Seminar: Independent but not Alone: The Human Right to Decide


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Start Time: 

9:45 AM

End Time: 

11:15 AM


 This interactive session will engage participants in a dialogue about supporting people with intellectual disabilities to have a voice.  It will share the findings of Inclusion International's (II) global report on the right to decide and highlight the link between supporting people with intellectual disabilities to make decisions and the need to develop and sustain self-advocacy.  The session will explore challenges and opportunities for individuals, support persons and organizations to foster self-advocacy and share II's theory and methodology for building self-advocacy around the world.  Participants will learn about what self-advocacy is and how to build it.  Global examples of self-advocacy will be profiled. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Establish a connection between supporting people with intellectual disabilities to make decisions and the need for self-advocacy
  • Increase understanding of the right to make decisions, specifically, article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities
  • Enhance knowledge on what self-advocacy is and how to build it
  • Foster links to communities of interest working on self-advocacy

About the Seminar Leaders

Photo: Anna MacQuarrie

Anna MacQuarrie, Inclusion International's Director of Human Rights, Policy and Global Initiatives, works with II’s members and partners on making the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities real and meaningful for people with intellectual disabilities and families.

Photo: Nagase Osamu

Nagase Osamu is Visiting Research Professor of Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan as well as Visiting Researcher at the Global Studies Center at University of Shizuoka.  He serves as the Asia Pacific Regional Representative and a council member of Inclusion International.  Nagase has been promoting self-advocacy movements in less developed parts of Southeast Asia.  Nagase has been involved in the CRPD negotiations and implementation as a member of Japan Disability Forum and Inclusion International.  Nagase was the inaugural executive director of Japan Society for Disability Studies from 2003 to 2007.  Nagase’ current priority includes collaboration with the civil society in China.

About Inclusion International

Inclusion International is a global federation of family-based organizations advocating for the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. For over fifty years Inclusion International has been committed to the promotion of these human rights and our organization now represents over 200 member federations in 115 countries throughout five regions including the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia Pacific.


Independent but Not Alone, A global report, organized by Inclusion International, confirmed findings in previous global campaigns: people with intellectual disability and their families have identified that they are Voiceless. They have told Inclusion International: “Without a Voice we are Powerless”.

The majority of people with intellectual disabilities are within the poorest of the poor; highly marginalized; excluded from education, employment, health, vocational training, recreational activities; with their rights not respected; with no supports to be able to live and participate in communities, making them very vulnerable as a group.

II’s global reports have confirmed that securing the right to make decisions is linked to building and developing self-advocacy.  Efforts in India and some countries in Europe have demonstrated that peer support is proving to be a significant element in building personal identity and demonstrating that an individual can make decisions.  Further, the efforts would suggest that it’s important to start with small day-to-day decisions and build from there. It is clear that until someone is seen as a person and treated with respect the leap to seeing the individual as a decision maker is too-wide for many to make