DISCIT Making persons with disabilies full citizens
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Discit project

The FP7 project DISCIT provides new knowledge about the diversity in disability policy in European countries and emerging possibilities for...

This knowledge shows what steps policymakers and stakeholders need to take to enable persons with disabilities to exercise Active Citizenship and participate fully in society on an equal basis with others.

The project lasted from February 2013 until January 2016 and on this website you can find detailed information and several Policy Briefs, videos and working papers.

For further information please contact:

Bjørn Hvinden, Scientific Coordinator, bjorn.hvinden@nova.hioa.no,

or Bettina Uhrig, Project Manager, bettina.uhrig@nova.hioa.no.

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Bjørn Hvinden. Photo: NOVA

Hvinden presented DISCIT for the Disability High Level Group

by Nina Eriksen

Scientific Leader of DISCIT Bjorn Hvinden presented the main findings and recommendations of the project for the Disability High Level...

The Group has representatives of all EU Member States.

Hvinden emphasised the need to refocus public policy to ensure access to community and independent living for disabled people, and to use greater imagination, diversity and experimentation to enable disabled people to have relevant and accessible employment.

He highlighted the necessity to remove barriers to the effective use of affordable and accessible technology, and to strengthen provisions to enable all disabled people to participate in organisational and political activity on an equal basis with others.

Finally, he stressed the need for improving available information sources on the situation of persons with disabilities in Europe to allow monitoring the implementation of the UN CRPD in a consistent and reliable way across Member States.

Read more about The Disability High Level Group

Download Hvinden’s presentation (pdf): DISCIT PRESENTATION DISABILITY HIGH LEVEL GROUP FINAL 090616 HVINDEN

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DISCIT Final Report Executive Summary

The FP7 project DISCIT provides new knowledge about the diversity in disability policy in European countries and emerging possibilities for...

The FP7 project DISCIT provides new knowledge about the diversity in disability policy in European countries and emerging possibilities for policy learning and innovation across Europe. This knowledge shows what steps policymakers and stakeholders need to take to enable persons with disabilities to exercise Active Citizenship and participate fully in society on an equal basis with others.

In DISCIT, 10 organisations (six universities, two research institutes and two Civil Society Organisations) from 10 different countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and UK) worked intensively together over a period of three years (February 2013 – January 2016).

Through the involvement of the European Disability Forum (EDF, Belgium) as one of the Consortium Members, an International Scientific Advisory Committee, a European Stakeholder Committee and National Stakeholder Committees, the DISCIT team was able to involve civil society and policy makers during the lifetime of the project.

Coordinated policy actions?

When examining how policymakers and stakeholders discuss disability policy and put it into practice, DISCIT has taken into account the different levels of governance involved and their interrelationships: first, international policy and law (notably the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities); second, regional policy and law (EU legislation, strategies, Social Fund grants, etc.); third, national policies (policy and law on cash transfer, services delivery and social regulation); and finally, subnational/local policies (systems of provisions and regulations).

A major issue has been whether the decision-makers succeed in coordinating actions taken at these different levels of disability policy governance and make these actions mutually supporting.

Three steps in data collection and data analysis

DISCIT collected and analysed data in three steps: First, the team started by synthesising policy documents and existing statistics and findings from earlier research. The purpose of this step, which the team mainly carried out in 2013, was to map and analyse the overall structures of national policy systems and developments in the situation of persons with disabilities over time.

Second, during 2014, the team conducted 217 life course interviews with an almost equal number of women and men, with four main types of disabilities, from three birth cohorts (born around 1950, 1970 and 1990) and in nine countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and UK). The interviews provided new knowledge about the experiences and perceptions of persons with disabilities, and change and continuity within and across countries.

Third and finally, in 2015, the team conducted 85 interviews with other informants (experts) in the nine countries to assess the actual development in disability policy and the degree of coordination between levels of policy governance in practice.

Eight Policy Briefs

All this work led to eight Policy Briefs in different European languages, 60 varying dissemination activities (including conferences, press releases and videos) and 25 scientific Deliverables, of which DISCIT has published 22 as working papers on its websites.

Two books from Routledge

The international publisher Routledge has agreed to publish the two main joint scientific publications from DISCIT – two edited volumes – by the end of 2016 or early 2017.

Furthermore, four colleagues involved in DISCIT are currently working with their doctoral theses partly based on DISCIT findings. By 2017, DISCIT Consortium Members will have published at least 10 peer-reviewed scientific articles.

For further information, please contact:
Bjørn Hvinden, Scientific Coordinator DISCIT, bjorn.hvinden@nova.hioa.no, or
Bettina Uhrig, Project Manager DISCIT, bettina.uhrig@nova.hioa.no

Download the DISCIT Final Report Executive Summary

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Final conference in Brussels

by Fara

On 9-10 November 2015, the DISCIT project held its final conference to discuss the results of its 3 year research...

Researchers from the project, EDF as partner of the project and other civil society organisations, leading scholars in the field and various policy makers, gathered in the Norway Mission to the EU in Brussels to discuss the potential impact of the project’s findings on EU social policies.
DISCIT project (February 2013-January 2015) aimed to produce new knowledge to enable the EU, its members states and affiliated European countries to achieve full and effective participations of persons with disabilities in the society and economy in line with the United Nations convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (UNCRPD)

Based on the key themes of the project, there were several panel discussions during the final conference:

  • Community living in Europe
  • Life courses of Persons with psycho-social disabilities
  • Labour market and participation of persons with disabilities
  • UN CRPD and the opportunites of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations
  • Accessible technology for persons with disabilities

At the closing session of the project, the deputy Head of Unit for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the European Commmission, Inmaculada Piacencia Porrero, suggested a meeting with the Disability High Level Group, in which the findings of the project will be presented to officials from the European Commission and EU Member state.

The conference programme is available in PDF.

Read the summary of the findings of the Final Conference «New Knowledge for an Inclusive and Sustainable European Social Model”.

EDF has created a video that explains what active citizenship mean, how the situation is for 80 million persons with disabilities in Europe and what DISCIT project is all about. Watch the video here with voiceover and subtitles.

Contact EDF: Lila Sylviti | Communication officer lila.sylviti@edf-feph.org

The European Disability Forum is the European umbrella organisation representing the interests of 80 million persons with disabilities in Europe. The mission of EDF is to ensure that persons with disabilities fully access fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe. EDF is a founding member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA).organisation representing the interests of 80 million persons with disabilities in Europe.

The mission of EDF is to ensure that persons with disabilities fully access fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe. EDF is a founding member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA). EDF is a founding member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA).

 

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3rd Stakeholder Committee and public workshop

by Fara

On 19 January 2016, results of the DISCIT project were presented at a Public Workshop and Third Meeting of DISCIT͛s...

First, Professor Anne Waldschmidt, University of Cologne, explained the concept of Active Citizenship for persons with disabilities and described the methods applied and the data collected by the DISCIT Consortium. Next, Anemari Karačić  and Andreas Sturm from the German team presented the findings of their Work Package on Active Citizenship as political participation. They highlighted that persons with disabilities need support to become active in disability politics; barriers such as lacking financial resources and accessibility are hampering both organisations and individuals.

Ina third part, Professor Roy Sainsbury and Edmund Coleman-Fountain, University of York, presented findings from their Work Package, the employment policies in Europe and lived experiences of persons with disabilities at the workplace. Their analyses indicated that persons with disabilities experience a lack of choice in their employment opportunities. The British scholars also pointed out that new ideas for increasing the employment of persons with disabilities are needed.

The workshop gathered academic scholars, disability rights activists as well as persons representing official disability politics. It resulted in lively discussions on social enterprises, niche jobs and ͚sheltered͛ employment settings. The participants also emphasized the importance of self-representation in disability rights activism.

See the full programme

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