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From 18 to 20 September,
150 self-advocates coming from 18 countries
met in Graz, Austria
for the Hear our Voices conference.
One of the self-advocates who spoke at the conference
was Elisabeta Moldovan from Romania.
Elisabeta talked about her experience
growing up in institutions.
Manuel Lankmair from Austria
talked about a study he did:
he looked at the websites and programmes of political parties in Austria
to see if they were accessible.
Manuel said that the political parties still have a lot to do
to make their websites accessible.
In addition, only one political party
had a programme in easy-to-read.
Antonio Hinojosa from Spain
shared some good news from his country.
People living under guardianship in Spain
Thibeau Bastien from Belgium gave a workshop
about how to involve politicians
and people working in business
to support a cause.
At the conference there were some self-advocates
who ran for elections themselves.
One of them is Xavier Orno from Spain.
Xavier and some other self-advocates
ran for the last local elections in Spain.
Xavier hopes that other self-advocates
will follow his example
and will run for elections in their countries.
Senada Halilčević is the former chairman of EPSA.
“When people with intellectual disabilities
are not allowed to vote,
they don’t feel part of society. “
People with intellectual disabilities in Austria
are allowed to vote.
Two people spoke about how people with disabilities
are included in the city of Graz:
- the mayor of Graz, Siegfried Nagl
- Wolfgang Palle. He works with people with disabilities in Graz.
Self-advocates said which changes they want to see happening.
These are the same things they have said before:
- voting rights for people under guardianship
- accessible information
- employment for people with intellectual disabilities
- Special edition of “Europe for Us” for the conference in
English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish
- Final conference messages in
English, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish
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