Community reporting project on the experiences of young people with disabilities
I want people to know I am more than an extra chromosome. I have the same wants and needs as friends my age. I want to learn, I want to be noticed. – Pasha
In partnership with Leonard Cheshire, we trained and supported a national group of young disabled people to use mobile and digital tools to document their personal journeys and engage other young disabled people to record their challenges, solutions and calls to action.
From Belfast and Manchester to Glasgow and Swansea, 8 young people with disabilities were recruited by Leonard Cheshire as lead reporters, both capturing their experiences and campaigning on a key area of change in their community.
We kicked off the Lead Reporter training in Summer 2020, across 6 days, this included an introduction to citizen reporting, how to use a mobile as a tool for reporting, the risks and ethics, as well as campaigning and tips on gathering stories, all delivered in accessible formats. The lead reporters then took part in a train-the-trainer session, now they recruit and mentor their friends and other young disabled people in their communities as citizen reporters also.
Working with the network closely, together we identified the key themes they were interested in exploring. From this, they took part in a 3-month reporting sprint, followed by feeding this into a wider campaign. Through their mobile phones, these young people tell their own stories, documenting their concerns and ideas in their own way.
Now, this network of young people with disabilities continues to grow as they challenge social injustice and inequality, and give voice to the issues they are experiencing. Alongside sending in reports, the Change Makers recently developed and host an audio series, In Conversation With. From disability rights activists and journalists to an LGBT+ organisation and entrepreneurs, together they explore themes such as inclusion, working in the media, the intersectionality of disability and the future of technology.
Listen to the Change Makers audio series, In Conversation With