This year, as every year, the European Commission celebrated the Day of Persons with Disabilities together with the European Disability Forum. This year’s Day of Persons with Disabilities conference took place on 29-30 November 2016 in Brussels.
The conference specifically celebrated the 10th anniversary of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Presentations and discussions focused in an interactive way on the progress which has been made in the EU to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, based on the UN Convention.
People with disabilities, organisations or groups of persons with disabilities (DPOs), associations and companies working to improve the life of people with disabilities, government representatives, EU institutions representatives, academics and many others were present. Amongst them a delegation of representatives of Autism-Europe took an active part in the conference.
Pietro Cirrincione, Autism-Europe’s vice president and self-advocate, addressed a statement during the panel about accessibility and freedom of movement within the EU: “(…) Ten years after the Convention, the accessibility needs of other types of disabilities (other than motor and sensory disabilities) are still poorly understood, for example the autism spectrum, relational disabilities, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and others. It’s time to let everyone know about our accessibility needs that are for example information also available in pictures and symbols form, text easy to read and understand, simplified structures and processes to avoid cognitive overload, training of staff in public services to deal with those who have difficulties in communication and social interaction. So I ask for the help of everyone”.