The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) are pleased to launch a collection of examples from different EU Member States, which facilitate the right of disabled people to live independently in the community.
The collection of examples, collected through a Europe-wide survey in 2017, seeks to promote and encourage the development of policies and measures fostering disabled people’s independence, in line with Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Living Independently and Being Included in the Community. Its overarching objective is to ensure that disabled people can live in the community ‘with choices equal to others’.
The collection includes examples from ten EU Member States – Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. They are presented under four headings: legislation and funding; community-based support; involvement of disabled people and self-advocacy.
One of the examples featured is Áiseanna Tacaíochta (ÁT) – the first and main organisation in Ireland to offer a Direct Payment model of personalised support to disabled people. ÁT started as a pilot project in 2010, initiated by four people with lived experience of disability who recognised the problems and inadequacies of traditional models of service provision. At present, the organisation brings together over 30 people with different impairments.
ENIL – EDF collection of examples can be of assistance to a wide range of stakeholders – legislators, policy-makers at national, regional or local level responsible for the development and implementation of disability policies, service providers, organisations of people with disabilities and other non-governmental organisations. It can be used to identify measures and approaches supporting the realisation of the right to live independently and participate in the community.
The collection of examples will be presented in the European Parliament today, at an event hosted by Marian Harkin MEP and co-organised with Eurofound.
Photo: Olof da Silva Olsson and his personal assistant. Copyright Jessica Linder Jansson/JAG Association