Families DayFINAL

COFACE public consultation to achieve meaningful inclusion open

Brussels, 11th May 2021, MEDIA RELEASE, International Day of Families 2021

#BeTheSHIFT #DayofFamilies #Equality

In the run-up to International Day of Families 2021, COFACE Families Europe is launching a European public consultation on good practices to achieve meaningful inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families. Today’s webinar with the participation of the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability Rights, will raise awareness about the consultation and engage all stakeholders, going beyond the traditional actors of the disability field. The consultation will run until 11th July, after which a selection of practices will be used to build a S.H.I.F.T. atlas of good practices to be published in the second half of 2021.


The SHIFT towards inclusive societies for persons with disabilities, their families and their carers, is not a dream, but happening already in many countries and communities across Europe. With this public consultation in 15 languages, we invite all to share with COFACE and its COFACE Disability platform any examples – a service, a city, an NGO, a school, a daycare, a law, an employer, a podcast, a website – that already shows how inclusion is happening. Any action which you believe is contributing today to the shift towards meaningful inclusion in Europe, we want to hear about it!

The later creation of an atlas featuring selected examples is especially important in light of the recent adoption of the 2021-2030 European Disability Rights Strategy in which the EU commits to fulfill the promises of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli: “Everyone has an inherent right to a life without barriers. It is our obligation, as a community, to ensure persons with disabilities can fully participate to society, on an equal basis with others.”

Chantal Bruno, COFACE Disability co-chair: “COFACE wants to show how the S.H.I.F.T. guide can be used to advance the implementation of the UNCRPD and the EU Strategy, and how actors all over Europe are already putting S.H.I.F.T. into practice for the meaningful inclusion of persons with disabilities, their families and carers. We want to bring S.H.I.F.T to the next level, to reflect on the framework and to launch a European collection of good practices.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit all families hard, while many have also been forgotten and left to cope on their own providing a safety net for their loved ones as a result of support service and school closures. This crisis and its impact on children and adults with disabilities must urgently be turned into an opportunity for a major shift in policy, law-making and societal mindset to ensure full implementation of the UNCRPD.

The webinar held today – with the participation of the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability Rights, Gerard Quinn, European delegate of the French Self representative organization Nous Aussi, Florence Jablonski, Fundamental Rights Agency expert Robert-Jan Uhl and Social Protection Committee Vice-Chair Ulrike Neufang – will present our S.H.I.F.T. guide to a wide international audience and officially launch the consultation, inviting COFACE friends to share their ideas by 11th July 2021, and call on everyone to take responsibility in the transition and to #BeTheSHIFT.


In 2019, the COFACE Disability platform for the rights of persons with disabilities, their families and their carers adopted the S.H.I.F.T. guide, which proposes 5 objectives, 15 tools, and 45 actions in the areas of Support, Human rights, Independence, Families and society Transition to achieve meaningful inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families.


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