The European Disability Forum (EDF) is an independent NGO that represents the interests of 80 million people with disabilities in Europe.

Persons with disabilities
We bring together representative organisations of persons with disabilities from across Europe.

Promoting disability rights
We were created in 1996 by its member organisations to ensure that decisions at the European level concerning persons with disabilities are taken with and by persons with disabilities. 

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Policy, legislation and its implementation
Equality and non-discrimination are enshrined in the CRPD. The Convention has been ratified by the European Union and all its Member States. Equality and non-discrimination have been qualified as “cross-cutting” principles because all rights, and provisions of the CRPD, should be applied without discrimination on the basis of disability. EDF is committed to ensure the EU and its Member States follow-up their obligations under the Convention at the regional and national levels.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
The European Disability Forum is preparing a Human Rights Report on the issue of equality and non-discrimination. We are currently collecting up-to-date information and views on organisations of persons with disabilities on the implementation of article 5 of the CRPD in EU Member States. We are also examining the last version of the EU horizontal treatment directive. The information will help us for the publication of the report later this year.

Theme: Eliminate Stigma and Discrimination
Year: 2018

Policy, standards and regulations
In 2016, UNICEF teamed with EDF for the following EU financed Action “Protecting children from violence and promoting social inclusion of children with disabilities in Western Balkans and Turkey”. The three-year action seeks to empower civil society to better monitor the realisation of children’s rights, to promote inclusive and innovative services, increase public support for the protection of children from violence and social inclusion of children with disabilities.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
In the framework of the Action, EDF is providing regional expert technical support in the writing and publication of the CRPD alternative reporting and facilitating national and regional DPO networking and capacity building. EDF is currently exploring with UNICEF further avenues to continue the project with a focus on deinstitutionalisation.

Theme: Inclusive Education
Year: 2018

Accessible transport and infrastructure
While many EU Member States already have some form of accessibility legislation, there is no EU law on accessibility. EDF is actively working on influencing the outcomes of the European Accessibility Act, which should provide a minimum level of accessibility when it comes to products and services in the EU. Adopting the Accessibility Act will be a big step for the EU to promote the inclusion of its 80 million persons with disabilities.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
EDF just launched a policy brief at the High Level Political Forum titled “Towards inclusive cities: Making Sustainable Development Goal 11 a reality in Europe”. The objective is to make the link between SDG11 and the work at the EU level to promote the implementation of universal design in European cities. With ongoing advocacy, we are aiming to enhance accessibility to foster the participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of life.  EDF pushes for an adoption of the Accessibility Act before the end of 2018.

Theme: Routes to Economic Empowerment
Year: 2018

Policy and guidance
EDF believes that all new technological developments and projects carried out should always respect a clear set of accessibility requirements available at international, European and national level, such as the US Section 508, W3C WCAG 2.1 or the European Standard EN 301 549. Governments must adopt a binding legal framework on accessibility to ICT that can be supported but those accessibility standards mentioned above. Based on these legislation and standards, new emerging technologies will be developed followed a universal design approach.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan 
EDF will organise on 16 November 2018 an event on Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies to discuss the opportunities and risks for persons with disabilities. EDF will also publish a report on this matter that will be presented at this conference in Vienna with the participation of key ICT companies.     

Theme: Harnessing Technology and Innovation
Year: 2018

Commit resources to support strengthened disability data
EDF published in March 2018 its 2nd Human Rights Report on the SDGs in Europe. With this report, we want to raise awareness about the importance of collecting stronger data on disability, with for instance the use of the Washington Group Set of Questions. We want our members to be more knowledgeable so they are equipped for national advocacy around reliable data disaggregated by disability.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan 
EDF will organise a conference on data and statistics in November 2018, in Vienna to raise awareness among our members. We will discuss on how to adopt a better advocacy strategy to collect quality and reliable data disaggregated by disability in accordance with SDG 17.18. and article 31 of the CRPD.

Theme: Data Disaggregation
Year: 2018

Women and girls with disabilities continue to face multiple and intersectional discrimination based on both their gender and their disability. Women with disabilities do not have equal opportunities to participate on an equal basis with others in all aspects of society. They are too often excluded, among other things, from inclusive education and training, employment, access to poverty reduction schemes, adequate housing and participation in political and public life, and a number of legislative acts prevent them from making decisions about their own lives, including their sexual and reproductive rights. They face barriers to the enjoyment of their rights as EU citizens. 

Timeframe and/or implementation plan 
EDFs Women’s Committee, which brings together women with disabilities from different corners of Europe and which represents different disability groups, has been working on equal access and enjoyment of sexual and reproductive rights and health. Earlier this year, EDF published a report on ending forced sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities. This report was presented at the European Parliament, and the Women’s Committee is now investigating opportunities at the national level to present the report and to raise awareness on the issue with national and local organisations of women with disabilities.

Theme: Women and Girls with Disabilities
Year: 2018

EDF is advocating the EU for the inclusion of persons with disabilities across all Disaster Risk Reduction and humanitarian programs, ensuring that the Charter on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action is respected. 

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
We are supporting the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), in collaboration with other stakeholders, in developing the “Guidance Note on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in EU-funded Humanitarian aid operations”. The document will be launched by the end of the year.

Theme: Conflict and Humanitarian Contexts
Year: 2018

We are advocating for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) to be inclusive of persons with disabilities. This MFF will led the next EU budget for the period 2021 – 2026.

Theme: Other
Year: 2018