Page 1

10

years


Publication 10 years of the Association for Self Advocacy was supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundation and the City of Zagreb.


table of contents :


4

introduction

8

context

16

2000. - 2002.

22

2003.

34

2004.

42

2005.

52

2006.

60

2007.

68

2008.

74

2009.

86

2010.

98

2011.

110

2012.

120

2013.

138

the future


...


introduction


‌‌INTRODUCTION Dear friends and contributors, with this publication we would like to take a look back at a decade of our work in the Association for Self Advocacy. During these ten years we have tried to do everything in our power to make a few basic rights and freedoms available also to self-advocates. Although it might seem only evident that in a democratic society all citizens enjoy at least some basic rights and freedoms, such as the freedom of assembly and association, the freedom of speech, the freedom of movement, the rigth to vote or the right to marry, most of these remain generally unattainable or difficult to attain for persons with intellectual disabilities. At the very beginning we were somewhat naive to think that it would be enough to simply denounce such a state of affairs, that this alone would trigger the process of change deemed necessary. We know today that the social change processes, however necessary and justified, are never speedy nor simple.

INTRODUCTION

We have come to realize that often it is not even easy to just point out the problems. For instance, due to the fact that a great number of members of the Association for Self Advocacy are deprived of legal capacity, we were often forced to apply for numerous permits and authorizations so that our self-advocates would even have the right to speak out publicly about the violation of basic human rights they were being exposed to. Unfortunately we were not always successful in obtaining all the required documents but we have always given our best to make sure that, despite everything, the voice of the self-advocate is heard. Observed from this angle, our struggle for rights such as the right to work, the right to live in the community, the right to education, the right to choose a doctor and the method of treatement, the right to accessible information or any other right listed in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, all of that can seem almost a futile effort. Well, we can honestly say that at moments it seemed useless to us too, but we have tried not to get discouraged and we have always tried to remain hopeful. Self-advocates wanted and still want to work, to go to school, to live together with everybody else, to receive support which will notice them and treat them with respect, and the Association for Self Advocacy will continually provide them with an oportunity and a venue where they can express their views freely and without fear.

6


Our entire work has been oriented towards cooperation. We have tried to prove ourselves a reliable partner to all organisations we have ever worked with, and this principle has received recognition in a number of formal and informal networks and coalitions in which we take part. Among these, we would like to make a special mention of the Croatian Self-Advocates Network, an informal network formed by 11 groups and two self advocacy association and, on the international level, of our membership in Inclusion Europe and the European Platform of Self-Advocates. Our Association is also one of the co-founders of Platform 112, currently the largest coalition of civil society organizations in Croatia, counting more than 70 members. We would like to use this opportunity to express our gratitude to everyone for the contribution and the support offered when we most needed them. Special thanks go to our reliable, long-time partners the Association for Promoting Inclusion (API) and the Open Society Foundations, namely its Mental Health Initiative. We hope to continue working together on changes that will provide at least a few more rights, a little bit more respect and dignity for the self-advocates. To some of them this could mean the possibility to attend a school, to others the possibility to get a job. Some could get the possibility to marry and others the possibility to leave an institution and receive support for a life in the community. Finally, some self-advocates could simply gain the opportunity to say freely and without fear when they do not like something. You will surely agree with us that these are things still worth fighting for.



contextAt this point we shall try to describe a broader social context in Croatia. This should offer some insight into the environment in which the Association for Self Advocacy has been working. We also hope that in this description one can at least partially identify elements that determine the status of persons with intellectual disabilities in the Croatian society.


Legal dimension of the environment The legal dimension refers to the way in which the legislation defines the status of a certain social group, in our case the status of persons with intellectual disabilities. It should be noted that Croatia adopted the main international legal documents that regulate the rights and the status of persons with disabilities, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Despite this, however, there are very few changes in the national legislation that could be interpreted as a result of an adjustment of the existing laws with the aforesaid Convention. It is indicative also that an error occurred in the Croatian translation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, namely in the Articles 12 and 19 that deal with the legal capacity and the right to a life in the community. The Articles 12 and 19 are of special importance to persons with intellectual disabilities because this is precisely the group of people most exposed to measures of legal incapacitation and institutionalization. Although the Article 12 of the Convention has been corrected in the meanwhile, the Article 19 retains its erroneous

CONTEXT

translation according to which the right to live in the community may also imply a life in an institution. The Social Welfare Act offers a rather poor range of services to persons with intellectual disabilities. It is still impossible to enjoy a support that would target employment or housekeeping, allowing people to lead an independent life in the community. This suggests that the social welfare legislation is still more likely to penalize persons with intellectual disabilities, than to provide them with adequate support. It should be noted, however, that the process of deinstitutionalization has in fact started in Croatia during the first half of 2013. Within the framework of a project of the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, supported by the Open Society Foundations (Mental Health Initiative), two local institutions, Rehabilitation center Zagreb and Rehabilitation center StanÄ?ić, initiated a transformation process aimed at creating services that will provide their users with support in the community. The project sets out to turn both these institutions into services centers offering support to people in the community, a goal expected to be reached over a period of four to five years. The regulations concerning the education system also poses obstacles for the vast majority of persons with intellectual disabilities when it comes to their participating in the regular education process. Children with intellectual disabilities are separated at an early age and placed in special schools and classrooms, while a number of them are completely excluded from education.

10


The family law leaves room for the perpetuation of a generalized practice of complete legal incapacitation of persons with intellectual disabilities. According to official statistics, more than 19.000 persons in Croatia are deprived of legal capacity and in more than 16.000 cases their incapacitation is complete. This allows legal guardians and welfare centers to exert great control over the lives of persons with intellectual disabilities, while they themselves are left with no real influence over their own life. Although it would be unjust to assert that the labor laws discriminate directly against persons with intellectual disabilities, we can say without reservations that this group of people is given no special attention. Persons with intellectual disabilities deprived of legal capacity and denied education even before entering the labor market are simply not desirable as potential employees, and the labor law does not offer adequate incentives that would compensate for these shortcomings and make these persons “more attractive� to employers. The antidiscrimination legislation in Croatia includes an ambiguous article according to which care and protection measures taken within the social welfare and the healthcare systems do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Anti-Discrimination Bill. Nevertheless, there is one positive example that deserves to be mentioned. Towards the end of 2012 a new Law on Electoral Register was passed, giving the right to vote to persons with complete legal incapacitation. Croatia has thus become one of only 10 European countries where the right to vote is not conditioned by a person’s legal capacity, and has therefore fulfilled a part of the requirements stated in the Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. All in all, the legal framework in Croatia balances on a thin line between a nominal compliance with the antidiscrimination minimum and an everyday virtual impossibility of realization of basic human rights for the majority of persons with intellectual disabilities.


Socio-political dimension of the environment By this dimension we mean the status that persons with intellectual disabilities enjoy in the media and the political influence they exert in the society. The society’s attitude towards these persons can be described as ambiguous, based more on charity than on the acceptance of their equality. This statement is supported by the fact that campaigns aimed at raising donations and humanitarian aid achieve success in Croatia, while campaigns for closure of institutions, inclusion in the society or the right to employment never reach very high, failing to attract significant attention either from the public or from the policy makers. As far as the environment accessibility is concerned, we can safely say that adjustments which would make life easier for persons with intellectual disabilities are practically nonexistent. In Croatia there is virtually no material in easy-to-access version, no audio instructions or other adjustments which would reduce the need to read the contents. There are no adapted textbooks for pupils with intellectual disabilities.

CONTEXT

The social status of a person or a particular group is also visible in the possibility they have to run their lives. Due to a very frequent use of the institute of full legal incapacitation, persons with intellectual disabilities lack both the legal and the practical opportunity to direct their own lives. In terms of political participation the situation is somewhat better, although a number of issues yet remain to be tackled. We have mentioned already that in 2013 persons deprived of legal capacity gained the right to vote as the last social group to achieve this, but some clarifications are required at this point. The truth is that these persons now have the possibility to exercise their electoral right actively, but not passively. In other words, they can elect but cannot be elected. Although the progress made so far represents a step forward in comparison to the earlier situation when these people were completely excluded from political life, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Apart from certain restrictions, Croatian legislation does in fact grant the right of association to persons deprived of legal capacity, but there are only two associations of people with intellectual disabilities in the country. One is precisely our Association for Self Advocacy and the other is the Association for Self Advocacy Osijek. Given such poor coordination, this population is regularly represented by their parents, guardians, special education

12


professionals, social workers and other better organized groups. It almost seems to be a norm that persons with intellectual disabilities are represented by everyone but themselves. The socio-political strength of a particular group in the society can be observed also through its presence and influence in the media. Unfortunately this dimension confirms once again the unenviable status of persons with intellectual disabilities in Croatia. People with intellectual disabilities become interesting to the media only if there is some sort of a scandal involved or when humanitarian initiatives are carried out on their behalf. The impossibility to get education, the impossibility to establish marital and family ties or to find employment, the semi-lawful procedures of legal incapacitation which are the order of the day in Croatia, all of this fails to attract media attention. We can deduce that, in this country, persons with intellectual disabilities are reduced to objects of the welfare system and that there are barely any signs of respect for their individual quality and subjectivity in the social and political life.


Economic dimension of the environment In the economic dimension of the environment we shall take a look at the possibility for persons with intellectual disabilities to ensure their financial independence and thus act as autonomous economic agents in relation to other people. In the modern world, financial independence is an important attribute of every individual. The possibility to earn, save, inherit and freely manage our money or possessions is a condition for any meaningful participation in the society. In this sense, it is not an exaggeration to assert that persons with intellectual disabilities in Croatia are in a hopeless situation of economic dependence and deprivation. The official statistics of the national Employment Bureau clearly show that persons with intellectual disabilities rank among the population with lowest employability and that the existing mechanisms provide this group with no adequate employment opportunities. This hypothesis is further supported by the number of beneficiaries receiving services and financial aid within the social welfare system. In fact, persons with intellectual disabilities and their families are often advised that it is better and safer to seek some sort of financial benefit from the welfare than to look for work. This is why many parents tend to exaggerate their child’s disability and are willing CONTEXT

to subject him or her to legal incapacitation, convinced that this will either help them obtain financial benefits from the system or increase its amount. It is clear, therefore, that the possibility for a person with intellectual disabilities to gain money in a regular way is seriously jeopardized. On the other hand, many of these people receive a personal pension or some other form of welfare. What possibility do they have of managing these funds? Numerous cases indicate that persons with intellectual disabilities are denied having at their disposal even a minimal sum such as pocket money or money for everyday expenses. It is their parents, tutors, caretakers, etc. who manage the money for them. Given the lack of support services in the community, many parents who choose not to send their children to an institution decide that one of them (generally the mother) should leave work in order to take care of the child. Since it is impossible to support a family in Croatia on only one salary, a disability benefit becomes a significant portion of the family income. The aid is then no longer a personal prerogative of the individual with disability but a means of support for the entire family, generally managed by the parents. We can tell from our own experience that the vast majority of persons with intellectual disability do not know who is paying their benefit and how much it amounts to, nor that it belongs to them as opposed to their parents. In brief, despite the fact that they generally receive an aid within the welfare system, given the impossibility to independently use and manage this money, many persons with intellectual disabilities completely ignore what they are entitled to.

14


On the other hand, one of the most common means of gaining property is through inheritance. In Croatia one can frequently see a person with intellectual disabilities being deprived of inheritance. Placing someone in an institution is without doubt one of the common methods used to legalize the disinheritance of persons with intellectual disabilities. With an authorization issued by the local welfare service, guardians place these people in institutions and legally take over the control over their property. There are many examples that suggest unlawful legal incapacitations and institutionalization for the purpose of gaining and appropriating the possessions of persons with intellectual disabilities. Unfortunately, very few of these cases ever end in a courtroom. And in even fewer cases the court rules to protect the plaintiff or to return the unlawfully appropriated possessions to their rightful owner and penalize the embezzlement. In this overview we have attempted to outline the broader social context in which the Association for Self Advocacy has developed. Its purpose is to specify the problems and the challenges that we have encountered in the environment and have tried to influence with our work. Even a quick look makes it evident, though, that we were unable to solve many of these issues. Nevertheless we would like to single out as our greatest success the fact that, through our work, we have made it possible to self-advocates, for the first time ever, to get to know the society they live in and to speak out openly about the things they do not agree with. We offer below a chronological review of our work and our most significant achievements over the past 13 years, since the creation of the first self-advocates group in 2000 up till today.


2000. ...


... 2002.


In 2000 the first self advocacy group in the Republic of Croatia is created. At first it has no firm structure; the group brings together all persons who have been given the opportunity to leave institutions through the process of deinstitutionalization and to begin a life in the community through the housing program supported by the Association for Promoting Inclusion. Years of life in institutions leave numerous marks on people. The respect for private property and for privacy, the opportunity to develop unhindered interpersonal contacts and relationships, to run your

2000. - 2002.

own life or the people who provide you with support, to make your own decisions and everyday choices, all of these are almost nonexistent in institutions. Because of that, the goal of the self advocacy group at this point is to restore members’ confidence in themselves and their values, to foster the awareness of their freedoms and responsibilities, to encourage taking over the control over their own lives. The selfadvocate meetings take place in ten-day intervals on the premises of the Association for Promoting Inclusion. They have an educational character and are aimed at empowering the group members to provide help to each other as well as to themselves.

18

Early meetings of self advocates


“It is important to me that I make decisions about my life by myself because I know what I need and what I want.” “I feel happy if I decide something by myself. If I make a good decision then I feel even better. If I decide wrong then I think how can I fix it.”


2000. - 2002.

“Before, in the institution I could not decide about anything, but now it is much better because I can.” “Most of decisions I make by myself and that’s why I am as worthy as everybody else. If it is hard for me to decide then I can talk to my assistant.” “The most important to me is that I decide about something that concerns me.”

20


The topic of the meetings concentrates mostly on fostering the development of self-determination skills, such as setting goals, making choices, resolving problems, negotiating, self advocating, decision making and self awareness. The aim is to help selfadvocates take control over their lives to the greatest extent possible. After a while, a group of some twenty self-advocates starts to stand out from the rest, taking an active role in the meetings and showing greater interest in the group activities. Although these group meetings are referred to as self advocacy meetings, it would probably be more accurate to say that this is still a group for self determination.

Early meetings of self advocates


2003.


Projects ...


During 2003, about twenty most active selfadvocates begin to learn more and to discuss more intensely the basic human rights, as well as the aspects of the legal and the welfare systems.

“Self advocacy means to speak for yourelf.

Once strengthened, self-advocates who are 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

until that moment focused on developing self determination skills on individual level start to recognize the power of self advocacy, oriented more towards the group and a broader social community. With their assistants’ support, they become aware of the possibility of a joint social engagement aimed at the improvement of their

I come to self advocacy meetings to learn about my civic rights and how to be a good self advocate.

status and the idea of creating the association is born. The preparations soon begin and the most exhaustive part of the work has to do with getting to know how an association operates, what are its organizational aspects and what duties and responsibilities its members and its management have.

In August 2003 the first constituent assembly takes place, and on 6th of October the new Association is officially registered with the authorities. The Association for Self Advocacy becomes thus the first Croatian association run by persons with intellectual

I like our meetings and making of magazines, brochures and going on official trips. I like to talk about legal capacity, about rights and making of brochures.”

disabilities. Zdenka Petrović, who stood out as the leader of the existing group due to her active participation and the interest shown, is elected the first president of the Association.

24

Snježana Kanjir, samozastupnica


Constituent Assembly of the Association for Self Advocacy


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

The Owls, Ratko Koletić (2003), The first logotype of the Association for Self Advocacy

26


The founding of the Association for Self Advocacy opens the door, for the first time in Croatia, to the process of gaining subjectivity and legitimization of this population in relation to other persons and groups in the society. To gain subjectivity means in fact that these people are no longer objects of representation by other groups (parents, guardians, specialists), but rather express and represent their views by themselves. The legitimacy has to do with the question in whose name self-advocates speak. Do they speak only in the name of the members of their association or do they have the right to speak out in the name of all persons with intellectual disabilities? The Association for Self Advocacy has strived from the very beginning to represent the interests of the broadest population of persons with intellectual disabilities, not just those of its members.


One of the most significant initiatives of the Association, launched in 2003 and completed during 2004, is a compilation of self-advocates’ life stories. At the end of a one-year period, about a dozen self-advocates offered their life stories, recorded and 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

assembled so that, with the help of an assistant, the

28

first brochure of the Association for Self Advocacy could be edited. The brochure entitled Life stories is published in 2004. In terms of staff and assistance, during this initial period self-advocates receive support from assistants who are at that time either employees or part-time aides of the Association for Promoting Inclusion. The difficulties encountered upon registration of the Association, most of which still pose obstacles to our work, have to do with the regulations that condition the registration and the functioning of associations in the Croatian laws. Although the national legislation nominally grants the possibility of joining associations even to persons deprived of legal capacity, these people are denied the right to participate in decision making and running associations.


The first brochure of the Association for Self Advocacy: Life Stories


30

2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.


32

2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.


2004.


Projects Together We Are Stronger!, Open Society Institute, Budapest Same Rights, Same Opportunities, Open Society Institute, Mental Health Initiative Getting to Know the Sociopolitical System of the Republic of Croatia, National Foundation for Civil Society Development


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Poster for the campaign I want, I can, I know!

36


During 2004 the Association for Self Advocacy presents its first project proposals to Croatian and foreign grant providers and launches its first public lobbying campaigns. The total of nine project proposals is submitted and three of them win financing, two from the Open Society Institute and one from the National Foundation for Civil Society Development. The latter is approved towards the end of 2004 and carried out during 2005.

The first project Together We Are Stronger!, financed by the Open Society Institute, namely by its Mental Health Initiative, provides funds for socializing, entertainment activities and the printing of an informative leaflet on the Association for Self Advocacy. The leaflet is distributed on technical meetings and round tables in which self-advocates take part. Until that moment persons with intellectual disabilities could only be seen at parents’ associations meetings, and even then their participation was more theoretical than real. The idea that self-advocates truly participate and hold presentations at


technical meetings was a great novelty in Croatia, which gives us every right to say that our members played a pioneer role in this sense. In the framework of Together We Are Stronger! 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

project, a round table is organized with selfadvocates from Bjelovar and Osijek. This serves to illustrate that the awareness of the necessity of cooperation and networking with self-advocates from other parts of the country existed practically from the very beginning of the Association. The second project, Same Rights, Same Opportunities, financed also by the Open Society Institute, concentrates on the implementation of a public campaign regarding the problem of work and employment of persons with intellectual disabilities. The campaign entitled I want, I can, I know! remains according to several parameters the Association’s campaign with best media coverage ever. Repeated transmission of TV and radio commercials made in the framework of the campaign, as well as the coverage and broadcasting of the final act of handing out leaflets in front of the Croatian parliament on three national television channels and in prime time news, is a media success that took us all by surprise. The campaign was carried out in partnership with the Association for Promoting Inclusion and more than 30 self-advocates were

38


Leaflet for the campaign I want, I can, I know!


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

The campaign I want, I can, I know! Self advocate Fadil Ĺ puren Braco hands a leaflet to the Prime Minister Ivica RaÄ?an in front of the Croatian Government building

40


directly involved in all the activities, including the final distribution of leaflets to members of parliament. During 2004 the Association for Self Advocacy still has no employees. The office and the material (computers, telephone, printer, etc.) are also not ours but borrowed. With the help of an assistant, however, members begin to put forward ideas and transform them into specific projects. There is a gradual professionalization of the work in the Association. In terms of the assistant’s tasks, the professionalization focuses on trainings for writing projects and for developing the role of self-advocates’ supporter in organization, preparation and execution of public appearances. In terms of self-advocates’ tasks, the professionalization consists in taking over specific project assignments and responsibilities with all the characteristics that these would have in a paying job. The tasks are to be fulfilled professionally, minding the quality and within previously set deadline.


2005.


Projects Together Stronger!, Open Society Institute, Budapest Getting to Know the Sociopolitical System of the Republic of Croatia, part 2, National Foundation for Civil Society Development Development of the Self Advocacy Network, Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

44

“I do not feel good because I do not have many rights – what troubles me the most is not having a legal capacity”


Assembly of the Association for Self Advocacy

In 2005 the list of donors begins to expand and, besides the financing received from the Open Society Institute (Mental Health Initiative), we receive grants from the National Foundation for Civil Society Development, as well as from the corporate sector: the oil company INA, the investment company Intercapital and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Signing a part-time working contract with the assistant allows us to hold self-advocate meetings three times a week. The first meeting of the week centers on topics related to everyday life and the support in the community. As agreed with the Association for Promoting Inclusion, selfadvocates are encouraged to invite the person who provides them with support and state specific complaints they might have regarding their work or behavior. Through these activities self-advocates learn that they are not obliged to follow blindly and obediently the instructions given by the staff but have the possibility to influence both their life and the person who provides them with support.


The second meeting of the week has an educational character and tries to introduce self-advocates to their rights. Self-advocates acquire notions of human rights, legal capacity, the right to live in the community, the rights conferred by the welfare 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

system and the specific regulation such as the Constitution or the draft of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The topic of the third weekly meeting is left up to the preference of self-advocates. They decide the subject themselves and discuss freely, they reach conclusions and act jointly. During 2005 members of the Association for Self Advocacy initiate their video activism. In cooperation with the Open Society Institute, Witness and the Association for Promoting Inclusion, the Association joins a film project entitled Living proof: The Right to Live in the Community. Members and one assistant complete a training on video activism. The film is broadcasted repeatedly on national TV networks, a number of international seminars and in the United Nations, on the occasion of the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Members of the Association for Self Advocacy hold more than 50 presentations of the film in schools, welfare centers, documentary and Seminar in Budapest

46


Self advocates meeting


alternative film festivals, conferences, round tables, and even the Croatian Parliament. Impeled by a tragic event, the discovery of a years-long violations and sexual abuse of persons 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

with intellectual disabilities in one institution, the Association addresses a communication to several authorities. This way we prompt the convening of an extraordinary session of the parliamentary Committee for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities, focused on the status of persons with disabilities and children with behavioral difficulties in stationary welfare institutions. The Association is represented at this session by Mrs. Zdenka Petrović and the assistant Damjan Janjušević. This is probably the first session of a parliamentary committee to which a self-advocate is invited as an equal-right participant. Mrs. Perković tells her story of years spent in institutions and of abuses she was exposed to. She demands that the members of parliament plead for the closure of institutions and make it possible for persons with intellectual disabilities to live in the community. During 2005 the Association for Self Advocacy launches its international cooperation. The president and the assistant attend the Europe in Action congress, as well as the annual convention of Inclusion Europe held in Prague. During the same

48


InterCapital donation


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

50

Making of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia in easy-to-read

The visit of People First from Wales Europe in Action congress in Prag


The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia in easy-to-read

period self-advocates from the world’s strongest self advocacy organization, People First from Wales, visit our Association and share their invaluable experience with us. Wishing to focus on editing easy-to-read material, we establish a contact with Widgit Software Ltd and obtain as a donation one copy of the software for images used in easy-to-read publications. The first document we produce in an easy-to-read version is the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia. From that moment, we become the only association in Croatia to regularly publish easy-to-read brochures and distribute them to selfadvocates all over the country.


2006.


Projects Core Grant, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare I Am‌, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Work quipment, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare I Learn and Join In, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Getting to Know the Sociopolitical System of the Republic of Croatia, part 3, National Foundation for Civil Society Development To Live in the Community, Ministry of Family, War Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity Self-advocates’ meetings, City of Zagreb


In 2006 the Association for Self Advocacy gets two new employees, one of them being a selfadvocate and the other an assistant.

2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

In 2006 the total funding is obtained from national grants. In cooperation with the Association for Promoting Inclusion we take part in The Community for All, a project aimed at transformation and deinstitutionalization of the largest institution in Croatia, Rehabilitation Center Stančić. Self-advocates prove to be more than interested in giving their contribution to close Stančić, where many of them have spent a part of their life. Self-advocates visit the institution on several occasions and talk to the staff and the beneficiaries. Mrs. Zdenka Petrović and Mrs. Milica Čičić present The Community for All project at the session of the parliamentary Committee for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities. During the session, Mrs. Čičić gives a firsthand account on the life in Stančić, where she spent more than thirty years of her life. After two years of negotiations, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare decides to block the transformation of Stančić, without offering any explanation. During 2006, members of the Association hold presentations of their work and their easy-toread brochures in a number of schools, university

54

Milica and Zdenka in Croatian Parliament


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Presentation of the Association for Self Advocacy in Classical High School

56


departments and social welfare centers. Self-advocates attempt to explain to social workers what a great influence they exert over a self-advocate’s life, and what negative consequences can come out of their decisions on legal incapacitation and institutionalization. The Association starts to focus more intensely on the protection of human rights and establishes cooperation with human rights organizations. This allows us to attract the interest of a broader public to the messages we are sending out, and it also makes sure that the problems of self-advocates receive their share of attention in the reports of some human rights organizations. The most fruitful cooperation is achieved with the Center for Human Rights, structured as an independent public institution. In 2006 the international engagement of the Association intensifies. We become a member of Inclusion Europe, a European organization of persons with intellectual disabilities and their families. The president of the Association for Self Advocacy, Mrs. Zdenka Petrović, is elected member of the management body of the European Platform Presentation of the Association for Self Advocacy in Human Rights Center


of Self-Advocates (EPSA), as well as self-advocate representative in the board of Inclusion Europe. Mrs. Petrović is also elected to represent self-advocates at the assembly of Inclusion International in Mexico. We now start working on our first joint project with 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Inclusion Europe. It has to do with the preparation of a Country report for Croatia, and self-advocates are responsible for field investigations and the edition of an easy-to-read version of the document. The Association also joins at this point the European Coalition for Community Living. We point out again to the problem of self-advocates’ employment. Due to legal incapacitation, selfadvocates are unable to enter in a work contract and there is no legal regulation concerning payments to self-advocates who take part in project implementation. It is not even clear if self-advocates with the right to housing service have also the right to enter in an employment contract. Despite the fact that the full amount of the paycheck earned is immediately paid in to cover the housing expenses, reducing thus the amount the state needs to pay for this purpose, some social workers threaten employed self-advocates saying they will be deprived of the right to housing and be left on the street.

58

ECCL seminar


Presentation of the Country report

Country report Croatia


2007.


Projects We Advocate for Ourselves and Learn Together, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Together Against Restrictions, Open Society Institute CARDS 2004, Association for Promoting Inclusion, Zagreb


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

The brochure about human rights and legal capacity

62 @


In 2007 our second electoral assembly is held and Mrs. Zdenka Petrović is again elected president of the Association for Self Advocates. During the year a number of opportunities present themselves for self-advocates to promote the Association and the principles it stands for, but there is no sufficient funding.

Self-advocates participate in the production of a new brochure on legal capacity that, for the first time ever, describes this notion crucial to persons with intellectual disability in easy-to-understand terminology. In the framework of the Country report project, implemented jointly with Inclusion Europe, we gather self-advocate groups from five cities and hold two trainings for them in Zagreb. During the trainings, an easy-to-understand questionnaire is drafted and self-advocates are taught interviewing technique. Self-advocates then proceeded to interview other colleagues in their cities on how they viewe their own rights and the support in the community. The results obtained indicate that the greatest number of complaints has to do with the impossibility of employment, education, adequate support in the community and money management,


as well as legal incapacitatin. The report is presented before members of the European Parliament and delegates of the Commission in Brussels and Zagreb. The report is also presented in 2008 in Wiena, at the encounter of EU and Croatian parliamentary 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

committees working on the chapter of social policy during the adhesion process. Voting of self advocates in parliamentary elections

The lack of interest of official media for problems of persons with intellectual disabilities motivated us to register the internet domain www.samozastupanje. hr, and design our first web page in 2008. On the occasion of parliamentary elections in Croatia, we educate self-advocates on the importance of participation in the elections, on how to register for voting and how to exercise their electoral right. Protesting against the impossibility of legally incapacitated persons to exercise their right to vote, we write press releases that get published in several printed media. Thanks to the training received, a significant number of self-advocates goes to the polls and enforces their right to vote. During 2007 we organize trainings on organization and functioning and self-advocates from ÄŒakovec and Karlovac, and help them to form local groups. Since many parents are not willing to send their

64


Training in making easy-to-read questionnaire and interview techniques


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Seminar of the Croatian Helsinki Committee in Sarajevo

66

3rd Libertas Film Festival in Dubrovnik

Education in ÄŒakovec


children to this type of activity, claiming their children already enjoy all the imaginable rights, the fact to be able to enter a particular parents’ association and launch a self advocacy group within its framework is a great success in Croatia at this point. Acting as partners of the Association for Promoting Inclusion in a CARDS project, we start implementing trainings on self advocacy in a specialized secondary school Zagorska in Zagreb. The training targets the school staff, but we organize regular meetings with the students of upper grades included in this program. Throughout 2007 self-advocates organize numerous public appearances and hold presentations in social welfare centers. With the support of UNDP we take our Living Proof: Right to Live in the Community to several film festivals. On the international level, selfadvocates participate in the International Meeting on Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities, organized by the Faculty of Law of the Sarajevo University, in cooperation with the Croatian and the Serbian Helsinki Committees. The president of the Association for Self Advocacy Mrs. Zdenka Petrović, following an invitation from the president of Inclusion International, takes part in the UN meeting on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, held in Geneva.

Zdenka Petrović in the UN meeting on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, held in Geneva


2008.


Projects Self-advocates Get to Know the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Training on self-determination, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Self-advocates Fighting for Quality Community Based Services, Open Society Institute CARDS 2004, Association for Promoting Inclusion, Zagreb Advocating for the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Open Society Institute


In 2008 we give employment to another selfadvocate. This is made possible by the CARDS project that we carry out in partnership with the Association for Promoting Inclusion. A total of six weekly meetings are being held, three by the small 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

and three by the big group. The self-advocates from the small group are directly involved in the implementation of most of the planned activities. They also undertake the preparations for the meeting of the big group, made up of all the Association’s members. The small group employs two self-advocates, while three more work in accordance with the agreement reached with the Association for Promoting Inclusion regarding the implementation of work activities.

During 2008 we contact on several occasions the authorities of the City of Zagreb asking to be granted the possibility to rent city-owned property in favorable conditions. Although we first apply in 2008 and later renew the application two times, we have not yet received an answer. One of the Association’s 2008 activities that deserves most highlight is the organization of courses for self-advocates on the recently adopted Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is carried out through projects financed by the Open

70


The Brochure about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

The Association for Self Advocacy on The Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences

72

Stjepen Tenšek is leading a self advocacy group meeting

Association for Self Advocacy on The Faculty of Theology


Society Institute and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. In this context, cooperation is established with four groups of self-advocates from Bjelovar, Osijek, Slavonski Brod and Zagreb. Self-advocates from Zagreb create an easy-to-read version of the Convention and present it to self-advocates in the aforesaid cities. They also promote the Convention on radio and television appearances. Likewise, in order to successfully advocate the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in the second part of this initiative the Association establishes a partnership with the Association for Promoting Inclusion, Center for Human Rights and the UNDP office in Croatia. In 2008 we initiate cooperation with the residential institution Center for Rehabilitation Zagreb. With the help and the effort of Stjepan Tenšek, who had already began holding self advocacy meetings in the Center, their self-advocates are also granted the possibility to attend meetings at the Association for Self Advocacy. This gives them an opportunity to address freely any subject they have in mind, and analize their life in the institution. Some of the self-advocates use this experience to make significant changes in the kind of life they led up to this point. Nenad, for instance, who started attending meetings at out Association, provoked quite a stir when, during an anual ceremony at the institution where he had lived for years, in front of parents and high-ranking representatives from municipal and state authorities, he stood up to say that he was tired of living in an institution and that he would like to live in the community instead. Nenad managed to leave the Center and is now in fact living in the community. He is still an active member of the Association for Self Advocacy.

Nenad


2009.


Projects Developing Self-Determination Skills, Ministry of Family, War Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity Core Grant, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Through Learning to Greater Independence, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare My Decision – My Life, City of Zagreb Core Grant 2009/10, Open Society Institute CARDS 24, Association for Promoting Inclusion Training for Self Advocacy Trainers in Partner Organizations, Open Society Institute Video Advocacy for Community Living, Open Society Institute

Donations: Ericsson Nikola Tesla, ETAL


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Zdenka Petrović

76


During this year the general functioning and the meetings continue as usual. Out of six weekly meetings, three are held by the small group and three by the big one. The Association employs three assistants and two self-advocates.

In 2009 the Association holds an extraordinary electoral assembly because its president at the time, Zdenka Petrović, decides to retire from her post and focus on an independent life in the community. Ms. Petrović has a truly inspiring life story which deserves a brief presentation. Throughout her presidential mandate at the Association, Ms. Petrović attended evening classes to become an assistant cook. She proved herself a good and hardworking student and, by the end of the course, she was offered employment at the hotel where she did her practical training. After almost forty years of life in welfare institutions and a little less than a decade in the community-based living program of the Association for Promoting Inclusion, Ms. Petrović fulfilled a part of her dream to live, work and earn independently. She remains connected to the Association as a board member, but her professional engagement prevented her from continuing her function as its president.


At the elections, Ms. Senada Halilčević is elected new president of the Association for Self Advocacy. The most important public event organized in 2009 is the presentation of a joint declaration of 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

the Association for Self Advocacy, the Association for Promoting Inclusion, Center for Human Rights and the UNDP. The declaration is the result of a common project entitled Self Advocates Uphold the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. During this year a number of inquiries are addressed to public authorities regarding the implementation of the Convention and the inaccurate translation of the Articles 12 and 19. Although our inquiries meet no reply, the Article 12 translation is eventually corrected. The Article 19 unfortunately remains unchanged and, despite its title “Living independently and being included in the community”, the Croatian translation of the Convention states that living in the community may also mean living in a residential institution. Although this project brings together a number of important partners, the media coverage of both the project and the final declaration is completely lacking. Despite this circumstance, declaration is sent out to all the principal public authorities and policy-makers. Within the project’s framework, a round table was also held.

78


The Conference about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Self advocates in action


80

2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Jen Cotton

Narativ - storytelling education


During 2009 the greatest part of funding is received from the Open Society Institute. It should be noted, however, that the cooperation previously centered on the Mental Health Initiative only, now expands to the Media Health Program. It is precisely in partnership with the latter that an important step forward is made in terms of media and visual design. The first phase of our partnership with the Mental Health Program is an initiative within the Parson’s School of Design fellow program that brings to Zagreb one of their students, Jen Cotton, who helps us create a new visual identity for the Association. Ms. Cotton provides us with a logo, business cards, a poster and guidelines on how to develop our web page. In terms of media, in 2009 we establish cooperation with the American organization Narativ, which holds for us a course on the storytelling method. This enables us to organize storytelling sessions and record self-advocates’ stories on video. New, professional video equipment is also acquired through this project. The initiative gains an international dimension when the same equipment is provided for the associations in Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo and our assistant is invited to train their members on video activism and the use of the new equipment.

Ja sam osoba s intelektualnim teškoćama i nemam ista prava kao ti. Pruži mi podršku za provedbu UN Konvencije o pravima osoba s invaliditetom.


In the framework of the Core Grant and the Training for Self Advocacy Trainers in Partner Organizations project, under the auspices of the Open Society Institute’s Mental Health Initiative, we continue holding all the Association meetings as planned, 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

and undertake an expansion of the self advocacy

82

network in Croatia. Cooperation is established with seven groups from all over the country. We encourage the creation of self-advocates’ groups in Zagreb and Vinkovci, and continue to work with those from Osijek, Bjelovar, Čakovec, Slavonski Brod and Šibenik. All these groups are established within parents’ associations or within the Association for Promoting Inclusion branch offices. While developing our collaboration with them, the Association for Self Advocacy fully respects their decisions and autonomy. During interviews with representatives of their umbrella associations, however, we always insist that self-advocates should be given at least a minimal amount of independence in their work. Likewise, during encounters with self-advocates and their assistants, we insist that they should focus predominantly on human rights, rather than creative or leisure activities such as art workshops or sports.


Meeting with self-advocates in Vukovar

Meeting with self-advocates in Osijek

Meeting with self-advocates in Bjelovar


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Senada Halilčević

84


In terms of international cooperation and influence, the Association for Self Advocacy establishes connections with about a dozen of human rights associations and completes for the United Nations a first NGO report on the human rights situation in Croatia: the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). We point out in the report to problems of institutionalization, legal incapacitation, impossibility of education and employment, the inaccurate translation and a general lack of compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Also on international level, Senada Halilčević continues to act as member of the management of the European Platform of Self-Advocates and the executive board member of Inclusion Europe, instead of Zdenka Petrović. Ms. Halilčević represents European self-advocates and holds a presentation at a round table organized by the European Commission in Brussels on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.


2010.


Projects Core Grant, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Let’s Get to Know Our Rights and Advocate for Ourselves, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Core Grant 2010, Open Society Institute, Budapest Training, Association of Societies for Persons with Mental Retardation


The Association for Self Advocacy employs two self-advocates and four assistants.

At the beginning of 2010 we rent a small 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

office next door to the one we previously used for our activities. However, the new office proves inadequate for six employees and we are forced to cancel the lease agreement by the end of the year and move into more appropriate premises. Once a week, for an hour and a half, we are granted the use of a hall belonging to our city district, Ban Keglević, to hold self advocacy meetings there. Although this is a symbolic gesture,

“Rights are something what a man should have from the day of his birth and what nobody shouldn’t be able to take away from him.“

we are glad that self-advocates can enter a public space, and also that at least the neighborhood authorities should recognize the existence and the work of our Association. On the other hand, a more permanent office arrangement we expect from the city authorities is still nowhere in sight. Apart from the new lease, in 2010 we use the Association’s savings to buy from the Association for Promoting Inclusion a second-hand vehicle we have been borrowing on occasions.

“To me human right means to be able to realize yourself through decisions like (will I be a wife, will I work etc.).”

88


Meeting of self-advocates in Ban Keglević community council room


90

2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.


Education in the Parents Organizations Alliance

Through the coursed organized in the Coalition of parents’ associations we manage to establish personal contacts with the employees of a number of parents’ groups and we use the first opportunity to call for their collaboration on the expansion of our self advocacy network. Most of them are receptive to the proposal and we are proud to see that a total of ten associations from the entire country includes selfadvocates´ groups in their structure. Self advocacy groups are now active in Osijek, Bjelovar, Slavonski Brod, Čakovec, Šibenik, Rovinj, Rijeka, Split, Ploče and Vinkovci. Unfortunately, the management of the parents’ Coalition still believes that only persons with mild disabilities can self-advocate, and consequently expresses a serious reserve and skepticism towards the Association in their public appearances. We manage to maintain the cooperation with the largest residential institution in the capital, Center for Rehabilitation Zagreb. Our cooperation consists in making it possible for the persons placed in this institution to at least once a week attend the meetings of the Association for Self Advocacy. The fact is that in 2010 the institution can legally ban their residents from taking part in community activities. This is why we consider our agreement with the Center an achievement worth mentioning; it opens the door to at least some of its residents to participate in our work.


In partnership with the Association for Promoting Inclusion and the Human Rights House we organize a media conference at which we express our protest against the public fundraising campaign for 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

the Center for Rehabilitation Stančić. Our point is that it is unreasonable to seek funding for the perpetuation of institutions that violate human rights and we would wholeheartedly support a fundraising initiative for Stančić to be deinstitutionalized. After the conference, a public lynching against the Association for Self Advocacy and the Association for Promoting Inclusion takes place on internet forums, culminating in an attack that shatter the windows of the Association for Promoting Inclusion. The windows are broken by a large-size stone carrying a threatening message addressed to the Association’s president. Although this intimidation attempt is duly reported to the police, no one has yet briefed us on the outcome of the investigation. Self-advocates’ second activist engagement this year focuses on the preparation and public promotion of the report on the status and situation of persons with intellectual

92


Protesting to the public collecting of humanitarian aid for the StanÄ?ić Rehabilitation Center Press conference in the Human Rights House


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Participation in a public presentation of the Human Rights Watch Report on the status and condition of persons with intellectual disabilities

94


disabilities in Croatia, produced by the Human Rights Watch. Unfortunately, not even a large and prestigious international organization such as the Human Rights Watch is able to gain the attention of the Croatian media, shockingly underrepresented at the press conference and the public presentation of the report. Despite this circumstance, the Human Rights Watch organizes encounters with a number of decisionmakers and distributes the report, expressing its concern over the catastrophic human rights situation in Croatian residential institutions. Members of the Association for Self Advocacy also take part in these encounters. Another activity focused on international cooperation is the participation of the President of the Association for Self Advocacy on the Third States Parties meeting in New York. Invited by the International Disability Alliance, Ms. Haličević attends the meeting as a representative of persons with intellectual disabilities. The event includes a screening of the film Stories of Self Advocates. Yet another international activity concerns the European office of the World Health Organization. After a years-long participation in consultations with this body, public authorities and representatives of civil society organizations, WHO issues in 2010 a Declaration demanding the protection of children and youth with intellectual disabilities from institutionalization. The Declaration is publicly released in Bucharest, towards the end of the year, and Ms. Haličević is one of the speakers at the event.

Senada Halilčević taking part in the Third State Parties meeting

Senada Halilčević in the meeting of WHO Europe in Bucharest


In 2010 we redesign the webpage of the Association for Self Advocacy, the only one in Croatia to attempt to bring the use of the internet closer to persons with intellectual disabilities.

96


2011.


Projects Voice of Self-Advocates: Information Adapted to Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, City of Zagreb Through Computer to New Knowledge, City of Zagreb Expanding the Self-advocacy Network in the Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Community for All, Disability Rights Initiative of the Open Society Foundations Advocating for the Right of Access to Information for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities in Croatia, Foundation Open Society Institute Expanding the Self-Advocacy Network in Croatia, Open Society Foundation, Mental Health Initiative


At the beginning of 2011, the Association moves into a more appropriate office rented from the Association for Promoting Inclusion.

2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

During the year we concentrate our effort on raising awareness on the necessity of providing easy-to-access information to persons with intellectual disabilities. This information is crucial for self-advocates to be able to make informed decisions about their own life. Given the fact that there is practically no easy-to-access material available in Croatia, the Association launches an easy-to-read magazine called Glas zastupnika (Voice of Self-Advocates). It is the first Croatian magazine written in an easy-tounderstand format intended for persons with intellectual disabilities. Since its very beginning the magazine can be freely downloaded from the Association’s website: www. samozastupanje.hr. The Association for Self Advocacy joins as partner the Pathways 2 project, implemented by Inclusion Europe. Pathways 2 is created in order to help include persons with intellectual disabilities in education for adults. Pathways 1, which preceded this new edition of the project, focused on the development of European standards for easy-to-read information for persons with intellectual disabilities, as well as on guidelines for teachers in life-long learning programs on how to make their curriculum accessible to persons with

100


Magazine of the Association for Self Advocacy Voice of Self-Advocates


Pathways 2 Brochures for making easy-to-read information

2551-Training teachers-HR-04-COVER_Layout 2 22/11/12 11:14 Page1

Osposobljavanje nastavnika u cjeloživotnom učenju

Inclusion Europe Europska udruga osoba s intelektualnim teškoćama i njihovih obitelji

Smjernice za osposobljavanje osoba za pisanje lako razumljivih dokumenata

2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

2551-Teaching easy-HR-04-COVER_Layout 2 22/11/12 11:03 Page1

osobnosti.

Inclusion Europe je neprofitna organizacija. Mi se borimo za prava i interese osoba s intelektualnim teškoćama i njihovih obitelji. Naše članice su nacionalne organizacije iz 36 država. Osobe s intelektualnim teškoćama su građani svoje države. One imaju jednako pravo biti uključene u društvo, bez obzira na razinu svojeg invaliditeta. One žele prava, a ne povlastice. Osobe Uključivanje s intelektualnim teškoćama imaju mnoge teškoćama talente i sposobnosti. osoba s intelektualnim One također imajulako posebne potrebe. tekstova u pisanje razumljivih One trebaju različite usluge da bi imale podršku koja odgovara njihovim potrebama.

Ne pišite za nas bez nas

secretariat@inclusion-europe.org - www.inclusion-europe.org

Preporuke za nastavnike u cjeloživotno o tome kako učiniti njihove programe p

Inclusion Europe radi na tri glavna područja politika: • ljudska prava za osobe s intelektualnim teškoćama • uključivanje u društvo • sloboda od diskriminacije Inclusion Europe upravlja aktivnostima u mnogim europskim državama, uključujući projekte, konferencije, radne skupine i sastanke za razmjenu. UDRUGA ZA Reagira na prijedloge za europske politike SAMOZASTUPANJE i daje informacije o potrebama osoba s intelektualnim teškoćama. Inclusion Europe Inclusion Europe savjetuje Europsku komisiju i članove Europskog parlamenta o pitanjima koja se tiču invaliditeta.

Uz podršku Programa za cjeloživotno učenje Europske unije.

Inclusion Europe Galeries de la Toison d’Or - 29 Chaussée d’Ixelles - B-1050 Brisel - Belgija Tel. : +32-2-502 28 15 - Fax : +32-2-502 80 10

Europska udruga osoba s intelektualnim teškoćama i njihovih obitelji

Osobe s intelektualnim teškoćama su građani svoje države. One imaju jednako pravo biti uključene u društvo, bez obzira na razinu svojeg invaliditeta. One žele prava, a ne povlastice. Osobe s intelektualnim teškoćama imaju mnoge talente i sposobnosti. One također imaju posebne potrebe. One trebaju različite usluge da bi imale podršku koja odgovara njihovim potrebama.

Inclusion Europe upravlja aktivnostima u mnogim europskim državama, uključujući projekte, konferencije, radne skupine i sastanke za razmjenu. Reagira na prijedloge za europske politike i daje informacije o potrebama osoba s intelektualnim teškoćama. Inclusion Europe savjetuje Europsku komisiju i članove Europskog parlamenta o pitanjima koja se tiču invaliditeta.

ama.

Podučavanje mo

Inclusion Europe je neprofitna organizacija. Mi se borimo za prava i interese osoba s intelektualnim teškoćama i njihovih obitelji. Naše članice su nacionalne organizacije iz 36 država.

Inclusion Europe radi na tri glavna područja politika: • ljudska prava za osobe s intelektualnim teškoćama • uključivanje u društvo • sloboda od diskriminacije

državama, za razmjenu.

Inclusion Europe

HR

Napisano u okviru projekta Stvaranje puteva do cjeloživotnog učenja za odrasle osobe s intelektualnim teškoćama

aliditeta. Uz podršku Programa za cjeloživotno učenje Europske unije.

UDRUGA

SAMOZ

UDRUGA ZA

SAMOZASTUPANJE

Inclusion Europe

gija

HR

102

Napisano u okviru projekta Stvaranje puteva do cjeloživotnog učenja za odrasle osobe s intelektualnim teškoćama

Inclusion Europe Galeries de la Toison d’Or - 29 Chaussée d’Ixelles - B-1050 Brisel - Belgija Tel. : +32-2-502 28 15 - Fax : +32-2-502 80 10 secretariat@inclusion-europe.org - www.inclusion-europe.org

HR

Napisano u okviru projekta Stvaranje p do cjeloživotnog učenja za odrasle oso


2551-Information for all-HR-05_Layout 2 22/11/12 11:19 Page1

Informacije za sve

intellectual disabilities. Upon joining the Pathways 2 project the Association for Self Advocacy undertakes

Europski standardi za izradu lako razumljivih informacija

the translation of these resources to the Croatian language, trains itself for the production of easy-toread material and for the implementation of courses in accordance with the Inclusion Europe standards. In order to help self-advocates to acquire skills

ože biti lako

necessary for a more independent community-based life, the Association uses funding received from the

om učenju pristupačnima

City of Zagreb to organize easy-to-follow workshops on basic computer and internet skills. During 2011 we continue the expansion of the Croatian self advocacy network to the new total of 11 groups from all over the country. The Association for Self Advocacy supports these groups also by providing modest fees for assistants who take part in their functioning and by organizing courses on self

UDRUGA ZA

SAMOZASTUPANJE

Inclusion Europe

Napisano u okviru projekta Stvaranje puteva do cjeloživotnog učenja za odrasle osobe s intelektualnim teškoćama

advocacy and self determination. We prepare and publish an easy-to-read brochure entitled What Is Discrimination and How to Protect Yourself From It. We hold three courses on self determination, self advocacy and human rights. One of these is

ZA

ZASTUPANJE

intended for self-advocates’ assistants in Croatia, Inclusion Europe

puteva obe s intelektualnim teškoćama

and the other two for community-based support


services for persons with intellectual disabilities in Macedonia and Moldavia. We organize the first 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

conference of the Croatian self-advocates entitled “Me and you - we are the same. To live like all other people�. The key speakers at the conference are selfadvocates from the Croatian self advocacy network. They publicly outline the problems they encounter on daily basis and emphasize the need to change the predominant attitudes towards persons with intellectual disabilities. During the conference, self-advocates have the opportunity to speak directly to decisionmakers regarding their impossibility to enjoy certain basic human

104


First Conference of Croatian self-advocates Me and You - We Are the Same. To Live Like All Other People.


106 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.


Platforma 112 Protest in front of the Croatian Parliament

rights. Finally, self-advocates write a press release for the general public urging for the implementation and the compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Towards the end of the year we take part in the establishment of Platform 112. The platform is conceived as an alliance of civil society organization, formed in order to monitor the protection of human rights and the rule of law in Croatia, especially in view of the completion of the negotiations for the Croatian adhesion to the European Union. Among 112 demands that Platform 112 issues to representatives of the relevant authorities, 14 bear direct relation to the rights of persons with disabilities and were formulated by the members of the Association for Self Advocacy.


108 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.


In order to lobby for the right to a life in the community, as described in the Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, at the beginning of 2011 we give impulse for the creation of the Coalition for Community Living, made up of seven associations of persons with disabilities and the Center for Human Rights. The Association for Self Advocacy is responsible for the Coalition’s first project: Community for All. The project targets decision-makers on national and regional level and emphasizes the need to develop community-based support services that will help include persons with disabilities in all realms of life on the same bases as the rest of the citizens. On the international level, two events to be highlighted are the conference of European self-advocates Hear Our Voices, held in Peniche (Portugal), and the round table in the European Parliament where Ms. HaliÄ?ević presents a view on legal capacity on behalf of the European self-advocates.

Conference of the European self advocates Hear our voices in Peniche, Portugal


2012.


Projects Allow Us to Introduce Ourselves, City of Zagreb I Too Exist!, City of Zagreb Together for Community Living, Disability Rights Initiative of the Open Society Foundations Let’s Make It Accesible, Foundation Open Society Institute, Public Health Program Core Grant Expanding the Self Advocacy Network in Croatia, Foundation Open Society Institute Advocating Human Rights by Learning through Work, in partnership with GONG


In 2012, Changing the World: A Self-Advocate is screened. The film was made in the Association for Self Advocacy towards the end of 2011. The Croatian self advocacy network welcomes two new members and totals 13 groups in the following cities: Bjelovar, Grubišno Polje, Rijeka, Rovinj, Split, Šibenik, Ploče, Osijek, Slavonski Brod, Čakovec, Koprivnica, Vinkovci and Zagreb. The groups implement 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

courses for self-advocates on topics such as the right to community-living, adequate community-based support, education,

112

employment, legal capacity and protection against discrimination.

Rehabilitation Centre Silver - education on self-determination and self-advocacy


Pathways 2 Education in making easy-to-read information

Due to the addition of two new members to our self advocacy network, the Association offers training to new assistants on how to launch a group and how to provide support to self advocates. Courses on self determination and self advocacy for persons with intellectual disabilities are also held in the Rehabilitation Center Silver and the organization Poraka in Macedonia. Within the framework of Pathways 2 project, training is organized for nine persons who are taught how to produce easy-to-read information.


Second conference of Croatian self-advocates Equal rights for all

We welcome a field trip of self-advocates from the Romanian Ceva de Spus and prepare training for them, given the fact that their organization has just initiated its work.

2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

The Association organizes the second convention of the Croatian self-advocates, entitled Same Rights for All People, which becomes the central gathering point for the national self-advocates. In the context of the project “Easy-to-read information for persons with Intellectual Disabilities” we continue producing easy-to-read material in our Voice of Self-Advocates magazine. In order to give more emphasis to the importance of information accessible to persons with intellectual disabilities, we organize a public debate with representatives of all relevant institutions. In August 2012, at the Europe in Action conference held in Brussels, European self-advocates elect the president of the Association for Self Advocacy Senada Haličević as the new president of the European Platform of Self- -Advocates and vicepresident of Inclusion Europe. The European Platform of Self-Advocates is, in fact, a part of Inclusion Europe and it brings together self-advocates’ organization from different European countries.

114


Romanian self-advocates from the organization Ceva de Spus on a student visit to Association for Self Advocacy


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Recognition from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences to Association for Self Advocacy for its contribution to the work and successful multiannual cooperation

116


We participate in the 8th international scientific meeting of the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences (University of Zagreb), entitled “Research in Education and Rehabilitation Sciences”. During the event and given the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Faculty, the Association for Self Advocacy receives an award for its work contribution and a successful years-long cooperation. The Association becomes a user of the world’s most popular social network Facebook, which allows us to promote our work through communication with other users and by sharing news, pictures and other material. The network helps the Association to establish contacts with other civil society organizations in Croatia and abroad.


118 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.


Towards the end of 2012, one of the greatest achievements of the Association is made. In partnership with the organization GONG, other civil society organizations and the ombudsman for persons with disabilities, we are directly involved in the ratification of the new Law on Electoral Register. The legislation guarantees the right to vote even to people deprived of legal capacity, the last social group to achieve this. It represents a step forward in making it possible for people deprived of legal capacity to enjoy the right to participate in public and political life, in accordance with the Article 29 of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Press conference Persons with intellectual disabilities realize the right to vote


2013.


Projects

Hear Our Voices!, City of Zagreb Voice of Self-Advocates: A Simply Understandable Voice, City of Zagreb The Use of the New Media in the Advocacy of Our Rights, Foundation Open Society Institute Expansion of the Self-advocacy Network in Croatia 2013/2014, Foundation Open Society Institute Human Rights Advocacy by Learning through Work, in partnership with GONG


The year begins with the Association’s participation in the debate against the investment of EU funding into the renovation and 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

building of residential

122

institutions for persons with disabilities. We support the process of transformation of institutions into providers of community-based services, and hold meetings with persons who have left institutions in order to encourage them to live in the community.


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

National conference on lifelong learning

124

Education in making of easy-to-read information for self-advocates, parents and experts


Within the Pathways 2 project the Association publishes a leaflet and a brochure entitled “Information for All”, while the rest of the material in the Croatian language concerning the life-long education of persons with intellectual disabilities is offered for free download on the Association’s website. We organize a National Conference on Life-long Learning and welcome speakers specialized in the area of life-long education for adults. The model seminars and trainings on the preparation of easy-to-read information for self-advocates, parents and specialists are held in several Croatian cities. In cooperation with the Center for Adult Education Validus, we participate in training courses on self determination and self advocacy intended for future providers of inclusion services. The association receives a field trip from members and assistants from the organizations Sumero (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Solem (Macedonia) and organizes courses for them. The training focuses on launching and functioning of self-advocates’ groups.

Members and assistants from organization Sumero, Bosnia and Herzegovina in study visit to Association for Self Advocacy


As a member of the informal organization Coalition for Community Living, the Association takes part in two public performances. The first one, 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

entitled Welcome To My Shoes, we deprive of legal capacity our guest and actor Nikša Marinović, and assign him a guardian for a walk in the city. In the second performance, held in a park in the center of Zagreb, we turn the Zrinjevac park pavilion into an institution called “Center for InkLLUSION” and put inside persons with disabilities. Although the people placed in our “Center for InkLLUSION” regularly receive food and drink, they are unsatisfied with their life with no freedom and they raise a mutiny. The topic of the deinstitutionalization and the recognition of the disabled persons’ right to live in the community is rounded off with an open debate at a Coalition for Community Living conference, where the Association’s president Senada Haličević intervenes as one of the speakers.

126


Public performance at Zrinjevac park pavilion - Centre for IncLLUSION


2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Brochure Take control and vote

UZMI STVAR U SVOJE RUKE I IZAÐI NA IZBORE Ostvarivanje prava glasa osoba s intelektualnim teškoćama Ova brošura je financirana sredstvima Europske unije. Za sadržaj brošure su isključivo odgovorni Udruga za samozastupanje i GONG te ne odražavaju stavove Europske unije. Europska unija se sastoji od 27 država članica koje su odlučile postupno povezivati svoja znanja, resurse i sudbine. Zajedno su, tijekom razdoblja proširenja u trajanju od 50 godina, izgradile zonu stabilnosti, demokracije i održivog razvoja, zadržavajući pritom kulturalnu raznolikost, toleranciju i osobne slobode. Europska unija posvećena je dijeljenju svojih postignuća i svojih vrijednosti sa zemljama i narodima izvan svojih granica. http://ec.europa.eu Za izradu brošure korištene su slike i simboli Widgit Software Tel: + 441223 425558 Web: www.widgit.com Slike i simboli korišteni u ovoj brošuri vlasništvo su Widgit Software i ne mogu se koristiti bez odobrenja vlasnika.

128


In partnership with the GONG, we begin educating self-advocates, and the public in general, on the newly acquired right to vote. The first step in this sense is a production of an easy-toread brochure and leaflet entitled “Take control and vote”, distributed in all the welfare centers and institutions for persons with intellectual disabilities in the country, as well as among the members of the Croatian self advocacy network. After the distribution, we hold educational workshops on the right to vote in 12 local self advocacy groups, and five self-advocates participate in the filming of the TV spot “Our vote, our strength”, screened during the campaign.

Feature from TV video clip Our vote our strength


130 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.


At our new electoral assembly, the members choose Tomislav Ivaťković as the new president of the Association for Self Advocacy with a five-year mandate.


On the international level, representatives of the Association take part in a course on the advocacy of human rights through video activism, held in Istanbul under the auspices of the Open Society Foundation’s

2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

Public Health Program, Mental Health Initiative.

132


134 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.


We also participate in a Europe in Action conference entitled “Aging of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and Their Families�.


In cooperation with Inclusion Europe, the European Platform of Self-Advocates and GONG, we organize the second European self-advocates’ conference “Hear Our Voices: Citizens First!� 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013.

The conference is our contribution to

136

the celebration of the year 2013 as the European year of citizens. The first part of the conference focuses on the problem of including persons with intellectual disabilities into democratic processes in the community. In this context, we give special attention to the legal capacity and the right of free association. The second part of the conference is made up of seven workshops led by self-advocates and dealing with topics such as the legal capacity, the right to live in the community, the violence against persons with disabilities and the right to a family.


The second European self-advocates’ conference “Hear Our Voices: Citizens First!”


the future ...


Snježana Kanjir … : “We need to make a brochure about the role of self-advocates. It will be the manual for self-advocates which will help us to learn how can we fight for our rights even better. We also need to record videos about selfadvocates stories so that other people see what we do and get to know with our rights.

THE FUTURE

We have to work on that together with self-advocates from other cities. We will need to cooperate more with other organizations too. That way we will have more success in changing the laws regarding legal capacity.” Senada Halilčević … : “In the future I see the Asociation for Self Advocacy as the main advocacy organization for persons with intellectual disabilities. We will continue to work on raising social awareness about persons with intellectual disabilities to show that we have the right to participate in a society

140


equally like everybody else. Employers will employ persons with intellectual disabilities easier then. I wish that other organizations accept us as experts in making easy-toread materials. I hope that one day a person with intellectual disabillity will sit in the Croatian Parliament as our representative too. We still need a roomspace that will be ours and big enough for holding meetings, so that we don’t have to move anymore and to pay for it.” Nenad Sekušak … : “In the future we need to make a life-long learning possible for persons with intellectual disabilities too. To achieve that we need easy-to-read books and support.”


Tomislav Ivašković … : “We will continue to work on having the people to understand that we are normal people and equally worthy citizens. We will keep on fighting for the right to have a familly too.” Fadil Špuren Braco …

THE FUTURE

: “I hope that we will have many projects. That way we will get money what will make our organization stronger, with more computers and other materials. I would like that we have even more members and to connect with self-advocates from all over the world. We have to achieve that we all have the same right to vote in our organization.” Romana Posavec … : “Association for Self Advocacy will succeed in closing down the institutions and making possible for persons with intellectual disabilities to get married like everybody else.”

142


Ivo Pala … : “Self-advocates will keep on writing for the newsletter The Voice of SelfAdvocates and for brochures in easy-to-read form. I will be coming to meetings untill I get old.” Marko Erceg … : “In the future I will be the president of the Association for Self Advocacy.” Hrvoje Forner … : “I will continue to help self advocates on computer workshops.”


Self-advocacy means to speak for yourself and to make decisions about your own life.

Bleiweisova 15, 10 000 Zagreb telefon : 01 555 66 80 fax : 01 555 66 89 e-mail : kontakt@samozastupanje.hr

10 years of the Association for Self Advocacy  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you