• Voter of Europe - Nora Bednarski

    12.03.2019 I grew up in Canada but I have lived in Belgium one third of my life. I never faced accessibility challenges in the democratic process: the buildings and voting stations were always accessible. It was always a good experience, and I was always able to vote. For the recent local elections, the Brussels-Capital Region prepared a great guide on how to ensure that voting stations are accessible and on how to support persons with disabilities during voting. Not all is positive though: the electronic voting system (with a tactile screen) was not accessible for blind and partially sighted users....
    Nora Bednarski
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  • EDF hiring External Evaluator

    18.02.2019 Applications are welcome for consultants to carry out an external evaluation of the European Disability Forum’s work. Please find the terms of reference for the external evaluation here. Please send your application to Catherine Naughton ( by March 19th providing your CV and an outline of how you propose to carry out this work.
    Read more EDF hiring External Evaluator
  • Elect no Hate #ElectNotHate

    11.03.2019 For an EU election campaign free from intolerance and discrimination Hate speech and divise rethoric... Threaten our human rights Exaggerating differences between people treats certain groups as scapegoats for various societal problems. This undermines attempts to find genuine solutions to actual issues, representing a threat not only to the mental and physical health of victims, but also to human rights across Europe. Consistently, it comes primarily at the expense of those most vulnerable in any population – people marginalised and excluded due to their origin, race, ethnicity,...
    poster elect no hate with hate word crossed in red
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  • It is time to ensure the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women with disabilities!

    07.03.2019 Women and girls with disabilities have always been considered by society either has non-sexual or too sexual. They have been considered unfit to live with a partner and be a mother. Their sexual and reproductive health has been neglected. This is not only wrong, it also leaves women and girls with disabilities more vulnerable to sexual abuse, violence, unwanted pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases. This is why EDF is today the position paper "Sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls with disabilities". The paper highlights: Women's decisions on their own...
    Group of asian women with disabilities in wheelchairs
    Read more It is time to ensure the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women with disabilities!
  • We can only make a difference if we are involved - Pirkko Mahlamäki

    07.03.2019 I have a very concrete example of discrimination of women with disabilities: screening for breast cancer. Women with disabilities have an increased risk of not surviving breast cancer because they often do not have access to regular screenings – therefore, the cancer is diagnosed at a later stage. Early detection improves chances of surviving cancer. This is the reason why screenings and other preventive measures need to be accessible for all. I was telling this to my doctor and he warned me that I, too, have not had regular check-ups or screening. I never had realised that! I think,...
    Pirkko Mahlamäki
    Read more We can only make a difference if we are involved - Pirkko Mahlamäki
  • Ms Catherine Trautmann donates European Railway Award to the European Disability Forum

    27.02.2019 This year the European Disability Forum (EDF) had the pleasure of participating in what can be called “the Oscars of the European rail sector”, where it was recognized for its work on making rail and other modes of transport accessible for millions of travellers with disabilities in Europe. The European Railway Award is an annual celebration of individuals who have an outstanding contribution to advancing and innovating the European rail sector, and is organised by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the Association of the European Rail Supply Industry (...
    Image from the Award ceremony, from left to right: Libor Lochman, CER Executive Director; Philippe Citroën, UNIFE Director General; Nadia Hadad, EDF Member of Executive Committee, Catherine Trautmann, recipient of European Railway Award
    Read more Ms Catherine Trautmann donates European Railway Award to the European Disability Forum
  • Candidates to the European Parliament Elections: Commit to Disability Rights!

    27.02.2019 Today, the European Disability Forum is launching the pledge "EU for Disability Rights". This document is aimed at candidates in the European Parliament elections. It asks them to commit to advance the rights of over 80 million EU citizens with disabilities by, among others, joining the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament. Candidates can sign and send the pledge to Version in PDF Version in Word Version Française (word) Alternatively, they can sign the pledge through this form. You can also fill this version in Word and send to andre.felix@edf-...
    Persons with disabilities surround by the european stars and the words "EU for Disability Rights"
    Read more Candidates to the European Parliament Elections: Commit to Disability Rights!
  • Voter of Europe - Thibault Appelmans - Belgium

    25.02.2019 "I am involved in a political party and am also part of the Executive Committee of Inclusion Belgium – an association for persons with intellectual disabilities – so, of course I wanted to vote in Belgium’s local elections. Until 2017, I couldn’t. The law in Belgium didn’t allow me. In November 2017, me and my father did the necessary steps to allow me to vote – we went to a judge which declared I was capable of voting. So, I was looking forward to vote for the first time. The problems started 2 weeks before the elections: in Belgium, you need to receive a letter that tells you where and...
    Thibaul Appelmans
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  • European Parliament “worst in class” on digital accessibility

    18.02.2019 European Parliament website scores behind all national parliament websites The low score of the European Parliament, a barely passing grade of 55.8 out of 100, was revealed in the new report “Democracy, Digital Accessibility and the European Union”, launched today by the European Disability Forum and Siteimprove. The report analysed the accessibility of the official website of the parliaments of the 28 Member States and included the European Parliament website. This is not a surprise for persons with disabilities working in EU affairs. Complaints include lack of captioning in their...
    Map with colour code showing Denmark and Netherland in green, meaning their websites have good accessibility and all other countries in yellow, meaning they have poor accessibility,
    Read more European Parliament “worst in class” on digital accessibility
  • Voter of Europe: Lidia Best, Poland and UK

    18.02.2019 I was born in Poland and it was there that I voted for the first time ever, when I was 18 and Poland was under communist rule. I think I voted at least 10 times, in Poland and England, including European, national and local elections. My best memory of being involved in voting was when I was overseeing the first democratic elections in Poland in 1989 being delegated to a polling station team: what an exciting experience that was! When I was growing up in Poland, the only way to pick your political side was really by talking to friends and family. Newspapers were state controlled. TV debates...
    Lidia and friend in front of polling station when they were 18
    Read more Voter of Europe: Lidia Best, Poland and UK


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