The self-advocacy movement

In the 1960s, Swedish people with intellectual disabilities got together. They formed their own clubs, where they talked about how they wanted to be treated. Then, the clubs told the world how they wanted to be treated.

This idea spread to other countries! Disabled people got together, and told others what we wanted and needed. We wanted to live at home in our communities, and we wanted to go to school and work with everyone else.

The self-advocacy movement grew and grew. Disabled people started running disability groups.

We closed a lot of institutions, wrote books about being disabled, and made laws to help disabled people live better lives. We changed the world!

We still have a long way to go, since disabled people still get treated unfairly. We can’t always choose where we live or what help we get. We don’t always have the right to vote. We might not get to choose how we want to spend our money, or have control over who cares for us. But we are still fighting for our rights.

A motto of the self-advocacy movement is “Nothing About Us, Without Us!”. Lots of people talk about us without letting us talk. We should always be part of the conversation, and be in charge of our lives.