The ‘Missing Voices’ of youth with disabilities
Youth with disabilities around the globe have been empowered to shine a spotlight on the challenges and stigma they face, through a new web-documentary series launched by international charity Leonard Cheshire.
Bringing to life a year’s worth of hard work, these films reflect the realities that people with disabilities experience on a daily basis.Dr Ola Abu Alghaib, Director of Global Influencing and Research
Produced by communications agency On Our Radar in partnership with citizen reporters from the charity’s ‘2030 and Counting’ project, the short films bring into sharp focus the harsh realities of life for many young people with disabilities.
Youth with disabilities are currently one of the most marginalised groups around the world and the project aims to ensure that no one is left behind as work continues on the potential realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The ‘2030 and Counting’ initiative empowers its citizen reporters to collect disability data from the grassroots level in order to discover and share real-life stories. The ‘Missing Voices’ series portrays just some of the powerful accounts found by reporters in Kenya, Zambia and the Philippines, depicting the daily challenges and discrimination faced by people with disabilities, particularly relating to health, education and employment.
- Czarinah dreams of a stable job, but her disability is seen as a barrier by employers in the Philippines
- Kristelle overcame similar discrimination and although now in employment she faces physical barriers on her daily commute
- In Zambia, all Rebecca wants to do is attend school every day, but a lack of appropriate transport in her local area means she misses out on full time education
- Regina and George highlight the barriers of both mind and matter when it comes to education in Kenya
- Margaret’s emotive tale of her pregnancy shows the huge stigmas people with disabilities face in relation to healthcare even from their own doctors.
‘The youth-led ‘2030 and Counting’ programme highlights the importance of placing youth with disabilities at the centre of disability and development discussions. Bringing to life a year’s worth of hard work, these films reflect the realities that people with disabilities experience on a daily basis,’ comments Dr Ola Abu Alghaib, Director of Global Influencing and Research at Leonard Cheshire.
‘The leave no one behind agenda can not be achieved unless we ensure that the voices of persons with disabilities are heard and considered in all future thinking.’
Judy Heumann, global ambassador for Leonard Cheshire who met some of the youth reporters at the start of the project, commented:
‘The power of disabled youth telling their stories is critical both for the story teller and those with and without disabilities who are learning from these stories.
‘The goals and aspirations of disabled youth are the same as for all youth. The difference is, too frequently both disabled youth and adults are not given the opportunities to equally participate in education, employment and community living because of stigma and discrimination.
‘Personal stories can help people become empowered and are changing communities around the world. Disabled youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow!’
Paul Myles, Head of Editorial at On Our Radar, added:
‘The ‘2030 and Counting’ project was a unique collaboration, providing a platform for youth living with disabilities to share their stories in their own words and in their own time.
‘Their reports were raw and powerful accounts of the daily challenges youth with disabilities face at school, in the workplace, at the doctors and beyond.’
Continuing momentum of the project, Leonard Cheshire will be hosting and attending a number of youth-related events at the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New York from 11-13 June.
This includes an event on children with disabilities and inclusive education one of the citizen reporters featured in the videos, Regina, will be taking part in panel discussions about the key findings from ‘2030 and Counting’.
She will also be taking part in discussions about the technological components of ‘2030 and Counting’ at a different event around the empowerment of youth with disabilities through technology, partnerships and intergenerational dialogue.
For further information and high res images please contact Erin O’Reilly via erin.o’firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
The ‘2030 and Counting’ project aims to connect youth with disabilities and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and empower them to report on and advocate for disability rights in three countries: Kenya, Zambia and the Philippines. Youth with disabilities are encouraged to use mobile phones in order to capture their own experiences as well as those of their peers in relation to three of the SDGs: health and wellbeing, education and employment. Data, including videos, are then uploaded to an online reporting hub for storage and analysis.
Leonard Cheshire is an international organisation with over 65 years’ experience, five regional offices in Africa and Asia in a deeply rooted network of over 200 Leonard Cheshire Global Alliance members in 54 countries. Leonard Cheshire works worldwide to support individuals to live, learn and work as independently as they choose, whatever their ability. Led by people with experience of disability we work to create a society in which every person is equally valued with equal opportunities to achieve their full potential.
On Our Radar
On Our Radar are a communications agency, working with marginalised communities on participatory media and storytelling projects.
The 2030 and Counting project was a unique collaboration, providing a platform for youth living with disabilities to share their stories in their own words and in their own time. Their reports were raw and powerful accounts of the daily challenges youth with disabilities face at school, in the workplace, at the doctors and beyond.
The Leonard Cheshire Disability Data Portal
Leonard Cheshire and the Department for International Development launched a data portal at the Global Disability Summit on 24 July. The Leonard Cheshire Disability Portal aims to tackle gaps in data and provide detailed information related to a range of specific disabilities.