EASPD report on the impact of Covid-19

The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) has launched its first snapshot report on the impact of COVID-19 on social services for persons with disabilities across Europe. The report identifies the main challenges experienced by such service providers, as well as a general overview of the availability of support services in April 2020. EASPD urges public authorities at all levels to ensure that social services -and the service users & care-givers who benefit from them- are shielded from the impact of COVID-19.

Image - link to pdf documentThe evidence gathered paints a complex picture across Europe; yet also highlights some common themes; such as the fact that residential care services and services for persons with very high support needs have remained open, whilst other face-to-face  services– such as daycare and education- have been closed and are now primarily done through online instruments.

Mr Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General of EASPD, states that “COVID-19 has affected the lives of many persons with disabilities and their families, more than most, as highlighted by the European Disability Forum. This snapshot report confirms these warnings. Urgent attention is now needed to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the support services they need, in healthy and safe conditions, in line with the EU’s and Member States’ human rights obligations.”

To shield disability services from the COVID-19 crisis, EASPD has 5 clear recommendations for policy-makers:

  1. Have Greater Political Urgency for Disability Services
  2. Prioritise access to PPE & Testing for Disability Services
  3. Guarantee Sufficient Staffing in Disability Services
  4. Ensure No Fall in Income for Disability Services
  5. Increase Scenario Planning with Disability Services