On 2 March a seminar was organised in the European Parliament, co-hosted by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Helga Stevens and Ádám Kósa and the organisations Light for the World, ICSSPE, JUUM and Psychosocial Centre. The seminar presented a handbook written by the four different organisations highlighting the importance of psychosocial wellbeing for persons with disabilities. MEP Stevens opened the seminar by congratulating the authors and organisations of the handbook as it is relevant for her to see different good examples in her role as rapporteur of the European Parliament’s report on the implementation and Concluding Observations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Kósa send a video message where he mentioned the importance for equal opportunities and social inclusion and how this is linked to psychosocial wellbeing for all. Three representatives from the organisations and authors from the handbook also gave short presentations.
Johannes Trimmel from the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) gave a general presentation on the handbook, its context and objectives. Katrin Koenen from the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) spoke about empowerment through sport and highlighted the possibilities of have sports and physical movement to be an important factor to reach social inclusion and improved confidence with the individual. Yetnebersh Nigussie, Light for the World, gave various examples of different perspectives and successful cases and own experience from how to work on improving pscychosocial wellbeing for persons with disabilities.
EUD Executive Director Mark Wheatley joined in the discussion to also congratulate the organisations for highlighting such an important topic as psychosocial wellbeing. For deaf it is important to have full accessibility to information and communication, such as access to Sign Language interpreter, to ensure social inclusion and participation. Wheatley also agreed how sports can be a successful factor and this is also mention in the UNCRPD, in Article 30, where Deaf culture is also mentioned and this is something he hopes the organisations will include in their coming work as it plays an important role in the deaf community.
Read more about the Handbook: http://pscentre.org/topics/different-just-like-you/