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Children and Youth Invited to Help the UN Raise Awareness of Disability

This post originally appeared on the Global Education First Initiative site on 1 December 2014.

1 December 2014, New York - The countdown has begun to the official launch of a global campaign to raise children’s and youth’s awareness of disabilities and inclusion. Led by the United Nations Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), in partnership with the Global Observatory for Inclusion (GLOBI), and the GEFI Youth Advocacy Group (YAG), the #DrawDisability campaign invites children and youth to reflect on the lives of Persons with Disabilities (PWD) through drawing.

Kicking off on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2014, #DrawDisability, aims to highlight the challenges PWD have encountered in communities across the globe, as well as their accomplishments. By stimulating discussion around the inclusion of PWD, the drawings will become a narrative tool for social change.

The competition also provides children with the opportunity to have their works showcased at high-level events globally, including the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2015, the World Education Forum (WEF) in May 2015 in Incheon, Republic of Korea and the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP-CRPD) in June 2015 in New York, USA.

Currently, there are 58 million children missing out on the right to an education; and marginalized groups, including children with disabilities, are particularly vulnerable. By missing out on an education, these children and youth are denied the right to decent jobs, full civic participation, and the opportunity to contribute to the human, social and economic development of society.

The drawing initiative, #DrawDisability, actively involves the school community, in turn increasing both the knowledge and understanding of children around PWD. If children and young people are informed and motivated, their perceptions and actions can challenge stereotypes, changing the lives of millions.

Schools from around the world are encouraged to get involved in the project. A set of teachers guidelines, will help teachers promote critical reflections and awareness of disability within the classroom. Teachers will be asked to raise particular awareness on “invisible disabilities”, and to help their students in finding creative ways to represent the whole spectrum of disabilities, impairments and conditions. Children with and without disabilities will then be encouraged to #DrawDisability.

The final deadline for submissions is July 15, 2015; however children and youth who submit their drawings before April 1, 2015, not only get the opportunity to have their works exhibited at the UNGA in September, but could also be selected for exhibition at WEF in May 2015, and during the COSP-CRPD in June 2015.

Following receipt of the final submissions in July, the general public will be invited to vote for their favorite drawings online. Of the 60 drawings that receive the most public votes, 30 will be selected by a designated jury for final exhibition in New York, on the sidelines of the UNGA. For more information, take part in the Google Hangout Session on December 3, 9:30am EST or go to

Primary Hashtag

@GlobalEduFirst, @GEFI_Youth, @GLOBI_inclusion, @UNESCO, @UNICEFEducation

GEFI Secretariat
Rolando Jr. Villamerio, GLOBI Secretariat


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