Letterkenny, Donegal (IE), 23 October 2014
There has been a constant tendency in Europe to highlight best practices and success-stories, yet sharing failures is also key to avoid or reduce the impacts of challenges.
This was the core message of this week in Donegal, during the Assembly of European Regions’ (AER) events on ‘E-health: independence and inclusion in the 21st century’. “Sharing success makes us feel good but does not necessarily lead to actions. There may be a wrong assumption that for some regions, e-health is easy to deploy while in others, it seems impossible. Both assertions are false: everything in healthcare is difficult and this is true wherever in Europe. However, despite the challenges, experience shows that political will combined with leadership can move mountains” stressed Agneta Granström, AER Committee for Public Health and Social Affairs (2) Vice-President.
“I am honoured to be welcoming delegates from all over Europe to our county. Over the last few days we have had an opportunity to share learning and experiences and to explore opportunities for greater collaboration in ways of using technology to ensure that people can live independent and inclusive lives“. stressed John Campbell, Chair of Donegal County Council (IE). “I’m sure that you were positively surprised by Donegal initiatives”. How right he was.
Indeed, the 120 participants had a breathtaking experience during their study visit to the Donegal Centre for Independent Living (DCIL). Not only did they discover the true meaning of Independent living but also received a collective wake up call. Established in 1999, DCIL is an organisation both for and of people with physical and sensory disabilities. This centre seeks to empower and enable people with disabilities so as to enhance their quality of life; to assist in achieving independent living and their full participation and inclusion in the social, cultural, economic and political life of society. “We don’t want charity, we are demanding what the other citizens already have” stated Martin Naughton, one of the co-founders of DCIL. “My life has a disability; I’m going to live with it, whilst trying to have a life like anybody else (…). In the past, the big award was integration, now we want inclusion” he added.
AER Committee 2 flash news
Kenneth Johannesson, County Councillor of Värmland (SE), was elected ‘Equal Opportunities’ representative within Committee 2.
–Follow-up leaflet of the events in Donegal “E-health: Independence & Inclusion in the 21st century”
– SmartCare project
– ENGAGED thematic network
– Video playlist of the DCIL action plan
– Seminar on Integrated care
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