Members of the European Parliament: urgent call relating to the situation of persons with disabilities amidst the coronavirus pandemic


Ms. Ursula von der Leyen

President of the European Commission

Ms. Helena Dalli

Commissioner for Equality

Mr. Charles Michel

President of the European Council


Brussels, 23 March 2020

Dear President Von der Leyen,

Dear Commissioner Dalli,

Dear President Michel,

We hereby turn to you as Members of the European Parliament expressing our concern over the situation of persons with disabilities amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

We have received news from persons with disabilities and their representative family members and organisations from all over Europe about the disproportionate effects of the pandemic on persons with disabilities, such as disruptions in personal assistance and care; unequal access to and/or complete exclusion from health-related information and healthcare; lack of general, public safety-related information presented in a clear and simple manner, including in accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities; lack of precautionary measures in institutions; an increase in the instances of domestic violence, etc.

We understand how challenging these times are, however, we request that you take the necessary measures to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities on an equal footing.

The European Disability Forum has prepared a set of recommendations for policy-makers, which demonstrate critical areas and the wide range of risks and challenges which persons with disabilities face at the moment. We have attached these recommendations to our letter and request that you consult them carefully and address them.

Thank you for your considerations and for taking these indispensable steps in advance.

Yours sincerely,

Katrin Langensiepen, MEP

Marie Toussaint, MEP

Tilly Metz, MEP

Salima Yenbou, MEP

Sarah Wiener, MEP

Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, MEP

Rasmus Andresen, MEP

Kim Van Sparrentak, MEP

Heidi Hautala, MEP

Mounir Satouri, MEP

Ernest Urtasun, MEP

Grace O’Sullivan, MEP

Alexandra Geese, MEP

Diana Riba I Giner, MEP