Time for more autonomy
In celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities in early December, EU for Trisomy 21 will host the first of our The Future is Ours events: Time for more Autonomy.
Throughout our work with our partner organisations over the past few years we have realised that due to the different national laws and social systems across European countries, the level of autonomy people with disabilities can achieve varies drastically. So the question of what living an autonomous life means for people with Down Syndrome has been a topic of several debates. It is difficult to strike a balance between independence and assistance- but what it comes down to is this:
The Person with Down Syndrome must decide for themselves:
What do I want?
The support system is then responsible to help with the question:
How can I do this?
This applies to everything from living situations and work, to education and the question of how can I participate in the democratic process and make a difference for people like me?
And this is where all EU members are about to experience a big change . In May 2022 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted a new EU Electoral Law, in time for the European Parliament elections of 2024. This was then submitted to the Council of Ministers (our National Governments) as the final decision to change the EU electoral law has to be taken by Member States. The text approved by the MEPs reads:
“Every Union citizen from 16 years of age, including persons with disabilities regardless of their legal capacity, shall have the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament”.
While this is exciting news - until now people with a diminished legal capacity had only been able to vote in 8 European countries - the EU will have to work hard to adjust their communication and their accessibility to really empower people with disabilities to cast an informed vote in 2024.
Our event this December will be the first of many steps towards just that: making sure our EU wide Network is prepared for the upcoming elections - and even more important that they are prepared for us!
We will give the floor to field experts, parents and decision makers, and most importantly to Self Advocates. The question of Autonomy is much larger than just talking about the elections - we want to hear from People with Down Syndrome what living an autonomous live means for them, have them share their own stories and experiences.
Our event will take place on December 7th, at 18:00 CET (Paris Time) via Zoom. Take a look at our draft programme on the right. To participate you can sign up here.
A platform for the collaboration of associations, citizens and politicians working together for the celebration of World Down syndrome Day, to make visible the intellectual disability in general and persons with trisomy 21 in particular (most common intellectual disability of genetic origin, also called Down syndrome).