A man speaking to a semi-circle of volunteers holding white canes

Youth and volunteering

Two young men in a market carrying a cardboard box together with fruit and vegetables
Volunteers with disabilities helping the elderly carry bags for “Volunteering for a change”

So often, volunteering opportunities relating to disability are seen as volunteering to help persons with disabilities. However, innovations around the world are encouraging and supporting persons with disabilities to help others in need. Mexico-based Unidos Somos Iguales trains young people with and without disabilities to participate in social programmes as “allies”. Similarly “Volunteering for a Change”, a partnership between government and NGOs in Israel supports students /with disabilities to engage in meaningful volunteer work. Austria-based WeltWegWeiser has developed a framework for inclusive volunteer assignments in low-income countries. Finally, Empowerment Through Integration in Lebanon works to train young people with visual impairments through various measures to promote social inclusion.

The parallel session on Youth and Volunteering takes place on day 2 of the conference (21st February) at 10:45 in M3.

Improving the response of the criminal justice system to persons with disabilities

Persons with various disabilities may have unique problems when navigating the criminal justice system, which may be confusing and intimidating. Thankfully, there are projects around the world which support people in innovative ways.

An example card showing name, profile photo, and list of impairments following brain injury for example I have speech difficulties. Card includes a police logo and a phone number for criminal legal assistance.
Headway’s Brain Injury Identity Card

Headway, in the United Kingdom has created a nationally-recognised Brain Injury Identity Card which enables fair treatment when encountering the criminal justice system. In the United States the multidisciplinary response team from NCCJD’s Pathways to Justice programme aims to improve local criminal justice systems response to victims, witnesses, defendants, and prisoners with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The parallel session on criminal justice system takes place on day 3 of the conference (22nd February) at 14:50 in M1.

Supporting people facing multiple disadvantages

People with and without disabilities in a large room holding up placards with disability slogans in portuguese
Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities through Escola de Gente’s APA programme

For many people, living with a disability can be just one of the challenges they face. In Canada, the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society supported over 1,700 people to access local or national services in 2017. Meanwhile, in Brazil, Escola de Gente’s Accessibility Promotion Agents programme works with young people with and without disabilities in favelas to identify and intervene when the rights of people with disabilities have been violated.

The parallel session on supporting people facing multiple disadvantages takes place on day 3 of the conference at 12:40 in M1.