Thomas Bignal and Rym Gouvier-Seghrouchni (EASPD)
The European Association of Services providers for Persons with Disability (EASPD) launched yesterday its first snapshot report on the impact of Covid-19 on disability services in Europe. This report provides a first general assessment of the situation of social services for persons with disabilities across Europe during April 2020 and identifies the main challenges experienced by providers of support services.
The report is based on data gathered from 47 member organisations and partners active in 23 European countries. It identifies lack of access to protective equipment and testing, significant staffing problems and declining or unstable incomes as the most urgent challenges currently facing providers of support services in Europe. It also confirms that Residential Services for Persons with Disabilities have remained primarily open, whereas others forms of services (day care, homecare, respite services, education, workshops, training facilities and employment support) have been mostly closed and often been provided in online formats.
To shield disability services from the COVID-19 crisis, EASPD has 5 clear recommendations for policy-makers:
- Have Greater Political Urgency for Disability Services
- Prioritise access to PPE & Testing for Disability Services
- Guarantee Sufficient Staffing in Disability Services
- Ensure No Fall in Income for Disability Services
- Increase Scenario Planning with Disability Services