The Equality and Human Rights Commission today threw their weight behind Trailblazers – The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s nationwide network of 16 to 30 year-olds fighting for the rights of young disabled people.
The network was established last year and will involve over 300 young adults, which will culminate in the launch of a national Young Disabled Persons All Party Parliamentary Group set up and organised by the network.
The Trailblazers are currently focusing their energy on three major campaigns – to improve access to public transport, leisure facilities and education. They are also blogging about their experiences on a brand new website, as well as documenting their experiences with surveys which will be used for reports to be presented to the Government.
Commenting on the network, Zem Rodaway at the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:
The Equality and Human Rights Commission welcomes and applauds Trailblazers current campaign to promote access to public transport and your future campaigns about access to leisure facilities and education.
Although the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) started to come into force in December 2006, many disabled people still not do experience equal access to transport, leisure facilities and education.
Trailblazer Ambassador, 20-year-old Judith Merry, who has congenital muscular dystrophy, said:
As Trailblazers we have the chance to work on projects that are important to us in our areas.
As well as having the chance to campaign on the things that are most important to me, Trailblazers has given me an opportunity to make friends with people who have similar interests. I’ve also learnt lots of new skills, which I will be able to use in the future as I hope to work for a charity when I’m older. I think my experience with Trailblazers is going be invaluable.
Jo Swinson MP, the youngest Member of Parliament at 29 years old, speaking at the launch event last year, said:
It’s fantastic that young people with muscle disease are being given the opportunity to see their ideas make a difference, gain extra qualifications and really make an impact in their local communities.
Too often young people are ignored by our elected representatives. It’s high time that we all put pressure on the people who make the decisions that affect our lives.