#11 EU Youth Event in Ljubljana

Advocate for disabled people’s rights

Orlaith Humphrey from Ireland is here to share her own experience and her expertise with the other participants. Orlaith is disabled and wishes for more awareness towards this topic. Even at this event could improve its accessibility towards disables needs she said.

I don’t think disabilities would be high-lighted without me or the other visible disabled attending here” says Orlaith Humphrey from Ireland. She is one of the participants with a clear disability. She was born with a disability and has permanently been in a wheelchair the last ten years and her disability is progressing, almost every day but she doesn’t let it stop her from living her life.

Orlaith has managed to study, work and volunteer for the disability cause. With her degree in history, politics, communication and women studies as well as her master in equality studies she wishes to share her expertise and own experience with others as an advocate for better rights and policies for disabled people. Back in Ireland she is working with several different organisations and is in the board of a disability interest group. Besides this she is also attending many events to try to improve services for youth with disabilities.

Even the congress hotel was not prepared for her

Orlaith was surprised that an event to promote young people with fewer opportunities was not better equipped for disabled people. The locations have almost never had suitable bathrooms for her needs and she had to switch hotels since she could not access her bed with her wheelchair. She also needs to travel distances for taking bathroom breaks or for resting. The organisers were of course embarrassed she said but it should have been organised before hand.

Yesterday she had lunch with Jan Figel, the commissioner responsible for youth and she got the chance to express her feelings towards the lack of mentioning of disabled people in the European politics. She underlined that the disabled people have every right to vote and it is a high amount of potential voters lost by non inclusion.

“I am not asking for a constant discussion of my cause. I am just asking for awareness. A little bit of thoughts towards us with disabilities” she concluded.

By Anna Siitam

0122

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