People with intellectual disabilities deserve equal access to health services
Health is a key aspect of life, for people with intellectual disabilities as for anyone else. Unfortunately, discrimination is still widespread when it comes to accessing quality health care. This has resulted in numerous preventable deaths, a lower life expectancy (for example, in the UK, for women the difference in life expectancy is 18 years, and for men 14 years) and poorer quality of life for many people with intellectual disabilities.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) states that people with disabilities have the right to access the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability.
And while some illnesses may be related to a person’s disability, we should not forget that a disability is not an illness!
People with intellectual disabilities should be able to access mainstream health care services on an equal basis.
To achieve this goal, we need accessibility in different areas – for example, easy-to-read information about health, as well as trained doctors and nurses who understand how to explain diagnoses and medical procedures in an easy-to-understand way.
Inclusion Europe has been advocating for this for a long time.
In 2018, we organised a one-off meeting to further develop European recommendations on access to health for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
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Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.
This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.
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