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2013 - Crossed views ... The Developmentally Disabled in Europe

Crossed views ...
The Developmentally Disabled in Europe

The place of the developmentally disabled changes in our societies, at the pace of laws, campaigns of information, but especially in the look of others.

The laws concerning the developmentally disabled seem to constantly change in order to facilitate their integration, their ‘’social integration”, in the schools, at the workplace, in public places.

These ‘’ improvements’’ are obtained by the mobilization of the organizations representing the developmentally disabled, first of all the families, and sometimes from the developmentally disabled speaking for themselves.

Initiatives to facilitate the accessibility are put into place with however great difficulties in concrete realizations.

Despite these positive advances, society in its whole remains little concerned by the place of the developmentally disabled and the evolution of their situation.

Although the disabled are less hidden, and generally less rejected, their position remains very fragile. 

The fact of being accepted remains very limited, relatively constrained and especially the way “normal people” look at the developmentally disabled remains characterized by the holding on to a separation, a sort of segregation toward the developmentally disabled.

We suggest making an evaluation of the evolution of the place of the developmentally disabled in the related countries by looking at:
  • The evolution of the general laws ( services, protection  …), policies concerning professional insertion and the non-access to work
  • The placement of a developmentally disabled child in a family, services for the parents, the living conditions in institutions
  • Schooling of the developmentally disabled and their access to education, training
  • The developmentally disabled in society: leisure, culture, housing
  • The evolution or non-evolution of the way others look at them
  • Intimate and sexual life, family life
  • The aging of the developmentally disabled and their families, the worries of what will happen after …
  • And so on
Making the point on these issues will help us to think through what society represents in the situation of the developmentally disabled, how we see them, and what suggestions we can make to foster a social change in our relationship to Others who are disabled.

Europe is part of us:

And if it were you? And if I were in this situation?
How can we imagine our life, our world to enable the developmentally disabled to have a real place in it?