The Agency has participated in a conference organised by the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) entitled ‘Improving accessibility and access to rights and implementing the 2021–2030 EU Strategy’. The conference aimed to explore how EU Member States can build on past successes following on from the European Disability Strategy 2010–2020 and looked ahead at the challenges still to be overcome in the 2021–2030 Strategy.
Speakers included Sophie Cluzel, the French State Secretary for Persons with Disabilities, Helena Dalli, the European Commissioner for Equality, and representatives from disability and social rights organisations from across Europe.
Agency representative Marta Presmanes Andrés took part in a panel on ‘Improving employment and education opportunities in a more inclusive EU’. Following a brief introduction to the Agency and its work, Ms Presmanes Andrés discussed how inclusive education can impact social inclusion for people with disabilities, based on the Agency’s Evidence of the Link Between Inclusive Education and Social Inclusion publications. She stressed the importance of enabling learners with disabilities to participate on equal terms with their non-disabled peers in all aspects of education. She also highlighted how policy must regulate the transitions between education systems and life periods to maintain and increase opportunities for social inclusion.
The French Presidency website has more details of the conference. Union of Equality, the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021–2030 publication, is available on the European Commission website.