Youth with disability in the heart of the Annual Convention on Inclusive Growth

8 May 2017
Participants of the side event discussing the challenges of young people with disabilities

EDF together with its members took active part in the Annual Convention on Inclusive Growth and organised a side event to raise awareness about young people with disabilities.

The Annual Convention on Inclusive Growth was organised by the European Commission on 24 April 2017 bringing together policy makers and civil society to discuss what the European Union (EU) can do to ensure that all citizens reap the benefits of truly inclusive growth. Workshops, side events and speed-dating gave young people and representatives of the civil society the opportunity to discuss and propose steps towards the social inclusion of young people in society.

EDF, together with the European Association of Service Providers (EASPD), the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), the European Union of Deaf (EDU), the European Union of Deaf Youth (EUDY) and the International Federation of Spina Bifida and Hydro Cephalus (IFSBH) organised a side event focusing on the social inclusion of young people with disabilities and the solutions that exist for them to reach their full potential.

The side event was entitled 'Eddie’s journey to choice and control: a case for independent living in the city'. Two possible versions of Eddie’s story were presented during the side event. In the first case, Eddie, a young person with disability, lives in an institution and many of his wishes cannot be achieved; seeing his family when he wants, go to school and study what he wants, go to the cinema, go on a journey with his friends etc. are impossible for Eddie. In the second case, Eddie lives a life like anyone else, he goes to school with other people of his age, he studies what he wants, he enjoys his hobbies and make his own choices about his life.  

The participants were challenged to find what it takes for Eddie and every other young person with disability in our society to have an independent life. The importance of personal assistance and community-based services, education and accessibility was highlighted by the participants as crucial in order for Eddie to be a young man who has control over his life.

Follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #ACIG2017.



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