'I am Able': The Commonwealth Youth Council's call for submissions
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The Commonwealth Youth Council is currently working on a two-year project, ‘I am Able’, to raise awareness of the lives of young people with disabilities across Commonwealth member states. The Commonwealth believes this is an important issue, as too often the voices, desires, needs and strengths of disabled people are overlooked, and we’re committed to tackling it.
We’ve already launched a Commonwealth-wide poetry competition, open to people aged 15-29, and held events across the Commonwealth to celebrate disabled people’s achievements; as well as planning an awards to recognize all kinds of achievements by people with disabilities.
We’re also launching toolkits on autism awareness, and the lives of women and LGBTI people with disabilities. These toolkits will involve interviews with people with lived experiences of these conditions, putting their voices centre-stage and for their personal understanding of these issues to inform our work, and the themes of the toolkits.
We value the diversity of the Commonwealth and want our booklets to reflect this, by representing people from all regions. We are particularly looking for young people (aged under 30) who feel comfortable writing about:
- Being autistic, or being on the autistic spectrum (e.g. having Asperger Syndrome) in Africa, the Caribbean or Asia
- Being a woman with disabilities in Africa, Asia or the Pacific
- Being an LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex) person with disabilities in Africa, Asia or the Pacific
These are regions which are currently underrepresented in our work, and it would be great to include your voices. You might want to share stories of your experience in employment, education or healthcare; or the wider social implications of being certain characteristics in your country or community.
The style of interviews will be similar to those in similar booklets, such as Ambitious about Autism’s toolkit on autism in the workplace and UNICEF’s digitally connected series.
If you’re under 30 in one of these regions with these personal experiences, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to hear from you. If you don’t fit these criteria or would rather not share your story, you can still help out by spreading the word! Please let others know, including via social media, so we can get as many people as possible involved.