Bridging the Gap is three years old and brings together high-level representatives of the United Nations, partner countries and organisations of people with disabilities to analyse inclusive policies and practices
Within the framework of the 12th Conference of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP), the European cooperation project Bridging the Gap, which is managed by FIIAPP, held its annual event, with participation by senior representatives of the United Nations, the countries participating in the project and organisations of persons with disabilities, who met to discuss inclusive policies and practices for disabilities based on the experience of the project.
The event was a forum for discussing different topics related to the inclusion of people with disabilities within the framework of the 2030 Agenda while focusing on the long road ahead to comply with the United Nations Convention on People with Disabilities in the coming decade.
The results achieved by the project during its three years in existence were presented. The special envoy of the United Nations Secretary General on Disability and Accessibility, María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, highlighted, among others, the national strategy for the inclusion of people with disabilities in Burkina Faso, the signing of the first agreement on the inclusion of people with disabilities in Ecuador, the training of around 150 officials on the inclusion of people with disabilities in Ethiopia, the design of indicators that allow the measurement of the action plan for the inclusion of people with disabilities in Paraguay, and the training plan in which more than 150 women with disabilities in Sudan have participated.”
The event was sponsored by Spain and supported by the European Union, Austria, Finland, Italy, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and the European Forum on Disability (EDF). The Spanish experience was explained by Jesús Celada, general director of Disability Policies, who talked about the progress made to include people with disabilities and the legal reforms in the pipeline in a second plan for national accessibility and to promote the “culture of disability”.
Other aspects addressed focused on the importance of strengthening organisations of people with disabilities so that a balanced relationship can be established between those who develop policies and those who are directed; the importance of international cooperation and mainstreaming of inclusion and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities; as well as the importance of promoting the participation of women with disabilities.