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Voices of young people with disabilities raised on International Youth Day 2017

On the International Youth Day 2017 (August 12), the European Disability Forum was asking four young persons with disabilities to tell us what the Europe they want is, what their dreams are and what things are valuable for them in life.

Young people with disabilities living in Europe still face various barriers to study, get a job, live independently, travel, have relationships etc. Lack of accessibility, insufficient support services, stigma and discrimination persist in today’s Europe and prevents them from enjoying their rights and having equal opportunities.  Access to education and employment is even more difficult or impossible for young persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, those coming from migrant or minority families or those living in institutions.

Erika Becerra, self-advocate on the autism spectrum and member of EDF Youth Committee (established in 2011 to raise awareness about the needs of young people with disabilities in Europe), affirmed that she wants “an inclusive and accessible Europe where the world is informed about my condition and society will be more inclusive and less money oriented. I want people around me to recognise my talents, instead of using my weakness for not recognising my work. I would like to have a job that I like and equal chances with everybody else. I also want to be able to travel.”

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