Accessible technology. Over-medication report. European Semester – #IncludeNews November 2023

Overview of news, reports, policies relevant to people with intellectual disabilities and their families in Europe.

Accessible technology. Over-medication report - #IncludeNews November 2023

#IncludeNews brings you updates about work done for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in Europe. This post is updated during the month.

Previously on #IncludeNews: October 2023.


Spain: Technology Alliance for Inclusion created

The Technology Alliance for Inclusion is a union between organisations and companies that are dedicated to technology to overcome the digital
divide of people with comprehension difficulties.

The goal of the alliance is to make technology easier to understand and use for all people.

Among the activities are:

  • training for IT professionals and users;
  • digitalisation of processes and services;
  • encouraging companies to improve accessibility.


More on accessible technology: Banking

Inclusion Europe spoke with business that is working to produce accessible phone app for banking. We talked about accessible finances and tech during some conferences recently, and it is an important area of work to allow people with all kinds of disabilities proper access to money and banking. We are sharing information about the app that is in development:

“BankAbility is building the world’s first fully accessible digital banking app to enable people with learning disabilities and other people who cannot use existing banking apps to manage their finances more easily. The app will automatically optimise each user’s individual accessibility preferences so that the user-experience is as comfortable and frictionless as possible. These preferences create an ‘accessibility passport’ so that users will enjoy the same optimised experience regardless of who they bank with.

“Initially planning to launch in the UK, BankAbility will also be developed for use across the EU. BankAbility is looking for people interested in such app to sign up for it now. The sooner they can grow their waiting list, the sooner they will be able to raise the necessary funding to complete the build and launch of this much needed solution.”


Czechia 1: Report about parents, and about living independently as adults with intellectual disabilities

New report surveyed parents of daughters and sons with intellectual disabilities. The report asked about how they are preparing to support independent life in adulthood. Some of the findings:

  • More than two-thirds of the parents surveyed (79%) have a child with intellectual and other disabilities with higher levels of support needs.
  • 89 % of parents say support services will be needed for their daughter or son to live independently in the future. 11% of parents say other family members or other people in their neighbourhood will take over care when the parents can no longer provide it.
  • Most parents say there are not the right services available, because most of the services are in the form of institutional “care”.

The report in full (.pdf).

Read also: 


Poland: 60th anniversary of PSONI

PSONI is member of Inclusion Europe. PSONI celebrated their 60th anniversary during a conference on 12 November.

During the conference, some people received awards for their work:

  • Medal was awarded to members of PSONI for creating and developing the organisation, including the local support systems for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
  • “Ambassador of Independent Living” award was given to persons who have made a significant contribution to supporting and promoting independent living of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Congratulations PSONI!


Inclusion Europe

Board members of Inclusion Europe met on 22 November, online.

  • Strategy for the next years was discussed and agreed.
  • Theresa Shearer was appointed as Inclusion Europe vice-president for second term.



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European Commission: European Semester, Employment report

The Commission has launched the 2024 European Semester cycle of economic policy coordination.

Proposal for the employment report highlights the need to tackle wage disparities, lower employment rates for example for people with disabilities, and shortage of skills and workforce.

See also: Employment, Social Pillar


Czechia 2: Over-medication of people with intellectual disabilities

New report says:

  • There are 62,636 adults with intellectual disabilities in Czechia, according to official health statistic.
  • 19,094 of them showed signs of “challenging behaviour”.
  • More than a third (37%) of adults with intellectual disability disability were prescribed medication for schizophrenia and other psychoses in the last 12 years. But 82% of them do not have such mental illness.

The frequency of prescription of this medication is particularly high (72%) among people who are labelled as having “challenging behaviour”.

  • 88% of them are on long-term antipsychotic medication without having psychosis or other indicated mental illness.
  • This practice is not supported by scientific evidence, contradicts international clinical recommendations and is risky in terms of adverse effects.
  • Overuse of psychiatric medication for behavioural control is the result of low support for these people in the family, school and social systems.

Read the report in full (.pdf).


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