Europe in Action conference in Lithuania – ETR

The “Europe in Action” conference happened from 5-7 June. For the conference, we went to Vilnius. Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania. We talked about independent living for people with intellectual disabilities. And about inclusion.

Europe in Action conference in Lithuania

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The “Europe in Action” conference happened from 5-7 June.

For the conference, we went to Vilnius.

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania.

We organised the conference together with one of our members.

They are called Viltis.

The conference was about inclusion.

We talked about how we can make inclusion happen

We also talked about independent living.

At the conference, we asked self-advocates
what independent living means to them.

This is what they said:

  • “To go wherever I want and to do whatever I want,
    without anyone telling me what to do”
  • “To decide where I can live, who I want to live with,
    how I spend my free time”
  • “To be able to meet new people”

There are two things that are important
to support people with living independently:

  • How can we support them when they move from an institution
    to the community?
  • How can we support them when they live in the community?
    For example, with
  1. Accessibility
  2. Employment
  3. Supported decision-making

Elisabeta Moldovan and other speakers

We had many different speakers.

For example:

A woman with black hair smiling into the camera

They talked about different topics.

For example:

We also went to meet people who live in Vilnius.

We went to two different places in Vilnius.

At one place, there were people with intellectual disabilities
who served coffee to the people who came by.

In this way, they could talk to each other.

At the end of the conference, José Smits from Inclusion Europe
gave a summary.

She said:

“What we must do is to change society.

We cannot change everything now.

But we can do some things now, and other things later.

Can you think of one thing you would like to do right now?”

Robert Martin is a member of the UN CRPD committee.

He left a video message for the conference.

You can watch it here:

Thank you to Senada Halilčević, and welcome to László Bercse!

Senada Halilčević

At the conference, we also had the General meeting of EPSA.

At the meeting, Senada Halilčević left EPSA.

Senada had been the chair of EPSA for many years.

The new chair of EPSA is László Bercse from Hungary.

Thank you Senada for your great work, and welcome to László!

László is now also the vice-president of Inclusion Europe.

Oswald Föllerer from Austria became a new member of the
EPSA steering group.

There is also a new board member:

Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir from Iceland

Helene Holand from Norway left the board.

You can only be a board member for 12 years.

Helene Holand had been a board member for 12 years.

Inclusion Europe also got new members:

You can find all photos of Europe in Action on Facebook.

You can read all posts with the conference hashtag #EiA19 on Facebook and Twitter.

Next conferences

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Our next conferences will be:

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This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.

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