The self-advocacy movement

In the 1960s, Swedish people with intellectual disabilities got together.
They formed their own clubs.
In these clubs, 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.
We told others what we wanted and needed.
We wanted to live at home in our communities.
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.
We wrote books about being disabled.
We made laws to help disabled people live better lives.
We changed the world!

We still have a long way to go.
Disabled people still get treated unfairly.
We can’t always choose where we live.
We can’t always choose 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.
We don’t always 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.
We should always be in charge of our lives.