The Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network (CCYDN) has been driven and developed by Include Me TOO following the lack of representation and participation of children and young people with disabilities from the Commonwealth. The CCYDN is a disabled youth led network (including those who work with, or have set up, DPOs or NGOs working with children and young people with disabilities) whose mission is to strengthen the voices of children and young people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth, via increasing awareness of their rights and supporting their participation and inclusion.
The aim is to increase access to platforms for youth with disabilities as changemakers, and to influence positive change on issues that matter to them. CCYDN recognises that children and young people with disabilities have much to say and contribute as changemakers and influencers in policy and delivery and their inclusion, contributions, lived experiences have an important role to play.
Layne Robinson, Head of Social Policy Development of the Commonwealth Secretariat said: “The Commonwealth Secretariat, through its Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) will continue to support the Commonwealth Children & Youth Disability Network as a practical response to the Heads of Government mandate to ‘address the stigma around disability in all its forms and manifestations, ensuring that no one is left behind’.
He added: “By working with young people with disabilities who are promoting their right to be included and to participate in decision making at all levels, we come closer to fulfilling the vision of a society where our young people lead the change they want to see in a fairer, more prosperous and inclusive society for all. The CYP will work with the all the relevant partners and agencies to give voice and space to children & young people with disabilities to lead their own agenda in the Commonwealth. #NowIsTheTime.”