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Coronavirus Pandemic

Catalan disability sector urges the creation of an emergency committee

Portrait of women in wheelchair looking away

The Catalan Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (Cocarmi), the main platform for defending the rights of the community in Catalonia, urges the Generalitat to create an emergency committee for people with disabilities and those with mental health problems to alleviate the effects of a second wave of infections.

“The response to the health and socioeconomic impact is currently conditioned by the inequalities that people with disabilities have always suffered,” the president of Cocarmi, Antonio Guillén, alerted today.

According to Guillén, the first wave of the pandemic “has exposed the weaknesses of our system when it comes to responding to the needs of people with disabilities and/or mental health problems and their families. As a society, we cannot afford to maintain these situations and, therefore, we must create a space that ensures the incorporation of disability,” he said.

The association considers that the emergency committee, headed by the president of the Generalitat, the minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Families, and the president of Cocarmi, “must have representatives of the main federations of the group.”

Thus, he details that this space “will facilitate building more inclusive, accessible and agile systems”, capable of responding to complex situations, thanks to the collaboration and coordination between the social sector of disability and public administrations “and reaching first of all those left behind ”.

He understands that an emergency committee would allow the Economic Reactivation and Social Protection Plan to be developed incorporating specific measures for the disability group and that they cannot be attended with general responses related to accessibility, resource planning and continuity of support services and social protection.

Cocarmi is made up of a dozen federations and associations that give a voice to people with disabilities in Catalonia, be it physical, organic, intellectual, sensory, mental disorder or multi-disability. According to 2018 data from the Department of Labor, Social Affairs and Families, there are more than 582,000 people in Catalonia with some legally recognized disability.

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