Inclusion International was started by families. Families and people with intellectual disabilities are the heart of our movement.
In 2018, our members agreed we are a united network of families and persons with intellectual disabilities working for inclusion. In June 2018 we agreed to: “explore options around family leadership that supports and strengthens advocacy for inclusion.”
What we mean by ‘Families’
Families are two or more people in a committed relationship. This may mean they are blood-related, adopted, came together by marriage or by choice. When we say ‘Families’, this includes the person with an intellectual disability and their parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family members.
The work we have done so far:
A Task Team of global family leaders helped to build an outline for the programme and plan a virtual summit to launch this work.
We have also been connecting with families through:
- Conference sessions about issues important to families
- Talks about Family Leadership
- 2016 Leaders for Change: The Need for Family Leadership (General Assembly, Orlando Florida, USA)
- 2018 Family Voices for Inclusion Summit (World Congress, Birmingham, UK)
- Consultations with Families (In 2019, we hosted 8: Bangladesh, Namibia, Trinidad/Tobago, Nigeria, Uganda, Mauritius, Israel)
- Family Leadership working meetings (Madrid, 2018)
- Ongoing discussions with members and our global network.
Families have told us they need:
- Support to build a Vision for Inclusion
- Information about Human Rights/Global Initiatives
- Knowledge on building self-advocacy
- Chances to talk with other families
- Skills and Tools to do advocacy
Global Virtual Summit
On December 8th, family member representatives within our network met to celebrate how far we have come with the support of families over the last 60 years.
Prof. Gerard Quinn, a member on the Committee of Rights of Persons with a Disability, joined us to outline his goals for the upcoming term. You can watch his presentation here.
We then split up into smaller break-out groups to share our personal and country experiences.
We have now launched a new programme called Families Taking Action for Inclusion. This programme aims to support family members to build inclusive lives and understand their supports, services and rights.
The programme will be led by families and build on the work of our organisation so far.
It will offer:
- Training programmes and workshops
- Sharing of resources and advocacy strategies
We are currently investigating the best platform to meet and share resources. For the meantime, we are continuing to stay connected in a Facebook Group. If you are a family member of a person with an intellectual disability and would like to join our family network, please click here.