It’s important to change attitudes and rules so that children who have disabilities can go to school, play and take part in activities that every child wants to do.
Unfortunately, many people don’t treat children and adults with disabilities fairly. You have a role in making your community more inclusive. You can start in your own home, community, school and/or workplace to change the minds of family, friends, teachers and colleagues.
There are many things you can do to teach others about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the potential of young people with disabilities.
1. Create posters of people enjoying human rights that include people with disabilities. Post them around your community. Add a slogan such as “Inclusion for All!” to the bottom of your posters.
2. Speak to your families and friends about the rights of persons with disabilities, including children.
3. Demonstrate awareness through action. If you hear anyone talking disrespectfully of a person with disabilities say something to them. Remember always to educate others respectfully.
4. Approach store owners, schools, community buildings and ask that they put in a ramp or make their buildings accessible.
5. Document rights violations that you witness in your community in a safe manner (e.g., by keeping the names of the victims anonymous) and use these to raise awareness and to bring about change.
6. Approach your local or national newspapers and ask them to report on a story on the rights of persons with disabilities and the value of inclusion.
7. Create a newsletter or column in the local newspaper about disability rights.
8. Stand up for your rights! Self-advocacy can be the most powerful means of raising awareness. Achieve your rights, be independent, live in the community, participate in school and lead by example.
9. Speak out against barriers in your community and propose alternatives to remove them.
10. Create partnerships with decision-makers to get allies for your cause.
Source: It's about abilities, 2008