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Independent living & Inclusion



The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) marked a shift in how service providers for persons with disabilities should approach their work: away from the previous paternalistic approach towards a human rights-based focus on inclusion, self-directed support and full participation in society.

Article 19 of the UN CRPD establishes the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others. State Parties should ensure that:

  • Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and with whom they live with on an equal basis with others
  • Persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home residential and community services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community rather than isolation or segregation
  • Community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs



Independent living is only possible when the necessary support services and systems are made available, as well as having the right attitude with staff and management in social services. As such, EASPD set up a Member Forum on Inclusive Living (MF) which aims to find and propose solutions to these challenges. 


The MF on Inclusive Living's main tasks are:

  • To discuss strategic and practical ways to implement the UN CRPD Art. 19 in EASPD's member organisations
  • To collect and exchange models of good practice in the field of de-institutionalisation and (supported) housing
  • To support the development of instruments facilitating user involvement and independent living
  • To draft policy recommendation for authorities at all levels
  • To study the future challenges in social care, housing and support
  • To increase cooperation with other European networks on housing for vulnerable groups 



EASPD supports the process of deinstitutionalisation which is the transition from institutional to community-based care driven by a respect for human dignity, equality and rights. It involves promoting access to mainstream services such as housing, healthcare, education, employment, culture and leisure, as well as the provision of more specialised services to cater to individual support needs.

To learn more and read the EASPD publication Making Community-based Services a Reality – Roadmap on Deinstitutionalisation, please click here.