Jakarta – On September 5, Morgan Maze, as an ambassador of Down Syndrome International (commonly abbreviated as DSi) from Indonesia as well as a representative of people with Down syndrome or intellectual disabilities in Indonesia, was invited to accompany the DSi Programme Director to talk about the Listen, Include, and Respect guidelines (#LIR guidelines) in an event initiated by UN Women Asia Pacific for the UN Disability Inclusion Working Group. Present at the event were members of the UN Disability Inclusion Working Group from UN agencies in the Asia Pacific, including UN Women, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR, UNESCO, ILO, FAO, and UN ESCAP. At the event, Morgan was asked to speak about the importance of the Listen, Include, Respect guidelines for people with Down’s syndrome and her involvement in the development of the guidelines from the beginning, as well as her personal experience as a person with an intellectual disability, which has not been easy.
Morgan explained how the guide would be meaningful for people with Down’s syndrome and intellectual disabilities because it would make them more understood and accepted by employers. Morgan’s hopes are the same as those of her peers: to live a meaningful life, to be heard, and to be included so that they can be empowered by working in the community just like other members of society.
Morgan was involved in the LIR guide development project as a survey respondent, Focus Group Discussion participant, then working for the LIR developers, Inclusion International, and DSi for 6 months as a website reviewer with 2 self-advocates from Argentina and the UK. When the LIR was finished, YAPESDI translated it into Bahasa Indonesia, and Morgan was a simple language reviewer for the Bahasa Indonesia translation of the LIR.
The event on September 5 was fast-paced, and after the presentation, Morgan received praise and thanks from the organizers and all the attendees. Please continue to support Morgan et al. in their journey as self-advocates and especially always to support our fight for rights for people with intellectual disabilities so that they can live with dignity! A thank you email to Morgan from the organizer can be seen below.