Meet Raffaello Belli, (Italy)

Raffaello Belli (Italy)

Raffaello Belli (Italy)

I have a university degree in political sciences with a thesis on Independent Living, which I liked very much. I work in a main nationalsearch institute on legal sciences and I run a website on law and disability with thousands of documents. I have also written papers and books on law and disability.

What is your personal experience of disability?

I think that the social model of disability is very important. If we don’t understand the social model we don’t understand most of disability.

But I think that awareness is very important too: I mean that “disabled” people are forced to live as disabled: as a consequence most of them are not aware of what a full life is and it makes them unable to fight really for all of their basic rights. If we were able to overcome the awareness problem, it would be easy to overcome disability.

How did you discover the Independent Living movement?

I discovered the independent living philosophy thanks to a very special friend of mine. She did not know the English language and she did not know anything of the international IL movement. But, thanks to her mind, she told me many of the points that I found later in Adolf Ratzka’s book.

I discovered IL movement in the early ’80 thanks to two books I bought from the US: one of them was written by Adolf Ratzka.

Is there an area of Independent Living that you are especially interested in?

Personal assistance.

Who has influenced you the most, and how?

I was influenced the most by loving life, the friend that I mentioned above, some books, attending IL conferences and seminars.

What personal achievement are you most proud of?

The Italian government and parliament passed some of my ideas on driving licences for disabled people.

In the region where I live we had the first Italian law on independent living especially because of my fights .And the following year the Italian parliament passed the same law.

What advice would you give to young adults with a disability?

Make efforts to be more aware of him/ herself. Fight against politicians without any hesitation and with well prepared demands. It is also necessary to be aware that many politicians have power but they are petty people.


Italian version


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