For the past 18 years I have been working with IHC as a self-advocacy advisor. This role suits me as I am passionate, committed and interested in speaking up and advocating for people with an intellectual disability. I meet with people and talk about speaking up for themselves, having their say, knowing their rights and making their own decisions with support if needed.
As people with an intellectual disability say, ‘Nothing about us without us’. This means that people shouldn’t make decisions without us being in the room, involving us in the decisions or asking us how we feel about things. We have rights as well. This is what I base my work on.
In my role, I regularly travel all over the world attending meetings, forums and conferences representing the voices of people with an intellectual disability. I have been to India, Thailand, America, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Australia, England, France and Nepal – and there’s more to come.
I present presentations on numerous topics to do with intellectual disability. This means that I have to stand up and speak to lots of different audiences ranging anywhere from 100 to 2000 people. Most of them don’t have an intellectual disability. I am trying to get able-bodied and -minded people to accept and understand that although we have an intellectual disability we can do most of the same things too.
I want the whole world to know that, with the right help and support, people with an intellectual disability can able achieve lots of things that at one stage they thought might not have been possible. Remember there is no such word as can’t! This is why I am passionate about my work as a self-advocacy advisor.