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Young men from Inverness call for more understanding on disabilities in human rights legislation

By Louise Glen

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Daniel Garrod.
Daniel Garrod.

TWO courageous young people from Inverness have been speaking out on issues that infringe their human rights.

Inverness youngsters Daniel Garrod (12) and Talon French (14) took part in a zoom call as part of the National Human Rights Task Force, and by all accounts did not hold back when it came to discussing the things that cause the greatest problems.

Concerns over education, training and social opportunities for children and teens with learning and physical disabilities were brought to the attention of the Scottish Government as it prepares to write its own human rights legislation.

The young men are both members of SNAP, an Inverness-based charity that provides a variety of services for children and young adults with additional needs.

Jenni Campbell, the SNAP children and young peoples manager from Inverness, said: "Both Talon and Daniel spoke incredibly well and we are immensely proud of them,

"They have helped make a massive difference to the lives of children, young people and adults with learning difficulties and disabilities.

"The boys took part in a call with Scottish Commissioner for Learning Disability, Together Scotland and the National Human Rights Task Force – the group who advise Nicola Sturgeon on Human Rights law in Scotland.

"During the call, they made a contribution of telling everyone about their own experiences, and what changes they want to see in terms of human rights for individuals with a disability or learning difficulty.

"The information the boys gave will be key in a report that will be put to government for them to decide what changes they should make regarding the human rights law.

Talon French.
Talon French.

"Massive well done again boys, you’ve made us all so proud."

Daniel said that it was vitally important that young people with lived-experience of learning disabilities fed into the national task force. He said: "I spoke about the things that I know need to change, not only for me but for other people with disabilities who may not have the opportunity to voice their concerns.

"I have autism, and I have no problem with people knowing I have autism. For me it was a great relief to have an understanding why my experience was different to some other people."

He continued: "But things I have experienced in my own life means I know what things ought to change for others.

"I think that there needs to be more education for teachers in how to work with people with disabilities. I know there is a basic training for every teacher. But if children with autism are to be part of a school community then teachers need training, proper training."

Daniel said: "For me, some things that have happened could have put me off education all together, but instead I have decided to focus on making it right for other people."

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