Representative of Autism-Europe and vice President of the European Disability Forum, Donata-Vivanti, opened the 2013 European Day of People with Disabilities, in Brussels on December 3.
As part of the European Day of People with Disabilities, the European Commission held a conference on ‘Accessible Tourism in Europe’ on December 3 and 4. This conference was attended by Autism-Europe self-advocate, Pietro, and aimed to raise awareness of the right of people with disabilities to have equal access to tourism services and destinations, as well as presenting some success stories and best practices in this field.
The European Commission also announced the winner of the ‘Access City Award 2014’. The city of Gothenburg, in Sweden, was awarded the annual European award, which celebrates cities that provide an accessible environment for people with disabilities, including autism. The Award is part of the European Union’s wider efforts to create a barrier-free Europe and recognises cities for their efforts to remove barriers to accessibility in key aspects of everyday life. The 2014 edition was organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the European Disability Forum.
These events marked the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is held on December 3 each year. This day offers disability organisations an opportunity to raise awareness of the social exclusion of people with disabilities and promote inclusion and accessibility through events around the world. This year, activities were also held worldwide to analyse the progress towards, and obstacles to, the implementation of disability policies under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).