The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) both provide the framework for enabling the rights of children and youth with disabilities.

Mainstream development policies and programs focused on young people often inadvertently exclude persons with disabilities, and disability specific programs largely focus on children or adults, with less consideration of the unique needs of youth.

To uphold the rights of youth with disabilities, they must be intentionally included in youth policy and programming, and disability programming should also consider the unique needs of young people with disabilities.

Resources below include reports highlighting the situation of young people with disabilities in development, policy papers, and practical strategies for their inclusion in programming.

See also: Participation of persons with disabilities, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Sexual and reproductive health

United Nations Timor-Leste (2018) Leaving No Youth Behind in Timor-Leste. Policy Brief #5: Young People with a Disability

This policy brief presents information from a combination of sources: 2015 Census data; two focus group discussions held in Dili; and evidence from relevant studies and reports published by DPOs and other relevant organisations. There are 5 main thematic issues which are outlined in findings and analysis, and addressed in recommendations: - Education - Health (including sex education) - Workforce and training centres - Exposure to discrimination and violence - Public participation.

Meyers S, Karr V and Pineda V (2014) Youth with Disabilities in Law and Civil Society: Exclusion and Inclusion in Public Policy and NGO Networks in Cambodia and Indonesia

Through research conducted in Cambodia and Indonesia this paper describes the intersection of youth and disability, and considers how youth with disabilities are often excluded in legal, policy and civil society contexts. This paper highlights the vulnerability of youth with disabilities, and the need to ensure representation of youth with disabilities in both mainstream youth and disability organisations and networks. Donors in other country contexts may find this paper useful when developing policies or program initiatives to ensure representation and inclusion of youth with disabilities.

United Nations Building a better tomorrow: The voices of young people with disabilities

This report emerged from the United Nations International Year of the Youth (2010-2011) and captures the views of young persons with disabilities on key areas affecting them. It draws upon the World Program of Action for Youth (WPAY) (a policy framework and practice guideline for national and international support) and the UNCRPD. The report provides ideas for facilitation of UNCRPD implementation by development agencies and policy makers to support the rights of young persons with disabilities.

UNICEF (2012) Towards an AIDS- free generation: Promoting community-based strategies for and with children and adolescents with disabilities

This resource provides a helpful brief overview of the evidence supporting inclusion of youth with disabilities in HIV/AIDS programs. It provides examples of how to conduct participatory consultative processes with youth with disabilities to identify entry points and materials for programming, including the use of accessible ICT. It also gives specific recommendations for communicating with youth with particular impairments. The resource is targeted at implementing partners, and it would also be useful for organisations involved in program review,

Plan (2004) I’m a teenager: What happened to my rights?

This resource provides a general overview of the evidence relating to the situation of youth, and then focuses on 15 key areas including disability. Using selected statistics and examples from low, medium and high income countries, this document sets out how Plan and partner organisations have supported youth to access their rights. Although the document does not provide recommendations, it describes useful examples for donors and implementing partners, particularly program managers/officers, of programmatic responses to issues for youth, including youth with disabilities.

United Nations (2010) Fact sheet: Youth with disabilities

As part of the UN International Year of Youth, this fact sheet was produced as an advocacy tool to focus attention on youth with disabilities. It provides an overview of disability prevalence and the core issues facing youth with disabilities, including education, poverty and sex and relationships. It calls to action governments and policy makers to facilitate the implementation of the UNCRPD for the benefit of youth with disabilities.

Humanity & Inclusion Source: Key list resources on adolescence and disability

Source is a comprehensive and frequently updated online resource centre on disability inclusion. Its key list on adolescence and disability provides useful resources, including guidelines, policy briefings and video links presenting views of young persons with disabilities. The list of documents also contains helpful information for those who wish to gain grounding in the knowledge base regarding adolescence and disability.

Save the Children (2004) Double burden: A situational analysis of HIV/AIDS and youth with disabilities in Rwanda and Uganda

This situational analysis presents research findings exploring HIV/AIDS and youth with disabilities in Rwanda and Uganda. Although the findings of the research are context specific, this project presents an example of methodology for inclusion of youth with disabilities in program planning. The authors exemplify and make recommendations for better inclusion of persons with disabilities in services and policy, including working closely with Disabled People’s Organisations when formulating entry points for interventions.

The Atlas Alliance (2008) Young voices: Young people's views of inclusive education

This resource provides research findings of a project examining the views of young persons with disabilities in Tanzania and Uganda. It provides an example of how to conduct a participatory exploration of enablers and barriers to education for young persons with disabilities. This resource is designed for implementing partners, as well as organisations working with implementing partners in school environments in the East Africa region, but lessons can be drawn for use in other contexts, and would be useful generally for Ministries of Education.

There are no case studies available

There are no video link available

Picture of three students standing in front of a house that has been damaged by Typhoon Haiyan. They are talking to a visitor using sign language and an interpreter. There is a tree on the ground next to the students.

Photo: Chelsea Huggett, 2013

A group of deaf students in the Philippines discuss the impact of Typhoon Haiyan with a visitor via sign language, and show her the damage. The students attend a local school for the deaf. Copyright: CBM