In the run-up to its 20th anniversary (#EASPDturns20), the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) launches the photo competition Revealed & Unveiled. The photo competition wishes to highlight the work of service providers for persons with disabilities across Europe
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Why do we not yet have inclusive education? Has inclusive education been theoretically defined? Which are the main barriers in society which make it difficult to have fully inclusive educational settings in Europe? All these questions were debated today during the EASPD annual conference “Inclusive teaching programmes: Let’s develop it together!
On the 17th September 2015, the European Commission proposed guidance to Member States to better help the 12 million long-term unemployed in Europe back into jobs. The proposal looks into the role services play in this process and puts forward specific actions as to how Member States can strengthen them. The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) welcomes the efforts made by the EC in this direction. Improvements, however, remain necessary to maximize the impact of the proposals.
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) welcomes the United Nations’ final recommendations to the European Union on how to take further steps in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). EASPD shares the UN concern on the need to establish guidelines with concrete benchmarks and indicators to assess the European Disability Strategy but warns of the danger of neglecting support services for critical issues such as independent living, employment or education.
During the 2nd part of the Constructive Dialogue between the European Union and the United Nations taking place in Geneva on the 27-28 August 2015, the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) organised a side event to present the role of support services in the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).
Another week of negotiations in Brussels and the tango between the Greek government and the Troika continues; albeit potentially coming to its climax this Sunday 5th July in the Greek’s referendum on the Troika’s latest proposal. The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) regrets that the priorities of the Troika during the negotiations seem to focus solely on reducing Greek debt, rather than also issuing proposals aiming to improve the quality of life of the millions of Greeks currently living in poverty.
In June 2015, the International Monetary Fund issued a Staff Discussion Note named: “Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global perspective”. Whilst at first sight it may appear as not particularly linked to support services for persons with disabilities due to its focus on income inequality, the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities nonetheless believes that it leads to interesting conclusions for our sector, for instance that current EU fiscal and economic policies are failing to address the importance of investing in the human capital and skills of many Europeans.
On the 15th June 2015, in the framework of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, policy makers and experts will come together in Riga to discuss de-institutionalisation (DI). In view of this timely event, the European Expert Group wishes to reiterate the importance of promoting DI in all European policies and financial instruments.
During the 8th session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN CRPD in New York, the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) organised a side event in cooperation with the European Commission. Debating on co-production, participants agreed that cooperation across sectors is essential to apply values such as freedom, choice and control of life and stressed that society needs to prepare for the fundamental change.
EASPD urges the European Union to self-evaluate how co-production is reflected in existing legal frameworks
Commitment, structural collaboration, mutual respect, willingness to make progress, better choice, autonomy and advocacy. All these elements are essential to comply with the principles set forth in the UN Convention and to implement co-production, which is an inclusive working practice between experts by experience (users) and organisations being of support. EASPD organised a Hearing in the European Parliament with key stakeholders to exchange the best way to develop co-production processes in Europe and warned that the existing EU and national legal frameworks do not always follow the realities and needs on the ground.