Including people with intellectual disabilities in leadership improves an organisation.
The organisation gets to use the skills and ideas of self-advocates, and they become a role model for inclusion to others. This is especially important for organisations that advocate for human rights.
If people with intellectual disabilities are not given the right support to learn, build skills, make decisions, and share their opinions within an organisation, their position in leadership is tokenistic.
Self-advocates told us:
People with an intellectual disability are denied choice and the right to make decisions. This means that their voices are often not heard.
People with intellectual disabilities do not usually get leadership positions, like being board members or advisors
If you are used to being excluded and not listened to, becoming a leader and getting used to making decisions takes time and practice.
Self-advocacy empowers people with intellectual disabilities to move from personal decision-making to representing others.