“YHD (Elena Pečarič and Danči Maraž) attended this event as ENIL regional coordinator for Eastern Europe. The conference was mainly attended by PA users from the north east of Italy and was organised by Stefano Baldini from the organisation Lasfida. At the event was also a member of the evaluation commission for the region of Friuli Venezia Gulia, responsible for deciding how many hours of personal assistance an individual can have. Stefano Baldini on behalf of Lasfida and Elisabeta Gasparini from the region of Veneto presented their views on implementing personal assistance in everyday life. The representative from the evaluation commission presented the systems and procedures they use to decide how many hours assistance an individual can get, the value of the individual budget to pay for the assistance and the level and range of services provided according to regional legislation on Independent Living.
In Italy there are big differences between personal assistance services in different areas because each region adopts its own Law on Independent Living and personal assistance. Regions are responsible for providing for and financing personal assistance. Their system works with personal budgets.
At the event there were around 20 to 30 PA users from the region of Friuli Venezia Gulia and also users from other regions such as Veneto and Lazio.
Speakers gave presentations on the barriers they face in their daily activities, and also on the differences between the concept of care and the concept of respecting human rights. The barriers they described are very similar to the barriers that are faced by PA users from other countries.
Elizabetta Gasparini went through the basic requirements that are needed for employing personal assistants. After her presentation a representative from the evaluation commission described in detail what the commission is focusing on and what terms it is working under.
From what was said at the event the region of Friuli Venezia Gulia has the best services for PA users in the whole of Italy. In this region Independent Living services are made up of three services that can be bought with a personal budget:
– Home care;
– Personal assistance.
The costs of the above services are covered within the personal budgets that the users receive in order to be able to live independently away from their families.
According to Independent Living legislation in the region of Friuli Venezia Gulia a disabled person can receive a personal budget to enable independent living even if he or she lives with his/ her family. That is one thing that should be taken out of the law because as a result many personal budgets now end up in the family budget and the disabled person does not get the independent support to which they are entitled and is therefore left dependent on their families.
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