ARFIE (Association for Research and Training on Integration in Europe) was set up in 1992 as a European NGO to improve the support, the social inclusion and the availability of services to people with disabilities, people with important dependency needs and with associated mental health needs.
Through more than 25 years of close collaboration between service providers and training and research centres in the disability field, ARFIE has delivered numerous European projects and publications on disability issues, all with the aim to disseminate good practices on how the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities could be implemented.
Nevertheless, as an ordinary member of the European Disability Forum, ARFIE has been in close collaboration with organisations and other stakeholders defending the rights of persons with disabilities and promoting social inclusion.
ARFIE is a network of service providers and research centres who share the vision that quality training of the staff working with persons with disabilities contribute to the quality of the services provided, increasing the quality of life of users and their social inclusion.
ARFIE believes that a person with disability shall remain the main decision-maker in his/her future life projects and the professionals should remain trained, skilled and qualified to offer an adequate support to the evolving needs of people with disabilities. Moreover, ARFIE believes that the social inclusion of people with disabilities enhances the quality of life of all citizens thus fully supports the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and promotes the development of know-how practice for its implementation.
Social policies related to disability have changed considerably in the last decade, so that there is now much more consensus regarding issues such as:
- non-discrimination and integration of disabled people
- equal opportunities
- the creation of flexible services and structures which respond to the needs and requests of disabled people
- the setting up of intermediary structures between total integration and institutions, which try to strike a balance between the clients’ need for protection and security
- the respect for the rights and self-determination of disabled people.in all fields, the need to improve and adapt the training of care staff (key workers, teachers, social workers) to meet the evolving needs of clients has become apparent.
- the development of a balanced dialogue with families
- the ageing of disabled people
- severe and multiple disabilities
ARFIE represents a platform for professionals to compare and develop best practice across different countries with regard to quality of life and equal opportunities of disabled people.