The general yearly Meeting of the European Disability Forum (EDF) took place on the 25th and 26th May in Athens, with the participation of the member organizations representatives from whole Europe. EDbN was present there as member of EDF.
One of the points appearing in the agenda was the election of the groups of government. In this occasion three representatives from the European Platform of Deafness, Hard of Hearing and Deafblindness obtained the required votes to join the board of directors.
They are Yannis Yallouros (EUD), from the European Union of Deaf People (EUD), Marcel Bobeldijk, from the European Federation of Hard of Hearing people(EFHOH), and our president, Ricard López. Up till now the group of hearing disability individuals had never been represented. This new situation places them in a position to defend their rights in terms of equity in a highly representative organ as EDF is.
As regards the executive committee, the re-election of Yannis Vardakastannis as president, who has been in this post since 1999, was widely celebrated. The new team is also constituted by Gunta Anca, of the National Council of Latvia; Donata Vivanti, of Autism Europa; Rodolfo Cattani, of the European Blind Union, and Pat Clarke, of the Irish Disability Federation. Ana Peláez, CERMI’s representative, continues to belong to the executive committee.
This year Meeting focussed in the situation of individuals with disability in the current crisis context, and also in the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) at the level of the Member States in whole Europe.
We celebrate the results of the recent assembly as an opportunity to represent and defend the interests of a group with more than 80 million people all over Europe, whose situation of support and assistance is not always satisfying.
Marcel Bobeldijk (EFHOH), Ricard López (EDbN), Mark Wheatley (EUD), Yannis Yallouros (EUD)