Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain attended a meeting of the Royal Board on Disability which ‘promotes the prevention of impairments, rehabilitation and social integration of people with disabilities’. Working in collaboration with different public administration sectors at the national and international levels, the Board provides support to agencies, specialists and promoters in the field of study, research and development, training and documentation on matters related to disability.
The meeting addressed the importance of employment as social policy as it ‘allows integration, provides self-esteem and avoids the risk of social exclusion’. More than one million people with disabilities have signed work contracts since 2012 with a record high of 250,000 in 2015; 60% more than 2011.
Also up for discussion were the future plans for the Spanish strategy on Autism Spectrum Disorders (which is being developed in collaboration with social action organisation the ONCE Foundation) and the status of the work to elaborate a regulation which impacts the means of support for oral communication of the hearing impaired, deaf and deaf-blind.
A presentation was also made to share the results of the ‘Young people with disabilities in Spain’ study, which made clear that there is still work to be done with almost 70% of youths aged 15 to 18 in Spain are living with a disability.
Following the meeting, Queen Letizia took the opportunity to personally thank the staff of the Royal Board on Disability and the Directorate General for Disability Support Policies for their work and congratulate them on their successes thus far.
Other attendees at the meeting were:
- Dolors Montserrat: Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality
- Mario Garcés: Secretary of State for Social Services and Equality
- Borja Fanjul: Director of the Royal Patronage on Disability and Director General of Policies to Support Disability
- Mercedes Jaraba: Deputy Director General of Coordination and Organization
- Jesus Celada: Deputy General Director of Participation and Guarded Entities
- María Gutiérrez Ilarduya: Area Coordinator
- Maria Luisa Peña: Executive Director of the Office of Attention to the Disability
- María Teresa Fernández Campillo: Technical Adviser of the Royal Board on Disability
- Elena Jariod: Program and activities service manager
- Carmen Tristán: Head of General Affairs