Created in 1967 by parents concerned by intellectual disability in Luxembourg, APEMH is the member of COFACE Families Europe which hosted the last meeting of the COFACE Disability Platform on 13th and 14th of June.
During the first day, COFACE members and staff could visit many of the structures and services that APEMH developed in order to respond to needs related to the accompaniment of people with intellectual disabilities. In the beautiful surroundings of Domaine du Château at Bettange-Sur-Mess, participants visited different workshops where people with disabilities work in a number of fields including agriculture, breeding, gardening, and butchery, with the support of the APEMH staff. In the afternoon, it was the turn of Kokopelli, an inclusive early childcare structure, working around the principles of open pedagogy, and which aims at including a 25% of children with special needs. Kokopelli is designed and conceived to be a model for other childcare structures willing to be inclusive and innovative in their methodologies, which are collected and shared via Incluso, a resource centre on inclusive pedagogy. The visit ended with the “Parc Merveilleux” of Bettembourg a fairground amusement park for children, fairy tale illustrations, a zoo and catering, which is also offering training and work to persons with disabilities.
Day one provided not only with practical tools, but also with food for thought: independent living was at the centre of the discussion of the afternoon roundtable focusing on the state of play, challenges and successes of the implementation of UNCRPD article 19 in Luxembourg. Contributions on the topic came from the COFACE network, APEMH, the Luxembourg Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region, and Info-Handicap, the National Council of Persons with Disabilities. The transition towards independent living and full citizenship of persons with disabilities needs a shift in the mentality of the services sector, where the specialised services need to foster the right to choice and participation of persons with disabilities and the mainstream sector needs strong investment and know-how to be fully accessible and inclusive. To make this happen political will and partnership are key factors. Co-production of services, an inclusive working practice between service users, public authorities, families and other stakeholders was highlighted as promising practice, close to prevention, autonomy, life-cycle and person-centred approaches. APEMH is actively contributing to the innovation in this field by developing an incubator methodology based on co-production, in the framework of the IN-CUBA (Incubators for CO-productive Enterprises and Social Inclusion) project.
During the second day of meeting, the members of the COFACE Disability Platform had fruitful discussions on the key activities, and planned the future actions of the network.
Here you can find our presentation on Independent Living in Europe
For more information, contact Irene Bertana COFACE policy and advocacy officer: firstname.lastname@example.org