Inclusion Europe interviewed László Bercse, as part of the End Segregation campaign. László talks ending segregation and how participation in the community and independent living is vital for people with intellectual disabilities. László is a Hungarian self-advocate and the Co-president of Inclusion Europe’s member ÉFOÉSZ.
- What does ending segregation mean to you?
For me, segregation means that people with disabilities are excluded from the community and cannot take part in everyday activities on an equal basis with others. This has to change! The UN CRPD clearly states that we have the right to live independently and to be included. I want us to live freely and be members of our communities like everyone else, without anyone violating our rights.
- Have you ever lived in an institution and if yes can you describe your life in the institution?
I have never lived in an institution, but I have heard many bad experiences from other self-advocates. It is always sad to hear that they are often completely separated from the local communities and can barely make any decisions about their own lives.
- Why do you think community-based living is important?
I think community-based living is important because this way we can meet other people and be part of the regular life of our communities. We can find work more easily, live independently with the right support, and play an active role in society.
- What would you like to be achieved in terms of integration and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities?
We need inclusive employment. This would mean inclusive workplaces and job fairs, employers who know and appreciate our abilities, and colleagues who know how to support us in our work.
We need supported decision-making instead of guardianship. We need the right to vote and to play an active role in society.
We need inclusive education, so children with and without a disability can meet each other and be friends from an early age.
We need inclusive communities who support us to take part. To achieve this, we must raise awareness in our cities and villages.
- What kind of support do people with intellectual disabilities need when living outside of institutions?
People with intellectual disabilities living outside institutions need jobs to be financially independent. We need support services available in our own homes and personal budgets to be able to choose the services we want.
We have to raise awareness about the importance of accessible information. We need accessible information to be independent, for example, to go to the bank or the local municipalities.
Inclusion Europe wants the segregation of people with intellectual disabilities to end by 2030! With our members, other disability organisations, activists, and experts, we fight for a Europe where people with intellectual disabilities enjoy equal rights and participate fully in all aspects of life.
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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