on things that matter to them, sharing experiences and solutions. Personally I am able to share my lived experience to empower other young people with disabilities especially young girls who are facing multiple discrimination. My Aspiration is seeing a world where people with disabilities have equal access to all social services and respected and support the vision of Include Me TOO for inclusive safe society.
Sarah is a Criminal Justice, Human Rights and Development Practitioner, Co Founder and Programs Director at Gifted Community Centre-GCC that target children and youth with disabilities from the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya to mentor, educate, inform, empower and advocate. Sarah believes that, through mentorship, mentees with disability are able to fully unleash their untapped potential for both personal and professional growth. For long, persons with disabilities have been marginalized due to lack of accessible information and choices. It is from this that Sarah endeavours to bring closer information on both local and international opportunities and services to persons with disabilities-‘Access to information is a prerequisite to access to opportunities’. Sarah Sarah has won different awards and recognitions, served in different positions and still continues to, for the welfare and betterment of the lives of youth with disabilities. She has previously been awarded as Queen’s Young Leader Runners Up, Commonwealth Associate, Kectil fellow, Leonard Cheshire Disability Young Voice Member, and Global Youth Ambassador for TheirWorld where she advocates for every child’s with disability right to quality education. Sarah is currently serving as the Youth Council Advisor for the Global Business Coalition on Education where she contributes in closing the youth skills gap, especially youth with a disability.
There is such a strong sense of belonging at Include Me TOO, and I am super excited to be part of the movement that is unleashing the full potential of children and youth with disabilities. A movement that is turning up and down the tables to have the voices of youth with disabilities right in front, and not just to stare, but taking hold of that microphone to say it as it is. Include Me TOO is a place that values and respects the human rights of persons with disabilities, sees the potential in them, and goes forward to realize them. Most exciting is that, what Include Me TOO does is what we are doing here in Kenya through Gifted Community Centre, and I am certain they will mentor us to see the lives of young people with disabilities in Kenya become better. Such a collective action will go a long way in ensuring an inclusive and empowered society, globally. Thank you Include Me TOO for seeing the potential in me.
Joseph is Tanzanian and is a young person with albinism who is passionate about Human Rights and specifically the rights of disabled people around the world. He is a disability activist, speaker, advocate, social media influencer on disability issues, a game changer and a social volunteer. He recalls how he was raised by strong parents who taught him to believe in himself and working hard He has been in the disability field for over 10 years advocating and campaigning on human rights violations aiming to eradicate violations particularly for persons with albinism. He is a passionate disability activist and believes everyone deserves a good quality of life and places importance and value on advocacy for social justice, equality and rights for disabled people. As he strives towards contributing with likely minded individuals and organisations who want to see disabilities not as something to pity, but disabled persons as equal valuable citizens of the world.
I have decided to become an Ambassador for Include Me TOO, because this amazing charity supports and promotes social justice, equality and rights for all disabled children and young people internationally. This will give me an opportunity to improve my communication, presentation, public speaking, networking and leadership skills. Furthermore I will develop extensive knowledge and experiences on disability issues, which will be beneficial for my personal growth as an Ambassador and journey through for inclusive world. Through Include Me TOO, I will be able to present disability rights in an international platform and getting much knowledge to tackle violence against disability. I am strongly aware of the importance and work that this wonderful charity does and am committed to helping Include Me TOO to tackle challenges so that families from all backgrounds and communities can have the support they need. I am looking forward to supporting the charity’s message of disability inclusion, diversity and equality.
Shani Dhanda is an award winning event manager, global voyager, disability role model and campaigner. Shani is also the founder of the Diversability Card, the official discount card for people with disabilities in the UK. Shani was born with a rare genetic condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), more commonly known as Brittle Bones. Over her childhood, she spent many summers in hospital with broken legs and learning how to walk again, until she was offered pioneering treatment to strengthen her bone density in her teenage years. In 2011, Shani graduated from the University of Wolverhampton with a degree in Event and Venue Management, and her dissertation around barriers to accessible leisure was published by an American charity. Shani is an accomplished public speaker delivering talks at hospitals and to medical professionals, conferences and schools as part of her efforts to challenge perceptions and change attitudes around disability, especially in Asian communities. Shani has travelled to 28 countries, she is a role model for the UK’s national disability charity Scope and has helped to raise over £400,000 through organising fundraising events with local charities and support groups.
I am thrilled to be supporting Include Me TOO in my role as Ambassador. I have seen first-hand the amazing work they do, with so much passion at the heart of everything they deliver. There is a clear lack of provision for people with disabilities, who belong to ethnic minority communities, their needs are often overlooked and many lack opportunities to reach their full potential. I feel passionately about challenging perceptions and changing attitudes towards disability, Parmi and her team have already created a phenomenal difference to so many individuals’ lives and I know that together we can continue to make a difference and lasting change.