PRESS RELEASE: Brussels, 26 September 2013
A European network set up to achieve more inclusive and person-centred support for persons with disabilities
Organisations of persons with disabilities, service-providers, universities and research centres from 14 European countries and Canada joined forces to pave the way towards more inclusive and person-centred support for persons with disabilities.
The cooperation is unfolding within the framework of the European project New Paths to InclUsion Network which was launched earlier this year with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union.
The objective of the network is to help organisations to transform their services and deliver individualised and person-centred support to persons with disabilities, as required in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. To make this happen, the network aims to equip organisations and their employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to the individual needs of persons with disabilities.
The concept of Person-Centred Planning and practice is at the heart of this process. “Person-Centred Planning helps people to plan their future and organise any support and services they may need. It is also a way of showing service-providers what matters to each user and how appropriate support can be organised,” says Oliver König from queraum, a cultural and social research centre that coordinates the project.
John O’Brien, a pioneer of Person-Centred Planning, said: “Having heard the desires of persons with disabilities, those of us who offer services have a choice. We can reject what is important to people with a story of impossibility that justifies us in reproducing social exclusion: this person can’t be supported to live in her own home; the labour market won’t adapt to benefit from the work of that person. Or, we can choose to co-author a story of possibility through shared learning and with a vision that takes us beyond our current competence.”
All the information about the New Paths to InclUsion Network can be found at the project website www.personcentredplanning.eu
The Network can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PersonCentredPlanning