On February 11, Inclusion Europe’s member Unapei took part in the National Disability Conference together with other French associations, medical staff and ministers of the French government. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the Secretary of State responsible for people with disabilities, Sophie Cluzel, also took part in the event at the Elysée, in Paris.
The conference took place on the 15th anniversary of the 2005 disability law, which guarantees equal rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship for people with disabilities in France.
At the conference, Unapei’s president Luc Gateau, urged the government to find new support solutions for people with disabilities. He criticized the lack of support for thousands of people who can only count on the support provided by their families.
In his speech, President Macron addressed the issue of the “exile” to Belgium of people with disabilities, where
they move to receive support. To stop this “exile”, he announced a plan to create 1000 new places to accommodate people with disabilities in France.
Macron also stressed the importance of education for everyone. The government’s aim is to give access to education to every child from the beginning of the next school year in September.
Towards the end of his intervention, President Macron reassured Unapei and the other associations that the implementation of the universal income in France will not affect in any ways the allowance for people with disabilities.
At the conference, Unapei signed a commitment agreement between the State, the Assembly of French Departments (ADF), associations representing people with disabilities and disability support organizations. By signing the agreement, Unapei wants to make sure that the commitments made by the government will be implemented and the rights of people with disabilities fully respected.
The situation of people with disabilities and their families in France was already object of a collective complaint issued by Inclusion Europe and the European Disability Forum back in 2018.