International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), statement by Mary Sayers, CEO of Children and Young People with Disability Australia

    Young people leading the way

    On this International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), we know young people with disability are and should be leading the way.

    IDPwD is a United Nations (UN) observed day celebrated internationally and is held on 3 December each year. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

    The theme of this year’s IDPwD is:

    “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”

    This year the Conference of State Parties (COSP) to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is being held of the week of IDPwD.

    Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) and Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) have worked together to make sure young people with disability from Australia have their say on an international stage at this annual conference during this important week. Australian delegates to the COSP include:

    • Tim Chan, young person with disability who has been involved in multiple CYDA youth forums and policy consultations
    • Cassandra Grey, young person with disability, law student, QAI volunteer, Co-Chair working group for design of Disability Inclusion Action Plan
    • Jocelyn Neumueller, young person with disability and CYDA Board member
    • Melanie Tran, young person with disability, Chair of CYDA’s National Youth Disability Summit Co-Design Committee, CYDA Board member
    • Jock Young, young person with disability, lawyer and QAI volunteer

    QAI and CYDA are hosting a side event at the UN Conference this Saturday 5th December at 10.00am AEDT “It all begins with education: Realising inclusive education in Australia and the roadmap to change. The five young Australians will be presenting, along with academics and advocacy organisations.

    Realising inclusive education requires from nations not only ideological commitment to the value and benefits of inclusivity, but a realistic strategy for creating change. At the side event we will be presenting the key pillars for change outlined in Driving change: A roadmap for achieving inclusive education in Australia developed by the Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education, a coalition of Australian organisations and young people with disability advocating for inclusive education.

    We encourage anyone who is interested in inclusive education and hearing what young people are calling for join us at this event on Saturday at 10.00am AEDT via Zoom.

    Finally, this year we have been enormously privileged to host the first ever National Youth Disability Summit in September and October. We have been pleased to publish a series of reports “What Young People Said” at the summit. This week we have released, What young people with disability said - Awareness, Access and Inclusion. We have also published What young people with disability said - Employment and What young people with disability said – Education.

    We also have a series of lived experience (LivedX) videos, profiling young people including, My Travels with Autism by Tim Chan, Developing Confidence in Yourself and Your Abilities by Tim Lachlan, Kindness Matters by Allycia Staples, Veiled Inequality: Deconstructing the "One Size Fits All Approach" in Inclusive Education by Poppy Mullins and A Disability Introduction to Transformative Justice by Kochava Lillit. These talks premiered at the 2020 National Youth Disability Summit.

    CYDA works for the time when every day the Australian community celebrates and includes children and young people with disability.

    CYDA celebrates children and young people with disability every day. On this day in particular, IDPwD, we encourage you to listen to young people with disability and their stories, experiences and ideas for an inclusive future.