Down Syndrome International and Inclusion International are working together on a project called #ListenIncludeRespect, developing guidelines for inclusive participation. Watch this video explainer:

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The challenge

Right now, there are more self-advocates leaders than ever working for change. But we know people with an intellectual disability are often still not included meaningfully in the work that affects them.

"When we take part in meetings with other organisations we very rarely get the information in the way we need"

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) guarantees the right to accessibility and participation for people with an intellectual disability.

Down Syndrome International and Inclusion International have heard from many organisations, who want to include people with intellectual disabilities in their work. But they need guidance to be more inclusive.

While there are also lots of organisations already working with people with intellectual disabilities who do this very well, we can all do better.


What we are doing

Down Syndrome International and Inclusion International’s networks have come together to develop the International Guidelines for Inclusive Participation. The guidelines will enable organisations to make their work inclusive, so that people with an intellectual disability can take part in a meaningful way.

We are following a comprehensive consultative process, bringing together all the knowledge, expertise and experience within our networks and beyond of how to achieve inclusive participation, as told by people with intellectual disabilities themselves, alongside family members, friends, colleagues, support people and organisations who work with them.

The guidelines will be used and endorsed by our members, development organisations, UN agencies and governments to become the international standards to support meaningful participation of people with intellectual disabilities.

The guidelines will serve as a reference point to help organisations to know what they need to do to include self-advocates in their work.

To find out why leaders in our movement are endorsing this work, please watch this video and share with your networks:


Listen Include Respect survey

Throughout August and September 2020 we conducted a survey to be completed by anyone who has something to tell us about making the work of organisations inclusive of people with an intellectual disability. This includes:

  • people with an intellectual disability;
  • family members or friends of people with an intellectual disability;
  • colleagues of people with an intellectual disability and
  • carers or support persons of people with an intellectual disability.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey.