In the course of the work that Genio has conducted over the last number of years it has become clear that there is a need for the establishment of a National Intellectual Disability Advocacy Initiative that would strengthen the voice of those with intellectual disabilities. Such an initiative could include independent citizens who may be involved in helping to represent the interests of those whose capacity precludes them from speaking on their own behalf.
Genio commissioned a scoping study to identify the best approach to developing such an initiative. The key tasks of the scoping study were to describe the key features of a National Intellectual Disability Advocacy Initiative and outline an appropriate approach to developing such an initiative based on a clear identification of strengths that could be built upon in an Irish context, and learning from other countries.
Drawing on important insights from the literature review including desk research on established self-advocacy models in other jurisdictions and the consultative meetings with key stakeholders and informants, the paper identifies important elements to feature in such an advocacy initiative.