United in Inclusion: JEFers share views on disability inclusion

, by JEF Europe

United in Inclusion: JEFers share views on disability inclusion

The last week of April, JEF-Europe held a campaign for disability inclusion in Europe, under the title ‘United in Inclusion’. The campaign raised awareness of European Union actions for the rights of people with disabilities, and promoted reflection on disability inclusion inside JEF.

As part of the campaign, JEF-Europe’s Task Force on Empowerment and Diversity collected thoughts from JEFers, including participants of JEF’s IMPACT project. [1]

Nicolas Joncour

IMPACT participant from Brittany, France. Board member of ENIL Youth [2]

“I want a world where people are clearly in control of their own destiny and where, regardless of our differences, we can engage in causes that we feel are right and use our collective strengths in their diversity.

Over the past few decades, we have seen progress on our rights, but we are still not truly included as real citizens. Respecting our integrity means giving us a space to express ourselves in the same way as able-bodied people, and a visibility that is free from a gaze that thinks of us either as heroes or as monsters. Fortunately, many organisations are willing to ensure that inclusion is not just a word, but an evidence that provides concrete means to allow us to participate in political life in an equal way. However, there is a lot of work to do. It is by giving us a voice that we will be able to live together better for true inclusion.”

Mathilde Mahrenholtz

IMPACT participant from Regensburg, Germany. President of JEF Regensburg

“Inclusion means true participation. Democracy is founded on participation and Europe is founded on democracy. We can’t campaign for Europe without practicing what we preach: Inclusion is a necessity for authentic political activism.”

Cesare Ceccato

IMPACT participant from Lombardy, Italy. Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Eurobull.it

“In the European Union there are 87 million people with disabilities. About 50% of them are unemployed. Most of them are discriminated. Because of the lack of infrastructures, the lack of teachers and very little empathy, their poverty and social exclusion is at serious risk. In an EU that claims to be united in diversities, this is unacceptable and it needs to find a solution.”

Amanda Ribichini

IMPACT participant from Marche, Italy. Secretary of MFE Gorizia

“Do you know the difference between Inclusion and Integration? If not, don’t worry, I didn’t know it either! Inclusion is a difficult topic: for this reason It is important to create an intersectional and intergenerational debate to talk about it, and create a safe, inclusive space.”

Paola Lo Bue Oddo

Former editorial board member of The New Federalist

“Inclusion is about societal progress. If society excludes people from participating in activism, discriminates against people or fails to provide adequate services, it does not meet our vision of an ideal world. We all have to keep working to make Europe a better place for people with disabilities, and for society at large.”

Juuso Järviniemi

Vice-President of JEF-Europe

“With the United in Inclusion campaign, we have encouraged JEFers across Europe to start discussions on disability. Inclusion is about removing barriers in society, one after another. As advocates of a democratic, inclusive Europe, we have to ensure that JEF itself is an inclusive environment. By taking simple steps at all levels of the organisation, we can help make sure that everyone has a chance to take part.”


[1Inclusive Methods for Political Activism and Campaigns through Training

[2European Network on Independent Living

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