A look back at the EDPD2023. By Fionn Crombie Angus. Photo of a man, among other people in the room of the European Commission

Fionn Crombie Angus attended the EDPD as ENIL’s volunteer under the European Solidrity Corps Programme. Here is what he had to say about the two day event:

The registration was accessible to me because I got to bring my personal assistant. Supported by my personal assistant I could register like everyone else.

First, we had Panel one ‘Right to vote and to stand for elections – Removing barriers for persons with disabilities in the EU parliament elections.’

A member of the Irish delegation asked a question that resonated with me because people with disabilities of all kinds have the right to vote and stand for elections. He asked the panel how a person with a disability could possibly run for election when so many barriers exist, such as the cost of running an election campaign.

When it comes to political participation through voting, I think that people with disabilities have the right to supported decision making. With supported decision-making services people with disabilities can vote independently.

I was one of the nine champions to help pass the decision-making capacity act with the Decision Support Service in Ireland.

After lunch we had Panel two: Skills and employment of persons with disabilities.

A member of the EDF Youth Committee asked an interesting question. He asked about people with disabilities interviewing for jobs. He wanted to know what the new employment package under the European Strategy for People with Disabilities would do to help people with intellectual disabilities access the job market.

People with disabilities want to have access to meaningful work. With the right support they can thrive in their work environment.

On day 2 We had the Access City Award Ceremony.

I loved the video showing the nominated cities and well done to those who won.

During panel 3 we heard from Paul Alford, a self-advocate with an intellectual disability, about his personal story. It was very powerful and emotional. I learnt a lot from him.

To wrap up the event there was some conclusions made. We heard from former UN Special Rapporteur on Disability, Gerard Quinn. He gave a motivating speech to continue to fight for fulfilment of the UNCRPD in the European union.

I really enjoyed my time at the EDPD. I found most aspects accessible such as the stop/slow/go signs and the Easy-to-read translations but we could go further and provide information like graphs and statistics used in presentations to the attendees before the presentation so they can process the information in their own time.

Looking forward to next year!