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Community support and participation among persons with diabilities. A study in three European countries

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Community support and participation among persons with diabilities. A study in three European countries

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This article describes a European project which was aimed at improving the situation of persons with psychiatric or learning disabilities with regard to social participation and citizenship. The project took place in three countries (Estonia, Hungary and the Netherlands) and four cities (Tallinn, Budapest, Amersfoort and Maastricht). The project included research and actions at the policy level, the organizational level and the practice level. At the policy level, the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (United Nations, 2006) and the European Disability Strategy (European Commission, 2010) were used to look at national and local policies, at the reality of the lives of those with disabilities and at the support that professional services offer with regard to participation and inclusion. The project generated a number of insights, recommendations and methods by which to improve the quality of services and increase the number of opportunities for community engagement. In this article, we present some of the lessons learned from the meta-analysis. Although the circumstances in each country are quite different with regard to policy, culture and service systems, it is remarkable that people with disabilities face many of the same problems. The study shows that in all three countries, access to services could be improved. Barriers include bureaucratic procedures and a lack of services. The research identified that in every country and city there are considerable barriers regarding equal participation in the field of housing, work and leisure activities. In addition to financial barriers, there are the barriers of stigma and self-stigmatization.
Marginalization keeps people in an unequal position and hinders their recovery and participation. In all countries, professionals need to develop a stronger focus on supporting the participation of their clients in public life and in the development of different roles pertaining to citizenship

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OrganisatieHogeschool Utrecht
AfdelingKenniscentrum Sociale Innovatie
LectoraatParticipatie, Zorg en Ondersteuning
Gepubliceerd inJournal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice Igitur publishing, Vol. volume 23, Uitgave: 3, Pagina's: 44-59
Jaar2014
TypeArtikel
TaalNederlands

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