A blog post by Milan Šveřepa.
I was glad to be part of ENABLE Scotlands’ 65th anniversary celebration in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on 30 April.
There were some 300 people present from all over Scotland, amongst them many activists from the ACE self-advocacy groups and family members.
Theresa Shearer, CEO of ENABLE Scotland, spoke about the organisation‘s history and its successes.
ENABLE was established by 5 families who got together to fight for a better future for their children.
And they have achieved many great things: children attend regular schools, segregated institutions were closed. ENABLE today supports thousands of people to get an education, find jobs or have support services.
But there are still problems of course: many people with intellectual disabilities live isolated and feel alone. Many face bullying on a daily basis. There are 700 people who are forced to live far from their families and communities.
ENABLE works to make this right.
The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attended the event and explained the importance of ENABLE’s work.
She talked about inclusion and what the Scottish government plans to do to make life better for people with intellectual disabilities.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) April 30, 2019
Family members spoke as did self-advocates: all saying how important ENABLE is for their lives.
They spoke about the independence they get by being supported, about how they are leading change in schools to stop bullying, and about the friends they found by being involved in ENABLE‘s activities.
Reviewing the pictures of Tuesday’s incredible #ENABLE65 Anniversary event @scotparl with #FirstMentor @NicolaSturgeon and just had to share this – so proud of my first #mentee @LucyMcKee stealing the show as she brought the speeches to a close – as it should be #proudCEO pic.twitter.com/I1URaaKbXc
— Theresa Shearer (@TheresaS_Piper) May 2, 2019
I also had the honour to speak at the event.
I mentioned some of ENABLE‘s domestic achievements:
Some #enable65 highlights :
Won the right for children to get an education in the 1970s
Got people out of long stay institutions in the 1990s
Won the right for people to direct their own care and support in the 2000s
A lot to be proud of.https://t.co/VxCnSL7T6h@InclusionEurope https://t.co/aBsnGrLDKI
— Milan Sverepa (@misver) April 30, 2019
I also said: Let’s not forget ENABLE’s contribution to European cooperation.
It was here in Scotland Inclusion Europe was established 31 years ago this May. And ENABLE is one of its founding members.
ENABLE has been a great partner ever since in our fight for rights and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families in Europe, helping develop tools for accessible elections or guidelines for easy-to-read.
Today, as we together take on new challenges in education, employment and elsewhere – we can draw inspiration from ENABLE‘s work.
Thank you ENABLE Scotland and congratulations on your anniversary.
Great to hear from @misver and the incredible work our ACE groups have achieved as members of @InclusionEurope. We are proud to be influencing and strengthening relationships with our European partners. Find out more about our ACE groups – https://t.co/y3WqHKznaB pic.twitter.com/zhS7atSxUw
— ENABLE Scotland (@ENABLEScotland) April 30, 2019
Such an honour to be part of #ENABLE65 celebration with @TheresaS_Piper @Jan_Enable @FMcKillop @JamieR_ENABLE and all other @ENABLEScotland friends and colleagues.
Catching up with @InclusionEurope past Board, EPSA members – being active in Europe is deep in Enable’s system pic.twitter.com/ls1ZSpjS4O
— Milan Sverepa (@misver) May 1, 2019