I want to be myself and live my life as I choose!
Social participation and self-determination: these have always been the guiding principles of Green policy for the disabled. We are working to ensure that people with disabilities can make their own individual life choices. All too often, they face obstacles and barriers because other people try to impose a particular way of living on them. Well-intentioned but "disabling" concepts of care often restrict their scope to develop their full potential and their freedom of choice on the most basic decisions: How do I want to live? Where would I like to work? Which school do I want to attend? What kind of help do I need? Own choices, not other people's choices – this means freedom in decision-making on all these issues.
As a prerequisite for self-determined participation, it is important to redress the balance in daily life, where people with disabilities experience constant discrimination. Despite sweeping equalities legislation, their lives are constrained at every turn: at the railway station if there are no lifts; when dealing with public authorities, if there is no funding for sign language interpreters; on vacation, if the holiday let is terminated on account of the disability. These barriers and forms of discrimination deny many people full and self-determined participation in society. They are "disabling" in the real sense of the word.
Green policy aims to remove these barriers and discrimination in daily life. It also seeks to ensure that every person with a disability receives the individual assistance that they need. This may consist of technical aids to compensate for physical disabilities, but it may also mean more comprehensive support. For example, a young woman with learning difficulties may need a personal assistant at work to help her draft complex letters, and may also require help at home or when dealing with public authorities. These services should enable and empower people with disabilities so they can make their own life choices. "I want to be myself and live my life as I choose" – this is the watchword, and thanks to Green policies, it is followed by: "And I can!"