The Danish association of Youth With Disabilities (SUMH) is an umbrella organization led by and working for young people with disabilities. Our vision is a future where all young people can have the youthhood they desire regardless of their disability, diagnosis or chronic illness.
SUMH makes the needs of young people with disabilities visible and strengthens the resources we require through political advocacy and by carrying out projects. We develop methods and tools which address all aspects of living out youthhood, such as education, leisure and freetime, working life, friendships, sexuality and accessibility.
SUMH works in Denmark and internationally using the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, and with the mindset “leave no one behind”.
We pay tribute to youthhood
SUMH pays tribute to the fact that youthhood is a special time that shapes people’s future opportunities, wider education and identity.
At SUMH we receive one another as we are, whether we have a visible or invisible disability. We speak openly and honestly with one another about the things we have in common that take up a lot of space in the lives of young people. We treat one another with respect and understanding – an approach that generates new perspectives and breaks down prejudice.
We strengthen communities and create change
SUMH offers activities where youth with disabilities become part of a strong community. Youths gain the knowledge and tools to develop personally, socially and professionally across their disabilities. It is also possible to engage with SUMH as a volunteer and create important change for ourselves and others. We always have space and time to raise a glass, have fun and laugh together in accessible settings with plenty of space for individual needs.
Young people can also get involved in SUMH through our sixteen member organizations that we support and reinforce in their work. We stand together with the member organizations in creating political change for the benefit of as many youth with disabilities as possible.
We effectively reduce disabilities
We use the word disability as a common phrase for young people’s functional impairment, various diagnoses and chronic illnesses, even though the term is both loved and hated.
Disabilities arise when people are faced with barriers in society because of their challenges, but we are not our disabilities. And a disability can be reduced if the world around us takes the time to consider our needs.
SUMH works to break down barriers that hinder youth with disabilities, when they are at school, on the train, at festivals and in many other places. SUMH attaches great importance to collaborating with other organizations. Together, we generate solid knowledge and high quality materials for professionals and others who are in or connected to young people’s lives.
At SUMH, we dream of a society where all young people with disabilities can participate and feel included.
SUMH’s international work
SUMH’s aim is for all youth with disabilities in Denmark and abroad to live the youthhood they desire. We work internationally in equal partnerships with local youth disability organizations. Within those partnerships, we strive for equal opportunities for, and the equal participation of, youth with disabilities in society. We do this by:
- Supporting youth with disabilities directly
- Supporting youth with disabilities in gaining insight into their rights and possibilities be influencers
- Supporting partners in strengthening their own organizations
At present, SUMH has projects in Uganda and Sierra Leone.
Interested in collaborating with us?
At SUMH we work together with youth disability organizations and youth divisions of disability organizations where youth with disabilities are represented, that is, they either constitute a part of the organization’s volunteer staff or are a part of the executive board.
If you are interested in collaborating with us, please send Solveig Svendsen a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.