Time for More Equal Treatment

07 July 2023

“The Future is Ours” Project: Empowering Change and Inclusion

7.th July 2023— The EU for Trisomy 21 Network is delighted to announce the successful conclusion of its fourth event in the ongoing “The Future is Ours” project. Held on July 6th, the event, sponsored by the European Union through the CERV grant, was a resounding success in fostering dialogue and empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities, with a particular focus on Equal Treatment in the Workplace and related topics. You can read the official report here.

The event brought together participants from across Europe, with interpreters available for multiple languages, including Italian, English, Romanian, and Hungarian.

“The Future is Ours” is a project that originated in 2019 as a network of local organizations dedicated to celebrating World Down Syndrome Day. Over time, it has evolved into a platform for advocacy and empowerment. The project has already hosted two online events and one in-person gathering in Brussels, where 75 participants from various EU countries and 28 individuals with Down Syndrome met parliamentarians to discuss crucial issues, including health.

This final event in the series addressed the critical issue of Equal Treatment in the Workplace. The distinguished panel of speakers included Chiara Gemma, a Member of the European Parliament; Maria James, a gold medalist swimmer and advocate from Malta; Yasmin Ismail, a junior psychologist from Romania; and Károly Kisari, the founder of the Hungarian Hidden Treasures Down Association and the Mentorállás Foundation.

Chiara Gemma, who serves on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Disability Intergroup in the European Parliament, addressed the audience through a prerecorded video due to her last-minute travel commitments. She emphasized the importance of self-advocacy and the need to amplify the voices of those with intellectual disabilities in the political arena.

Maria James, a passionate advocate and gold medalist in swimming, shared her inspiring journey and discussed her work promoting equal treatment in the workplace for people with Down syndrome. Yasmin Ismail, a junior psychologist, offered valuable insights into her career and the challenges she has overcome, encouraging others to pursue their dreams. Károly Kisari, a pioneer in the field, discussed the mission of his organizations in Hungary, focusing on the integration of individuals with disabilities into society and the open labor market.

Throughout the event, the audience had the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers, fostering interactive discussions and enhancing understanding.

The EU for Trisomy 21 Network is committed to continuing its advocacy and empowerment efforts. It has applied for another EU project that aims to empower self-advocates to communicate effectively with the media, politicians, and the public, promoting visibility and autonomy.

The success of “The Future is Ours” project on July 6th reaffirms the commitment of the EU for Trisomy 21 Network to create a more inclusive and equitable society for individuals with intellectual disabilities across Europe.

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