No one wants to be left out!
For people with intellectual disabilities and their families, social exclusion is often the harsh reality. Financial burdens, for example due to the cost of care, a lack of inclusive employment opportunities and discrimination are just some of the factors that come into play.
This is true for all EU member states, as well as accession countries, as shown by Inclusion Europe’s and Inclusion International’s joint study on Poverty and Intellectual Disability in Europe. The EU2020 Strategy and all activities against poverty and social exclusion on European level must therefore take the needs of disabled people and their families into account. The European Pillar of Social Rights and the Work-Life balance directive are promising initiatives in this area that have the potential to make a real difference.
Combating social exclusion is also the responsibility of states and their national, regional and local authorities. Civil society and especially NGOs have an important role to play.
More and better inclusive employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities can be part of the solution. Our Position Paper on inclusive employment outlines the core demands in this area. One aim of the Topside project was to help create such types of employment.
Full participation in political and public life, as well as access to information technologies are other aspects of the work against social exclusion and poverty. Inclusion Europe has led or taken part in several projects on these topics, such as our project on Accessible elections and the Able to Include and Pathways & Pathways 2 projects.
As a part of its strategy, Inclusion Europe will look at issues that affect people with intellectual disabilities when it comes to social inclusion, such as the social benefit trap (losing disability allowances when starting to work), and the minimum income.