EASPD believes that the structure and quality of social services for people with disabilities must be based on a continuous dialogue with the people who use the services so that the services reflect their needs. In recent years, European and international strategies reflected a clear change in the approach to disability. People with disabilities were finally recognized as citizens entitled to the same rights and the same opportunities as any other person. However, these strategies should focus more on how the general and specialized services must adapt to provide tailored services shaped by the needs of each user.
Many members of EASPD have developed good practices successfully involving people with disabilities in their services. EASPD wants to build on these experiences by providing our members with the tools necessary to make a more inclusive approach to service delivery a reality. To do this, in 2013 EASPD published a report on "user involvement in social services."
The paper begins with a comparative analysis of the most relevant European and international legal instruments to confirm the legal context of the subject. He then argues that the participation of people with disabilities in the cycle of services has become a key factor in the delivery of social services.
The second part describes the position of Inclusion Europe, the European Disability Forum (EDF) and the European Network for Independent Living (ENIL) on the subject.
The report also includes a database of best practices gathered from our members. The section is composed of 21 samples, a total of 7 main areas:
- Advisory role in projects
- Complaint procedures
- Participation in the bodies of the organization
- Quality assurance services
- The recruitment
- Staff training
This document is the first systematic research contribution EASPD has done in this area, and to promote and disseminate good practices implemented in our member organizations across Europe. It will be updated with new examples and contributions on a regular basis.
In October 2016, EASPD agreed with the European Disability Forum, Inclusion Europe, Mental Heath Europe, European Network on Independent Living, COFACE Families Europe, on a common definition and understanding of Co-production. This joint definition was also included in the Joint Declaration on Developing Together the Support Services of Tomorrow.