Inclusion International Self-advocates workshop in the Americas

Sao Paulo Brazil 21- 24 October, 2015

Inclusion International hosted the first Regional Meeting with self-advocates from the Americas ¨Movilización para el Cambio. Autogestores en las Américas Proponen¨.

Participants from Argentina (REDI), Brazil (Federation of APAES, APAES Sao Paulo and Movimiento Down), Chile (Lideres con Mil Capacidades), Uruguay (INSTITUTO INTERAMERICANO SOBRE DISCAPACIDAD Y DESARROLLO INCLUSIVO-iiDi META), Paraguay (Fundacion Saraki , Ecuador (FEPAPDEM), Mexico (CONFE) and Colombia (ASDOWN) gather to:

  1. discuss what it means to be a self-advocate
  2. learn about self-advocacy as a movement for change
  3. discuss the types of support you receive (from families, organizations and governments)
  4. share priorities areas for your region
  5. talk about what is required in your region to continue to develop and sustain a strong self-advocacy movement.

Participants shared their life experiences and talked about how they have organized with others, how they get supported and discussed their challenges and future plans.

They contributed to Our Voice Matters, Inclusion International’s Global Self-advocacy strategy taht wil be launched in October 2016 at Inclusion International and The Arc’s National Convention and International Forum in Orlando, Florida.

Maria Amélia Vampré Xavier long member of APAES Brasil, and valuable partner of Inclusion International over the years accompanied the group of self advocates and sent her reflections on the day. She said about this experience

‘saíram todos muito enriquecidos com essa experiência de termos em São Paulo, no Brasil, pela primeia vez que saibamos, um grupo de pessoas com deficiência intelectual ansiosos e animados de participarem do evento e ficarem conhecendo as dificuldades, os obstáculos que, na verdade, são praticamente os mesmos em todos os países.’

(All of us where enriched with this experience in Sao Paulo, that as far as we are aware it was the first time a group of people with intellectual disability and their supports, from the region, gathered to share the difficulties and obstacles they face in their advocacy work, which are almost identical in all the participating countries)