This year the European Disability Strategy 2010 – 2020 is coming to an end. The European Commission is currently preparing a post-2020 European Disability Rights Agenda for the next decade. EUD has been closely following up the developments regarding the post-2020 EU Disability Strategy and actively engaged in various advocacy activities to ensure it properly addresses the perspectives of deaf persons in the EU.
In the beginning of 2020 EUD presented is evaluation of the 2010 - 2020 EU Disability Strategy to the European Commission, which also contained the recommendations for the next strategy. Later in February and March 2020 EUD collaborated with an office of the Member of the European Parliament Ádám Kósa and provided with an input to the European Parliament’s resolution on the next strategy. In summer, EUD attended strategic dialogues with the EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli and presented EUD’s priorities for the strategy.
EUD recommended for the 2020 – 2030 European Disability Rights Agenda to ensure that:
- All the Articles of the UN CRPD as well as the UN CRPD Concluding Observations to the EU are fully meaningfully implemented;
- Disability Focal Points are established in all the EU Institutions, all the European Commission’s DGs, agencies, bodies and external EU delegations. The main UN CRPD focal point to be placed in DG Justice and Consumers, under the direct supervision of the Commissioner for Equality.
- All deaf people and sign language users in the EU have full and meaningful access to sign language(s) and sign language environments. The EU should urge all the Member States to recognise sign languages in the EU countries as official languages and to ensure their use in different domains, e.g. employment, education and in all the other areas of life;
- The accessibility of information and communication through national sign languages for deaf persons is ensured to the same extent as information and communication through spoken language is ensured for hearing persons;
- The EU Access Board is established to monitor how the EU accessibility legislation is being transposed and implemented throughout the EU;
- A horizontal anti-discrimination Directive proposed and adopted which would protect the rights of persons with disabilities and ensure equality in all areas of life, especially in employment, education and while exercising the right to freedom of movement;
- Collection of data disaggregated by disability type and the use of Washington Group Short Set of Disability Questions are encouraged. The EU should take the lead in urging Member States to collect data disaggregated by disability type. Ongoing lack of data disaggregated by disability type does not provide figures that are essential to monitor the specific levels of discrimination and exclusion faced by persons with different disabilities;
- The EU Disability Rights Agenda 2020 – 2030 links with the Erasmus+ 2021 – 2027, EU Green Deal, EU Gender Equality Strategy, EU Children Rights Strategy, EU LGTBI+ Equality Strategy, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the European Semester;
- The EU funds are fully accessible and are used to fight discrimination based on disability and promote equality;
- Equal access to a fully digitalised world through digital upskilling is ensured. The developments in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) digitalization and automation must reflect the human rights approach to disability and ensure digital inclusion.
- Budget for implementation of the EU Disability Rights Agenda 2020 -2030 as well as its monitoring mechanism are established.