banner_campaign Disability

Disability is a key area of work under the EU social policy, EU fundamental rights agenda, and now also under the EU Internal Market agenda, aiming to make some goods and services accessible to persons with disabilities. The European Union has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and committed, thus to its implementation in the areas of European competence.

COFACE families Europe transversal key demands are about support to families which includes resources, services and time (R-S-T). In the field of disability this means income support to families with disabled members, high quality services, with a special attention to inclusive early education and care and community-based services, social protection and flexible working arrangements for family carers.

As the COFACE Disability platform is composed of organisations founded by family members of persons with disabilities, who created the support was missing in their communities, one of the central themes of our advocacy is the recognition and support of family carers in the national and European legislation. The main demands of our network are summarised in the European Charter for Family Carers, and, at European level, we strongly supported the recognition of carers’ rights in the Work-Life Balance Directive. Our COFACE Disability branch meets at least once a year to discuss key issues such as these, and to ensure that families of people with disabilities have a voice in EU policy and law-making.

We are closely monitoring the implementation of the CRPD, together with UN, EU bodies, and key EU stakeholders and we are strongly committed in promoting the full inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families. This means, on the one hand, the adaptation of the mainstream sector to include persons with disabilities and, on the other hand, the innovation of the offer of services with the transition from institutional to community-based settings in the social and health sector to ensure families and their members are fully included in their communities. Accessibility is a fundamental precondition for inclusion, and in this sense, together with the European Disability Forum, COFACE Families Europe strongly advocated for the adoption of the European Accessibility act, and is now monitoring its transposition.

COFACE key alliances

European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-Based Care (co-founder)

European Taskforce on Co-Production (co-founder)

European Disability Forum (Associated member)

COFACE key documents

COFACE Families Europe response to the public consultation: reviewing the Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (October 2019)

S.H.I.F.T. – A guide to shift towards meaningful inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families EN, FR, PT, ES (November 2019)

Long-term care: the family dimension. Key recommendations from COFACE Families Europe to shape long-term care systems for and with families (2018)

Inclusive education from right to reality: is legislation enough to empower families? (2018)

European Charter for Family Carers EN/FR (updated in March 2017)

‘Who cares? Study on the challenges and needs of family carers in Europe’ EN/FR (2017)

Policy position on Early Child Education and Care (2014)

The Family Dimension of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with DisabilitiesFactsheet (March 2012)

Active Ageing for Family Carers (2012)


OPINION: Learning To Listen Differently

OPINION: Learning to listen differently

By Yuliya Veselska, COFACE Families Europe   A think piece on being a sister to an amazingly wonderful little brother with nonverbal autism Children on the autism spectrum may find it difficult to communicate with other people. Some children may…

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OPINION: Disability And The Family

OPINION: Disability and the Family

By Gerard Quinn, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities   Persons with Disabilities face barriers and discrimination in their participation in society every day. The UN CRPD is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons…

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6 October 2020 – The Right To Be Just A Parent

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