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"People with disabilities can live in their own neighborhoods"

Carmen Laucirica's older brother, Carmen Laucirica (who is now the president of Full Inclusion, a movement that unites 950 organizations dedicated to people with disabilities), suffered asphyxia in childbirth, which caused him to develop an intellectual disability.

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"People with disabilities can live in their own neighborhoods"

Carmen Laucirica's older brother, Carmen Laucirica (who is now the president of Full Inclusion, a movement that unites 950 organizations dedicated to people with disabilities), suffered asphyxia in childbirth, which caused him to develop an intellectual disability. His son, now 33 years old, was later diagnosed with autism. Laucirica, a Guernika native who now lives in the Canary Islands believes that although there has been progress in gaining rights and improving care for people living with disabilities, it is still a difficult situation to get out of. People with disabilities need to be encouraged to move quickly in all matters that have to do with improving their quality life.

Laucirica, now 69, is the first woman to lead Full Inclusion. She has a long career in banking and is now retired. "We are breaking down ceilings, and nothing happens. It is important to accept that women can assume any responsibility, private or public.

-In 2019, people with intellectual disabilities could vote for the first and most important time.

My son was not eligible to vote. For him, and all those who took part, voting was an exciting experience. It was impossible to imagine third-class citizens who couldn't express themselves.

-As a matter of law, it is not legal for women with disabilities to be sterilized.

Forced sterilization is a dramatic that affects women with disabilities, but it has terrible consequences for people with intellectual disabilities. They did it without their knowledge. It was a scandal.

What's the next step?

-We will be open to the community and collaborate with other groups. A lot is being said about generosity. When we are all interconnected, it makes no sense to be able to walk by ourselves. A person with intellectual disabilities can have all the options available to him/her. We will move faster if we all work together and we won't waste our efforts.

- And the strategic lines for this decade

First, make more laws to support families, including one that allows for conciliation. It is not enough to regulate the right of families for their space.

- Is it your case?

I have a strong family that supports each other and those who have worked for years at home. My husband and I were in many different positions of responsibility. We needed support to get our lives back on track. They could be paid. However, whoever doesn't earn enough must stay home and do that job. Mothers and fathers must be free to make their own decisions without being conditioned by the economic situation.

What is a priority between care and rights?

-Social care is implied by the law. We now refer to "support" as more than just "care". Support them in achieving any goal. It would be absurd to assume that people with intellectual disabilities will just do what they want without any support. It would be a complete failure right from the beginning.

Talk about economics. Which needs can be met with love?

-Love covers only the affective needs. Because Mario needs the same support in every family, I have to personalize my answer once again. Mario may need help with things like moving in a house, living in the community, and other resources. Unfortunately, money is always a topic we have to discuss.

How do you achieve the perfect integration?

I believe in inclusion more. Ideal is for people with disabilities living in their own homes, with the same resources as us. Inclusion education is the best way to allow them to be included in society without imposing their needs. It is hard to include someone who has never experienced disability or not being able to accept it.

What have you learned as a mother of an autistic child?

My son is patient, which I didn't have much of, and he is generous. He is a great help to the family and gives us a new perspective on the world. It makes us more social. There are many good things. Although I would prefer Mario to not have the handicap of his condition, he has greatly enriched our lives. This depends on how you deal with it. We live in Gran Canaria in a friendly environment.

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