Who went to the meeting
The International Disability Alliance (IDA) Governing Body Meeting was held in Geneva in January 27- 29, 2013. Members from Inclusion International went, including the President, Klaus Lachwitz, Quincy Mwiya, Self-advocate; Anna MacQuarrie; and James Mung’omba.
Quincy was the official representative of Inclusion International on the Governing Board of IDA and the entire team gave him the support he needed in so he could fully participate in the meeting.
What the meeting was for
During the meeting, many documents were tabled for discussion including:
- Update on youth issues
- Update on Training of Trainers and Leaders (ToTAL)
The challenges for Quincy
At the start of the meeting, Quincy had difficulties in understanding all what was being discussed. However, he understood many other issues that were discussed and was very happy to be part of that process. The challenges were:
- He was the only one with an Intellectual Disability
- Some discussions were very technical and difficult to understand
- Sessions too long and difficult to concentrate
- Some presenters were too fast for Quincy to grasp ideas
On behalf of Inclusion International, Quincy made an earnest appeal to the Governing Body of IDA that in future, documents should be written in plain language that is easy to read and understand.
One interesting item on the agenda for Quincy was about youth issues. In September 2012, the IDA decided it would provide support to youth sections of IDA members to arrange a youth organizations’ led initiative. This included:
- Making sure that youth representatives were included in meetings
- Arranging time for youth representatives to prepare for these meetings
- Drafting an international ‘Youth with Disabilities Action and Advocacy Plan’ to be submitted to donors and to IDA.
Quincy intends to lobby for full participation of people with intellectual disability to be included in this youth led work.
Another agenda item discussed was an IDA Project called ToTAL. David Corner from Inclusion International was part of the ToTAL team in Fiji and you can read more in David’s report in this newsletter.
A successful meeting
Overall, the meeting in Geneva was a success and empowering for Self Advocacy and for people with intellectual disabilities.