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Australian Disability Advocates To Join UN Conference On COVID Disability Inclusion

A delegation of Australian disability advocates is set to travel to the United Nations in New York next week to work with advocates from around the world on increasing efforts to include people with disability in the next phase of the global response to COVID–19.

Disabled Peoples’ Organisations Australia (DPOA) is participating in the 15th Session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). COSP runs from 13 to 17 June 2022 at the UN headquarters in New York.

This annual conference brings together countries that have ratified the UN CRPD – including representatives from DPOs and civil society organisations – to discuss the implementation of the CRPD. This year’s COSP will be held in person for the first time since 2019.

DPOA is a coalition of Australia’s peak disability representative organisations. Australia’s 16-person civil society delegation will comprise representatives from DPOA members as well as several other disability-related organisations.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Building disability-inclusive and participatory societies in the COVID context and beyond’. Delegates will meet at various events and forums over the three days of the conference to debate and discuss issues and ideas which will improve how people with disability can live with safety, equity and dignity in a world where COVID has become endemic. This will include how people with disability are protected from COVID and included in the planning and implementation of COVID responses.

The conference also includes three sub-themes:

  • Innovation and technology advancing disability rights.

  • Economic empowerment and entrepreneurship of persons with disabilities.

  • Participation of persons with disabilities in climate action, disaster risk reduction and resilience against natural disasters.

DPOA delegates will be hosting three side events that speak to each of the sub–themes and these will be showcased across DPOA’s website and social media during the conference.

Our Site: Empowering Women and Girls with Disability through Co–Design

Mon 13 June | 6:00pm – 7:15pm (New York time): How over 100 women with disability have collaborated to produce an acclaimed digital hub for information and resources on topics integral to the rights, health, safety and wellbeing of women with disability. Presented by: Women With Disabilities Australia

Monitoring and evaluation of article 11 of the UNCRPD: Practical applications for the continuum of humanitarian emergencies

Tuesday 14 June | 8:30am – 9:45am (New York time): Approaches for improving safety and security of people with disability affected by the impact of armed conflicts, natural disasters and climate change. Co–presented by: People With Disability Australia

Microbusiness and Customised Employment: Beyond the Pandemic

Friday 17 June | 11:30am – 12:45pm (New York time): How people with disability can use microbusiness models to create employment opportunities, safeguard livelihoods and develop skills. Presented by: People With Disability Australia

The members of DPOA are:

  • First People’s Disability Network (FPDN)

  • People With Disability Australia (PWDA)

  • Women With Disability Australia (WWDA)

  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA)

DPOA’s delegation includes:

  • Damian Griffis – FPDN (Lead)

  • Kelly Cox – PWDA (Lead)

  • Tennille Lamb – FPDN

  • Sam Connor – PWDA

  • Sebastian Zagarelli – PWDA

  • Giancarlo de Vera – PWDA

  • Margherita Dall’Occo–Vaccaro – WWDA

  • Frances Quan Farrant – WWDA

  • Kat Reed – NEDA

  • Dominic Goulding – NEDA

The DPO Australia delegates will be working with delegates from other disability representative organisations, including the following and others:

  • Trevor Carroll – Australian Federation of Disability Organisations

  • Liz Reid – Australian Federation of Disability Organisations

  • Matilda Alexander – Queensland Advocacy Incorporated

  • Mali Hermans – Queensland Advocacy Incorporated

  • Ellen Skaldzian – Down Syndrome Australia

  • Tracey Corbin-Matchett – Bus Stop Films

The civil society delegation will also be working closely with representatives from the Australian Government. The Australian Government delegation is made up of representatives from the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC will attend virtually).

DPOA is looking forward to engaging on the world stage again, bringing the voices of Australians with disability to the civil society aspect of this important UN conference.

The delegation will be reporting back with news and updates throughout COSP with information posted across DPOA’s news channels:


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