How Do I’s COO Taryl Law and I were invited to attend the first Commonwealth Disabled Youth Roundtable event at the House of Lords.
The national disability charity Include Me Too, the Commonwealth Youth Council and Commonwealth Youth Forum gathered young people with disabilities and others who are passionate about disability to discuss how we can promote inclusion, support disability awareness and increase representation of disabled young people in the Commonwealth.
Taryl and I enjoyed the event because:
Young people with a diverse range of disabilities and from a diverse range of backgrounds were invited to voice their opinions and ideas. Anyone can be disabled so it is important for organisations to include disabled people of all backgrounds and incorporate intersectionality into their Diversity and Inclusion goals, so I'm glad many groups of people were represented at the roundtable.
Accessibility was raised as an important issue - the delegates discussed their own experiences with how lack of accessibility effects their everyday lives, even small things such as entering bathrooms or buildings.
Practical advice and solutions to problems were shared - from getting the public and private sector involved to support initiatives to get people with disabilities into education and employment to thinking up of creative ways to raise awareness about disability or making information more accessible for people with disabilities.
I was also excited to share my experience of how campaigns built to help people with disabilities make a world of difference to communities and individuals. If I had not taken part in Learning Disability Work Experience Week, an initiative that helped me get my first job, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the opportunities I have received with How Do I and Inclusive Employers, so I'm grateful to the disability activists who spoke at the roundtable for all their hard work.
The House of Lords and the other organisations involved in hosting this event took great steps to include young disabled people to make sure their voices were heard, I thank them and look forward to seeing more events like this to promote disability inclusion in the future.