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Intellectual Disability is a lifelong condition, usually present from birth, that is characterized by lower than average intellectual ability and impaired skills in areas such as cognition, language, motor skills and social abilities. However, many can live full and quite independent lives given appropriate support.
Improving approaches to care for the intellectually disabled and empowering them was a central element of our efforts in 2006 and 2007 because it is rare that this group of people receive the assistance or rehabilitation they would need and to which they are entitled. Institutionalization in poorly functioning facilities or shutting them away at home due to fear of stigma continue to be widespread practices in many countries.
Some of the key elements of our approach in this area is support for the involvement of people with intellectual disability in education and employment, steps that necessitate that they (and their families) be empowered to take decisions about their own lives.