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ESN Spring Seminar 2013

This seminar explored the rights of those with disabilities and long-term health conditions to choice and control and to make decisions about how they want to live their life.

Opening session

Personal Assistance in Finland: legislation, implementation, statistics and challenges for the future
Arto Koho, Counsellor for Finance, Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Session 1: Choice and control for service users: a European overview of the state of play and challenges

Short film: Leaving an institution
Senada Halilcevic, Association of Self-Advocacy, Croatia
Watch here

Experiences of persons with disabilities from EU Member States
Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, Head of Department for Equality and Citizens' Rights, EU Fundamental Rights Agency

Independent living through personal assistance schemes: a European overview
Jos Huys, Affiliated Researcher, Institute for Social Law, Catholic University Leuven, Belgium

Session 2: Personal budgets: How can social services make choice and control happen in practice?

Personal Assistance in Vienna – Evaluating the Experience of Service Users
Martina Plohovits, Head of Department on Education, Counselling and Assistance for People with Disabilities, Vienna Social Fund, Austria

Regional independent living programme: individual plans and personal assistants for people with disabilities
Franco Moretto, Director of Third Sector, Veneto Region, Italy

A voucher system of personal assistance
Camilla Blomqvist, Director of Social Services, Stenungsund Municipality, Sweden

Session 3: User participation: What is the best way to involve service users in the design of services and needs assessment?

Self- advocacy: Why it is important that service users know their rights and are able to make informed choices
Martins Rullis, Self-advocate and service user, Self-Advocacy Movement, Latvia
Speech in English/Finnish

Example from another sector: How ‘expert by experience’ service users can help professionals to develop mental health services
Minna Laitila, Project Manager, Ostrobothnia Project, Finland and Timo Kallioaho, ‘Expert by experience’ service user, Ostrobothnia Project, Finland

‘Right to control’: Giving disabled users more choice and control over the support they receive
Tom Raines, Project Manager, Manchester Area Partnership, United Kingdom and Jude Wells, Head of Personalisation, Stockport Council, United Kingdom