Saturday, March 2

“In Mérida we aspire and work to be the capital of integration”


Miguel Ortega Gutiérrez, at the headquarters of Full Inclusion. / JMR

He was one of the promoters thirty years ago of an association that already has 435 families in the region and more than one hundred workers

They are premiered in Full Inclusion Mérida. They have obtained financing –85,000 euros– to open a home for residents. Change of the model completely. Now they are committed to giving more autonomy to residents. Miguel Ortega Gutiérrez is the new president of Full Inclusion Mérida.

–How long have you been in front?

-One week. But before that, I was vice president for three years and I have been in Full Inclusion since my daughter was born more than thirty years ago. I am lucky to have passed through several city associations related to integration. In Full Inclusion I will be until the end of my days.

-Objectives?

–That we are capable of giving the support that each person needs. Each of our users have names and surnames. And like everyone else, they aspire to be happy and live fully.

-Is it hard to get it?

-We have a lot of support from the administration, but we need more capital to reach what they need. It is very difficult to ask politicians for money. I know they have their problems. And we ours. But our obligation is to make them understand that a person with a disability has the same rights as others. When they understand that, life for us changes because we don’t feel alone.

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–Is it easier in Mérida?

We are fortunate to have a team of highly qualified professionals. And the luck that in this city are the bodies where decisions related to integration are made. It is easy to run into someone in charge in the Plaza de España and explain to them, in person, a specific problem. They pay attention to us as heavy. And I guess they don’t have that fast access in other towns. It is the administrative capital, but we work and aspire to be the capital of integration.

–And what role does Full Inclusion play in that?

–Full Inclusion Mérida is made up of 435 families and 103 professionals. It is one of the largest centers in Extremadura. We serve the entire region. We arrived at Carmonita. Our routes are very long. We have a good relationship with Sepad and when they detect that there are waiting lists for any service, they finance the places for you.

–What would you say, based on your experience, to the 435 families.

We believe that all our problems are not going to be solved by others. And it doesn’t work like that. We have to solve our problems ourselves, no matter how much law protects you, in the end it has to be you. Full Inclusion Mérida has 103 professionals. It is one of the largest companies in the city. And all qualified personnel. Psychologists, therapists and pedagogues. We have a key role in the city.


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