Outcomes of the last 2021 European Disability Forum online Board Meeting

Outcomes of the last 2021 European Disability Forum online Board Meeting

On the 18th of November 2021, the Board of the European Disability Forum met online for its last meeting of the year. Two resolutions were adopted: one on the situation of refugees with disabilities at the EU’s border, and on the EU Digital Principles. Besides, EDF welcomes a new member and discussed key upcoming initiatives, such as our 25th anniversary, and the CRPD committee review of the EU starting in March next year.

You can read below the main outcomes of the Board meeting and associated events: 

  1. EDF welcomes a new member: the International Association of Accessibility for Professionals (IAAP). IAAP is a not-for-profit membership-based organisation for individuals and organisations that are focused on accessibility or are in the process of building their accessibility skills and strategies.
  2. Given the current refugee crisis on the EU’s border, EDF Board adopted a resolution calling for immediate action from the EU and its member states to respect the human rights of asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants with disabilities. You can read the full resolution here. 
  3. The EDF Board also voted for the adoption of a resolution on EU Digital Principles for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, which will be used by EDF for advocacy in all EU initiatives concerning the digital transition. 
  4. The Board was updated, and gave input to the following policy topics:

    • The next review of the EU by the UN Committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, that will start in 2022;
    • Progress on the right to vote and stand for election, and in particular our work on the reform of EU electoral law;
    • Social Policy: next year’s focus will be on the use of the EU’s recovery and resilience funds, and the EDF 7th Human Rights Report will focus on Employment.  
  5. Update on EU Council Presidencies: EDF’s members in Slovenia and France gave updates on the Presidencies of their countries of the European Council. 
  6. 2021 Achievements: the Board was updated on key achievements in 2021, including policy results such as the new Disability Rights Strategy, the revised passenger’s rights regulation, and inclusion of persons with disabilities in EU budget regulations for the EU’s Structural Funds Regulation, Erasmus +, International Cooperation, or the revised Rail Passengers’ Rights Regulation. 
  7. EDF 25th Anniversary: in 2022, EDF will mark 25 years of existence. The Board gave input to the campaign plan and agreed on the visual identity for the anniversary. If you are curious, check the EDF website on December 3rd and you can read all about it. 

Videos disseminated during the meeting:  

Photos of the meeting

Photo collage of the EDF November 2021 Board Meeting

EDF members were also invited to join other events during the week, such as the workshop “Your Rights in the EU”, co-organised with the Slovenian National Disability Council, during which, through discussion and quizzes, the 59 participants deepened their knowledge on the rights of persons with disabilities regarding employment, accessibility, passenger’s right, freedom of movement and youth programmes granted by EU laws and policies. 

35 participants from our members and invited partners also had the opportunity to exchange with Marta Hirsch-Ziembińska, Lachezara Stoeva, and Kamil Gungor, during their intervention in the online workshop on “the work of the European Ombudsman and making complaints”. 

As for the EDF International Cooperation and Humanitarian Action information session, EDF presented its work in preparation of the Global Disability Summit (GDS; February 2022). The 62 participants also had an exclusive presentation of the new EDF advocacy toolkit to get European organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) and their governments involved in the GDS. They enjoyed the premiere of the VIVID-T project video on the ISAC guidelines and how to include organisations of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. The event also welcomed external experts who talked about their work as DPOs in international cooperation, the Disability Reference Group (DRG) on humanitarian action, climate action, and COP26, as well as refugees with disabilities: Tuomas Tuure, from Abilis in Finland, Mary Keogh, from CBM Global Disability Inclusion, Susie Fitton, from Inclusion Scotland, Javier Güemes Pedraza, from ONCE in Spain, Ina Lykke Jensen, from DPOD in Denmark, Suleyman Abdulmumuni from the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria, Morten Eriksen, from Atlas Alliance in Norway, Ricardo Pla Cordero from the UNHCR, and Dovile Juodkaite from the Lithuanian Disability Forum. 

Upcoming meetings: 

The next Board meeting and associated events will be organised on March 10, 2022, in Paris, and the Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Athens on June 25 and 26, 2022. 

These are the upcoming main events: