What Makes a Good Life for Disabled Children and Young People?

A new report has been released by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner entitled What Makes a Good Life for Disabled Children and Young People?

Key messages from 474 disabled children and young people included:

  • Acceptance is a struggle, with discrimination widely experienced by disabled children and young people. Many reported the need for people to have more awareness and understanding of disability, including knowledge of invisible disabilities, and respecting the privacy of someone with a disability.
  • Many disabled young people reporting feeling dehumanised from accessibility barriers. Suggestions included having voiceover announcements installed in trains and buses to assist those with vision impairments.
  • Disabled children and young people reported feeling unsafe in ways unique to them, such as feeling unsafe around too much noise, or cigarette smoke as it would interfere with their senses which they rely on more than other young people.
  • Young disabled people reported wanting education to be more flexible, tailored and to have more choice and control, such as flexible start and finish times. Inclusion in the mainstream environment was also key, along with additional support, interaction and patience from teachers.
  • Young disabled people were concerned about equal employment opportunities, including concerns of discrimination, lack of support programmes and networks that could assist with job opportunities.
  • Many disabled young people valued the support received by those around them, but in turn wanted their family, whānau and communities to be supported. Support looked different for everyone, including support with mobility, participation, learning as well as finances to cover the cost of disability.

To read the full report see https://www.occ.org.nz/publications/reports/disabled-children-young-people-summary-report/

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