#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.
The funds of the latest tranche were transferred to 42 organizations. Many warm messages from parents, because children and adults have services and employment!, writes VGO Coalition on 20 December.
The VGO Coalition held its reporting conference on 8 December.
Milan Šveřepa took part in the conference, and writes:
- On behalf of Inclusion Europe I expressed support and solidarity to Ukrainian people with intellectual disabilities and families, demonstrated (not only) by the donations from organisations and individuals.
- It is only thanks to the work of the VGO Coalition that the money helps.
- In war-impacted conditions, the Coalition distributes the money, organises donations and makes sure thousands of people receive support.
- “The hostilities caused a lot of grief for the country.
- Ukrainians with intellectual disabilities and their families, in addition to typical wartime hardships, suffer from
- lack of available security measures,
- unsuitable bomb shelters and evacuation,
- termination of social and rehabilitation services at the community level,
- increase in cases of institutionalisation,
- lack of safety information in an accessible format.
- There is excessive burden on caregivers as result of the situation.
- The NGO Coalition unites 118 NGOs and service agencies for people with intellectual disabilities and represents more than 14 thousand families.
- In 2022 we helped them survive the hardships of the war, wit 482,000 euros of international assistance.”
- Our city was occupied. I am now in another part of Ukraine. It was important to have meetings with others. Thank you for your support.
- We thank all our partners and everyone who supported us in Europe and all over the world.
- I will tell you a story about Oleksander, 52-years old man with Down Syndrome from Mariupol
- His parents died, and he attended a day centre and had social workers support.
- When war started, social workers left.
- A complete stranger found him and decided to help him.
- This family took him from Mariupol to another place in Ukraine.
- They didn’t have any financial support from the authorities.
- But they received support from the European donations, and were able to support Oleksander.
- This is a good alternative to having to go to an institution.
- If it wasn’t for the international support we would hardly be able to cope in this situation.
- Our heart-felt gratitude from everyone in our network representing 14,000 families.
- We appreciate that the first support from Inclusion Europe was transferred on 8 March. At the same time 20 other organisations received support.
Olena Melniyuk said on Facebook: “With the support of Inclusion Europe and VGO Coalition we are able to continue to provide a day-care service for young people who need attention, communication and meet the needs of daily work, creativity, being useful and important to others.”
UN CRPD Committee calls for submissions
The Committee calls for contributions into these consultations:
- The right to education, advances and challenges, deadline 13 January 2023
- Written submissions related to article 11 (situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies), deadline 15 February 2023
Web Accessibility Directive
The European Commission published its evaluation report covering the first three years of the application of the Web Accessibility Directive.
- EDF has an update on the Web Accessibility Directive.
The European Commission also published an easy-to-read executive summary of their external study and an easy-to-read summary of last year’s public consultation results.
Awards for accessible cities
The European Commission has awarded its annual Access City award to cities improving accessibility for people with disabilities.
The Swedish city of Skellefteå received the 2023 Access City Award.
- Accessibility is included in all Skellefteå’s plans, ensuring that public spaces such as playgrounds and streets are equipped with tactile information signs and ground heating, so as to ensure that snow and ice are not an impediment.
- The city’s central park and nearby river area have tactile paths and maps, seating and an outdoor elevator.
- A SMS-service for blind and partially sighted persons provides information on road construction and potential obstacles across the city.
- Public buses are also fully accessible thanks to low floors, ramps, text screens and audio announcements.
- Skellefteå also offers training for young people with intellectual disabilities to explore technology and ways of working to help them lead an independent adult life.
The Spanish city of Córdoba and Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana were awarded the second and third place prizes. Three other cities received a special mention for their efforts in becoming more accessible:
- Hamburg (Germany), for its built environment;
- Grenoble (France), for its transport network; and
- Mérida (Spain), for its information and communication technologies.
New executive director for FDUV, Finland
The Board of Directors of FDUV has elected Annette Tallberg-Haahtela as new executive director.
- Annette has worked at FDUV since 2012, in recent years as an expert in advocacy.
- Annette will take over as executive director in August 2023 when Lisbeth Hemgård retires.
“Personal assistance” service introduced in Belarus
With the adoption of new Law “On the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Their Social Integration” amendments were made to the Law “On Social Services”, inform our member Lifeguide.
- New type of social service has been introduced: personal assistant.
- It is a comprehensive assistance to people with disabilities in communication, participation in society, implementation of social norms and rules, solving a wide range of everyday tasks.
- For example, a social work specialist will be able to provide information support in everyday situations, including searching for information, helping to fill out documents. The specialist will also help in mastering the technical means of rehabilitation, in organizing daytime employment outside the home: visiting workshops, day care departments, concerts, exhibitions.
- This service also includes the provision of first aid, calling a doctor, informing relatives about the state of health, etc.
New Europe for us
The easy-to-read magazine has a new issue, with a lot of stories and interviews.
We also received a European Citizen Prize medal.
End of year summary from Inclusion Europe
- Our efforts to help Ukraine and raise awareness of the situation of Ukrainian people with intellectual disabilities and their families became an important part of our work plan. But this year we have also continued our work with the final year of our five-E strategy. The theme of 2022 was Ending segregation.
Milan Šveřepa: 2022. Enough said.
- 650,000 euros fundraised to help people with intellectual disabilities and their families in Ukraine
- 1 conference with 120 attendees from 27 countries
- 6 Tuesday Tutorials
- 1 training on self-advocacy participation
- 40 speaker contributions to conferences and trainings
- 28,800 social media followers, 4,450 more than in 2021
- 100,000 impressions on our post about North Macedonia story
- 74 media appearances (45 last year)
- 1 new member
Previous: #IncludeNews for November.
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