Self-advocacy means direct self-representation by people with intellectual disabilities – thus, they become advocates of their own rights.
Most persons with intellectual disability are not listened to and have little control over their own lives, and little respect from others. This often results from underestimating the persons’ abilities. Many family members and professionals still perceive persons with intellectual disability as children and do not let them freely decide, make mistakes and take over control over their own lives.
PSONI firmly believes that most people with intellectual disability have a capacity to participate in social life. It is in our best interest to develop their skills and not to overlook their positive contribution to our society’s diversity. Self-advocacy is already present in all European countries. Many national self-advocacy organisations are members of the European Platform of Self-Advocates (EPSA).