Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Home sisahm The active participation of self-advocates to make accessible the United Nations Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, Sisahm, Belgium
To go further
  • rue du Trône 127 1050 bruxelles Belgique
  • 0032 2 219 49 78
  • anne-marie de vleeschouwer

The active participation of self-advocates to make accessible the United Nations Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, Sisahm, Belgium

  • Inclusion : Citizenship / Transport
  • Europe : Belgium
  • Experience Index Card

From anne-marie de vleeschouwer the Aug 21, 2012

Sisahm hires a person with disabilities to make accessible the United Nations Convention on the rights of people with disabilities.

The context

Sisahm is an accompanying service located in Brussels, Belgium. This service is intended for children, adolescents and adults with intellectual deficiency. Sisahm offers accompaniments to enable them to acquire greater autonomy in daily life. Some 50 persons are regularly supported. On basis of experience, Sisahm supports also adults who wish to become self-advocates i.e. testify in their own of their life course or speak with a specific theme at conferences or students, professionals of the sector, persons with disabilities, in Belgium and abroad.

Each intervention is designed to convey an experience as a person with a disability, recognized by the person lives through the actions of his daily life.It is on this basis that the Brussels Minister in charge of the policy of assistance to persons with disabilities, Ms. Huytebroeck, contacted Sisahm to develop the project of the ownership by persons with disabilities of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.


This project is designed to raise awareness and inform persons with disabilities and specialty services to which these persons are addressed, on the rights of persons with disabilities. From the perspective of facilitate the appropriation of this convention, the practical implication of self-advocates makes perfect sense. This approach promotes and recognizes the self-advocates and thus promotes the participation of persons with disabilities for other upcoming projects. Within asbl, the project coordinator, Anne-Marie De Vleeschouwer, and an advocacy, Serge Manneback, worked on this Convention. From the original version of the Convention of the United Nations which includes a very large number of articles written in complicated legal language, condensed, they read and translated these articles to a version simplified both at the level of vocabulary, turns of phrases of the layout. Because a Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities which would not accessible makes no sense.

Innovative aspects

Serge Manneback was hired by asbl Sisahm to work on this project for a period of 2 years from the date of October 2011.Pour the integration of Serge happens at best the internal regulations, the functioning of a team of 9 people, have been explained.Some adjustments have been made and proposed teaching tools: the mouse of his computer has been adapted, some letters of its keyboard were colored, enlarged. 'Easy to read' language sheets conducted with him to enable him to prepare his texts in Word and use the mail box.

The configuration of the screen has changed. His chair was adapted.His office was constructed to allow him to organize his work: Cabinet, locker, workbooks, and all this, always taking into account its needs and its opinion.

These different steps in place, simplification of articles is therefore achieved. Illustrated in examples and many photos taken by those involved in the project, in the reality of life of people with disabilities to be more realistic as possible.


This new version has been validated by 7 self-advocates supported by individuals resources to ensure the actual accessibility of the finalized version.As a result, some words, turns of phrases or other photos have been modified. In this context, Serge Manneback also interviewed other self-advocates. Finally, these texts have benefited from the perspectives of people representing other types of disability (sensory / physical).The presentation of this 'easy to understand' version, on the day of awareness of April 24, 2012, was organized with the active participation of persons with disabilities. 7 self-advocates spoke before an Assembly of 150 people: people with disabilities, professionals and Minister. In the coming months, self-advocates will have to publicize this convention with specialized services are meeting recipients and professionals to promote ownership. This is done with the support of the French Community Commission of Brussels-capital and the cabinet of Minister Huytebroeck.


Sisahm draws a positive balance of working with self-advocates as the concrete benefits to the person with a disability on a short, medium and long term are and will be the following:

  • Value the work of persons in situation of disability.
  • Be aware of the existence of the convention of the United Nations related to the rights of persons with disability.
  • Be able to understand the Convention and to make one's own comprehensive understanding of it.
  • Highlight the rights which may be implemented in direct link to the daily life of the person in a situation of disability.
  • raise specialty services who work with beneficiaries.

It is important to allow the persons directly affected by such or such decree, law, planning to act as interlocutor in order to take account of their opinions, suggestions and reality of life compared to the subject in question. It is this aspect that we wanted to highlight by integrating Serge Manneback in our team and in fostering the partnership with self-advocates.

Asbl Sisahm: Rue du Trône 127, 1050 Bruxelles (Belgium)Tel: 0032 (0)2 219 49 78 - sisahm@sisahm

Contest: HANDIPARTAGE 2012 competition
Canonical language : French
Add comment

You can add a comment by filling out the form below. Plain text formatting. Web and email addresses are transformed into clickable links. Comments are moderated.

Question: 15 - 5 = ?
Your answer: