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Inclusive education and open labour markets crucial for people with disabilities

Photo by Miles Peacock on Unsplash

The European Disability Forum has expressed its concern that the the Conference on the Future of Europe, held earlier this year as a launch event for a Europe wide public consultation, failed meaningfully to include the views of persons with disabilities. Writing in Social Europe, Alejandro Moleda and Alavaro Couceria, Policy Officers at the Disability Forum, say Disability appears in only five out of 49 proposals and six out of 320 measures in the report on the conference. They go on to say:

Of the working-age population, the employment rate of those with a disability is barely 50 per cent, compared with 75 per cent for persons without disabilities. Beyond unemployment, inactivity rates are also unacceptable: most persons with disabilities are excluded from the labour market even before they start looking for work.

Moledo and Couceria call for more training opportunities and activation measures to ensure persons with disabilities are included in the open labour market open-labour-market solutions, ensuring that persons with disabilities are not left aside in segregated models which do not comply with the UN convention

They also criticse the Conference report for the failure to tackle inclusive education. "Ensuring that educational infrastructures and services are fully accessible and boosting participation in tertiary education should be goals for the EU", they say. And special attention should be paid to programmes related to mobility in education—giving the example that far too many learners with disabilities are excluded from ERASMUS+.

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