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Let’s go digital!

It’s time to unlock the potential of technology and digitalisation for support services for people with disabilities  

Opening the second day of its European Conference, ‘Technology and Digitalisation in Social Care’ in Barcelona today, the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) and its partners, asserted the need for technology-based solutions and assistive technologies to contribute to the provision of high quality, user-centered and community-based support services.
Increasing evidence demonstrates that technology-based solutions, through the context of support service provision, can assist people with disabilities to lead more independent lives and fully enjoy their rights. Despite such evidence, the adoption of technology-based solutions; the creation of polices that can facilitate the use of technology in the support and social care sector; and the allocation of the appropriate resources has been slow.
EASPD’s conference, ‘Technology and Digitalisation in Social Care,’ has brought together 250 participants including service providers, public authorities European Commission officials, experts in digitalisation and technology engineers. The two-day event explored the promising practices currently available in our sector today and discussed how the support and social care sector can unlock the full potential of technology and digitalisation.
Speaking from Barcelona EASPD President, Jim Crowe, said: “the latest technological and digital innovations have the possibility to assist support services as they promote the inclusion and participation of all in the community. These opportunities are being hindered however, by the absence of sustainable policy frameworks, that incentivise the ‘scaling-up’ of good practices, and a lack of investment into the appropriate resources, which can facilitate the increased up-take of technology-based solutions and the digital inclusion of all.”

EASPD calls on the European Commission to further support the social care and support sector in the increased uptake of the technology and digital solutions. “It is crucial that the EU institutions use all their legislative, funding and coordination powers to help the support services sector take full advantage of the benefits of technology and digitalisation for persons with disabilities and the social support sector,” EASPD Secretary General, Luk Zelderloo, asserted. “Next to the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and Erasmus, the Digital Europe and Horizon Europe programmes could be strengthened on the social inclusion front. The outcomes of this conference will help us to put proposals on the table. We are ready to engage!”
To join EASPD, as we discuss the next steps towards the full digital inclusion of all in Barcelona, watch our conference live-stream here, or follow us on Twitter here.

Material of the conference

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Note to editors

The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities is a non-profit European umbrella organization, established in 1996, and currently representing over 15,000 social and health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates effective and high-quality disability-related services in the field of education, employment and individualised support, in line with the UN CRPD principles, which could bring benefits not only to persons with disabilities, but to society as a whole.

The conference, 'Technology and Digitalisation in Social Care,was organised by EASPD with the support of CONACEE, Fundació Tutelar de les Comarques Gironines, Grup Fundació Ramon Noguera, Plataforma Educativa, Som Fundació, ENTELIS Network and ProACT.

Rachel Vaughan

EASPD Communications Officer
+32 2 233 77 20

Domenico Manente

EASPD Project Officer
+32 2 233 77 22