Launch of the European Disability Card in Belgium
That's why the European Disability Card project was born. It aims to create a card that certifies that a person is disabled. This card will enable these persons, without having to prove that they have a medical condition or the nature of any loss of autonomy, to benefit from a range of advantages in the fields of sport, culture and leisure.
At a launch event on 19 October, the card was officially presented by Federal State Secretary Zuhal Demir, Flemish Minister Jo Vandeurzen, Walloon Minister Alda Greoli, French Community Commission (COCOF) Minister Céline Frémault, German-speaking Community Minister Antonios Antoniadis and European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen.
From this date, persons with a recognised disability or who receive assistance from one of the five Belgian institutions responsible for integrating disabled people (FPS Social Security, AViQ, PHARE, VAPH and DSL) can apply for their personal card.
The European Disability Card is a European project. It is part of an initiative by the European Commission which co-financed the launch of the card. In addition to Belgium, people with disabilities will be able to use the card in the other participating European countries, under the same conditions as disabled citizens from these countries: Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Romania.
Many partners such as Mini-Europe, the Caves of Han or the Zoo of Antwerp are already part of the network that accepts the card. The network will be further developed in the future. Service providers can register online for the project and are awarded a label, allowing them to raise the profile of their disability initiatives. Partners can freely choose the nature of the benefits for which the European Disability Card can be used. These may include benefits already offered or new benefits for people with disabilities, such as discounts, audioguides, reserved spaces, passes to avoid queuing, etc.
Finally, an information campaign for the public is planned for the fall of 2017. In addition to the website, this campaign will be based on the distribution of posters and brochures (in four languages FR, NL, DE, EN and in easy-to-read version) as well as on communication through certain major Belgian media.