#IncludeNews bring you updates about work done for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in Europe. This post is updated with new information during the month.
Ukraine: situation of people with intellectual disabilities and their families during the war
We had an online meeting 26 September where we listened to members of the VGO Coalition. They spoke on behalf of families from all over Ukraine, including occupied territories.
They told us about:
- Lack of medicine (and worse in some places – no water, electricity).
- Destroyed houses, and buildings where services used to be provided.
- No public funding for support in community.
- Thousands of people newly placed in residential “care” institutions.
- Nearly no support from international #humanitarian aid.
Then, there’s the prospect of incoming winter and what it means for people living in these conditions…
Family members and their organisations are doing the impossible to support their sons and daughters in these circumstances.
- They draw strength from being together with others (online or in person), even if it means meeting in destroyed buildings, with no electricity, and under dangerous circumstances.
- They also draw strength from international solidarity and support.
Inclusion Europe continues to help as much as we can; fundraising, drawing attention to the situation, advocating for international aid to actively reach families of people with intellectual disabilities.
- Olena Kravchenko: We are very grateful supported us from the first days
- How the money collected for Ukraine helps people with intellectual disabilities and their families. You can continue to donate here.
- Raisa Kravchenko: Do not use Ukraine recovery money for institutions, but for support to independent living
- If you are being overlooked in normal times, it is unlikely that anyone will take you into account during a crisis
- Euronews: ‘Left behind’: How war is hitting the disabled in Ukraine
- is deeply concerned about the disproportionate risk of death or injury to which persons with disabilities are exposed;
- urges concerned States parties to reform emergency response plans and protocols, in consultation with organizations of persons with disabilities;
- notes with concern the lack of involvement and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in emergency preparedness and response, including in setting priorities for evacuation strategies and aid distribution;
- concerned about the lack of accessibility of information and alert mechanisms in evacuation procedures;
- regrets that Ukraine has not sufficiently implemented the Committee’s previous recommendations, and is deeply concerned about:
- widespread institutionalization of persons with disabilities;
- regulations that prevent children with disabilities being provided with alternative care within the community in a family setting;
- evacuation of the institutions located in conflict areas, which is not efficiently prioritized by both parties to the conflict.
Together for Rights campaign
The European Commission lounged their new communication campaign called “Together for Rights”. The campaign is based on the EU Disability Rights Strategy, and aims to support the rights of people with disabilities in the EU.
The campaign website has various resources that can be used to spread the message:
- Toolkit: Videos, visuals and other materials in all EU languages.
- Easy to read information: about the campaign and about the toolkit.
- Social media “champions” with disabilities
(update 29 September)
Disability employment package
The European Commission presents a Package to improve labour market outcomes for persons with disabilities.
- “Despite a continuous small increase (i.e. 45.5% in 2012 to 50.7% in 2020) of the employment rate of persons with disabilities during the last decade, the gap between the employment rate of persons with disabilities and others persists at around 24 percentage points in the EU.
- Persons with disabilities of all ages are also disproportionately affected by unemployment and leave labour markets earlier.
- Persons with disabilities, mainly severe disabilities, tend not to work in the open labour market but in facilities offering so-called sheltered employment.”
The package is made of actions in 6 areas:
- Strengthening capacities of employment and integration services. Guidance for Member States to improve the
accessibility and inclusiveness of employment and career guidance services. (This could be helpful.)
- Promoting hiring perspectives through affirmative action and combating stereotypes. Catalogue of positive actions to
facilitate hiring of persons with disabilities.
- Ensuring reasonable accommodation at work. Guidelines for reasonable accommodation at work.
- Retaining persons with disabilities in employment: Preventing disabilities associated with chronic diseases. Manual for
managing chronic diseases and preventing the risk of acquiring disabilities.
- Securing vocational rehabilitation schemes in case of sickness or accidents. Guidelines for effective vocational rehabilitation schemes covering frequent diseases and types of accidents.
- Exploring quality jobs in sheltered employment and pathways to the open labour market. Study on improving the employment for persons with disabilities through alternative employment models, including recommendations for fair working conditions and career development in alternative forms of employment and pathways to the open labour market that comply with the UNCRPD.
Read the document in full here.
- New employment package for people with disabilities: In conversation with Katarina Ivanković Knežević
- Our work on employment and the Employ campaign
The conference where the package was unveiled – we aren’t happy with it.
(update 20 September)
Voting rights of people with disabilities who move between countries in the EU
EDF published a new paper on political rights of people with disabilities who move between EU countries.
- Here’s our work on right to vote.
EU Care Strategy
The European Commission published a proposal for the EU Care Strategy. The strategy is relevant to family members providing support to people with disabilities, as well as to those working in formal support services.
CRPD Committee about deinstitutionalisation
The CPRD Committee published “Guidelines on deinstitutionalization, including in emergencies”.
- Here’s more on deinstitutionalisation.
Conference: Europe in Action to End Segregation
Inclusion Europe conference took place from 7 to 9 September in Brussels. It was great to be able to meet in person with so many of our members, and other organisations.
Here’s more from the event:
- Elisabeta Moldovan: “Now I support others to get out of institutions”
- Jyrki Pinomaa: “By sharing our stories, we can help each other a lot”
- Pietro Vittorio Barbieri: Jobs for people with intellectual disabilities
Inclusion Europe board meeting
The Board of Inclusion Europe met on 6 September in Brussels. The Board:
- discussed current work and plans for the immediate future,
- reviewed Inclusion Europe support to people in Ukraine,
- re-appointed Cristina Schiratti as Secretary General, and Jeanne Nicklas-Faust as Treasurer for the next 2 years.
Avoidable deaths in children and young people with learning disabilities in Scotland
New report in Scotland (United Kingdom) finds ” 34% of deaths amongst children and young people with learning disabilities were avoidable”.
- “These results draw attention to the conditions which are most likely to be the cause of health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities who have complex care needs and highlights important areas to be targeted to reduce premature mortality.”
Few bits from July and August
Hope you had some nice time away during the summer.
Here’s some of what we did:
- Long Journey to a ‘New New’ Home
- New issue of Europe for us easy-to-read magazine, available in 7 languages.
- Narrowed lives. Conversation with authors of a book about the lives of people with complex support needs in Finland.
And some stories from around Europe:
- Horror story from Poland
Horror story of a young woman with intellectual disabilities let down and abused by relatives, “care” institutions, and public authorities.
“I Accuse” of a failed system. https://t.co/l5i6XMTwBi
— Milan Šveřepa 🌻 (@misver) July 7, 2022
- Useful overview of accessibility features on various operating systems and computers.
Previous #IncludeNews for June.
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