The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) has just released a report on the impact of Covid-19 on disability services in Europe.
Currently, most services have been taken up again and the availability of personal protective equipment, especially masks, is no longer a problem. However, social services providers had to adapt to a new way to support and provide care through digital tools and other means to respect social distancing.
Several challenges are still putting at risk the continuity of care and support in disability services, such as the financial sustainability related to extra costs and resource losses, and labour shortages, which have been exacerbated by absenteeism due to sick leave and psychological strain and stress. In addition, the focus on mere protection of persons with disabilities has sometimes led to a situation where services users are no longer or less in control over how the services are provided, in comparison to before the crisis.
In light of these findings, EASPD makes recommendations on funding sustainability, recruitment, occupational health, psychological support and digitalisation of services to ensure the continuity and sustainability of disability services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Access to the full report here.
Read the Social Employers and EPSU joint position paper on COVID-19 here.