Citizenship and People with Intellectual Disabilities: An International Imperative?
The denial of citizenship to people with intellectual disabilities makes them among the most marginalised in every nation. Their exclusion comes from the persistent stigma associated with this disability, their assumed helplessness and the lack of self-advocacy. Their citizenship needs to become an international imperative, not least because more equal societies benefit everyone. It could be realised by ensuring that interventions to ameliorate the disability are available to infants and families and that all children have access to education and to productive employment in adulthood. More fundamentally it requires changed mindsets; new media images of persons with this disability and persistent challenges to discriminatory practices. Yet the most profound action is also the simplest: parents and professionals treating each person as though they are already a citizen.
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