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EU Disability Platform: second meeting

On the 18th of February EUD attended the second meeting of the Disability Platform. The Disability Platform is the expert group comprised of all EU Member States, 14 civil society organisations and the European institutions who aim to ensure that persons with disabilities can fully enjoy their rights in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

During an interactive discussion, the following topics were discussed: inclusive education and collection of EU level disaggregated data by disability. Data collection by disability type is particularly important topic for EUD, therefore EUD proposed this topic to be discussed in the Disability Platform. Mr Lucian Agafitei from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU), presented the current situation on EU statistics on disability. First, Mr Agafitei presented the instruments currently used for the disability measurement, which are: Global Activity Limitation Indicator (GALI), collected annually in EU-SILC (Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) and every 5/6 years in EHIS (European Health Interview Survey). GALI indicator measures whether someone is limited in “activities people usually do” by any on-going factor, including disability, old age or other. It is used to produce the disability prevalence on an annual basis and as a breakdown variable for the identification of gaps in relation to employment, income, poverty, housing conditions, health status, use of health care services and health determinants. Moreover, data on physical and cognitive functioning is collected in EHIS (difficulties in seeing, hearing, walking, climbing steps, remembering, or concentrating, biting and chewing on hard foods) and in EU-SILC module on Heath every three years from 2022 onwards, using Washington Group short set of questions that measure difficulties in seeing, hearing, walking or climbing steps, remembering or concentrating, with self-care, communicating.

Later the exchange on flagship initiatives of the new Disability Strategy: Employment Package, European Disability Card, AccessibleEU took place.  It was agreed that within the Disability Platform the sub-groups will be formed that will focus on each flagship initiative. EUD expressed interest to be part of all three subgroups. Moreover, during the meeting French and Czech Presidencies of the EU presented their work on disability issues. Furthermore, the work programme of the Disability Platform was presented in detail, representatives from France provided with an overview of their experience reporting to the UN CRPD Committee and the European candidate for the UN CRPD Committee, Sif Holst, presented her candidacy considering the upcoming UN CRPD election.

The next meeting of the Disability Platform will take place in June 2022.

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