This year, the Global Disability Summit will for the first time dedicate a whole day to youth with disabilities, with the aim of amplifying the concerns and ideas of the estimated 200 million young people with disabilities worldwide. The Global Disability Youth Summit 2022 will be co-hosted by the International Disability Alliance (IDA), UNICEF, and the Atlas Alliance (represented by Youth Mental Health Norway). All planning and decision-making around the summit is being led by youth with disabilities themselves, including the design of a novel ‘virtual 24-hour world tour’ format to encourage the participation of young people all over the world.
The Summit’s agenda reflects topics young people with disabilities have identified as being particularly important. As a result of this consultation, sessions will cover: inclusive education, healthcare, access to employment, new technologies, community inclusion, climate change, including young people in OPDs and youth with disabilities in mainstream organisations. The Summit will also showcase the incredible innovation of youth-led organisations throughout the pandemic, and how young people have created groups and activities to foster a vital sense of global community during this challenging time.
So what are the desired outcomes of GDS Youth? The Summit has the potential to deliver real, lasting change for youth with disabilities across the globe. Specifically, the event aims to: strengthen the movement and raise the voices of youth with disabilities at regional, national and global levels; to develop commitments relevant to youth with disabilities around the world; and to encourage OPDs to weave the needs of young people with disabilities into their advocacy work. A key outcome will be the Youth Charter for Change, which will sum up the commitments made on the 14 February before being handed over to the hosts of GDS 2022 on 16th February, the first day of the main summit.
In the month leading up to the Summit, GDS Youth launched 30 Days of Youth, a video series featuring young people from around the world talking candidly about their insights and experiences, covering topics such as: stigma and discrimination, and the importance of challenging misconceptions around disability.
Visit our YouTube channel to find out more.
Register your interest for the Youth Summit HERE.
Use our #CommitToChange Social Media Toolkit to raise awareness and confirm your support for disability rights.