To the Heads of State and Government of the European Union,
RE: IMPACT OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS ON PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
The European Disability Forum (EDF), the voice of 80 million persons with disabilities and their families in Europe, calls on all the Governments of the European Union to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities and their families are taken into account all the way through economic, political and social policies.
2. Education of persons with disabilities will be respected and reforms in the education systems will not mean reduction in education support policies in mainstream education and should not lead to segregation to special schools.
3. The right to work and employment is fully respected: Measures for full inclusion in employment including reasonable accommodation and supported employment should not disappear from the national employment policies.
4. Access to health services for people with disabilities is not put into question and health services for people with disabilities do not consider their health as secondary in respect to non-disabled people.
5. That Social habilitation and rehabilitation is considered an investment for European societies ensuring that all capacities are collected and fully participate in the construction of Europe after the crisis. The quality of social services should remain a pre-condition for respecting the human rights of people with disabilities.
6. Adequate living standards and social protection are ensured. This will mean that no measures are taken that will have the effect of leading people with disabilities into poverty, social exclusion or reduction of his/her living income.
7. Freedom of expression and opinion and access to information is not restricted by reforms of public and private services.
8. Respect for family life is ensured by guaranteeing to all people with disabilities and their families adequate family policies. These policies should remain a priority.
9. Organisations representing people with disabilities should be consulted in regard to any action that could have an impact on the rights of people with disabilities.
President of the European Disability Forum