Day 21: Michael

International advocate and DSAN Chair Michael Sullivan is passionate about being a voice for people with disability. He shares why it is important to speak out about important issues.
Day 21: Michael thumbnail.
Michael Sullivan is an international advocate. 

Story by Michael Sullivan

For over two years I have been the Australian representative for the Down Syndrome International self-advocacy group.

One of the main things for me is that all people with disabilities need to be able to speak up about issues that are important.

It’s not every day a person with Down syndrome gets to represent their community on an international level. I take this role seriously.

When you are beginning in advocacy, you want to spend time to gather your ideas and thoughts around all of the important issues that affect people with disability.

You need that experience before you can work on an international level.

I am always building on my experience in my advocacy work and asking different questions of the other advocates in the international group. Because it’s not just about me as an individual, it’s about working together to address some of the major issues.  

We talk about issues like inclusive education in schools. I have experience in this area from my previous work.

All areas in advocacy are important, but I think one of the biggest issues is bullying.

Anyone with a disability can experience bullying. It has to stop.

We have to address these issues at places like the Disability Royal Commission. It’s important to report these problems.

It’s important for all people with disability to stand up for their rights. Not just people with Down syndrome.