Youth with Disabilities Lead: Linking the Summit for Democracy and the Global Disability Summit

Date & Time
11:30 AM - 2:00 PM UTC
In partnership with

On Thursday, Feb. 17 at 11:30 A.M. EST/UTC-5, as part of the 2022 Global Disability Summit, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) will co-host a discussion with young leaders with disabilities from around the world about inclusive democracy. Young people make up almost half of the world’s population and are critical decision-makers and positive change agents in communities around the world but often face significant barriers to their participation in public life. Young people with disabilities face additional legal, physical, attitudinal and information barriers to meaningful political inclusion.

This session will explore forthcoming updates to the USAID disability and youth policies and ways the 2022 Disability-Inclusive Democracy Year of Action, stemming from the Summit for Democracy, can be leveraged to enhance political access for young people with disabilities. There will be two talk-show-style panels. Register for the event. American Sign Language, International Sign Language and English captioning will be available during the event. 

Participants will come away from this session with:

  1. Updates on USAID’s forthcoming disability and youth policies
  2. Information on the Summit for Democracy’s 2022 Disability-Inclusive Democracy Year of Action and how they can engage at the national and international levels
  3. Recommendations from young people with disabilities on good practices for inclusive democracy
  4. Information on USAID and IFES’ GDS 2022 commitments

Speakers: Panel One

Iryna Tekuchova
Ph.D. candidate in the DANCING project and analyst at the OPD “Fight for Right” (Ukraine)
Katherine Guernsey
USAID Agency Disability Coordinator
Mike McCabe
USAID Agency Youth Coordinator
Virginia Atkinson
Virginia Atkinson
Senior Global Advisor, Inclusion

Speakers: Panel Two

Geeni Gunasekera
Engaging a New Generation for Accessible Governance and Elections (ENGAGE) alumna, Disability-Inclusive Elections Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka)
Reuben Mpatiany
Narok Albinism Association (Kenya)
Neetha Tangirala
USAID Senior Advisor for Youth, Civic Education and Activism