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Strengthening participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy

SIMMONS, Dr. Catharine
ROBINSON, Dr. Sally
October 2014

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Participation by children and young people in advocacy and change-making can not only improve and foster positive change in their own lives, but also influence the lives of others. When young people’s participation is supported, meaningful and engaged, multiple benefits accrue; their perspectives and experiences bring a unique contribution and can result in rights-based empowerment, enacted citizenship and improved relationships. This has the potential to shape policy, to increase the relevance and responsiveness of organisations they use, and to influence change in their communities in positive ways

 

However, there are significant issues and a range of barriers that discourage, prevent or actively exclude children and young people with disability from participating. A culture of low expectations, social and cultural barriers, relationship and identity difficulties and practical hurdles exist for many young people. As a result, many are precluded from participation, particularly around change-making activities

 

This paper examines how meaningful participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy and change-making can be strengthened. In the paper CDA calls for the promotion of children and young people’s participation as active and valued community members

 

This paper is also available at http://www.cyda.org.au/cda-issue-papers

 

Issue Papers

Inclusion in education : towards equality for students with disability

COLOGON, Kathy
2013

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All children in Australia have the right to an inclusive education. However, there are many barriers to the realisation of this right in the lived experience of children and families. Current efforts towards upholding the rights of all children are impeded by a lack of understanding of inclusive education and misappropriation of the term. Additional barriers include negative and discriminatory attitudes and practices, lack of support to facilitate inclusive education, and inadequate education and professional development for teachers and other professionals. Critical to addressing all of these barriers is recognising and disestablishing ableism in Australia.

This paper draws from recent research in addressing gaps in current understanding to provide a firm basis from which to inform research based policy development. Taking a rights-based approach, the paper focuses on developing a clear understanding of inclusive education and identifying strategies to enhance the education of all children in Australia

Inclusive ECCD : a fair start for all children

EVANS, Judith L
1998

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"The basic thesis we will explore in this article is that quality ECCD programmes provide a model that can be used for the development of inclusive programmes for children of all ages. It is particularly important that these programmes be developed for children from birth onwards, as many of the biological and environmental conditions that result in children having special needs can be ameliorated through early attention. In our discussion on inclusive ECCD programmes, we offer a brief description of the history of attention to those who are differently-abled for the purposes of understanding how we have arrived at the concept of inclusion. Then we define principles of programming for inclusive ECCD programmes, and we identify some of the issues related to creating inclusive early childhood programmes, and, finally, we determine what we need to be working toward"
The Coordinators' Notebook, No 22

Early childhood

ENABLING EDUCATION NETWORK (EENET)

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This database provides resources related to inclusive early childhood education. It includes related articles, books, reports, toolkits/ manuals, and EENET’s newsletters articles. This database is useful for people interested in information about inclusive early childhood education for people with disabilities

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