Learning about your rights

Unit 11


One of the most hardened stereotypes about the elderly, especially about the elderly with intellectual disabilities, is that with the age they become in a state of total dependence on the care of their family and loved ones. However, what we observe in the age group 60+ completely opposes this stereotype. Modern elderly people are truly active – they continue to work even after reaching the retirement age, participate in various interest clubs and amateur formations, participate in volunteer activities, and in many cases, they support the families of their children, for example by providing full-time care for their grandchildren.

However, the fact that aging is a really challenging period for every person is indisputable. On the one hand, it confronts us with degenerative changes in our body and intelligence, on the other hand, it is a borderline period that requires us to rethink our goals and plans and even to start building brand new ones. And sometimes the changes we have to make in light of all this can be really scary or demotivating. They can cause the elderly person to fall into a position of total self-isolation or to start leading an extremely passive lifestyle. This is especially true for aging adults with intellectual disabilities, who need additional and systematic support to maintain their independence in the aging period. That is why, in our understanding, the targeted support to AAWID for achieving increased level of independence is one of the key factors for improving their quality of life. They should be provided with options and the right to take informed decisions for their life and way of living, as well as to receive respect for their decisions, personal preferences and opinions.

The family is, of course, the best environment that can meet the needs of AAWID and make the aging period a time of positive change. Unfortunately, very often in the family's attitude towards AAWID prevails the desire of relatives to restrict the independent decision-making of the AAWID, to determine his decisions, to try to replace him in the implementation of activities that he could successfully perform himself, and even to deprive him completely of his role in the family.

Having this all in mind, we have developed an exercise to help AAWID to reflect on his rights as a person with a disability and as a citizen that could not be violated by anyone, even from the people who stand closest to him. The aim of this exercise is AAWID to understand that every person, being a citizen, i.e. a member of a certain society and living within the borders of a certain country, may enjoy various benefits that are due to him by right or in other words - to enjoy certain rights. And that among other things, also means that each of us could benefit from various types of social support and services that guarantee our independence and wellbeing. However, the educator should pay special attention to AAWID that this does not always have anything to do with our desires as persons and to train him how to make the difference.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge Skills

Basic knowledge about the concept of human rights

  1. To identify important professionals who may contribute to our independence in daily living activities.

Knowledge about the roles of different institutions in the rights’ protection

  1. To distinguish rights and wishes;

Knowledge about the different institutions in the context of social service provision;

  1. To be able to link PwDs’ rights with concrete social service provided in this regard;

Knowledge about the variety of social services that  support the independent living of people with disabilities;

  1. To distinguish the areas of activity of different institutions, operating in the field of social service provision

Knowledge about the administrative procedures for access to social services and support.

  1. To be able to seek help at an administrative level;
  2. To be able to recognize the names and the logos of different institutions (at a national level) working in the field of rights’ protection and social services’ provision.

Other units

Unit 12

Who are the persons important to me

Unit 13

Choosing appropriate life goals and choosing activities important to me

Unit 14

Choosing end of life care and palliative care