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The Barcelona Declaration Project

Facilitating Local Authorities in creating a more inclusive society

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Understanding the Declaration

The Barcelona Declaration made its first appearance at the 1995 conference The City and the Disabled. This was a major event with high-level Spanish and European support and attended by people from all over Europe. At the conclusion of the conference, 56 mayors and chairmen of European municipalities signed the Declaration in person and a further 86 indicated their intention by post and fax to sign in the immediate future. The Mayor of Drogheda, Mr Tom Godfrey, attended and signed.

As of July 2004, 436 Municipal Authorities have adhered to what is the most important European convention on accessibility.

The Declaration is a simple but powerful document. It has no legal force but, by committing municipal authorities to a wide range of actions, it is a major instrument of change. It is also subtle, in that while entirely non-threatening, the measures, which follow on its adoption, are wide-ranging. For example, an adhering city or town undertakes to produce a plan for the implementation of the Declaration and to establish structures for ongoing consultation with people with disabilities and their representatives.

To complete the formalities of registration, the Municipal Authority which decides to adhere to the Barcelona Declaration must register with Barcelona by sending a certified copy of the minutes of the Council meeting that adopted the resolution.

The primary author of the Declaration is Francesc Aragall, a former President of the European Institute for Design and Disability (EIDD).

At the beginning of 1999 the IDD launched a yearlong programme, CITIZEN 2000, to promote the adoption of the Barcelona Declaration in Ireland. The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Senator Joe Doyle, gave his full support to the campaign and, as a result, Dublin City Council adopted the measure.

The public was introduced to the Declaration at the City and Town for All conference in April 1999 and considerable interest was aroused. Sponsorship was secured from the Ireland Fund and others to promote the Declaration throughout the North and South of Ireland.

At its Annual General Meeting in May 1999, the IDD undertook to extend the campaign to run for two years and to contact every city and town in Ireland North and South.

The 17 Agreements of the Barcelona Declaration can be summarised as follows:

Adopting the Barcelona Declaration obliges the Local Authorities to:

1. Promotion

Promote disability awareness and ensure the rights of people with disabilities to be different and their right to receive personal attention

2. Policies and Measures

Develop policies and an equality/disability proof decision-making process

3. Consultative process

Develop a consultative process

4. Inclusion and accessibility

Provide people with disabilities access to the social and physical environments as well as services

5. Training

Provide training programmes dealing with equality/disability issues

6. Analysis and Assessment

Develop monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment procedures for actions, projects and policies regarding equality/disability issues.

Actions derived from the Agreements:

  • Promotion of disability awareness; Ensure right to be different; Ensure right to personal attention.
  • Integration with social and physical environment; Access to information (via technology).
  • Access to participation in sport, culture and social activities.
    Development of support services; Prevent institutionalisation in health care homes.
  • Provision of monitoring, analysis and evaluation of inclusion, integration and accessibility.
  • Establishing policy review system.consultation and
    cooperation with disability advocates.

    Organisation of training programmes for Local Authority personnel.
  • Development of impact assessment procedures.

Projects derived from the Agreements:

  • Promotion of disability awareness campaign through visual means: posters, website, media and press.
  • Interactive public information service (IT).
  • Improve legibility of information signage.
  • Access within the built environment.
  • Housing for people with disabilities in accordance with their economic circumstances.
  • Access to transport; Barrier free mobility.

To date, 101 councils have adopted the Declaration in Ireland.

Download the Barcelona Declaration

The text of the Barcelona Declaration

The text of the Declaration has been prepared in single or double column formats.  Please download a copy and circulate it to all your friends.

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