Roles and responsibilities of a Municipal Council on Disability
A Municipal Council on Disability is a collaboration forum for disabled associations, the authorities and decision makers. The role of a Council on Disability is to influence municipal planning, decision making and monitoring in all areas of local government. A Council on Disability may initiate action as well as giving statements and opinions. The objective is that disabled persons can exercise their rights.
Disabled persons as well as their families and organisations must be adequately represented on Councils on Disability. The objective is to take the point of view of disabled persons into account when preparing and making decisions.
A Council on Disability participates in all local government planning and decision making. Effective collaboration between a municipality and its Council on Disability benefits both parties. It is important the representatives of different branches of local government are represented on the Council on Disability or are invited when necessary. In that way the expertise of the Council on Disability can be channelled to support everyone in the municipality who makes decisions that affect persons with disabilities. When collaboration works well, information flows seamlessly in both directions: The Council on Disability actively raises the issue of shortcomings it has identified. Municipal bodies for their part benefit from the expertise of the Council.
Several municipalities have drawn up their own disability policy programmes. The programme functions as a pathfinder for disability policy in the municipality. It also commits the various parties to improve the position of disabled people in the municipality. The principles of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities create a foundation for disability policy programmes at municipal level too.