EU launches new Disability Strategy Print
The AALOA Manifesto

On 15 November 2010 the European Commission adopted a new strategy to break down the barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from participating in society on an equal basis. The strategy focuses on eliminating barriers across eight main areas: accessibility, participation, equality, employment, education and training, social protection, health, and external action. These areas were selected on the basis of the overall objectives of the EU Disability strategy, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the related policy documents from EU institutions and the Council of Europe, as well as the results of the EU Disability Action Plan 2003-2010, and a consultation of the Member States, stakeholders and the general public.

Considering the rapid ageing of the population, the number of people with disabilities will increase with both people with disabilities becoming older and older people getting disabled at a quite late stage in life.

The Communication of the European Commission ( available in all EU languages at:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52010DC0636:EN:NOT) doesn't focus on specific age related groups and is a quite broad document covering main areas of difficulties for disabled people in general. Mainly three areas are more closely linked to ageing: (1) accessibility of built environment, transport and ICT, (2) the transition from institutional to community based-care, and (3) health and safety at work considering the potential impact of occupational accident on ageing with a disability. The Commission staff working document (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52010SC1323:EN:NOT) which accompanies the communication gives more details about specific actions foreseen by the European Commission to support the implementation of the strategy. Indeed it gives more details especially in the area of social protection, which is of particular importance for ageing and older disabled people since pension and long-term care benefits are a crucial issue. The prevention of mental disorders is mentioned as well.

Last but not least, the European Year 2012 is listed as one of the key awareness-raising action in order to highlight the question of the relationship between ageing and disability.

In January 201, AGE participated in the consultation of the European Commission on the new Disability Strategy. For more information about AGE contribution, please consult:
http://www.age-platform.eu/en/age-policy-work/accessibility/age-position-statements/1087-age-contribution-on-a-new-eu-disability-strategy-2010-2020

EDF - European Disability Forum's reaction to the Strategy:
http://www.edf-feph.org/Page_Generale.asp?DocID=13855&thebloc=25705

For more information on the European Commission?s work on disability:
http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=429

 

 
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