European Day of Persons with Disabilities Conference
On the 29th and 30th of November, EUD participated in the 2016 edition of the European Day of Persons with Disabilities, organised by the European Commission and the European Disability Forum.
The conference specifically celebrated the 10th anniversary of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (UN CRPD). Presentations and discussions focused on the progress that has been made in the EU to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, based on the UN Convention.
A variety of organisations or groups of persons with disabilities (DPOs), associations and companies working to improve the life of people with disabilities, government representatives, EU institutions representatives, academics and many others were present.
The conference addressed numerous topics, including a view back on the 10 years of existence of the UN CRPD; which advances in its move from the medical model to the human rights model have been made and which still need to be achieved. Another panel focused on the link between the UN CRPD and the efforts made on a European level to support the creation of efficient social policies in the EU Member states. Furthermore, advances in the area of accessibility and freedom of movement within the EU as well as the rights of women with disabilities and the need to empower and protect them from multiple discriminations were discussed.
Additionally, the Access City Awards were awarded to several European cities that had improved the accessibility of their infrastructures in different ways.
EUD’s board was present in Brussels to take part in this important event. They and Mark Wheatley as executive director took the opportunity to ask a variety of questions to the panellists, for example on the advances that the EU has achieved in implementing the UN CRPD, the importance of making accessibility, reasonable accommodation provision and social protection work together as well as regarding concrete European initiatives, such as the EU Disability Card.