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Category: Rights of persons with disabilities

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

The European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion organises the yearly conference celebrating the Day of Persons with Disabilities on 7-8 December 2015, “Growing together in a barrier-free Europe”.

Conference celebrating the Day of Persons with Disabilities on 7-8 December 2015, "Growing together in a barrier-free Europe".

Conference celebrating the Day of Persons with Disabilities on 7-8 December 2015, “Growing together in a barrier-free Europe”.

The conference will focus on children and young people with disability under the theme: “Growing together in a barrier-free Europe”. Presentations and discussions will be on the current situation of children with disabilities in Europe, including personal testimonies and on inclusive education, an opening door for equal participation of children and young people with disabilities in work and society.
Commissioner Thyssen will announce the winners of the 2016 Access City Award, (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) on 8 December as well as two special mentions on access to work and accessible smart cities, at a special ceremony during the conference.
As every year, the European Commission is celebrating the Day of Persons with Disabilities together with the European Disability Forum.

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Inclusion Europe

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

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Brussels, 5 November 2015

Dear colleagues,

 

On 19 November, Inclusion Europe will organise an important Policy Seminar at the European Parliament, concentrating on Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and particularly on the involvement of the community in supporting people with intellectual disabilities to live independently. Hosted by Richard Howitt MEP, and featuring speakers including Jan Jarab, Regional Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Peter Lambreghts, from the European Network for Independent Living, the event will discuss using person-centred planning in furthering the deinstitutionalisation process. The seminar will also draw on the policy input of experts in the field and on good practices collected by partners in the New Paths to InclUsion Network, a project Inclusion Europe has been involved in for the past 3 years.

We would very happy if you could join our event, and disseminate it among your contacts. With many self-advocates in the audience, as well as some presenting, we are trying our best to organise an accessible event, but one that would also bring person-centred planning on the EU agenda.

You can find a full agenda, as well as a registration form here: http://inclusion-europe.eu/?p=1224

We look forward to hearing from you soon, and would welcome your important contribution to our event.

Best regards,

The Inclusion Europe team

WSIS Knowledge Community
Building Inclusive Societies for Persons with Disabilities
INCLUSIVE TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (TVET) IN THE CONTEXT OF
LIFELONG LEARNING
SKILLS FOR WORK AND LIFE: EMPOWERING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
(29 October – 18 November 2015)

 

Organized by:                                                                                             Co-funded by:

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Overall aim of this discussion

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, recently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, provides an integrated and universal vision of the future, “based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable”.

Ambitions are high, including for education, which is integral to the 2030 Agenda, as Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. Within SDG 4 there are specific targets on technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Education and training are also essential for the achievement of the other Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 8 ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’. Under SDG 8, one target is ‘by 2030 to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value’.

Internationally, TVET is increasingly seen as part of a lifelong learning approach to the development of education and training systems. TVET promotes knowledge, skills and attitudes for work and life.

The overall aim of this discussion is to analyze TVET policies, systems, programmes and practices from the perspective of inclusive education and social equity, with a central focus on people with disabilities, and to consider what can be done to ensure that TVET fulfils its potential contribution to Agenda 2030, including SDG 4 and SDG 8.

The discussion will also be inspired on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, particularly its article 24 on Education and article 27 on Work and Employment.

Three interconnected topics are in focus, taking place in consecutive weeks and starting with a background document that will be available.

(1) Advancing inclusive and equitable access to TVET
(Week 29/10 – 4/11/2015)

(2) Improving quality and relevance in TVET to support and transitions
(Week 5/11 – 11/11/2015)

(3) Transforming TVET for inclusive and sustainable societies
(Week 12/11 – 18/11/2015).

Participants are asked to identify success factors for policies, programmes and practices, to explore new trends, and to provide insights on how to collect relevant data that can be used by policy makers and practitioners. Contributions are encouraged from all regions of the world so that evidence and experience can inform recommendations for the future.

The discussion is aimed at the wide variety of stakeholders involved in this field, going from policy makers, to experts, professionals and organizations working in the field from Europe and worldwide.
The result of the discussion, after its three week duration will be a document containing recommendations for different stakeholders groups based on the contributions to the three key questions. The document will be available in December 2015 on the websites of WSIS and the incluD-ed network (English, Spanish).

How to participate:

To participate in the discussion, please register on the WSIS Knowledge Community website creating a profile for you and/or your organization and joining the community “Building inclusive societies for persons with disabilities”. To do so please click on the following link: http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/groups/584509/building-inclusivesocieties-for-persons-with-disabilities/

To help you in the registration process, please find a video that explains the different steps (in English): http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/videos/play/group:4/507104/how-to-joinwsis-kc-platform

The deadline is 28 October, however, you will be able to register during the course of the discussion once it has started.

If you need any further help in the registration process, please contact the incluD-ed Network Secretariat by mail includ-ed.secretariat@paueducation.com or telephone +34.933670434.

For more information you may contact:

incluD-ed Network Secretariat
annett.rabel@paueducation.com; includ-ed.secretariat@paueducation.com
Tel.: 34 933 670 400
Tel. dir.: 34.933670434

http://www.includ-ed.eu

Thank you in advance for your contributions!

Entelis_Logo

The Entelis project released a survey on the certification methods in existence training pathways in ICT-AT (MSWord doc). After completion you can send it to Sonia.Staskowiak@easpd.eu.

European Network for Technology Enhanced Learning in an Inclusive Society

Why a new network?
Rapid advances in information and communication technologies are changing lifestyles across the globe, creating new opportunities for many people. However, people with disabilities and the elderly experience difficulties fully engaging with technology, and therefore are prevented from enjoying its benefits – this knowledge gap has to be reduced for political, social and economic reasons. Educating people about the benefits of Assistive Technology (AT) is central to addressing this problem, and creating the inclusive society demanded by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In this context AT refers to any electronic device that enhances independence for people with disabilities. These assistive solutions are gateways to further learning, skills development, employment and the fulfilment of rights. Equally important is addressing the lack of wider digital competence amongst all citizens; investment in learning opportunities and training programmes will combat this, and increase participation in the information and communication society. A network is needed to share these ideas, and will be used to overcome fragmentation in policies and practices, gearing the efforts of many towards common goals; this network will be embedded in existing umbrella organisations in order to reach the largest audience.

What are the activities?
• Research, including living labs and the active participation of end users
• Seminars and other knowledge sharing events
• Project development workshops
• Policy development – foresight studies – roadmaps

What are the aims of ENTELIS?
We aim to help bridge the digital divide in Europe and worldwide by promoting the acquisition of digital skills (effective ICT and ICT-AT use) for the empowerment and independence of people with disabilities of all ages. Our strategy is to create a sustainable network for knowledge exchange, and to support policy development regarding:
• ICT and ICT-AT learning of people with disabilities;
• The role of ICT and ICT-AT in educational processes that involve people with disabilities
Relevant information will be collected and made available to the network members. The network aims to have an impact at several levels, and will have the capacity to gear existing resources on an ‘as needs’ basis to impact future policy development.

Who are the stakeholders?
• People with disabilities of all ages and their carers
• Formal, informal and non formal education providers
• Assistive technology providers
• Service providers

Who is driving ENTELIS?
ENTELIS brings together 9 partners from across the EU and one organisation from the USA. The project members include several large European umbrella organisations as well as a number of national organisations, all providing a range of expertise on opportunities for people with disabilities and assistive technology. The network development is further supported by a large number of associate partners. For a full list, please consult the website. In the initial phase the project is supported by a grant from the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme.

Entelis_Partners

If you feel like you can contribute to this network, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or visit www.entelis.net,