On 25 May the ENIL Task Force on Independent Living meet for the first time, online on Zoom. 25 members of ENIL and allied disability activists participated in the meeting. After an instructive presentation by Stig Landvag, a former member of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a lively discussion took place. Several persistent barriers to independent living were identified: 1. Unchanged ableist mindsets and prevalence of the medical model of disability, 2. The unchanged prevalence of institutions, 3. Insufficient access to income and employment, 4. Insufficient access to housing. Participants thus identified several areas which require political work to induce change: 1. Spreading new mindset and the social model of disability, 2. The EU and countries need to adopt adequate plans for deinstitutionalisation, 3. The need for quality personal assistance schemes, 4. Measures to improve access to housing, 5. Improving access to employment and income, 5. Improving equality, anti-discrimination and accessibility.
The UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD) demands a radical shift in disability support from institutional to community based care. To implement the UN-CRPD and advance its´ policies on disability, the EU has adopted the European Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disability (ESRPD). As part of the ESRPD the European Commission announced to issue by 2023 guidance to Member States on how to improve independent living and inclusion in the community.
We want to shape the planned European Commission guidelines on how to improve Independent Living and inclusion in the community. In our task force we will develop guidance on how to develop optimal community based care. The guidance we produce will subsequently be used in our lobby activities. Next to shaping the new EU guidelines, our document will be valuable in influencing many more legislative processes.
The next meeting is scheduled for 5 July at 11:00. Joining the task force is always possible. If you are interested in participating please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.