Polskie Forum Osób z Niepełnosprawnościami organised a conference called “We have the right to live independently. We cannot wait any longer”, and I was invited to speak during a panel about the Polish deinstitutionalisation strategy and “whether we have to wait until 2030?”
I offered suggestions for deinstitutionalisation:
- Prevent institutionalisation of those living in the community now
- Build relationships, not houses
- Lead with support for people with complex support needs
Plus, to progress transition from institutions to community:
- People with disabilities and families in driving seat
- Ignore constant requests for “evidence” that living in the community is good for people. There’s plenty already
- No need to reinvent the wheel. We know what support is needed, and how to make the transition
Deinstitutionalisation strategy can build on this and make the change.
It is clearly not acceptable for people with disabilities to wait another 15 years for something to happen.
Not even 5. Make it happen now.