In health care or education, employment or housing, people with intellectual disabilities are consistently discriminated against. They know it too, as a United Kingdom study has shown that nine of the 10 people with intellectual disabilities who were polled admitted to having experienced discrimination, while 51% of respondents believed they were part of the most discriminated group in society.
When faced with constant stigma, being able to advocate for one’s rights is a crucial skill that all people with intellectual disabilities should possess. Acting as a self-advocate helps people with intellectual disabilities become more confident, more aware of their rights and responsibilities, and better able to speak for themselves. However, opportunities for gaining these skills are scarce, as the self-advocacy movement is only now developing in many European countries.
With this is mind, the European Platform of Self-Advocates, together with Inclusion Europe and FEAPS, is proud to invite people with intellectual disabilities, their families, carers and all interested individuals to the largest self-advocacy conference in Europe. The “Hear our Voices” Conference, a completely accessible event developed by and for self-advocates, will take place from 2-4 October in Madrid, and will feature self-advocates speakers from Europe and beyond. From legal capacity, to managing financed or sexuality, the different sessions will both inform and empower participants, while workshops will ensure they can gain practical skills, ranging from developing a video curriculum to surfing the internet safely.