A summit for young people with disabilities is to be held in Dublin in October - the first event of its kind in this country.
'Beyond Limits: Empowering young people with disabilities' has been organised by the Office of the Ombudsman for Children. Around 1,000 young people with disabilities, along with their families, carers and friends are expected to attend.
The summit aims to amplify the voices of young people with disabilities by highlight their achievements and allowing them to discuss the issues that matter to them. The event will also include the latest information on technology, education and employment opportunities, as well as focusing on sports and activities.
"Young people with disabilities are the exact same as other young people - they want to spend time with friends, they want to know what opportunities are open to them in the future and they want to have fun.
"We have created Beyond Limits to give a platform to them. It will be a demonstration of how to include people with disabilities in major events of this kind. I hope that its legacy will be that issues affecting young people with disabilities become more mainstream and are recognised by those outside of the disability community," commented the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon.
He explained that the event has been designed following a consultation with 71 children from all over Ireland who have varying disabilities. A committee of parents and disability organisations have also had input.
Speakers at the event will include blind adventure athlete and motivational speaker, Mark Pollack, who following an accident in 2010, was left paralysed. Also speaking at the event will be Paralympic gold medalist, Michael McKillop and disability rights activist, Joanne O'Riordan, both of whom are also event ambassadors.
"It is absolutely incredible to be a part of the Beyond Limits summit for young people with disabilities, both visible and invisible. Growing up, I never heard or saw anything like this and it is so important that young people can have role models who, not only look like them, but have been through the same things they have," commented Ms O'Riordan.
Organisations involved in the event include the Disability Federation of Ireland, Special Olympics Ireland, Gaisce, Inclusion Ireland and Young Carers Ireland.
Beyond Limits will take place on Saturday, October 19, in Croke Park. Tickets are now on sale and cost €10 for adults and €5 for children. To book tickets or for more information on the event, click here.
Dublin Bus, Luas and DART will be providing free transport to all of those attending the event within the Dublin area.
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