Organisations of persons with intellectual disabilities from across Europe call on public authorities, information and education providers as well as the general public to recognise the right of persons with intellectual disabilities to information and lifelong learning.
The participants from fourteen different countries met in Ljubljana to discuss the access of persons with intellectual disabilities to easy-to-read and easy-to-understand information and lifelong learning opportunities.
Even though both rights are guaranteed under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ratified by the majority of the European countries, the accessibility needs of persons with intellectual disabilities are rarely taken into account when it comes to the provision of information and adult education.
‘Easy-to-read’ is an essential accessibility requirement for persons with intellectual disabilities. National legislations should guarantee the provision of easy to read information along with other measures aimed at removing barriers faced by persons with disabilities in society.
While easy-to-read information is primarily produced for persons with intellectual disabilities, it benefits all. ‘When I can make information accessible for all, why would I make it accessible only for myself?’ asked Carolina García, a self-advocate from Spain who provides training on how to make information easy to read and understand.
The involvement of persons with intellectual disabilities in the production of easy-to-read information is the principal quality requirement which cannot be compromised. The European easy-to-read logo is used as a quality mark for texts that were produced according to the European standards for making information easy to read and understand involving persons with intellectual disabilities.
The meeting was organised as a final event for the European project Creating Pathways to Lifelong Learning for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. The project brought together organisations of persons with intellectual disabilities who used the European standards for making information easy to read and understand and other tools in order to make information and adult education programmes accessible to learners with intellectual disabilities in their countries. The project Pathways is carried out with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union. More information about the project can be found at www.Life-Long-Learning.eu
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