East Devon woman with Down’s syndrome is invited to the United Nations in New York to speak at the world’s biggest disability conference

An East Devon woman with Down’s syndrome has returned from speaking up for disability rights,  addressing the United Nations and an international audience in New York.

Emma Bishop, aged 44, from Ottery St Mary, in East Devon, spoke at the largest meeting in the world on disability on how to be more exclusive.

Emma was invited to the the annual Conference of States Parties to the Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities, where she gave presentations on the need for everyday information to be made accessible for everyone, and voting.

She was invited to speak to the conference by the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA), where she is a member of the organisation’s self-advocacy group ‘Our Voice’, which champions people with learning disabilities and works to promote disability rights in other organisations and businesses.

Emma said: “When I did my speech, I felt power building inside me like a volcano. I am so happy about reading my speeches and speaking up for people like me, who don’t have a voice.”

She added: “I think it was an amazing trip. I have never been to New York before. It was fantastic and I am so happy about reading my two speeches and I am so proud of myself.”

East Devon

The United Nations meeting was held in New York.
Photo: with permission.

East Devon

Emma spoke about disability and exclusivity.
Photo: with permission.

united nations

Emma at the conference.
Photo: with permission.

New York

She was invited to speak to the conference by the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA), where she is a member of the organisation’s self-advocacy group ‘Our Voice’,.
Photo: with permission.

New York

Emma at the conference.
Photo: with permission.

New York

Emma’s trip was her first time in New York.
Photo: with permission.

Emma highlighted the importance of day-to-day accessibility for disabled people, including reading and voting.

Emma told the UN officials: “Think about all the things you need to read each day. Well, I need to read these too. “Having things in Easy Read allows me to be in charge of my life.”

And she told the conference how the ability to vote makes her feel.

Emma said: “I love voting. It feels good inside and makes me happy about something I’ve done.”

New York

Emma took some time to sightsee in New York.

Emma outside the conference venue.
Photo: with permission.

New York

Photo: with permission.

East devon

Emma took time to see some of the sights while she was in New York.
Photo: with permission.

Emma met with some of the other delegates.
Photo: with permission.

At the conference Emma met with the Minister for Disabled People, Tom Pursglove, and networked with other self-advocates from across the globe.

She was accompanied by Chris Rees, the DSA policy manager and Abigail Harris, a DSA information officer.

Emma won praise for her presentations by Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, a Human Rights Lawyer from America, and chair of the conference panel.

Affordable homes are included in approved plans to build 180 newbuilds in East Devon

 

About Author