The seminar provided information about the right to decide, autonomy and advocacy of people with intellectual disability. Participants heard from panelists from:
Argentina: Movimiento Autogestores Argentinos de la Fundación Itineris
Spain: Down Toledo, – Área de autonomía.
Colombia: ASDOWN Colombia
Paraguay: Autogestores Paraguay – Fundación Saraki
Luis Gabriel presented Inclusion International and the work that has been done in the Americas with self-advocates. He spoke about the challenges they face and their need to expand their work with self-advocates. You can view his presentation (in Spanish) here.
He also talked about the meetings with self-advocates in other regions of Inclusion International where they discussed the challenges of people with intellectual disabilities where they said:
- Talk for ourselves and be supported when needed, be able to say what we think.
- Our voice is important
- Be clear about what inclusion means. Work to achieve inclusion
- Make our own decisions and seek support when needed
- Be recognized as valuable people
- Knowing that human rights are not exclusive of some, they are for everyone. They are the same for people with disabilities too.
- We want to participate: vote, work, have fun, belong to the community.
Independent does not mean being alone … we need support to make decisions and be independent.
He highlighted what is gained when self-advocates are empowered:
- It makes us owners of our lives
- It makes us responsible
- It enriches us in our relationships
- It prevents violation of our rights
- It strengthens our personality
- It makes people acknowledge our point of view
Luis Gabrielle also invited participants to join self-advocates in Orlando (25-29 October 2016) and presented the GUÍA DE FORMACIÓN AUTOGESTORES: MI VOZ Y MI OPINIÓN which is part of the work of self-advocates from ASDOWN Colombia.