Although the voices of children and young people with disability have been included in many of ACYP’s previous reports, The Voices of Children and Young People with Disability Report is the first piece of work by ACYP that is dedicated exclusively to the unique lived experiences of this group.
The primary purpose of this work was to ensure that children and young people with disability in NSW had the opportunity to express their voices, opinions and experiences in line with the principle of participation emphasised in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and ACYP’s own legislative mandate.
This report gave children and young people with disability a platform to use their lived experiences to inform decision makers and service providers about how to best continue to support their needs. The report also highlights the ways in which children and young people with disability, who are experts in their own lives, want to be included in the planning and implementation of practical solutions that affect them.
Over a six month period, spanning from 2019 to 2020 ACYP conducted face to face consultations with more than 370 children and young people with disability. The children and young people who participated in consultations were generous in dedicating their time to share their opinions on what is working well for them, what is not working well for them and what changes they would like to see to make NSW a better place, not just for them but for all children and young people.
The views of participants are catagorised in the report under seven main themes. They are:
We hope that the voices and experiences of the children and young people in this report will inspire other organisations to view the experience of young people as a valuable tool that can be used to inform and improve services, supports and programs for children and young people.
As part of ACYP’s Young Thinking Seminar, in July 2020 ACYP and the Children and Youth Research Network, UNSW hosted the Challenging Issues in Education for Young People with Disabilities webinar.
The seminar brought together speakers from academia, government and non-government organisations who each have a wealth of experience on inclusive education practices and best outcomes for children and young people living with disability.