In May, Diane Richler, immediate Past President of Inclusion International, presented the results of Inclusion International’s Global Report on Living in the Community to a conference marking the 5th anniversary of Spain’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The conference was organized by CERMI, the Spanish Committee of Representative of Persons with Disabilities and the Human Rights Institute Bartolomé de las Casas of the Carlos III University in Madrid.
Other presenters at the conference included Stefan Tromel, Executive Director of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) of which Inclusion International is a member, Damjan Tatic, Member of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Nawaf Kabbara, President of the Arab Organization of Disabled People (AODP), Gerison Lansdown, International Children’s Rights Consultant. United Kingdom and Jorge Araya, Secretary of Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights.
In her remarks, Richler emphasized the fact that for people who have an intellectual disability, the biggest challenge in achieving the right to live and be included in the community is the need to transform existing legislation, policy, programs and communities to be inclusive. In responding to her presentation, Javier Güemes, Assistant Director of the European Disability Forum highlighted 2 especially relevant points for Europe: the number of euphemisms being used for large institutions (such as calling them “residences” in Spain,) and the need for “second order deinstitutionalization” as called for in the Inclusion International report.