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Ingrid Körner

I started to be involved in the Inclusion Movement in 1977. That year I gave birth to the second of my four children, a daughter with Down-Syndrome. The way I experienced inclusion so positively in my family was the key to fighting for Human Rights for people with intellectual disabilities: living included in society, at school, in vocational education, employment and leisure time.

In 1989 I became Board member of the national German association of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, Lebenshilfe. I became the Vice President in 1996.
The first time I got involved in the ‘International League of Societies for Persons with Mental Handicap’ (ILSMH, today Inclusion International) was in 1994, when I started to work in the Task Force on the IYF, the International Year of the Families. I joined Inclusion Europe as a Board Member in 1997 and was elected for President in 2006.

I got the main incitement for my engagement out of the fact that the only offer for people with intellectual disabilities to live was a more or less segregated life in long stay institutions. This had to be changed - not only for my daughter! As speaker of a parents group in the German Federal State of Hamburg, where I live, I was successful in changing the system towards inclusive education and residential support services to achieve an independent living. Up until today I chair the Supervisory Council of the Supported Employment Service in Hamburg.

As President of Inclusion Europe I hope that the formation of the ECCL, European Coalition for Community Living, will speed up the process of de-institutionalisation especially in the Eastern European Countries but also in the western part of Europe. Since its establishment in 2005 I am member of the Management Committee of ECCL.

I am very thankful to stand a chance within Inclusion International to advance the Human Rights and defend the interests of people with intellectual disabilities and their families for a better life.