The Report “Users’ Involvement in Social Services: Inspiring approaches to promote participation of persons with disabilities” has been published by EASPD. This publication highlights that participation of persons with disabilities within the cycle of service provision has become a key success factor for the delivery of high quality social services. This paper is reflecting EASPD’s systematic contribution to research in this field and aims to promote and focuses on the systems developed by EASPD members in order to involve people with disabilities in the management and development of the services which support them. This is complementary to their involvement in society.
EASPD believes that service provider organisations should lead by example, encouraging mainstream society to welcome and promote participation. “It is necessary for service providers to recognise the role of disabled people and systematically promote their active participation in the development, provision and evaluation of the services they receive” says Franz Wolfmayr, President of EASPD.
The paper starts with a comparative analysis of the most relevant European and International legal instruments, with a particular focus on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (EDS). “Specialised services are not structurally integrated in the implementation of European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (EDS), this is a missed opportunity for the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities. Due to the role they play in society, service providers can effectively contribute to the inclusion of persons with disabilities through clear, effective and strategic cooperation with EU institutions”, says Luk Zelderloo Secretary General of EASPD.
We believe that service providers have a crucial role to play as key partners in the promotion of comprehensive user participation, the inclusion of persons with disabilities must become the norm in the service provision. Our wish is to prevent and avoid the existing gap of perspective between international agreements and reality.
The examples presented in this paper have the purpose to show that many procedures can be established easily. In this respect, services can learn from each other and innovative approaches can be promoted through cooperation and networking.
Sharing information and facilitating the exchange of best practices are part of EASPD Strategic Plan. We will continue working on this topic being conscious that dissemination of knowledge is the first step towards a more inclusive society!