Over the years EASPD has built a network that currently represents over 15.000 support services for persons with disabilities and their families all over Europe. The services represented cover the entire life cycle of the individual and include early intervention, education, employment, housing, leisure, culture, day-care, elder and residential support services.
Persons with disabilities have a right to an independent life in an inclusive society and to enjoy full equality of opportunity with non-disabled citizens. The key guide for this objective is the comprehensive framework of rights set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in addition, provide the context for the development of inclusive and sustainable societies.
Human rights-based support services can contribute significantly to the enjoyment of rights by promoting access, participation and inclusion in society. Where specialist support services are required, they should seek to be a stepping stone to promoting independence and participation in society. In their design, they should be built around the needs of the individual, and developed, managed and monitored in a co-productive way. That is, through a reciprocal interaction between person with disabilities, their families, friends and professionals on an equal footing. Where services are co-produced in this way, they are more likely to be effective agents of change and empowerment and they can be a vital means to social inclusion for all
European and pan European institutions, State governments and other signatories of the UNCRPD must recognise their responsibility - even in times of austerity and cuts - to ensure that the rights set out in the UNCRPD become a reality for persons with disabilities. By doing this they should seek active engagement with civil society organisations and other actors, including support services such as those represented by EASPD.
Whether support services are delivered by the mainstream, or by specialist support providers, authorities remain responsible for the provision of sufficient funding to ensure that the support delivered is of a quantity and quality accessible and effective in promoting equality of opportunity for all persons with disabilities.
EASPD’s members face a variety of challenges, deriving from the diversity of contexts in which they operate. Connecting, sharing and exchanging with all stakeholders in Europe and beyond is of utmost importance. While doing so, EASPD with its members will continue to highlight the role and the relevance of support services for persons with disabilities and create strong partnerships with mainstream actors, funders, key stakeholders and local, regional and national support service providers.
EASPD’s vision for the future is for any type of support to be individualised and available, accessible and responsive to the needs and wishes of persons with disabilities. Human rights-based support services play an important role in granting access, participation and inclusion in society. We want society to fully understand that these support services are human rights enablers.
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities - EASPD - is the European NGO which represents support service providers in the disability field, covering the spectrum of services along the life-cycle.
EASPD’s mission is to deliver the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities supporting its members in the design, development and set up of individualised models of support, responsive to specific needs and wishes. EASPD promotes the sharing and development of information, innovation and works to influence decision making mechanisms at European and international level.
Strategic objective I : REPRESENTATION
Be the key representative of support service providers in Europe.
EASPD wants to strengthen support services covering the entire life-cycle of the individual, ensuring a full recognition of the role of the support service providers sector in Europe and connecting European and international policies with national and local priorities to promote social inclusion.
How will we achieve this?
- Act to promote a more social Europe by strengthening the implementation of human rights instruments and the development of legal frameworks having a positive impact on support services
- Actively support members on the adoption and revision of legal frameworks which are conducive for support services and their work
- Ensure the sustainability of support services by working on funding and investment systems that assist support services and facilitate innovation
- Seek and strengthen stakeholders’ involvement to establish solid cooperation across sectors
- Highlight workforce/staff issues that will improve the sectors’ attractiveness and the quality of the services it offers
Strategic objective II : INNOVATION & KNOW-HOW
Play a leadership and convening role in the development of innovative support models for persons with disabilities all around Europe.
EASPD will further develop its work on social innovation, identifying and contributing to the design, development and sharing of innovative support models to meet the UNCRPD requirements in the field of support.
How will we achieve this?
- Integrate and foster person-centred planning, co-production, users’ involvement and technology adoption as key elements of innovative support service provision
- Identify, share and scale up innovative community-based support models, including capacity building activities to embed innovation
- Collaborate and contribute to academic and non-academic research, collecting hard and soft data and provide evidence-based information to support policy developments
- Increase exchanges, including collaboration, with and amongst members, local & regional authorities and mainstream actors to establish sound partnerships that have impact at local level
- Be a centre of reference for knowledge sharing and project development in support service provision in the disability field
Strategic objective III : MEMBERS-LED APPROACH
EASPD will strengthen its governance processes and its relevance in the social sector field, being a sustainable members-led organisation.
EASPD aims to achieve greater participation by introducing new governance approaches. In addition, sound impact measures of EASPD’s activities and progress in the implementation of the Strategy will be developed.
How will we achieve this?
- Develop a strategy that includes membership expansion, tackling geographic and sectorial areas that are currently less represented in the membership and risk management procedures to ensure long-term financial endurance
- Review and update governance processes to ensure their compliance with legal and regulatory requirements to ensure greater ownership by the Board and General Assembly, increased participation and sustainability
- Reinforce the role of the Standing Committees and Interest Groups through a stronger involvement in EASPD’s processes
- Share information and knowledge with general audiences on the value of support services for persons with disabilities and for society as a whole
- Strengthen peer learning among members and information sharing through EASPD’s tools and platforms
To inform implementation of this Strategy:
An external evaluator will assess and report on the performance of the organisation in delivering on its 2017 work plan
Annual work plans for each year of this strategy will be developed, to include tools and clear indicators to enable effective monitoring and review of progress on an annual basis
An external evaluator will assess and report on implementation of this strategy and the work plans
This Strategy inspires us all to create more inclusive societies, by providing responsive, individualized, high quality support services. To do this we will continue to give the sector
a clear voice, share and learn across borders, being facilitated by sound governance. Together with our key stakeholders and partners we will engage to implement our vision.