On 1 and 2 December 2020 EUD attended annual European Day of Persons with Disabilities (EDPD) conference. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the conference was virtual.
The EDPD was opened by the President of the European Commission Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen. The President highlighted that her goal is to ensure that the EU is the Union of equality and non-discrimination. The President emphasised that the post 2020 European Disability Strategy (EDS) will pave the way for further implementation of the UN CRPD in the EU which will contribute to the achievement of this goal for persons with disabilities. EUD agrees that the post 2020 EDS will play a key role when implementing the UN CRPD in the EU and therefore promoted its policy and advocacy work on the post 2020 European Disability Strategy to ensure that the deaf perspective is visible in the new Strategy.
The 2020 conference also included discussions on the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on persons with disabilities. During the discussions with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) EUD posed a question regarding the use of transparent masks. EUD Executive Director Mark Wheatley wanted to know if ECDC has a position whether transparent masks are as safe as medical masks and generally what are requirements for a mask to fulfil to be considered as a safe one. Representative from ECDC answered that there is no official information on this yet, however it will be published soon. EUD will follow up and will inform deaf communities.
Moreover, the Access City Award 2021 ceremony took place where Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality presented the winners of this year’s award. EUD congratulates Jönköping, Sweden for winning the first place, Bremerhaven, Germany for winning the second place and Gdynia, Poland for winning the third place.