A Proclamation for the Dignity and Rights of All Human Beings
We believe all persons are whole human beings, regardless of ability, mobility, expression, communication, intelligence, accommodations, strengths, independence or support needs: All human beings are able to grow and develop to their full potential.
Being human, we believe and affirm that all people have absolute power to direct their own lives, with determination, dignity and meaningful choice.
WE BELIEVE and AFFIRM the basic human right to live free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation in our homes, jobs and the community, so as to be secure at all times:
- We refuse to tolerate physical, mental, emotional or sexual violence. We deserve freedom from violence that comes from people or systems where abuse has become commonplace and is ignored.
- Our money and resources must be safe and under our own ultimate direction.
- We must be free from discrimination based in hate or fear, and discrimination based on good intentions. Discrimination will be determined by the effect it has on our lives and not the intentions of those who discriminate.
- We must be free from attitudes and beliefs that talk down to us.
WE BELIEVE and AFFIRM that all human beings have the right to live free from the oppression of:
- A transportation system that isolates us in our homes or within a community.
- Supports that control us and our environment, talk for us, do not listen, or fail to recognize that we are the boss of our own lives.
- The fear that we will be eliminated or left to die because the circumstances of our existence are deemed too costly, too difficult or simply not important.
- Being imprisoned in institutions that isolate, control and segregate us. (Community housing without autonomy is like an institution.)
- Labels given to us, used to separate, devalue or dehumanize us.
- Societal, cultural and physical barriers that restrict full participation in communities.
- Any system that takes it upon itself to determine who is worthy, that imposes services based on perceived, rather than real needs, or makes decisions in secret without the participation of those impacted. We have a right to services tailored to assist us by empowering our abilities.
- Those who devalue us through medical discrimination. Every human has a right to be:
- Free from those who deny or force medical treatment.
- Free from those who assume we don’t deserve medical treatment to improve or sustain our life.
- Free from those who make medical decisions without our consent or voice, under the pretense of knowing better than we what is best for us.
- Free from those who treat or alter us, without consent, for the convenience of others, society, or any system.
- Free from parents, guardians, or other decision-makers who would override our decisions, without listening and considering our perspectives, and alter our self-determined course as human beings.
WE BELIEVE and AFFIRM that everyone has the freedom to lead a meaningful life, in which:
- We each have a name, and choose the groups with which we identify. We reject labels, imposed by others, that minimize, specialize or segregate us.
- We exercise the right to choose our meaningful relationships: the people with whom we spend our time, share personal details or with whom we are intimate.
- We have the right to fail. Risk is acceptable, even if we are not successful. The quality of a choice does not determine one’s value as a person.
- Power resides within each of us. The right of people to decide for themselves is respected, celebrated and supported.
- We have the right to direct financial decisions consistent with personal ambition. We pursue careers that enable us to grow and be promoted, with work relationships that empower us, and employment supports that protect autonomy. Meaningful careers provide us with economic stability and freedom. A job is not a career. Everyone should have the opportunity to create a life with employment that enriches the mind and spirit.
- We are the primary drivers of our life choices and decisions.
- We always start by presuming competence. We all have the absolute right to grow intellectually, sexually, physically, spiritually and socially to our full potential; to be who we choose to be, human beings, without pressure to alter how we speak, feel, think, or move.
- We have the right to technology, including assistive technology, which increases our personal power through access to information, and gives us the ability to more fully, productively and effectively interact with the world.
- All human beings rise to high expectations, to get to a place where one can achieve and strive to be all one can be. Limited or no expectations restrict our growth, advance stereotypes, and move us to a path of poverty and labeled incompetence, instead of a full life of choice and independence.
- We reject the notion that people are on a predetermined path. We have the right to equally access an education that prepares us each to enter the working world and participate fully in our community.
- Education directly impacts a strong society and economy. Every human has the right to a higher education. Every human has the right to learn and grow as one desires.
WHEREAS all of the above rights are recognized, honored and practiced, we endeavor to create and uphold opportunities to:
- Promote the health and well-being of all people.
- Fully, meaningfully and productively participate in civic, cultural, political, economic and social life.
- Presume competence and uphold high expectations. Include all people regardless of communication style, mobility, race, nation of origin, religion, age, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, expression, intelligence, accommodations, strengths, independence, support needs and ability.
- Never abandon those who struggle and seek support when needed.
- Respect each other, even in conflict.
This we say and believe.
Allies in Advocacy is a group committed to advancing the equality, dignity and human rights of all persons.
We were careful to collect and include information from interested individuals across the State of Washington to create this document, and wish to thank everyone who has contributed their thoughts and ideas for this important proclamation.
Copyright © 2015 by Washington State Allies in Advocacy