Young persons with disabilities real actors in the EU society?

Young persons with disabilities real actors in the EU society?

Blog post written by Loredana Dicsi – Membership, Internal Communication and Youth Officer

Today we are celebrating again the International Youth Day. With this occasion I took a moment of reflection. It is also the European Year of Youth this year. So much attention given to young people. The “future generation”, the “next generation”, the “our future”, “the ones of tomorrow”…

Young people are here and now and they need to be involved from the beginning. Our society that is so focused in the present, that are not thinking of what they leave to the ones to come is not leaving for sure a good heritage behind. Thus, to ensure that young people will have a decent adulthood and then can enjoy of their retirement when time comes like their parents, need to participating in shaping the laws that rule our society today. Tomorrow is too late, and the rules of play should be reflecting the entire society young people too.

And what about young people with disabilities? They are here, somewhere pending between the two movements the youth and the disability one. Searching their place, because none of them are yet inclusive enough. The youth one limits them often with the age limit, because by the time young people with disabilities reach out there it is time to pass to something else, too old, always asking for derogations to participate and that is embarrassing, annoying and time consuming. And the disability movement? Finds young people too young, not experienced enough, etc.

I am happy to see a bit of progress. In the European Year of Youth EDF managed to bring more visibility of young people with disabilities. Representatives are part of the Stakeholder Group working on this initiative, the calendar activity has options to inform of accessibility features for activities, EDF is more consulted on youth issues by some EU institutions, and youth organisations are coming more and more to consult our organisation and our Youth Committee. We are also proud that the Commission invited our young people in three of the 9 youth dialog programmed, it is not much but much more then before. Each small step brings young people closer to their place in the society.

At EDF we also progressed, our newly elected board has the youngest person in our history. A 32 year old young man that was very active in his organisation and in EDF activities convinced our members that is ready to stand up for our rights. I hope in the next board there will be even more young people and in all governance, not only in the Youth Committee.

I wish all young people with disabilities courage to stand up for their rights, energy and tenacity to slalom between the two movements and link them, creativity and enthusiasm to blow a new wind of innovation and power to strength the Disability movementand above all not to wait for their time, their time is now and always, there are part of this society today already!

Happy International youth day! Let’s make each of the day a day for every one and bring the younger generation in the centre and give them the attention they deserve at all times! Leave no one behind!