ASSIST – heAlthcare incluSion of motherS wIth diSabiliTy

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Tackling discrimination in the healthcare sector against mothers living with Disability in all phases of motherhood throughout the European Union.

Context

Over 87 million people in the European Union live with some form of Disability, and according to the European Economic and Social Committee, almost 40 million of this are women and girls. This amounts to 16% of the EU population. While research on Disability rights and Disability justice has increased over the years, research on Disabled women in different phases of motherhood (before, during, and after pregnancy) remains limited.

Unfortunately, mothers have reported frequent discouraging and judgemental attitudes from healthcare professionals of various specialisations. These attitudes range from pity to downright questioning of the Disabled person’s parenting capabilities: that healthcare providers were found to frequently try to discourage Disabled women from starting a family. Across Europe, civil society has complained that forced contraception, sterilisations, and abortions are commonplace in institutions for Disabled people. Scientific publications support these findings by pointing to discrimination, biases, lack of knowledge and unscientific perceptions within the healthcare sector that create obstacles for mothers. Furthermore, despite progress in creating accessible entrances, medical facilities in Europe have still to upgrade their equipment to become fully accessible.

Working in collaboration with people living with varying forms of Disability and their support networks, the ASSIST project will research, collect, and work to dismantle the discrimination and barriers faced by mothers with Disabilities across Europe. As such, this project contributes to the objectives set out in the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 by the European Commission and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and supports several Sustainable Development Goals set out by the European Union.

Objectives

  • Examine the experiences of mothers with Disabilities in the healthcare sector across Europe
  • Amplify the experiences of Disabled mothers and reduce the neglect of their health
  • Train healthcare professionals on scientifically sound and safe practises to improve healthcare services; promote bodily autonomy, reproductive and sexual health rights; and create a positive environment for women with Disabilities
  • Train healthcare professionals on accessible medical equipment and practises that fully accommodate the needs of people with Disabilities
  • Fill the research gap in European academic literature, studies, and publications, as the majority originate in the UK and USA and the EU remains underrepresented
  • Work complementarily to the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021 – 2030 by the European Commission and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and help Europe achieve several Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Project transferability at national and European levels into policy making and follow-up activities supported by ERASMUS+ and other financing programmes 

Activities

  • Engage mothers and their support networks to share their stories;
  • Build a 3D Simulation of an Inclusive Clinical Environment to train healthcare professionals to become acquainted with equipment and practices that accommodate the needs of mothers with Disabilities
  • Act as interconnecting hub for NGOs, healthcare professionals, Higher Education Institutions and policymakers
  • Offer training on advocacy skills as part of the ASSIST training curriculum
  • Summarise national data and findings in national state-of-the-art reports
  • Design long-term exploitation of the project deliverables in other countries for after the project’s lifespan

Resources

  • ASSIST Training Course and Virtual Learning Environment
  • ASSIST Digital Ecosystem
  • 3D Simulation of an Inclusive Clinical Environment
  • ASSIST website and social media pages in all partner languages
  • Communicate data findings in peer-reviewed publications and conferences 
  • Website and social media channels sharing project information, events, and deliverables

Impact

  • Identify min. 100 stakeholders
  • Target min. 100 policy-makers
  • 5,000 visitors to the ASSIST website
  • Min. 200 downloads
  • 1 information day per partner country with min. 50 participants in each country
  • Newsletters and flyers in four partner languages
  • 6 academic modules
  • 6 micro-credential modules
  • Min. 300 students involved in the Digital Ecosystem
  • 100 students with fewer opportunities involved in the Digital Ecosystem
  • Min. 45 university staff trained

Partners

Il progetto

ASSIST – heAlthcare incluSion of motherS wIth diSabiliTy

Numero di progetto

101134558

Data di attuazione

01/01/2024 – 31/12/2027

Istituzione Finanziatrice

ERASMUS+, European Commission

Categorie

Unità

Info & contatti

E-mail

ritti.soncco@cesie.org

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