16 February 2011 Trailblazers head to Westminster for launch of new Group for young disabled people
Trailblazers will be descending upon Parliament today to help launch the first All Party Parliamentary Group for Young Disabled People.
The Group will be led by Paul Maynard MP to raise awareness of the issues facing young disabled people and to tackle discrimination.
The Trailblazers will also meet with the Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller, Speaker of the House John Bercow and Shadow Minister for Disabled People Margaret Curran and will discuss issues ranging from barriers to higher education and employment, to poor access to public transport and social exclusion.
South East Trailblazers Ambasador Zoë Hallam has been campaigning with Trailblazers for the past two years and will address the group on employment issues at the meeting.
Young disabled people are a minority group in Britain and our voices are often not heard on the issues that affect us. Important decisions are often made on our behalf by people who believe that they know what we need and want. The All Party Parliamentary Group for Young Disabled People is an opportunity for us to speak directly with parliamentarians on the subjects that really matter.
Discussion about disability just focuses on health and practicality. Social inclusion is a hugely important issue, but the need for young disabled people to be active in employment, education and socially with their friends is overlooked. Through the APPG we want to promote a wider, better understanding of the barriers that we face and how these could be overcome.
We don’t see nearly enough positive disabled role models and to have Paul Maynard leading this group is great news.
Mr Maynard, says that the new APPG will be a significant step forward in improving ministers’ and MPs’ understanding of the inequalities young disabled people face in day to day life:
I feel proud to be involved with a group like the Trailblazers, who are tackling the uphill struggle that young disabled people face to achieve goals in life taken for granted by non-disabled peers. We have come along way in how we view disability in this country, but the Trailblazers investigations show that physical and social barriers are a harsh reality still. It is not right or fair that a person should face a constant daily battle on everything from accessing higher education and employment to using public transport and socialising with friends and family.
I hope that by hearing directly from young disabled people and gaining a genuine understanding of their experiences we can work towards real positive change and allow young people to make decisions based on their goals and potential – not their disability.