Survey about disability rights in EU – #IncludeNews January 2023

Overview of news, reports, policies relevant to people with intellectual disabilities and their families in Europe.

Survey about disability rights in EU - #IncludeNews January 2023

#IncludeNews bring you updates about work done for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in Europe. This post is updated during the month.

Previously on #IncludeNews: December 2022. End of year summary.



The VGO Coalition develops new activities in support of self-advocacy in Ukraine. Regular online meetings take place to learn and discuss self-advocacy.

Marina Prokopenko summarised their 12 January meeting:

  • “Today was an interesting and useful online meeting with the Coalition. We continued the topic of self-advocacy, and looked at the working plan document.
  • We also talked to each other and talked about our rights.”
Marina Prokopenko. Source: VGO Coalition facebook page.

Marina Prokopenko. Source: VGO Coalition facebook page.

The Coalition also continue their project informing about the war, available support and other relevant news in easy-to-read.


Survey on the rights of persons with disabilities

As part of their Together for Rights campaign, the European Commission has a survey about the rights of persons with disabilities. The question in the survey look at:

  • What do you already know about the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?
  • What you think the EU can or should do to improve the lives of persons with disabilities and their support network?
  • What you think about our awareness-raising campaign “Together for Rights”?

The survey is anonymous, available in 24 languages and in easy-to-read English.

It only takes a few minutes to complete. Deadline for submitting answers is 1 February.


Accessible communication resources

Equinet organised training about accessible communication. Soufiane El Amrani contributed to the training with information and advise on easy-to-read.

There are quite a few useful resources on accessible communication Equinet collected in their training summary.


New funding opportunity in Central Europe

USAID announced a new funding programme that could be interesting for organisations supporting participation of people with intellectual disabilities in politics and public decision-making.

The programme is available in:

  • Bulgaria;
  • Czechia;
  • Hungary;
  • Poland;
  • Romania;
  • Slovakia;
  • Slovenia.

“Programs will assist local civil society organizations working to strengthen democratic institutions, increase the participation of women and vulnerable groups in decision-making processes, and support anti-corruption initiatives; strengthen the competitiveness, financial independence, and sustainability of the independent media sector; and help NGOs scale up their efforts to build public transparency and support emerging civic actors, particularly to involve young people in activities that strengthen the rule of law.”


Marek Plura died

Polish senator and disability rights defender Marek Plura died on 21 January. Marek Plura was a member of the European Parliament from 2014 to 2019, and a member of its Disability Intergroup; he also participated in some Inclusion Europe activities. 


Report: Social protection for people with disabilities in Europe

European Commission published report on social protection of people with disabilities in 35 countries in Europe. The reports cover topics such as:

  • disability-specific income support for working age people with disabilities;
  • social protection measures for older people with disabilities;
  • financial support to cover specific disability-related expenses in the fields of healthcare and housing;
  • social protection benefits for two risks other than disability (mainstream unemployment benefits as well as minimum income schemes); and
  • provision of assistive technology and personal assistance.

There is one summary report, and 35 country reports.


(Yet another) abuse scandal in “care” institution

“Children punched and hit over the head in care homes”, report BBC News. Despite the violations, and over 100 complaints raised about the establishment, the services were rated as “good” by care quality watchdog.


Bulgaria: Stop funding and building new institutions

The EEG issued a statement calling on Bulgaria to stop funding new institutions. Inclusion Europe is member of the EEG.

The statement reacts to rules Bulgaria issued for new residential care facilities. These rules include:

  • Housing large numbers of people;
  • Shared bedrooms: no guarantee of private or safe space for residents;
  • Rooms designated for “group work” and;
  • Resident’s routine noted down and controlled.

The rules apply to Bulgaria’s use of EU money called Recovery and Resilience Facility.

EU should not be funding institutions, but support in the community instead.


Book about Covid and people with cognitive disabilities

László Bercse, Helen Portal and Milan Šveřepa contributed to a book about the impact of Covid pandemic on people with disabilities. This chapter is based on Inclusion Europe report called Neglect and discrimination: Multiplied – How Covid-19 affected the rights of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

The book also covers:

  • impact on mental health of children;
  • how the pandemic affected social care services in Italy;
  • a right to work and right to health study from Norway;
  • how the health crisis affected disability policy in Poland, especially for people with autism;
  • participatory research from Spain;
  • change in welfare policies after covid in England, UK.

Genova, Scavarda, Świątkiewicz-Mośny: Disability Welfare Policy in Europe. Cognitive Disability and the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Emerald Publishing, 2023.


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