Inclusion Europe is 35 this year, and you wouldn’t know it.

Today (14 December 2023) in Brussels, we’ll be having a little celebration of Inclusion Europe anniversary.

We are 35 this year.

I’m looking forward to meet some of the people who contribute to our work towards full rights and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

It’s always a pleasure.

Now, you’d probably expect me to list here Inclusion Europe achievements over the years. (And there would be plenty to choose from.)

For 35 years we have been working towards full rights and inclusion of 20 million people with intellectual disabilities and family members in Europe.

We’ve played a role in making some significant progress in this direction.

Thank you to every single one of you who helped us on our journey so far.

We wouldn’t be here without the dedication, hard work, and generous spirit of so many of you.

Thank you!

But instead of reviewing past steps, I want to talk about where our journey takes us next.

Because for all the progress achieved, there are still many, painfully many!, who don’t get to enjoy it.

  • Hundreds of thousands in segregated “care” institutions.
  • Families, isolated, left as the sole “care provider”.

Many who cannot even tell their story, because resources for self-advocacy are so limited, and possibilities to connect and share so restricted.

And that’s what we are tackling next.

  1. For every possible self-advocate and family member to have the opportunity of telling their story face to face with those who need to hear it.
  2. To bring the best advocacy and research into EU and other relevant decision-making. To influence where it matters with expertise that makes a difference.
  3. To collaborate across Europe on things that change peoples’ lives: From self-advocacy, through deinstitutionalisation, to any other thing that brings people together to end segregation.

Our purpose is to end segregation of people with intellectual disabilities, and isolation of their families.

It is a big ask.

So we will need to be big and act big to get it done.

And get it done we will.

The reason I’m sharing this is simple: To make this happen, we are going to need every resource, every idea, every support we can get.

If you think you can help us get where we are heading, this post is for you. Get in touch.

Help us end segregation of people with intellectual disabilities, and isolation of their families.