Our members react to the mid-term review of the EU Disability Strategy

Our members IF (the International Federation of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus) and MHE-SME (Mental Health) have issued position statements on the occasion of the mid-term review of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020.

About European Disability Strategy

The European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, adopted in 2010, seeks to implement the United Nations Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities at EU level.

The Strategy is now halfway through its implementation, the European Commission asked for its assessment by the European citizens, organisations, public authorities etc. The responses received shall help the European Commission to ensure full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society.

Comments from the International Federation of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

In its position, IF calls the EU to move forward with an EU wide legislation on non-discrimination such as the Equal treatment directive to protect people with disabilities from discrimination at the workplace. 

They also regret the lack of implementation of a list of planned actions, notably in the fields of: 

  • accessibility standards for medical equipment
  • accessibility of e-health records for persons with disabilities
  • raise disability awareness among health professionals
  • raise awareness among persons with disabilities of their right to access to healthcare

Finally, IF points out that a lot still has to be done regarding disability awareness among health professionals. 

To view the full statement of IF on the mid-term review of the EU Disability strategy, please click here. 

Reaction from Mental Health Europe

In its position paper issued in response to the mid-term review of the Disability Strategy, MHE-SME (Mental Health Europe) states that a full and comprehensive revision should take place, given that the Disability Strategy was written before a number of important developments including the review of the EU by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In addition, MHE assessed how the Disability Strategy could help persons with psychosocial disabilities and has found that unfortunately the Strategy neglects their needs by failing to acknowledge the barriers they face particularly in relation to their autonomy. MHE hopes that the mid-term review will be able to address this omission and make the Disability Strategy work for all persons with disabilities in Europe.

MHE calls on the Commission to:

  • Ensure that the review process leads to a comprehensive revision of the Disability Strategy as well as an update of the accompanying list of actions.
  • Ensure that the revision of the Disability Strategy takes into account the needs of and barriers faced by persons with psychosocial disabilities.
  • Meaningfully consult with disabled people organisations and disability allied organisations at all stages when developing or reviewing key disability policies and policies which affect persons with disabilities which should include consultation on the formulation of surveys and questionnaires.

To view the full position of MHE on this topic, please click here.