The European Commission is organising the 2018 European Day of Persons with Disabilities, which will take place on 3-4 December in Brussels. The event is co-organised by our partner the European Disability Forum.
Politicians, high-level experts and self-advocates will be present in order to discuss the challenges, the solutions and the projects that are being prepared for improving policies for persons with disabilities. The 2018 conference will give participants the opportunity to discuss the potential shape of the next European Disability Strategy, but also the possible ways in which it could be implemented, notably in the context of the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
The event will also focus on the accessibility of cultural heritage, on the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, celebrated in 2018.
Cultural heritage will also be one important element of this year’s Access City Award. The three traditional awards to the most accessible European cities will be handed out by the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen, while a special prize will be also handed out by the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics to two cities which will be awarded for their efforts to improve access to cultural heritage.
On the 4th of December, right after the European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) will launch the findings of its fieldwork research on drivers and barriers of deinstitutionalisation.
Our network is also very active in advocating for persons with disabilities: last month we signed up the “Manifesto for a Sustainable Europe for its Citizens”, including also recommendations on accessibility. Last year, we also published a mapping titled “Caring for People’s Mental Health. Good practice from Eurodiaconia members”. In addition to this, last week we hosted part of the Board of our new Finnish member Caritaslaiset for an intense two-day study visit to Brussels focusing on social protection systems and social services for people with disability.