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The Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED)

Sixth ANED Annual meeting

On 12 November  2013 ANED held its sixth Annual General Meeting in Brussels, bringing together 52 participants from 29 countries, including members of the academic network, Commission staff and invited guests. The annual meeting provides an important opportunity for members to share their research experience, to exchange evidence on developments at the national level, to meet with staff from the EU Commission, disabled people’s organizations and key stakeholders and to engage in dialogue about emerging research findings and policy developments.

An important element of the discussion was also to understand how research can make an impact on disability policy development and decision making.


Johan Ten Geuzendam (Head of the European Commission’s Disability Unit) spoke of the very co-operative and productive relationship between ANED and the EU Commission. ANED has also developed good cooperation with the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, to great mutual benefit.

ANED’s research has a growing influence on policy and practice developments, at both national and European levels. The DOTCOM tool is well used, and the High Level group is able to draw on ANED’s qualitative assessments, from those close to the ground, of progress against the EU 2020 strategy. This then enables the Disability Unit to play an influential role in the policy process, leading to country specific recommendations for improvements.

The Commission has high expectations of ANED and continues to benefit from excellent co-operation.

Professor Mark Priestley (Scientific Director of ANED, University of Leeds) reflected on ANED’s work in 2013.

This has four strands:

  • Accessibility (Professor Anna Lawson)
  • Statistical indicators (Professor Stefanos Grammenos)
  • European law and policy (Professor Lisa Waddington)
  • National disability policies (Professor Mark Priestley).

Specific activities involved:

  • Updating DOTCOM and web pages
  • Update on European disability law and policy initiatives
  • Citizenship and political participation
  • Input to the European semester (EU2020 / OMC)
  • Additional input to the case for an EU ‘Accessibility Act’.

Powerpoint presentation Prof. Mark Priestley (PDF 1,727 kB)

Further presentations are available in the following articles: