On Wednesday 11th March, the World Health Organisation officially characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic, meaning that the disease has spread around the world beyond the expectations of health experts.
Across the world, like many other sectors, social service providers are taking incredible measures to effectively deal with prevention, support and containment of the COVD-19 outbreak. These measures are even more important given the nature of social service provision, which is to provide care, support and health services to people who can be far more at risk to COVID-19 than the general population, including persons with disabilities.
Via this webpage, EASPD will communicate the most up-to-date and reliable information that is relevant for the sector as they work to protect staff and users while providing vital support services to persons with disabilities.
Resources on the Vaccination Process
- Advice to facilitate the development of policy on COVID-19 vaccination in the UK
- NHS Social Care Staff COVID-19 vaccination consent form
- Covering letter for a consent form for Social Care staff
- Update from NHS - Operational Guidance: Vaccination of Frontline Health & Social Care Workers
- Steps in having a flu jab with illustrations
Easy to read materials
- COVID-19 vaccines: Booking a vaccination
- Plans for the deployment of COVID-19 Vaccination in Spanish
- The Covid-19 vaccination leaflet in French
- COVID-19 vaccination document in German
- COVID-19 Vaccination Leaflet in Portuguese
- What happens when you get a test for Coronavirus (COVID-19) for UK/Wales
- Pamphlet in English - COVID-19 vaccinations Q&As
- Information on the COVID-19 vaccination: published by gov.uk
- Pamphlet in English - COVID-19 vaccine information
- New lockdown rules within the UK (Jan 2021).
- A guide to your COVID-19 vaccination created by the NHS.
- Pamphlet on making sure your child is protected with the influenza/flu vaccine.
Action at a European Level
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the European Union is coordinating a common European response to the outbreak of COVID-19. This response aims to reinforce Member State public health sectors and mitigate the socio-economic impact in the European Union.
To date, measures include:
- Ensuring the supply of personal protective equipment in the EU, by creating rescEU stockpile of medical equipment (€80 million) & regulating the ability of Member States to export such equipment outside of the EU as well as harmonized standards for medical devices.
- Allowing Member States to have full flexibility in Stability and Growth rules, meaning national governments do not have to limit themselves to current public debt rules to allow them to spend what they need to in order to deal with COVID-19 outbreak.
- Allowing Member States to further aid the economic and social of COVID-19 outbreak, by adopting Temporary Framework on State Aid.
- Re-directing €37 billion of unspent EU Structural Funds to national, regional & local communities fighting COVID-19 through Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus, including European Commission writing to each Member State to recommend targeted support to community-based social care provision (with ESF) (amongst other measures)
- Allowing EU Solidarity Fund Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus to be used for Public Health Emergencies; meaning more EU funds directed to deal with the outbreak.
- Financial assistance to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic through the Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE). Moreover, special financial support exists for Eastern countries and Western Balkans.
- European Commission re-directing €47.5 million to research actions on Coronavirus and more
- Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services as well as guidelines to ensure the free movement of critical workers.
The European Commission has recently written a letter (07.2020) to EASPD (and our partners) to outline the upcoming measures they are planning for social services in the months to come.
The EU is also working on coordinating actions, expertise and know-how to avoid uncoordinated/contradictory responses. This includes the creation of an advisory panel on COVID-19 to anticipate events and draft guidelines and regular contact between different Member State ministries, including employment and social affairs ministers.
EASPD recommendations to European Union
The spread of COVID-19 will create major challenges for social service provision in several ways. With this in mind EASPD and the European Aging Network (EAN) have written an open letter to European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, to highlight that the provision of essential social care and support services to millions of older persons, persons with disabilities, children and other vulnerable persons in Europe is under threat following the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to this letter, EASPD has identified a number of priorities the EU should consider in response to COVID-19 regarding the threat to Social Service provision.
EASPD Facebook page
To support its members at this time, EASPD has created this closed Facebook Group, in which you can:
- Raise your concerns as service providers
- Share the measures that you are implementing to ensure the safety of your staff and users while continuing to provide services to those in need of support.
- Access Easy to Read materials which can be used by you to inform you users of the basic preventative measures that they can take to protect themselves from the virus.
To join the group, click here.
EASPD Help Desk
Now more than ever, European cooperation is needed to exchange with your peers, to seek new solutions, to request help and support in your lobbying activities, to raise concerns which may impact others later and to ensure that the European Union machinery is supportive of your activities. EASPD has launched a COVID-19 HELP DESK to provide additional support to our members during the pandemic. Get in touch with us at email@example.com
Each week EASPD will hold a webinar, which will bring together experts and support services providers to discuss the key issues affecting the sector during the COVID-19 outbreak
- 18th March: Health needs of persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic To view the recording of this webinar click here
- 25th March: Ensuring Staff Continuity in Social Services during the COVID-19 pandemic To view the recording of this webinar click here
- 1st April: Adapting services for persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic To view the recording of this webinar click here
- 8th April: The role of funding for support service providers in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic To view the recording of this webinar click here
- 15th April: Support services and informal carers: The importance of partnership during the COVID-19 pandemic To view the recording of this webinar click here
- 22nd April Service providers moving to online support during the COVID-19 pandemic To view the recording of this webinar click here
- 29th April: Support provision and ethical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic To view the recording of this webinar click here
- 13th May: Re-launching support services during the lifting of confinement rules To view the recording of this webinar click here
- 20th May: Creative connections during COVID-19 To view the recording of this webinar click here
- 27th May: Ensuring access to education during COVID-19 To view a recording of this webinar click here
- 10th June: Early childhood intervention during Covid-19 To view a recording of this webinar click here
- 17h June: COVID-19 EU funding opportunities for non-EU Member States To view a recording of this webinar click here
- 24th June: Face-to-face services moving to on-line mode during COVID-19 To view a recording of this webinar click here
- 1st July: Challenges for disability service provision in rural areas during COVID-19 To view a recording of this webinar click here
- 12th November: Emergency session: Impact of second COVID-19 wave on disability services
Webinars by members/partners
- Care during COVID: information, podcasts & webinars by the International Foundation for Integrated Care (English)
- 16th April: Webinar Learning disability, coronavirus and international human rights law by Doughty Street Chambers barrister Oliver Lewis (English)
- 30th April: Webinar “Mental health in the aftermath of COVID-19” by Mental Health Europe (English) To view a recording of this webinar, click here
- 2nd July: Living and Learning Empathy in Covid-19 by the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (English)
- 9th September: WBU Webinar: COVID-19, Amplifying Voices: Our Lives, Our Say / COVID-19 by the World Blind Union (English)
EASPD Press Releases:
- Social services at risk of being left aside during COVID-19 spread French, German, Spanish, Italian and Greek
- EU invisible on social emergency of COVID-19 French, German, Spanish and Italian
- New EU COVID response brings no guarantees for social services French, Spanish and Italian
- 47 MEPs: Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative must fund support services for persons with disabilities French, Spanish Italian, German
- Message for Public Authorities: partner with civil society to improve COVID-19 response
- Social services go digital during COVID-19
- New Snapshot Report: Impact of COVID-19 on Disability Services in Europe.
- Top EU officials organise constructive exchange on social services during COVID-19
- No to the discrimination of persons with disabilities in triage
- Prioritise the Employment of Persons with Disabilities in the economic response to COVID-19
- Social services call on EU to uphold the rights and health of staff and users in next phase of COVID-19 response
- Fostering creative resilience - better access to cultural participation and arts as a tool to empower people in times of crisis
- Increasing access to digital learning opportunities crucial during Covid-19
- European Commission promotes dialogue with social services for Covid-19 recovery
- Putting children with support needs on the agenda
- Stronger cooperation is needed to support Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership support services
- We need stronger commitment by the EU to ensure resilience of Social Services.
- Investing in inclusiveness is key to ensure that persons with support needs can receive services where they live
- Disability services must be addressed in European response to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic
- World Health Organisation guidance on Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus
- European Commission webpage on Coronavirus response
- Easy to read information on the Coronavirus by Inclusion Europe
- European Disability Forum Resource Page
- Council of Europe Statement: Persons with disabilities must not be left behind in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Coronavirus response by the European Commission (English, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and more)
- Updates regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and Support Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities by EASPD (English)
- COVID related resources for service providers by Plena Inclusión (Spanish)
- Coronavirus advice for social care by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (English)
- COVID-19 and mental health by Mental Health Europe (English)
- Impact of Covid-19 on social services for persons with disabilities across Europe (April 2020); 1st Snapshot Report
- Impact of Covid-19 on social services for persons with disabilities across Europe (October 2020); 2nd Snapshot Report
Research by other members/partners
- Impacts of the crisis and evaluation of emergency funds by UNIPSO (English, French)
- Global report on disability rights during the pandemic by Disability Rights Monitor (English)
- Advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection control for care providers by Social Care Institute for Excellence (English)
- International reports on COVID-19 and Long-Term Care by LTC Covid (English)
General COVID-19 Guidance for the sector
- Manual on how enterprises can cope in times of a pandemic (French)
- Coronavirus guidance for working carers by Carers UK (English)
- Disability considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak by WHO (English, French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, German)
- COVID-19 recommendations by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese)
- Advice on creating a contingency plan by Carers UK (English)
- Position paper “Beyond COVID: New thinking on the future of adult social care” by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (English)
- New global COVID-19 advice for people with MS by the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (English)
- Important Coronavirus updates for families & professionals by Global Down Syndrome Foundation (English)
- EASPD Briefing on EU funding opportunities (09/04/20)
- How to Access EU Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (13/04/20)
- EU Support for Non-EU Countries – Opportunities to explore for EASPD Members (24/04/20)
Easy to read materials
- COVID Information folders by national NGO’s in 11 languages by Inclusion Europe (EN)
- Infographics and leaflets about COVID-19 by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EN)
- COVID-19 info by the UK Government (EN)
- COVID guides of various subjects by Mencap (EN)
- COVID-19 information by the Ministry of Health New Zealand (EN)
- COVID certificates and pictograms by Unapei and partners (FR)
- Video on how to deal with COVID at home and at work by the Educational Technology Workshop of ΕΕΑ "ΜΑΡΓΑΡΙΤΑ" (MARGARITA VTC) (EL)
- COVID-19 booklet by PORAKA (MK)
- #COVIBOOK, a short book by Manuela Molina to support and reassure children under the age of 7 regarding COVID-19 English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, Polish, Hungarian, German, Romanian, Greek, Dutch, Danish, Croatian, Hebrew, Indonesian, Turkish, Russian, Arabic, Serbian, Welsh, Japanese, Chinese, Persian