COSP Side Event: Improving Independent Living, Improving Support Jobs
Co-Hosts: EASPD, European Commission, ANCOR, Keystone International, Inclusion International
Time and Date: 16th June 2023 | 9h30 EDT | 15h30 CEST
Languages: English & Closed Captioning
The right to live independently and be included in the community is of paramount importance to allow people with disabilities to exercise choice and control over the life they want to live and a key precondition for ensuring the full enjoyment of their human rights. Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) specifically recognises the “equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others.” The article also highlights the importance of ensuring that persons with disabilities have access to a “range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance.”
Implementing such principles requires sufficient numbers of support workers who are trained on the principles of the CRPD – notably, autonomy, choice and control and social inclusion. However, it is well known that the decreasing number of available staff and the lack of adequate opportunities for the professional development of care workers are two of the main challenges currently affecting the support services sector.
The lack of adequately trained support workers specifically represents one of the main barriers to the implementation of Article 19 for many persons with disabilities. This is the case across much of Europe, as well as in the USA. Staff shortages add to the difficulties to provide adequate support for many service providers across the globe.
The following side event will be the opportunity to learn how persons with disabilities, service providers and policy makers in both the USA and Europe are finding solutions to staff shortages and discuss the relationship between the recruitment and retention of well-trained support staff and article 19 of the UN CRPD.
Moderation by Thomas Bignal, Head of Policy, European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD)
Speakers will include:
- Gerard Quinn, UN Special Rapporteur for Disability (tbc)
- Olga Martinez de Briones, Policy Officer, European Commission
- Javier Güemes Pedraza, Vice President, EASPD
- Donna Martin, Senior Director for State Partnerships and Innovation, ANCOR
- Genevieve Fitzgibbon, President & CEO, Keystone Human Services International
- Stephanie Gotlib, Inclusion International
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