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People with intellectual disabilities are one of the most excluded and hard to reach groups of people.
Consultations with people with intellectual disabilities are a good way to gather information to make your work more inclusive.

Self-advocates told us:

  • People with intellectual disabilities are often excluded from sharing their ideas and opinions. 

  • Surveys are usually not accessible and are often shared through email or on websites that people with intellectual disabilities do not use. 

  • Focus groups with a good facilitator work well for people with intellectual disabilities. They can give people time to talk about a topic in detail. 

Types of consultations 


Focus groups

Good examples 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) wanted to write guidelines for including people with intellectual and psychosocial disability in elections and political processes.

They wanted to hear directly from people with intellectual disabilities and psychosocial disabilities themselves about how to make elections better. They partnered with Inclusion International, an organisation of persons with disabilities representing people with intellectual disabilities, to run inclusive and accessible consultations around the world. Together, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Inclusion International chose 15 organisations of persons with disabilities from different regions and supported them to run a focus group in their country.

Plain language consent forms and plain language discussion questions were used in each country. All facilitators were given a plain language glossary of key terms, accessible slides, a facilitator's guide about how to run inclusive meetings, and were given a training about running the focus groups. People with intellectual disabilities were also included as facilitators.

Both the organisations of people with intellectual disabilities and the organisations of people with psychosocial disabilities used the same plain language tools, trainings, questions, and accessible reporting form.

Click here for the Easy Read version of the report. 

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