European Day of Persons with Disabilities

The European Commission in collaboration with the European Disability Forum organised the annual conference on the occasion of the European Day of Persons with Disabilities that took place on 2 and 3 December 2021. 

The conference was focused on the current challenges, specifically in access to healthcare and in digital transformation. It also included a focus on the experiences and needs of children with disabilities. In these areas, persons with disabilities still face the following barriers:

  • 4 times more persons with disabilities report unmet healthcare needs than those without disabilities
  • Only 64% of persons with disabilities have an internet connection at home, compared to 88% of persons without disabilities
  • Children with disabilities have problems in accessing services like health care and education on an equal basis with other children
  • Children with disabilities are also disproportionately more likely to be placed in institutional care than their peers without disabilities.

The conference closed with the Access City Award ceremony, where Luxembourg city was recognized for its wide range of innovative solutions and improvements to enhance accessibility for persons with disabilities on the 2022 Access City Award.

Forty EU cities presented their actions and strategies to become barrier-free and better cities for everyone to live and work. The award was given to the city that has demonstrably improved accessibility in fundamental aspects of city living, and that has concrete plans for further improvements. The city of Helsinki in Finland and the city of Barcelona in Spain were the second and third place winners. 

>> Read more about the European Day of Persons with Disabilities here.