About the campaign

The campaign #BeTheSHIFT kicked off on the 28th November 2019 with the launch of the S.H.I.F.T. Guide. COFACE Families Europe started the campaign to raise awareness of the need to fully respect the rights of persons with disabilities and their families, and to inspire different actors in society on what can be done to foster their full inclusion.

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Ahead of the International Day of Families the COFACE public consultation in 15 languages was launched to collect good practices across Europe.

On the occasion of the High Level conference on the European Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 on the 19th of April, we shine a light on the S.H.I.F.T. guide and start the 2021 campaign.

In 2021 we will look at medium to large-scale actions that are already in place to achieve the meaningful inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families to the European society. To collect these actions, we  launched a survey on the 11th of May 2021 on the occasion of the webinar “From words to actions – shedding light on the S.H.I.F.T. towards meaningful inclusion in Europe”.

In the run-up to the 3rd of December 2019, International Day of Persons with Disabilities,  the S.H.I.F.T. guide was launched on the occasion of the European Commission’s event.

The S.H.I.F.T. guide was developed by the COFACE Families Europe Disability Platform highlighting 5 objectives, 15 tools and 45 actions in the areas of Support, Human rights, Independence, Families and society Transition (S.H.I.F.T.).

S.H.I.F.T. addresses citizens, NGOs, social and health service, funders, policy-makers, self-advocates, family carers and supporters, employers, education professionals, urban developments and housing providers, European decision-makers, local and regional authorities, trade unions and employers. We invite all of you to #BeTheSHIFT !

The S.H.I.F.T. guide is available here: EN FR PT ES IT

Other language versions will follow soon.

The shift from institutions to community-based settings


COFACE Families Europe is one the founders of the European Expert Group on the Transition from institutional to community-based care (EEG) and an active member of this group for ten years now. The EEG and its members are actively lobbying to avoid that EU funding goes to long-stay, residential, segregating facilities, which are not respecting the human rights of the people living in there. This goes hand-in-hand with the implementation of deinstitutionalisation reforms in European countries. Deinstitutionalisation is not only targeting persons with disabilities, but also children without parental care, homeless and older persons. Families are not only supporting this, but they also need to be supported as part of the transition to community-based settings for their family members.

With S.H.I.F.T., we decided to focus on persons with disabilities and show that deinstitutionalisation is not only about closing down large-scale residential institutions, but refers to the whole process of putting inclusion and respect of human rights at the centre of all policy actions, from birth to old age. This means mainstreaming disability and building societies where persons with disabilities are valued and can reach their full potential, can access the same services and facilities as everyone else including education, transports, housing and culture, while they receive support, according to their needs.

The S.H.I.F.T. guide wants to inspire this process, by giving indications on the key tools and actions that can be undertaken to develop a range of person-centred support services in the community, to foster the respect of human rights of persons with disabilities, to make the mainstream sector inclusive and accessible, to empower and adequately support families of persons with disabilities, and to drive a cultural shift to value differences and to embrace inclusion as an overarching value in society.

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