#StickYourNeckOut

Lorena Julio – Argentina

We all could see the inequalities in the society. I saw it in my town. Children with disabilities have no access to education because the system is not accessible and also the parents feel ashamed because of the prejudices of the community. Some people are more aware while others prefer to ignore this unfair situation. 

I am Lorena, a Human Rights advocate with a Master in Compared Public Policies and a degree in Social Communication. I worked the last years on promotion and protection of Human Rights in Latin America and the United States.

From entering the Organization of American States (OAS) as Communication Officer to becoming the Program Manager of the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) in charge of leading the youth participation space at the region’s main Presidents Summit, plus being selected to read the official Youth Statement to the Heads of State gathered, I have been able to forge my role of incidence as net-builder and supporter both of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and youth movement globally. This opportunity to connect people, ideas and the most pressing issues to solve such as the lack of accessibility for persons with disabilities has meant teaming up with professionals and change-makers on impactful projects.

Lorena Julio – kanthari Dream Speech

Along the way, the way that new technologies were used distressed me. All the time I asked myself why they were not at the service of the people who needed it the most, for example, people with disabilities. I wanted to change that situation, serve as a bridge between the existing needs and the opportunities that the most vulnerable are not allowed to enjoy. I wanted to take action to achieve a more equitable world with more justice for all. 

I was once invited to speak at an event called “Application of national technologies to inclusion”. It was an event mainly focused on people with disabilities. And many of the universities were invited to showcase their innovations. The major topic of this event was to share information about the new technologies that will improve the life of people with disability. Many people with disability attended the occasion but unfortunately there was no agenda provided in Braille for the blind. There were also no subtitles on the official event video nor was there a sign language interpreter for the needs of the deaf.

Knowing that my main aim in life is to make a difference. I did a course on entrepreneurship in Israel and then a leadership course for social change makers at Kanthari in India. After that I decided to create my own project to promote the rights of people with disabilities. A project named Comparlante, joining the words Compartir and Parlante – Share and Talking. 

Me, being selected as one of the 30 social agents from around the globe to be trained at Kandhari’s 7-month program in India meant a key milestone for the holistic development of the organization’s purpose and actions, both in terms of geographical and human approaching

In Latin America, there are 85 million people with disabilities. They suffer exclusion and lack equal access. The biggest barrier that people with physical disability face is access to public spaces such as hospitals, governmental offices, schools or workplaces. Transportation, roads, parking, toilets etc. are not accessible. A blind person, for example, cannot access relevant information such as governmental information, job opportunities, online learning platforms or day to day matters like internet banking, online shopping or reading the newspaper.” 

I founded Fundación Comparlante in Argentina with the aim of shortening the gap to access education and information for visually impaired persons. Currently, Comparlante promotes equity through universal accessibility. Fundación Comparlante, is a multinational collaboration-based organization, my greatest example and achievement.

At Comparlante we want to use the potential of technologies to empower persons with disabilities. Today our organization is composed by young professionals from Latin America who share the same dream and commitment, to make an equitable world for people with disabilities. I firmly believe that we can build a new reality, a world with more rights for more people.