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Norwegian Presidency Conference Strasbourg - 2004
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Community living for people with disabilities in need of a high level of support

A Working Group has been set up to investigate how the principles set out in Recommendation No. R92(6) on a Coherent Policy for people with disabilities can continue to include and/or can be extended to people with disabilities who are in need of a high level of support.

These are people who may still be living in institutional settings. They may live with their families and receive little or no contact or service provision. Sometimes they will be hidden members of their communities whose needs are not noted and whose voices are not heard. Such isolation may undermine the quality of their care at the same time as it places a burden on their families and primary care-givers (often women) whose own rights to economic and social participation are in turn undermined.

Where people with disabilities in need of a high level of support have been included in mainstreaming solutions these may have failed for want of sufficiently expert assistance. Alternatively mainstreaming may not have been attempted for lack of sufficient commitment, and this leaves there people, as a group and as relatively isolated individuals, at heightened risk of social exclusion, neglect, or abuse.

The Working Group is currently studying ways and means by which member states can continue, and enhance their provision to ensure that people with disabilities in need of a high level of support are also accorded their full human rights and assisted so that they can participate as full citizens in their communities. Its goal is to see that there is adequate coordination to facilitate access to a range of service provision based on proper assessment and tailored to individual needs and circumstances.

The results are expected to be published current 2004.