Why we need to listen to young disabled people

Arthur, Change Maker

Arthur is one of our Change Makers. He tells us about dealing with everyday ableism and what changes he wants to see.

Youth reporting means our voices are heard. So many times in the media, I see reporters investigating an issue facing young people, but not listening to us or misinterpreting what we’re saying to them.

So having young people report on the issues affecting us it becomes more relatable and our views are properly represented and heard.

Many issues are facing young disabled people today, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

Arthur, one of our change makers

Why the little issues are so important

On a small scale, it’s things like not being able to move around due to poor pavements in your area. Not being able to access the local store because it has a step and the aisles are too narrow for a wheelchair.

Then you face not being able to go on field trips at school or college, because access has been treated as an afterthought. You’re excluded from PE due to teachers being unwilling to adapt lessons so that everyone can take part.

Dealing with everyday ableism

These things are part of a much bigger problem, which is everyday ableism. How else could attractions in the UK use health and safety as an excuse to deny disabled people access to things like rides? How else can media get away with having able-bodied actors “crip up”, rather than searching for talented disabled actors?

The biggest thing I want to achieve as a Change Maker is to stop it having a disability being a disadvantage. 

In particular, I want equal access to theme parks in the UK, and I want more representation in the media of disabled people. These are just two reasons why I became a Change Maker.