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Inclusion Europe
The European Association of Societies of
People with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families

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Brussels, 26 January 2016

After its review by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last summer, the European Union has been urged to adopt the European Accessibility Act (EAA) within 12 months. This long-awaited piece of legislation is a cornerstone in the EU’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) since it has the potential to improve the lives of more than 80 million Europeans with disabilities by ensuring their equal access to goods and services in the EU.

So, it was with great enthusiasm that on 3 December 2015, the European Day of Persons with Disabilities, we welcomed the publication by the European Commission of the draft EAA. We find it very positive that the European Commission has decided to adopt a Directive, which is legally binding on all EU Member States. Thus, it is particularly important that the EAA provides proper protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, in line with the requirements of the CRPD, an international human rights instrument ratified by the EU and almost all Member States.

After careful reading and analysis of the scope and content of the proposed EAA, Inclusion Europe is today publishing a Policy Paper which gives a critical analysis of the text, suggesting ways to make it even better. The Policy Paper underlines some of the changes that Inclusion Europe and its members would like to see in the final text in order to ensure that the accessibility needs of persons with intellectual disabilities are protected.

While Inclusion Europe is pleased that many areas, relevant for persons with intellectual disabilities are covered by the draft legislation, we deplore that the scope doesn’t cover all areas that are required under the UN CRPD accessibility requirements. Furthermore, the assessment of the disproportionate burden of applying the accessibility requirements is left to the appreciation of the manufacturers, importers and distributors. Since they will most probably base their decision on the current market situation, from which persons with intellectual disabilities are largely excluded, we are concerned that the rights of thousands of most marginalised Europeans will continue to be violated.

Persons with intellectual disabilities need accessible information in order to be fully included in society. Therefore, the use of the Easy-to-Read format and pictograms, recognised by the European Standards to make information easy to read and understand needs to be mainstreamed throughout the Act in order to remove the remaining barriers persons with intellectual disabilities face while accessing to public goods and services. Moreover, the text does not include specific requirements to provide persons with disabilities with the possibility to seek assistance. Yet, this is an important measure which may ensure the accessibility needs of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Inclusion Europe also regrets the use of the already existing CE marking as marking system to signal compliance with accessibility standards. We believe that this might confuse all customers, including persons with intellectual disabilities.

Regarding the enforcement procedure, we insist on monitoring by the competent national authorities of the existing and future products and services and their conformity with the accessibility requirements of the EAA. This will only be possible through a strong enforcement mechanism, which will enable withdrawal or recall products from the market that are incompliant with the accessibility legislation.

For all these reasons, Inclusion Europe calls the European Commission to make the suggested improvements to the current draft of the EAA while strengthening the language and referring explicitly to measures that are indispensable to fulfil the accessibility needs of persons with intellectual disabilities. We hope the EU chooses to show once more that it is committed to protect the rights of the most vulnerable citizens and to fully comply with the specific requirements of the CRPD.

To read Inclusion Europe’s Policy Paper, click here.

For more information, please contact Inclusion Europe’s Secretariat at secretariat@inclusion-europe.org

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The partners of the project AJuPID (Access to Justice for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities) organise from 10 to 11 March 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria, a conference to reflect on the implementation of articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

During the event, the final results of the project AJuPID will be presented. AJuPID project aims to identify how legal capacity and access to justice for persons with intellectual disabilities are guaranteed in five European countries: Bulgaria, Finland, France, Hungary and Ireland.

The project partners gave particular attention to the situation of adults with intellectual disabilities who may be experiencing substituted decision-making regarding their life choices via, for example, partial or full guardianship measures. The final objective of the project is to promote the evolution of practices towards supported decision-making and better access to justice, in line with the UN CRPD.

Participation is open to persons with disabilities, their relatives and supporters, professionals working in the disability sector, practitioners in the judiciary, decision-makers as well as other stakeholders and interested parties. Round tables and debates will allow participants to learn more about supporting people with disabilities in exercising their legal capacity and in their access to justice. Participants are invited to exchange and reflect on a better implementation of articles 12 and 13 (UNCRPD) in the European Union and its Member States.

The number of participants is limited to 150. The Participation is free of cost.
Renowned international speakers will address the audience during the conference such us Professor Quinn from the University of Galway.

Click here to register
Download the programme by clicking here
More information at www.ajupid.eu

Results project AJuPID

Comparative study on legal systems in five European countries
Guide of promising practices on legal capacity and access to justice

ISG logo

ISG logo

The 3-year project “Intelligent Serious Games for Social and Cognitive Competence – 2015-1-TR01-KA201-022247” targets children & youth with disabilities, teaching them on creativity and social competencies, using serious desktop and mobile games. In order to better define our
work, we kindly invite you to contribute by completing your national questionnaire:

All outcomes of this project will be freely available in Slovenian, Turkish, Dutch, Bulgarian, English, and Hungarian at the end of the
project (August 2018).

Kind regards,
Project team

Are you a professional involved in (inclusive / special) education, family of a child with learning difficulties / disabilities, working for social services, medical centre/authority, health care organization, social care organization, or a policy maker? Then this project and the survey could be of interest to you.

The 3-year project “Intelligent Serious Games for Social and Cognitive Competences” targets children and youth with learning difficulties / disabilities, teaching them on creativity and social competencies, using serious desktop and mobile games. In order to better define our work, we rely on your experiences. We kindly invite you to complete following questionnaire if applicable to you:

- English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ISG-EN

- Slovenian: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ISG-SL

- Hungarian: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ISG-HU

- Bulgarian: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ISG-BG

- Dutch: https://nl.surveymonkey.com/r/ISG-NL

All outcomes (training material, desktop and mobile games) of this project will be freely available in English, Slovenian, Turkish, Dutch, Bulgarian and Hungarian at the end of the project (August 2018).

Thank you in advance for your contribution,

ISG for Competence project team

This project (Intelligent Serious Games for Social and Cognitive Competence – 2015-1-TR01-KA201-022247) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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On 23 November 2015 the Council adopted the joint report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020).

One of the priorities of the strategic framework is the inclusive digital education for students with disabilities.

The report says that there is a need to prioritise on: “Further exploring the potential of innovative and active pedagogies such as inter-disciplinary teaching and collaborative methods, to enhance the development of relevant and high-level skills and competences, while fostering inclusive education, including for disadvantaged learners and learners with disabilities”.

To access the full document click on: http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-14440-2015-REV-1/en/pdf

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The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict), in collaboration with AT&T, has published Internet of Things: New Promises for Persons with Disabilities. The white paper explores the impact of smart connected objects and devices on people with disabilities, and the potential of connected technology to improve independence and quality of life from home automation to applications in health care, transportation, education, and employment.

Link to white paper: http://g3ict.org/resource_center/publications_and_reports/p/productCategory_books/subCat_2/id_335