ENIL, through Jamie Bolling, visited APF – l’Association des Paralysés de France in Paris in January 2016. APF is an organisation for disabled people with many activities including the running of institutions. The organization is in the process of considering how to reorganize their work to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) where services are to be co-produced with full involvement of disabled people and are to respond to the individual requests and needs of disabled people.
Jamie had the opportunity to meet with members from the APF board and the French Coalition on Disability for European Issues – Conseil Français des personnes Handicapés pour les questions Européennes, both interested to hear about Independent Living and autonomy. The example of the Swedish model of Personal Assistance was presented to these groups. The possibility to administrate services through cooperatives was found especially of interest.
The main event for which Jamie was invited was the APF annual conference for competence development in the area of disability. It took place on 29th January 2016 targeting social workers, politicians, disabled people and other actors on raising the voice of the disabled. About 400 persons attended the conference at UNESCO in Paris. Jamie presented the Swedish Model of Personal Assistance and how disabled people themselves organize and administrate the service of assistance in Sweden. This is a new concept for many in France though there is a law for personal assistance since 2005. The power point used at the conference can be found at this link.