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The Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED)

Disability assessment in the European States: ANED synthesis report 

The focus of this synthesis report is disability assessment, and specifically how disability is assessed in the context of a variety of benefits and support schemes across European states. Assessment of disability is widely used to determine eligibility for entitlements, services and benefits. In light of the adoption and widespread ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as well as in the context of an extended period of economic austerity, many states have sought to revise and tailor their definitions of disability and the related assessment mechanisms, often with the stated aim of targeting those most in need.

This synthesis report explores different aspects of disability assessment from a European perspective. The report is structured as follows. Part I of the report follows on from this introduction to explore various aspects and dimensions to disability assessment mechanisms from a generic perspective. On the basis of a literature search, this section first seeks to identify and discuss various different approaches to assessing disability. Part I concludes by considering the guidance that the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, linked to the CRPD, has issued on disability assessment in its Concluding Observations to States Parties. Part II of the report explains the methodology used to collect information from ANED country experts relating to national disability assessments and provides a short overview of the overall findings. Part III contains the synthesis based on the information provided by a number of ANED country experts, making use of the template on national disability assessment mechanisms. A representative sample of national assessment mechanisms is classified and discussed in accordance with the assessment mechanisms identified and discussed in Part I of the report. The classification of national approaches is based on the assessment method used, rather than the benefit or entitlement which each assessment relates to. The focus is on the kinds of assessment mechanisms used, although the benefit linked to each assessment discussed is also noted. The report will identify trends in approaches to assessments based on the analysis of the assessment methods covered. In Part IV, elements of assessment mechanisms which can be regarded as good practice are identified, and the impact of the CRPD, as well as the compatibility of various assessment methods with the CRPD, are discussed. It is worth noting that elements of the overall evaluation that determine eligibility for a particular benefit which are not directly or indirectly related to disability, such as an individual’s history of social security contributions, are not considered in this synthesis report, although they may be covered in the related country reports.

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Each year we assess evidence relevant to progress on the EU2020 Strategy from a disability perspective.

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DOTCOM describes the policy and legal situation across the EU in the light of the commitments undertaken for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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Based on data of Eurostat it can be estimated that there are approximately 80 million EU citizens with disabilities.

The EU and its Member States cooperate to ensure the enjoyment of their rights of EU citizens with disabilities and their participation in society on an equal basis with others as provided in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the EU Disability Strategy and relevant EU legislation.

The Academic Network of Disability Experts (ANED) supports the European Commission and the EU Member States by providing independent scientific advice, analysis and information on EU and national disability policies and legislation, links of national policies with the EU level, as well as information about the situation of persons with disabilities.

Thematic priorities for ANED’s annual work programmes in fields as employment, education, health and social protection are discussed and agreed with the European Commission, to ensure relevance for the main priority issues for EU citizens with disabilities.