For the second consecutive year, Inspire [The Eden and Razzett Foundation] has been confirmed a member within the EASPD as a Single Agency Member Organisation [SAMO]. The EASPD is located in Brussels and represents over 11,000 support services for persons with disabilities. It is run by a team of professional staff managed by a Secretary General and governed by an Executive Committee, a Board and a General Assembly.
EASPD’s vision is to deliver a high-quality service to persons with a disability by promoting inclusion. The main focus of its work lies on:-
- Adaptability of services
Keeping in mind the belief of a Social Europe that provides universal access, the objective of EASPD is to ensure:-
- The full implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.
- The provision of accountable high quality, efficient services that revolve around the user.
- Fair working conditions.
This work is carried out through four Standing Committees [SC] that work in four different areas. These areas are:-
- Inclusive living
- A Policy Impact Group that influences any EU’s policy processes.
Every year, these four Standing Committees, carry out research, contribute to policy development, provide advice and networking opportunities for members, as well as identify and follow-up on key areas of work.
The Association has four special Interest Groups [IG] that focus on Early Intervention [EI], Person-Centered Technology [PCT], Workforce Development / Human Resources [HR] and Arts.
These Standing Committees help to develop, coordinate and participate in EU projects so as to promote good practice exchange by supporting in the preparation of project ideas and facilitating the establishment of project partnerships. They also provide members with information regarding funding- opportunities and support members to access these funds.
EASPD’s strategy revolves around three ideas:-
- Have an Impact – Achieve a positive impact by adhering to policies
- Stay Informed – Share updated information on significant development not just in the EU but also at an international level. This helps to support its work with the European Institutions.
- Fostering Innovation –Participate in research projects and support members so as to ensure the exchange of best practices.
Members of the EASPD are considered to be the Association’s greatest asset. They are committed to working together by sharing best practices, exchanging innovations, challenging others, helping to promote positive changes in social service provision as well as supporting each other to find joint solutions to common problems, as well as promote sustainable results.
Two types of membership schemes are offered. Regional or national networks of services for persons with a disability can apply as Umbrella Member Organizations. These are known as UMO. Inspire [The Eden and Razzett Foundation] is registered as a Single Agency Member Organization [SAMO]. Other Organizations can also join up as observers.
Throughout the coming year Inspire is committed to extend EASPDs network in Malta and contribute to the D-Lot knowledge centre. This is a comprehensive on-line library and knowledge center. It will also participate in EASPD surveys and help provide contacts of the Maltese presidency of the Council of the EU.
Currently, EASPD is implementing its 2014-2017 multi-annual strategy: The “Reaching Out Strategy – to build an inclusive society”. Keeping in mind that across Europe existing services are threatened because of economic crisis as well as the political emphasis on austerity. Strategic decisions and measures have been planned and will be converted to concrete activities in the action plans between 2014 and 2017. These plans aim to further reach out towards persons with a disability, all members, as well as other stakeholders such as the European Institutes.
Should you be interested in learning more about the EASPD, you can visit their web-site: http://www.easpd.eu/easy