Young disabled campaigner to speak at parliament

Annisa_Leonard_CheshireInternational Day for Persons with Disabilities – 3 December

A young disabled woman from Indonesia is to speak at the Houses of Parliament at a special reception to mark International Day for Persons with Disabilities (3 December).

Leonard Cheshire Young Voices campaigner Annisa Rahmania, 20, who has a hearing impairment, had to fight for the right to her own education and is now campaigning for all people with disabilities.

She was rejected by her university at first. But she battled for her place and has continued her studies without any support in place.

Throughout her school life she has faced discrimination .At times bullying has made her life so unbearable she wanted to give up but with the backing of her parents she stayed. She was determined to succeed and became one of the top five students in her class.

She said today: “Children with disabilities have a right to education but many are missing out on even going to school. In Indonesia through the Leonard Cheshire Young Voices our campaigning is starting to improve life by raising awareness and training teachers to challenge misconceptions on disability.

By coming together and making our voices heard we  are making changes and are now speaking to the Government to recommend action to ensure people with disabilities are not left behind. On this International Day of Disabilities it is more important than ever to remember we can make a huge difference and step up our campaigning to put disability at the heart of international development.”

She has been a member of Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Young Voices network since its began in Indonesia in March 2012.  

The event on Tuesday, organised by the Bond Disability and Development Group has a number of other high profile speakers, including:

  • Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Bruce MP, Chair of International Development Committee
  • Ade Adepitan MBE, Paralympian and Broadcaster
  • Lynne Featherstone MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development

The theme of this year’s event is ‘break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all’.

As a young campaigner Annisa Rahamania is keen to share her experiences and plans for the participation of the young persons with disabilities in development.

The Young Voices group Indonesia are campaigning on the following:

  • They were involved in a working group set up by the Government to produce a new draft disability law which has been submitted to Parliament. This will replace the existing 1997 law.
  • Making transport, buildings, information and services accessible
  • Making sure children with disabilities get an education. Currently there aren’t many schools that are equipped to teach children with disabilities. And only 11 universities have programmes that train teachers on disability issues. The Young Voices have visited schools, educating them about how they can accommodate disabled children. At a national level they have met with the Department of Education and made a number of recommendations on how to easily include children with disabilities.

Annisa is a student in one of the leading universities in Indonesia – TrisaktiUniversity in Jakarta, majoring in Design Communication Visual, Faculty of Design and Arts.

She said: “Children with disabilities have a right to education but many are missing out on even going to school. In Indonesia through the Leonard Cheshire Young Voices our campaigning is starting to improve life by raising awareness and training teachers to challenge misconceptions on disability. By coming together and making our voices heard we  are making changes and are now speaking to the Government to recommend action to ensure people with disabilities are not left behind. On this International Day of Disabilities it is more important than ever to remember we can make a huge difference and step up our campaigning to put disability at the heart of international development.”

Young Voices brings together groups of young disabled people from 20 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas. The programme empowers young disabled people with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to understand and advocate for their rights as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Young Voices project brings together groups of young disabled people from 22 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas. The project empowers young disabled people with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to understand and advocate for their rights as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. All groups use creative and innovative methods such as film, music and social media to campaign for the rights of disabled people. Visit www.lcdisability.org/youngvoices

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