Diane Richler – Past President

Diane RichlerI firmly believe that policies that include people with an intellectual disability and their families are good public policies for everyone.

My own experience is particularly in inclusive education, closing institutions, and citizen engagement. Citizen engagement sounds complicated, but it really means finding ways for all people to participate in the decision making for their communities and countries. As we work on ways to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities and their families participate as full citizens we improve democracy for all.

The goals that I have been most focused on are the ones dealing with children, families, and education. However, I think that we need to challenge ourselves to address the goal dealing with HIV AIDS, and other diseases since people with disabilities are so much more vulnerable, and currently are not benefiting equally from efforts at prevention and treatment. I also think that we can contribute a lot to the goal related to international cooperation because of our large network and our knowledge about how change happens.

Our strength lies in our ability to link local voices to global change. We need to get better at communicating the knowledge of our members and mobilizing that to bring about changes in government policies, and the policies of multi-lateral institutions like the World Bank, and the United Nations agencies.