Three areas our youth reporters are looking to change

27 December 2018

One of our youth reportersAs part of our 2030 and counting project, here are the three topics our youth with disability reporters selected as a focus for their advocacy work. Youth with disabilities share the findings with us in their own words.

Healthcare

Our youth reporters found young people with disabilities were not routinely getting the same access to healthcare services as their non-disabled peers.

‘Disability is extremely diverse, and while some health conditions associated with disability result in poor health and extensive health care needs, all persons with disabilities have the general health care needs as everyone else.’ — Judith, Zambia

They encountered physical barriers that limited their access to healthcare services in general, and faced particular difficulties accessing sexual and reproductive health services.

‘Teenagers with disabilities accessing family planning services is not that easy for the reason that health service providers say we cannot engage in sexual activities.’ — William, Zambia. 

Education

Although education is seen as crucial to improving life chances, services are overall not meeting the needs of persons with disabilities. 

‘The policies are there, they exist. However, they are not implemented to the fullest so that challenges in every aspect of the disabled learners are met.’ — Kennedy, Zambia

Children and youth with disabilities all too often drop out of education, and classrooms are not being adapted adequately to meet needs. This can often be attributed to a lack of staff training.

‘Another challenge she faced was trying to read what was written on the board by the teachers.

‘Despite being seated at the front of the class she is still short sighted and could not read the writing due to the distance between her and the board.

‘Trying to explain this to her teachers and fellow classmates can be challenging.’  — Youth reporter, Kenya

Employment

Our youth reporters told us that employment provided a sense of self-worth. However, finding work was often difficult. 

‘People with disabilities have to work harder than non-disabled people to get their foot on the career ladder.’ — Judith, Zambia

Employers all too often made negative assumptions about the ability of persons with disabilities to work.

Youth with disabilities also reported that those who were in work feared losing their jobs, and many experienced discrimination in their workplaces.

‘She experienced bullying from her co-workers due to her disability… She requested to be transferred to another work station’ — Youth reporter, the Philippines

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