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Walter Eigner

Positions held:
1975 - 1978: Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the 7th World Congress of ILSMH, held in Vienna, Austria in September 1978.
1978 - 1990: Council Member and Treasurer of ILSMH
1992 - 1994: President-Elect of ILSMH
1994 - 1998: President of Inclusion International (formerly ILSMH)

Summary of Contributions:
As Treasurer he stabilized the fragile financial situation and built up a body of reserves. During the years 1990-1993 he established - in cooperation with the Canadian Association of Community Living (CACL) - the so-called "ILSMH Open Discussion Forum on New Bio-Ethical Issues", which resulted in the publication of three "Working Papers", namely
"Food for Thought on Genetic Counselling, Prenatal Diagnosis, Selective Abortion(June 1991)"
"Food for Thought on Withholding Treatment (February 1992)"
"Food for Thought on Gene Technology and Bio-Ethics (June 1993)" The end-result was then a special publication by the Roeher Institute (Canada) together with ILSMH, called "JUST TECHNOLOGY"

In trying to solicit and include input from membership organizations, he replaced the former "committee structure" by so-called "Open Project Groups" (OPGs) where everybody who was willing could contribute to ten different topics and issues (e.g. Abuse, Inclusive Education and Employment, Quality Assurance, De-Institutionalization, Aging, Ethical Monitoring, Family Support, Parent Empowerment, Discrimination by Love).

He initiated the "name change" from ILSMH (International League of Societies for Persons with Mental Handicap) to "INCLUSION INTERNATIONAL" and then motivated membership to approve it.

In order to clarify the identity of our organization, he developed the four main Policy Directions: INCLUSION, SELF-DETERMINATION, FULL CITIZENSHIP, and FAMILY SUPPORT.

The main focus during his Presidency was on "Inclusive Education". He managed to develop a clear position of Inclusion International on this important human rights issue and established Inclusion International as a strong advocate for including ALL pupils with intellectual disabilities into the regular school systems. Final outcome of this effort was - in cooperation with UNESCO - the publication of the brochure "THE JOURNEY TO INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS" (in English, Spanish, French and German; meanwhile further translations have been made by members, namely into Arabic). This publication will be a valid message for a long time to go.