From institutions to community living - Part III: outcomes for persons with disabilities

This report assesses to what extent Member States have implemented the right to independent living, focusing on the effect commitments and funds are having on persons with disabilities’ daily lives. Taken together, the reports provide important insights that can support ongoing processes of change.

All but one of the EU Member States, and the EU itself, have ratified the CRPD, committing themselves to achieving independent living for persons with disabilities. Doing so requires a meaningful and sustainable shift from institutional to community-based living arrangements. This report is the final report in a series of three reports on different aspects of deinstitutionalisation. The first and second reports highlight the obligations the EU and its Member States have committed to fulfil, and look at how funding and budgeting structures can turn these commitments into reality.

For additional information, see the summary overview of the different types of institutional and community-based services (pdf, 824 KB) for persons with disabilities available in each of the EU Member States.

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Key findings

  • Persons with disabilities living in the community experience worse independent living outcomes than persons without disabilities, across all the areas analysed in this report. This is particularly apparent among persons with more severe impairments and among those with a lower economic status.
  • Persons with disabilities are less likely than persons without disabilities to feel that they are free to decide how to live their lives. They are also more likely to feel left out of society. nn Large numbers of persons with disabilities continue to live in institutions in EU Member States.
  • Persons with disabilities are, on average, less likely to be satisfied with their accommodation in the community than persons without disabilities.
  • A variety of community-based services are available to persons with disabilities in EU Member States. This includes some form of personal assistance in 22 Member States. Nevertheless, for many persons with disabilities living in the community, the help they receive with everyday tasks is not sufficient to meet their needs.
  • Nearly half of persons with disabilities face difficulties in using common everyday services, such as grocery shopping, banking, postal services, primary healthcare services and public transport.
  • There is a lack of robust, comparable and timely data on independent living outcomes for persons with disabilities within individual Member States and across the EU. In particular, very little information is available about how many persons with disabilities live in institutions and their experiences. This impedes evidence-based policy making and undermines efforts to realise the right to independent living.