From institutions to community living for persons with disabilities: perspectives from the ground

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities commits both the EU and all of its Member States to realising the right of persons with disabilities to live independently in the community – which includes achieving deinstitutionalisation for those residing in institutional settings. But much remains to be done to make this a reality in practice. This report presents the main insights gained during fieldwork on the drivers of and barriers to deinstitutionalisation. Focusing on the local level, it gives voice to a diverse set of actors – most importantly, to people with disabilities themselves.

From institutions to community living for persons with disabilities: perspectives from the ground

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It also outlines input from the families of individuals going through the transition to community-based living, members of local communities, and the various people responsible for designing the process and implementing it on a daily basis. In so doing, it can serve as an important resource for policymakers looking to take this important work forward – with the ultimate goal of ensuring that people with disabilities can live independently in the community on an equal basis with others.

Report contents:

Key findings and FRA opinions

  1. Context of deinstitutionalisation
  2. Common understanding of what deinstitutionalisation and independent living mean
  3. Essential features of the deinstitutionalisation process
    • Commitment to deinstitutionalisation 
    • A change in attitudes towards people with disabilities
    • Active cooperation between the people involved in the deinstitutionalisation process
    • Availability of guidance to support the deinstitutionalisation process
    • Practical organisation of the deinstitutionalisation process
    • Cross-cutting issues
  4. Measures to achieve successful deinstitutionalisation 

This video shows what a transformation deinstitutionalisation can have on the lives of people with disabilities: