Knowledge Database

Krisztina Horvat: The Importance of Self Advocacy of People with Autism in the Context of Progressive Reforms: A Good Practice from Hungary

2015

Aims: The number autism diagnoses tripled in the last years in Hungary. This tendency puts both services and public authorities into a difficult situation: they meet more and more people with autism-specific needs. To tackle these challenges, the Government adopted the National Autism Strategy in 2008. Furthermore, the EU-funded project ‘Eight-Points’ was launched in 2013, aiming to train hundreds of professionals, and to improve services in education, healthcare and social services. Method: Progressive reforms cannot be realised without the participation of people with disabilities. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities makes it mandatory for State Parties (including Hungary) to consult disabled people – through their organisations – into all decisions that are taken about them. There is a gap between human rights and reality: two hundred autism-focused NGOs work in Hungary today, but none of them are led and controlled by people with autism. Results: Self-advocacy is crucial because people with autism are increasingly critical towards mainstream concepts such as normalisation (“We are not broken, we don’t need to be fixed or cured.”). They openly differentiate themselves from parent-led organisations (e.g. Autism Self-Advocacy Network in the USA). Self-advocates need special, human rights-based support to be empowered and become leaders of organisations. Conclusion: I`ll look at the importance of self-advocacy in the context of progressive reforms. I`ll introduce the support given by the ‘Eight Points’ project to self-advocates and the foundation of the first NGO in Hungary that is led and controlled by people with autism.

Research Articles & AbstractsCan You Hear My Voice?
Nothing about Us without Us – from Slogan to Reality for People with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities
Video LecturesEphraim Mohlokane: Being a Successful Self Advocate
Research Articles & AbstractsFrom Research About Us to Research with Us
  • Disabilities:

    Autism

  • Topics:

    Self-Advocacy & Leadership

  • Keywords:

    ,

  • Audience:

    General public, Professionals

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