Sunday is a wonderful day for having fun with friends, family and kids, for meetings with closed ones and new people that we meet for first time; for exiting emotions and shared moments. On Sunday, 8th   of October all this will be possible at ABILITY FEST SOFIA 2017. The interesting and still not so famous venue in Sofia – The Largo (Largoto-part of the Ancient complex “Serdika”) – will be transformed and filled with the energy of all participants in ABILITY FEST SOFIA.

We, Bulgarian Center for Not-For-Profit Law, Bulgarian Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, Lumos, Maria’s World Foundation and Best Buddies Bulgaria are the organizers of this event. We are working with and for people with disabilities struggling for their better and dignified lives. In the 10thAnniversary year of adoption of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, we have decided to address the matter of “disability” topic to the community in a different way.

The ABILITY FEST SOFIA is a challenge to those who wants to test themselves and their skills to cope with unusual situations in a playful and entertaining way. We believe that different abilities only allow us to find an unique place of each one of us in the world.

On October 8th, all festival attendants will be able to discover their abilities through a special pre-selected and developed games, tasks and labyrinths. For the most devoted ones, there will be surprises and awards. Various workshops will be organized throughout the day where people with disabilities will demonstrate different art techniques to express themselves and their imagination. Every participant in the ABILITY FEST 2017 will be able to create with his hands a peace of art and to keep it as good memory.

ABILITY FEST SOFIA 2017 will host also two exclusive exhibitions – a photographic called “We can too” created by Lumos Foundation, and the second one named “I decide=I am” by Nadezhda Georgieva and texts by Yana Buhrer Tavanier. The art works illustrate the right to work and equality of people with disabilities in a decent way.

We have prepared many  surprises  for you thanks to the support of our partners Global Initiative in Psychiatry-Sofia, Synergia Foundation, ASSIST – Assistive Technologies Foundation, Listen up Foundation, Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum and with  the special cooperation of Dextrophobia Rooms. For more information, you can visit our event page on Facebook-Ability Fest Sofia 2017 and if you would like to have an unique experience and discover yourself, you are most welcome to be our guests at Largoto hall on Sunday, October 8th at 11 a.m.

Ability Fest Sofia. Together we can do everything!

Ability fest Sofia 2017 is held under the patronage of Sofia Municipality.

With the support of: Right Rental, Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria, Parachute-ka.

With the media support of: Bulgarian National Radio, OFF News, NGOBG.info, DARIK Radio

European Union Report on Implementation of the Disability Convention: comprehensive, but conservative

European Union Report on Implementation of the Disability Convention: comprehensive, but conservative

 The ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) by the European Union (EU) was a landmark in the fight for equal opportunities for all Europeans. Still, similarly important are mechanisms to ensure that CRPD provisions are actually put into practice and that disability is indeed mainstreamed in all policies.

Therefore, Inclusion Europe welcomes the publication of the first Report on the implementation of the UN CRPD by the European Union, a comprehensive account of the measures taken by the European institutions to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are considered in all relevant legislative proposals, as well as in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of EU policy. The European Commission was right in supporting a study to analyse the extent to which current laws and policies are aligned to the CRPD.

While the report contains a lot of information, Inclusion Europe has also found some parts of the document lacking a critical evaluation of the facts presented. For example, the 2008 proposal for an anti-discrimination legal framework in areas outside employment is mentioned as a legislative proposal, despite the process having been postponed because of failure to achieve consensus among Member States. In addition, the Commission has so far not announced a proposal for a European Accessibility Act, nor give any indication about a follow-up to the EU Agenda for the Rights of Child, or any measures taken to align this Agenda to the CRPD provisions on children with disabilities.

On the topics of legal capacity and political participation, the Commission has also taken a rather conservative approach by claiming a lack of legal competence. Not even in their area of competence, the fight against discrimination, the report does not mention any concrete steps to remove barriers for people with intellectual disabilities under guardianship and allow them to access employment, community based services, or exercise their right to vote. With all the publicity given to the European elections, it is disappointing that political participation has not been acknowledged as an area where the EU could provide an impulse to end discrimination against citizens with disabilities.

While the report is clearly valuable, offering an extensive overview of policies related to the issue of disability in the Europe Union, Inclusion Europe believes the Commission could have taken a more proactive and ambitious approach, one that could have helped move the agenda forward. In that respect, organisations of people with disabilities could have given valuable input, had they had sufficient time to comment on the report before its publication. Nevertheless, the document is an important first step, one Inclusion Europe hopes will be followed by more concrete proposals and actions.

To read this press release online, please click here. For more information, please contact Silvana Enculescu, Inclusion Europe Communications Officer, at s.enculescu@inclusion-europe.org