The EDF monthly newsletter | issue 17| November 2011
Editorial ///Crisis: all eyes on disability
‘Europe’s way out of the crisis: the disability rights perspective’. This is the title for the European Day of Persons with Disabilities’ conference on next Thursday 1 December. The European Commission co-organised this event with the disability movement and it will gather hundreds of persons and experts with disabilities. Together with decision makers from the EU institutions they will exchange experiences and identify best practice solutions to deal with the particular effects of the financial and economic crisis.
Our report from the EDF Observatory on the impact of the crisis set the scene. The implementation of national austerity measures without consulting the organisations of persons with disabilities is having dramatic effects. Social exclusion leading to poverty in many European countries, it is now obviously crucial that the EU needs to better steer the social policy of the Member State. We have worked hard with the European Institutions to set up and to improve the EU instruments: the implementation of the UN Convention, the new regulations on the Structural Funds and a promising Disability Strategy. This framework will only be benefit if the EU and the Members States start to work.
Fortunately some projects are already concrete: on Thursday, we are going to award the most accessible cities in Europe for the second time and before the New Year break, many other important events will also be igniting the disability movement. Read the special focus on Disability in Europe on EU Observer website and a special report on accessibility in the Guardian online.
This issue of Disability Voice offers the overview and insight which will hopefully fire up the festive period.
In this challenging time, more than ever, we need to celebrate the international day of persons with disabilities together. Spread the word and message to carry on through to 2012!Javier Güemes, Acting Director, European Disability Forum
ACCESS AND THE CITY
Accessibility of built environment is a key issue within the disability movement. This paper focuses on three European initiatives that will certainly improve the lives of 80 million persons with disabilities: Access City Awards; the EFC league of Historical and Accessible Cities and Urbaccess.
TO THE HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Poverty, social exclusion, discrimination, marginalisation, illiteracy and negative stereotypes of people with disabilities can be the sad legacy of the economic, social and political reforms if implemented without duly consideration of the rights of people with disabilities: the European Disability Forum wrote a letter to all heads of State to make sure that the outcome of the summit on the crisis won’t have worst consequences on persons with disabiltiies.
Improvement or not?
CONNECTING EUROPE FACILITY
The Commission adopted on 19 October 2011 a package for new infrastructure policy. It contains a proposal for the revision of important European transport network guidelines (TEN-T) and a proposal for a Connecting Europe Facility. Why are they both positive for persons with disabilities?
BOARD MEETING IN WARSAW
The European disability movement met in Warsaw for an important board meeting. The Polish government said Poland will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) in the coming months.
KEEP IN MIND
>ACP – EU: JPA REPORT: THE PARLIAMENTARIANS GIVEN INSIGHT INTO DISABILITY IN AFRICA
On 20th November 2011, EDF Member CBM, together with partners including the Togo disability movement , organised events coinciding with the 22nd session of the ACP-EU (African, Caribbean and Pacific) Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) in Togo, West Africa. Co-rapporteurs of the report, Catherine Bearder MEP, stated that while many reports are passed by the ACP-EU, this one is unique.
EUROPEAN DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES CONFERENCE
Europe's way out of the crisis: the disability rights perspective
Save the date: 1st and 2nd December in Brussels.
VODAFONE SMART ACCESIBILITY AWARDS
In June 2011, Vodafone Foundation, together with AGE Platform Europe and the European Disability Forum, launched a unique initiative challenging developers to design mobile applications to improve the lives of ageing people and people with disabilities. The awards will be Followed by reception & buffet dinner
The event will be held in English with translation into sign language.
WORLD REPORT ON DISABILITY
The World Health Organisation report produced jointly with the World Bank will be presented at the European Parliament on 7th December with EDF member CBM.
Handicap International: Technical Co-ordinator
HI is currently searching for a Regional Technical Coordinator forourbase in Tajikistan. They need someone who has had experience in CBR or disability field, a master in occupational therapy would be great, but at least someone who has had to conduct project in developing countries.
EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis and Executive Board Member, Stig Langvad, both had interviews with Disability Now this month, here’s a snippet. Follow the links for the full article.
EDF President talks about Greece and the Euro zone
“Since the economic crisis began, the situation for disabled people here has been a bit mixed. In 2010 and 2011 the disability movement was able to put pressure on the government to keep to increases that had been previously agreed and increase disability benefits.”
Denmark’s 80th year in the disability movement
“We have a disability movement in Denmark which has been united for almost 80 years. We are very active in trying to influence decisions made by politicians or bureaucrats. No law is going to be passed in parliament without input from the DPOs.”
European Disability Forum
Square de Meeus,35
T +32 2 282 46 00
F +32 2 282 46 09
This publication is supported by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – PROGRESS (2007-2013)
Director of publication: Javier Güemes | Editor: Aurélien Daydé email@example.com
| Contributors: Janina Arsenjeva /// Alex Lawson /// Simona Giarratano | Maria Nyman /// Ewa Pawlowska /// Nadège Riche | Translation to French: Bastin Bérénice Traductions