The Provincial Federation of Associations of People with Physical and Organic Disabilities of Seville (COCEMFE Seville) celebrated on 3rd December the International and European Day of People with Disabilities, with the collaboration of the Municipality of Seville, the Provincial Council of Seville and the Andalusian Government. The aim of this event was to present the final results of the Re-adjusting to Life project and the online guide produced within it. This online guide offers resources and support for people with acquired disabilities and their families. Also, this event offered new opportunities for alliances and cooperation between local administrations to provide resources that promote inclusion, analyse the reality and propose new projects.
The event was held at the AC Hotel Sevilla Forum and was attended by the Mayor of Seville, Antonio Muñoz; the Deputy for Social Cohesion and Equality of the Seville Provincial Council, Rocío Sutil; and the territorial delegate for Social Inclusion, Youth, Families and Equality of the Andalusian Regional Government in Seville, Rocío Barragán. Also present was the Deputy Mayor and Delegate for Urban Habitat and Social Cohesion of the Seville City Council, Juan Manuel Flores.
The meeting was attended by almost fifty people, including authorities from almost twenty municipalities in the province of Seville, representatives of social entities and people with disabilities. During the opening of the event, the member of the board of COCEMFE Seville, Nieves Márquez, read the manifesto, which it was interpreted in sign language. This manifesto declares the need to promote social and health coordination and claims for a change in the concept of care; as well as to advance in the rural area to ensure the provision of services that improve the quality of life of people with disabilities living there.
The president of COCEMFE Seville, Juan José Lara, emphasised the importance of universal accessibility to facilitate and normalise the daily lives of people with disabilities, and stressed the need for political will to achieve this. He also stressed the need for coordination with the institutions to speed up management in order to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable groups.
In this sense, the Mayor of Seville pointed out that “we have to recognise that the main progress that it was made in equal opportunities, in universal accessibility and the elimination of barriers, is thanks to the alliance that we have built with associations”, and that they need the support of the public administrations. “This is the way to achieve a fairer society”. He also stressed that the Administration must increase participation, universal accessibility in public spaces, the inclusion of people with functional diversity in public job offers, and the non-difference in education, culture and sport, as well as in housing.
During the celebration of this day, the Federation has offered resources to the collective to help them to readjust to life after acquiring a disability, one of them is the European project ‘Re-adjusting to life’, co-financed by Erasmus+ of the European Union. The main aim of this project is to help people with acquired disabilities and their families to readjust to social life with their new circumstances, guiding them to feel included in society and in the workplace. In this sense, José Luis Falcón presented his story of life as a person with an acquired disability in terms of adapting to a new reality and the problems he faced. Thus, the main result of this programme, an online guide was presented as a tool to help the group to readapt to life, making it as accessible as possible to the society.
Likewise, the responsible of Accessibility of COCEMFE Seville, Tomás Martín-Javato, addressed the impact of the Federation in the rural environment of the province of Seville since 2021; as well as the adaptations of local regulations to the current accessibility regulations. In this way, the more than 1,800 actions carried out by the different departments of the entity have been highlighted, highlighting the actions in more than 70 municipalities in the province. In conclusion, the need to update accessibility plans and ordinances has been expressed, in which the institutions involved must collaborate, both in their preparation and processing. One important action among the impact in rural areas was the dissemination of the “Readjusting to Life” online guide in these municipalities.
In addition, during the commemoration of this day, different relevant topics such as social projects, education, employment, universal accessibility and leisure were discussed.
The event was attended by the Mayor of Castilleja del Campo, Narciso Luque; the Mayor of Fuentes de Andalucía, Francisco J. Martínez; the architect of the town council, M Dolores Mateo; and the DIVERZA project workers, Silvia de la Vega and Isabel M. Pérez; the Mayor of Santiponce, Justo Delgado and the Councillor for Urban Planning José Manuel Marín; the Mayor of San Juan de Aznalfarache, Fernando Zamora and Inmaculada Muñoz from the Press Office; the Councillor for Finance of Alanís, M Luisa Barbero; the Councillor for Local Development of Bollullos de la Mitación, Isabel Lora and the Area Coordinator Psychologist Dolores Domínguez; the Councillor for Social Welfare of Bormujos, Leonor Benítez; the Councillor for Health in Las Cabezas de San Juan, Francisca Ramos; the Councillor for Social Welfare, Senior Citizens, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in Pilas, Juan Manuel Rodríguez; and his wife Dolores Colchero; the Councillors for Social Services and Tourism in Peñaflor, Ana Ruiz and Ana Pérez; the Councillor for Municipal Services and Sports in Cañada del Rosal, Manuel Domínguez; the Councillor for Social Services in Utrera, Isabel M. Lara; and the Badolatosa Town Council Social Services technician, Yolanda Tenor. Representing the El Rubio Town Council were the Mayor Jesús Guerra and the Councillors for Communication and Social Services, Manuel I. Pardillo and Virginia Borrego respectively. From La Algaba Town Council, the councillor for Social Services, Training and Employment, Virginia Mojeda; the coordinator of Childhood projects, Dolores Román; and the administrative assistant Lourdes García attended.
Also representatives of associated entities of COCEMFE Sevilla participated in the event: the Association of Disabled People of Osuna and Province (ADOYP), Association of Women with Functional Diversity AZAAR, C.D. BSR Vistazul, Association of Disabled People Virgen de Consolación de Utrera APDIS, Association of People with Different Abilities ‘Abriendo Caminos’, CAAD Sevilla Quad Rugby, Association of Physically Disabled of Los Palacios and Villafranca ADIFIPA, Association of Spinal Cord Injured of Andalusia in Seville (ALMA Seville).
In parallel, COCEMFE Seville has been developing, within the framework of the International and European Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2022, awareness-raising days in educational centres. Specifically, we have visited 28 centres and raised awareness among 1952 students.