In­spire con­firmed as a Euro­pean As­so­ci­a­tion of Ser­vice Providers for per­sons with a Dis­abil­ity mem­ber

Malta Independent - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE -

For the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, In­spire (The Eden and Razzett Foun­da­tion) has been con­firmed a mem­ber within the EASPD as a Sin­gle Agency Mem­ber Or­gan­i­sa­tion (SAMO). The EASPD is lo­cated in Brus­sels and rep­re­sents over 11,000 sup­port ser­vices for per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. It is run by a team of pro­fes­sional staff man­aged by a sec­re­tary gen­eral and gov­erned by an Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee, a Board and a Gen­eral Assem­bly.

EASPD’s vi­sion is to de­liver a high qual­ity ser­vice to per­sons with a dis­abil­ity by pro­mot­ing in­clu­sion. The main fo­cus of its work lies on ac­ces­si­bil­ity, avail­abil­ity, af­ford­abil­ity and Adapt­abil­ity of ser­vices.

Keep­ing in mind the be­lief of a So­cial Europe that pro­vides univer­sal ac­cess, the ob­jec­tive of EASPD is to en­sure: • The full im­ple­men­ta­tion of the UN Con­ven­tion on the rights of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. • The pro­vi­sion of ac­count­able high qual­ity, ef­fi­cient ser­vices that re­volve around the user. • Fair work­ing con­di­tions.

This work is car­ried out through four Stand­ing Com­mit­tees that work in four dif­fer­ent ar­eas.

A Pol­icy Im­pact Group that in­flu­ences any EU’s pol­icy pro­cesses.

Ev­ery year, these four Stand­ing Com­mit­tees, carry out re­search, con­trib­ute to pol­icy de­vel­op­ment, pro­vide ad­vice and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for mem­bers, as well as iden­tify and fol­low-up on key ar­eas of work.

The As­so­ci­a­tion has four special In­ter­est Groups that fo­cus on Early In­ter­ven­tion, Per­son-Cen­tered Tech­nol­ogy, Work­force De­vel­op­ment / Hu­man Re­sources and Arts.

These Stand­ing Com­mit­tees help to de­velop, co­or­di­nate and par­tic­i­pate in EU projects so as to pro­mote good prac­tice ex­change by sup­port­ing in the prepa­ra­tion of project ideas and fa­cil­i­tat­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of project part­ner­ships. They also pro­vide mem­bers with in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and sup­port mem­bers to ac­cess these funds.

EASPD’s strat­egy re­volves around three ideas:

• Have an Im­pact – Achieve a pos­i­tive im­pact by ad­her­ing to poli­cies

• Stay In­formed – Share up­dated in­for­ma­tion on sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment not just in the EU but also at an in­ter­na­tional level. This helps to sup­port its work with the Euro­pean In­sti­tu­tions.

• Fos­ter­ing Innovation – Par­tic­i­pate in re­search projects and sup­port mem­bers so as to en­sure the ex­change of best prac­tices.

Mem­bers of the EASPD are con­sid­ered to be the As­so­ci­a­tion’s great­est as­set. They are com­mit­ted to work­ing to­gether by shar­ing best prac­tices, ex­chang­ing in­no­va­tions, chal­leng­ing oth­ers, help­ing to pro­mote pos­i­tive changes in so­cial ser­vice pro­vi­sion as well as sup­port­ing each other to find joint so­lu­tions to com­mon prob­lems, as well as pro­mote sus­tain­able re­sults.

Two types of mem­ber­ship schemes are of­fered. Re­gional or na­tional net­works of ser­vices for per­sons with a dis­abil­ity can ap­ply as Um­brella Mem­ber Or­gan­i­sa­tions. These are known as UMO. In­spire is reg­is­tered as a Sin­gle Agency Mem­ber Or­ga­ni­za­tion. Other or­gan­i­sa­tions can also join up as ob­servers.

Through­out the com­ing year In­spire is com­mit­ted to ex­tend EASPD’s net­work in Malta and con­trib­ute to the D-Lot knowl­edge cen­tre. This is a com­pre­hen­sive on­line li­brary and knowl­edge cen­tre. It will also par­tic­i­pate in EASPD sur­veys and help pro­vide con­tacts of the Mal­tese pres­i­dency of the Coun­cil of the EU.

Cur­rently, EASPD is im­ple­ment­ing its 2014-2017 multi-an­nual strat­egy: The Reach­ing Out Strat­egy – to build an in­clu­sive so­ci­ety, keep­ing in mind that across Europe ex­ist­ing ser­vices are threat­ened be­cause of eco­nomic cri­sis as well as the po­lit­i­cal em­pha­sis on aus­ter­ity. Strate­gic de­ci­sions and mea­sures have been planned and will be con­verted to con­crete ac­tiv­i­ties in the ac­tion plans be­tween 2014 and 2017. These plans aim to fur­ther reach out to­wards per­sons with a dis­abil­ity, all mem­bers, as well as other stake­hold­ers such as the Euro­pean in­sti­tutes.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.easpd.eu/easy or con­tact the In­spire Ex­pert panel via email on rosette.gatt@in­spire.org.mt; doreen.mer­cieca@in­spire.org.mt

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