On Saturday, young disabled people met in Birmingham to attend Trailblazers’ Young Person Conference. Running alongside Muscular Dystrophy UK’s National Conference, the sessions were attended by Trailblazers across the country.
We opened the day with a workshop on Accessible Travel, facilitated by Srin Madipalli who is CEO of Accomable. Srin provided some great top tips for travelling with a disability and we then had a really interesting discussion about recent travel experiences. While most people in the room had a horror story to tell, it was positive that everyone was still wanting to travel and didn’t view access as a barrier. It is was accepted that travelling with a disability involves much more time and organisation, and you do need to prepare for the worst to happen, the benefits of travelling outweigh the negatives.
Our second session was run by Trailblazer Safiyyah Rahman who attended our Employment Rights Training. Safiyyah spoke about ‘knowing your employment rights’. It was a really informative session covering topics such as when to disclose your disability in the application process and the Access to Work program.
The final workshop was run by Dr Frances Ryan who is a disabled freelance journalist for The Guardian and New Statesman. Frances facilitated an excellent workshop on how to work successfully with the media but also told the room about how she became a freelance journalist. It was a really informative session and it was great to hear what makes a good pitch. Everyone took away some really valuable skills that are sure to come in handy when doing local and regional campaigning.
The day ended with Muscular Dystrophy UK’s President’s Awards. South East Trailblazer, Vicki Dennis, was awarded Trailblazer of the Year in recognition for all the fantastic campaigning she does for us, especially in accessing sports stadia. Vicki was presented the award by Vice President, Michael Attenborough.
Trailblazers Manager, Lauren West, said:
It was great to connect with new and existing Trailblazers from across the country. The day was full of fantastic workshops run by really inspiring speakers. The topics covered were really informative and all the young disabled people in attendance took away new skills and knowledge. I’m already looking forward to organising and attending next year’s Young Persons’ Conference.
If you are based in Scotland, then don’t miss our first-ever Scottish Young Persons’ Conference. Register here.