The EU Disability Card project, which finds its origins in the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, is aimed at introducing a card that allows access to persons with disabilities to a series of free or reduced-cost services in the field of transport, culture and leisure throughout the national territory in a reciprocal regime with other EU countries.
The goal is to ensure the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the social and cultural life within the communities. The tool, a single card, should be the same in all member countries and issued on the basis of homogeneous criteria. Eight EU countries are taking part in the project: Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Malta, Slovenia, Romania and, of course, Italy.
In Italy and in other countries of the Union there are various concessions on fees, services, support for access to museums or places of culture, leisure offers and on transport. However, access conditions and procedures are somewhat varied and fragmented. This negatively affects easy participation of EU citizens, in particular when traveling within the EU for tourism, study or work.
Therefore, the general project aims not only to define an equal Disability Card in all countries (also on a graphic design level), but also to find solution to various organizational challenges that presuppose the involvement and adhesion of various institutional and non-institutional players. That includes those involved in transport policies, cultural and museum heritage management, but also in leisure and culture.
FISH (Italian Federation for Overcoming Disabilities), in partnership with FAND (Federation of National Associations for Persons with Disabilities) is responsible for the implementation of the project, with the Ministry of Labour sponsoring the initiative as the National Authority on disability legislation.
Both federations are members of the National Observatory on the condition of persons with disabilities, chaired by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies. The Project follows EU guidelines and makes them feasible in Italy by promoting the construction of the required infrastructures and the operational sharing of common protocols.
Execution of the project has seen participation in a variety of capacities from the following: The Ministry of Culture and Heritage, The Ministry of Transport, The Council Presidency, The Department for Regional affairs, Autonomy and Sport, ANCI, the Conference of Regions, INPS, AGIS, ANEC and Assomusica.
The following are the objectives of the collaboration in progress: to reach a shared criteria for granting the Disability Card (who is responsible and how to obtain it), outline a homogeneous set of benefits, outline and define the steps for issue (who assigns it, who prints it, how it is distributed).
In 2016 a sample analysis of the Italian situation was conducted on the methods and criteria for granting benefits in the areas of transport, access to museum networks, places of leisure and recreation, sporting and entertainment events and the transport system. In short: which benefits and who are they for? A computerized detection system has been implemented and analysis of the data that can provide homogeneous criteria has been carried out. The data analysis summary can be downloaded from this site.