3rd International Family Forum

Building Inclusive Communities

As part of a strategy to strengthen families and their organizations in Colombia, Inclusion International with Colombian partners,  is hosting the 3rd International Conference for Families in Cali, Colombia from March 20th to 22nd.

We are grateful to COMFANDI in Cali and the Open Society Foundation OSF for their financial support; Fundación Familia Down, Red de Familias por el Cambio and Asdown (II’s member) for all the logistics, the work and contacts provided to make this a  very successful meeting and to the international and national speakers that will be part of the program.

The framework of the meeting draws on the knowledge gathered through II’s global campaigns and is part of a follow up to II’s Global Report: Living and Be Included in the Community “Inclusive Communities=Stronger Communities”.

We have many great challenges before us. One big challenge is helping people with an intellectual disability to leave institutions with the proper supports to do well in their community.  At the same time we need to offer in our communities things that benefit people. There is also a need to outline the successful thinking and selling strategies needed to move people with employment barriers, especially significant employment barriers, from the desire to work to actual employment. For that we have as invited international speakers Steve Eidelman, Bruce Uditsky and Allen Anderson to share their expertise in two essential topics employment and the transformation of Institutions , both to be in compliance with the Convention of the Rights of People with Disability CRPD and to use existing resources more effectively.

Steven Eidelman is the H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Human Services Policy and Leadership at the University of Delaware. He will share his experience in deinstitutionalization and the challenges it faces.

Bruce Uditsky  is the CEO of Alberta Association for Community Living (AACL) and Adjunct Professor, Community Rehabilitation & Disability Studies, Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary.  Bruce has  been successful at creating partnerships to advance employment for people with intellectual disability of all ages.

Allen Anderson, President of DTG-EMP, has been engaged in the job development field since 1980. He is a thought leader and speaker on issues related to employment outcomes for people with employment barriers.

We will also have national speakers who will share best practices from the private sector; non-government organizations, government and international agencies. Topics discussed  will be the early years, life in the Community, Inclusive Education, Families, supported decision, self-advocates and employment. All essential topics to guarrantee the rights of people with intellectual disability. Discussions around the needed changes for family organizations, organizations that provide services and government agencies will draw from the knowledge of the participants and will be resources for the upcoming transformation in the following years.

We hope that all the participants will come out of the meeting empowered to work together to create the needed systemic changes that will enable the creation of a better future for people with intellectual disability and their families as valued citizens.