World Congress 2018 Highlights

Nearly 1,000 delegates attended the World Congress from 70 countries.

These are just a few of our favourite images from the World Congress.  Check out our photo album.

We came together to celebrate ourachievements. To learn from, and, inspire each other.  We left Birmingham knowingthat together we lead the way in building the next phase of the inclusion movement

We weren’t the only ones who were inspired to make inclusion real.  Read the blogs of some of our speakers and delegates:

Lisa, Enable Scotland wrote: “It was a fantastic experience to socialise with and learn from people from all over the world, sharing our knowledge and experience from a range of perspectives.”

Katharina, Guadalupe  and Yuvanny  CBM, Nicaragua said “I take to Nicaragua the experience on the different ways that each country works regarding inclusion of people with disabilities in the educational system, the feeling that the people with disabilities themselves demand their rights and that they work accordingly so that they becomes a reality”

Keren from AKIM Israel said: “I had the chance to meet self-advocates from all-over the world and learned how self-advocacy works in other countries… every day of the congress was a source of inspiration”

“I found the World Congress very inspirational. My favourite thing was connecting with people from around the world.” wrote Ismail, Mencap, UK

Chris from Community Living Ontario, Canada said “…it was really nice to see some real collaboration between families, support organizations, and people with intellectual disabilities.” 

“I return home so fired up on how to magnify the voices of our members and join the global conversation that is happening all around us.” Jackie, Carrickfergus Junior Gateway, Northern Ireland.

Global Self-Advocacy Summit

On Thursday 31st May, nearly 500 self-advocates came together to call for action to make the world more inclusive.  Even before the World Congress had begun self-advocates were sharing their thoughts on the big issues that effect them.  Read more about the Summit here.

Tell us what youthought about the World Congress

Were you with us in Birmingham?  We would really like to hear what you think about the World Congress.  Can you spare 10 mins to complete our event survey?


Challenges, successes and the future

Some of the highlights seen and heard at the World Congress include:


  • Outside our movement, people don’t understand intellectual disability. They lack the knowledge and tools to support inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
  • Even where policies and practices are in place, there is a gap for people with intellectual disabilities. Self-advocates and families are asking “what are we waiting for?”


    • We are seeing a growing self-advocacy voice.
    • Families are a force for inclusion.
    • Human rights activists and are joining our fight for inclusion.

The future of our movement

    • Improve the ways we connect with each other so our network can be a unified voice for change.
    • We need to work together to develop and provide the tools, resources and practical examples so people can understand the “how-to” of inclusion.
    • Organisations need our support to become more inclusive, both in practice and governance structures.

A Huge Thank You!

Thank you to Mencap, Inclusion Europe, Therap Global, IDDC , Midland Mencap, Town Hall Symphony Hall, Birmingham and all the volunteers who gave up their time to make the World Congress a success.