Anthony

One Young World Profile profiles

Anthony Ford-Shubrook

I am passionate about

As a disabled person, I am passionate about equality and equal rights for people with disabilities around the world. Over the years I have traveled to many different countries and have seen the unequal access that disabled people face in everyday life. I want all disabled people to be recognized as full members of society and to be treated like every other human being.

I strongly believe that every human being is entitled to a quality education. Throughout the world many people with disabilities are denied an education and this prevents them from having the opportunities they deserve. Increasing access to education for disabled people also has wider benefits for society by bringing different perspectives into schools & society. It will also reduce the stigma that disabled people often encounter.

Being disabled I have found it very difficult to find paid employment, despite having been engaged in volunteer work and activism ever since graduating. I have found the barriers towards employment are attitudinal and in addition the job market isn't sufficiently resourced to meet my needs.

Actions

My activism started when I was 16 years old and I was forced to take my local college to court as they refused to allow me to attend the school on grounds of my disability. This was a landmark court case in UK law and paved the way for other disabled students to have the right to choose their own school.

Since then, I attended Royal Holloway University where I studied geography and wrote a dissertation in which I researched the access to education for disabled children in a small town near Johannesburg, South Africa. The research was published and used by the South African government as guidance for how to improve standards.

I am the Youth Ambassador for a charity called AbleChildAfrica that works across four East African countries to help realise the potential of disabled children. We help to ensure that the children and their families have the support they need, and to ensure that the children are included in society. I have been establishing a Youth Council within AbleChildAfrica and we are currently working with 8 young people to help them contribute to a powerful youth voice that is fighting to improve society.

Along with 16 other young people, I am a UN Young Leader for the SDGs. As part of this role I advocate for the goals to be upheld and attend events and conferences to spread positive messages about the importance of the SDGs.