On March 20, AGENDA partner ASEAN Youth Forum (AYF) held a virtual youth talk show titled “Self-made, Youth, Imagining Inclusive Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities.” The talk show was designed as a platform for young people to share their knowledge and experiences to encourage and inspire their peers to achieve financial independence using the multitude of entrepreneurship opportunities in the digital world. For young people with disabilities, one of the ways to attain financial freedom is through entrepreneurship. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many to be accustomed to the digital technologies and created new economic opportunities for youth with disabilities, including in the art industry, social entrepreneurship or other related ventures. Therefore, it is crucial for youth with disabilities who have become self-made to represent, inspire and encourage their peers to explore the possibilities of attaining financial independence through the digital world. Beverly Bravo from the Philippines, Wong Liang Li from Singapore and Nicky Clara from Indonesia joined as speakers of the talk show moderated by Thitiphorn Prawatsrichai from Thailand, a teacher at the Network of Music and Art for Persons with Disabilities (NMAD). The speakers explained that persons with disabilities can benefit from enabling environments and it is important to have a solid foundation of supportive family and friends, or laws and systems providing opportunities to access the digital space. The speakers also highlighted the importance of self-empowerment to overcome challenges. Last, the speakers expressed the need for more collaboration with government institutions and called on governments to raise awareness regarding existing opportunities for disabled entrepreneurs. A total of 84 participants, including 48 women and 11 persons with disabilities, attended the talk show. The participants came from all ASEAN Member States and Timor-Leste. Twelve of the participants contributed to the social media campaign of the event.

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