My thoughts on Inclusion Europe’s 2006 Europe in Action conference in Brussels

Sean Ryan, Cork (Inclusion Ireland Advocacy Committee member)

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On the first morning of the conference, I was very interested to hear that people with intellectual disabilities have no rights to receive sex education. A lot of people with intellectual disabilities do not understand the meaning of Aids, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The second point I would like to report on is that the majority of parents of people with disabilities are actually living under the poverty line, not only in Ireland but in Europe as a whole. I was amazed and surprised to hear this fact.

The third point that was highlighted at the conference was that people with intellectual disabilities must have motivation to live. In my own opinion even people with intellectual disabilities need to feel loved. I realise this from my own personal life and see this as a very valid point.

The highlight of my trip to Brussels was to see Paul Alford elected to the Board of EPSA – European Platform of Self Advocates

It is incredible how my life has changed in the last ten years.

I was lucky to find the right people and good support. Having a job is very important for people with intellectual disabilities.

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