Living Proof: The Right to Live in the Community

In Croatia, one in three people with moderate or severe intellectual disabilities live in institutions, segregated and isolated from the rest of society. Regardless of how well equipped or staffed an institution is, it is still impossible for residents to realize their fundamental human rights and make decisions about their lives. Contrary to prevailing stereotypes and deeply-ingrained stigma, people with intellectual disabilities have the right and the ability to live as independently as possible and to be included in the community.

LIVING PROOF explores, demystifies, and offers an answer to the question of what deinstitutionalization looks like. By describing the daily experiences and presenting the opinions of people with intellectual disabilities, this film demonstrates the importance of providing community-based programs and achieving change in the social welfare system and in society as a whole. "Everyone should leave the institutions and be in apartments the way I am.... they would be better off, like me. They would have their own lives," says Ivka Krzelj, one of the people interviewed in this video. "Beyond that, it is up to you all to decide..."

Copyright 2005 Association for Promoting Inclusion / WITNESS

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