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The Aequitas Foundation and the "la Caixa" Foundation present a legal guide on disability based on Spanish legislation

It is entitled "More than 100 questions about disability"
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 -   From left to right: the deputy director general of the "la Caixa" Foundation, Marc Simón; the secretary general of the ONCE Foundation, Virginia Carcedo; the delegate for Human Rights of CERMI, Gregorio Saravia, and the president of the Aequitas Foundation and president of the General Council of Notaries, José Ángel Martínez Sanchiz, at the presentation of the guide.

The Aequitas Foundation of the General Council of Notaries and the "la Caixa" Foundation have presented the legal guide "More than 100 questions about disability", a document based on Spanish legislation that aims to resolve the most frequent doubts that concern people with disabilities, as well as their families and professionals in the sector. For example: what aids can people with disabilities have, how to exercise their rights with support or how to establish safeguards in the exercise of their rights.

The content of the guide is updated to the reform introduced by Law 8/2021 and is divided into four large blocks that aim to help resolve doubts about the laws and disability:

  • The exercise of rights with supports: voluntary supports, de facto guardianship, judicial supports and support through entities.
  • Economic issues: inheritance, wills, donations and protected patrimony.
  • Social issues: Dependency Law, Social Security.
  • Other issues: non-voluntary placements, medical treatment and civil and criminal liability.

To ensure that people with intellectual disabilities can make use of the guide, an easy-to-read version of the guide is also published, which summarises the most important content and explains it in simple words.

Aequitas Foundation and "la Caixa" Foundation, with the most vulnerable people

The project "More than 100 questions about disability", promoted by the Aequitas Foundation in collaboration with the "la Caixa" Foundation, has been drawn up by a very cross-disciplinary working group made up of professionals from different fields (notaries, judges, prosecutors, lawyers and social workers) who have extensive experience and are leaders in the field of disability. In addition, the project has the collaboration of the ONCE Foundation and the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities.

The guide is published in PDF format, free of charge and downloadable via a QR code. It will be sent to Spanish organisations linked to the world of disability.

The presentation of the legal guide "More than 100 questions about disability", held in the Auditorium of CaixaForum Madrid, was attended by the President of the Aequitas Foundation and President of the General Council of Notaries, José Ángel Martínez Sanchiz; the Deputy Director General of the "la Caixa" Foundation, Marc Simón; the Director of the Aequitas Foundation, Almudena Castro-Girona; the delegate for Human Rights of CERMI, Gregorio Saravia; and the Secretary General of the ONCE Foundation, Virginia Carcedo.

"Together with this guide, notaries are ready to offer legal advice and counselling. It is a responsibility and an honour that Law 8/2021 grants us. We can contribute our support and institutional work in the decision-making process of families and make it understandable how to provide for voluntary support, which is the stellar instrument of the Law, and for families to be included in the choice of aids, such as wills or protected estates, for tomorrow", explained the president of the Aequitas Foundation and president of the General Council of Notaries, José Ángel Martínez Sanchiz.

Marc Simón, Deputy Director General of the "la Caixa" Foundation, pointed out that "this document will be very useful for people and organisations if they have any doubts about disability. At the "la Caixa" Foundation we aim to support initiatives that help to improve the lives of people in vulnerable situations, and these guides are a magnificent example of this".

"The Aequitas Foundation is the response of the Notary's Office to the situation of helplessness in which the most disadvantaged sectors of our society find themselves. In its more than twenty years of work, it has demonstrated its commitment with deeds and has managed to establish an enormous platform of solidarity made up not only of the almost three thousand notaries in Spain, but also of a large number of professionals from different fields, both within and outside law. This basic guide that we are presenting today is the result of the work of this solidarity platform. It is an instrument that we place at the disposal of society and which I hope will be useful", explained Almudena Castro-Girona, Director of the Aequitas Foundation.

For her part, the general secretary of the ONCE Foundation, Virginia Carcedo, pointed out that "the aim of this publication is to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are exercised with greater security. The new Law 8/2021 has many legal consequences; changing the paradigm is always a first step, abandoning an obsolete system for a new one in which the key lies in the concept of support.   The institutions must apply the legislation, and to do so, the first thing we have to do is to know it. Hence the usefulness of this guide".

For the Human Rights delegate of CERMI, Gregorio Saravia, "this guide fulfils a fundamental role: to bring legal issues closer and to make knowledge about this reform, which revolutionises the regulations, accessible. Its publication is important for professionals in the sector and key to transmitting peace of mind to families, as it translates the legal language into cognitive accessibility. Finally, I would like to highlight the alliance between CERMI, "la Caixa" Foundation, ONCE and Aequitas; it is essential to maintain alliances and collaboration links in the third sector and in the field of disability".

The presentation of the guide was followed by a round table discussion entitled "Support measures in the exercise of the legal capacity of people with disabilities". This panel discussion, moderated by José Marqueño de Llano, honorary president of the International Union of Notaries, was attended by Juan Manuel Fernández, member of the CGPJ and president of the Justice and Disability Forum; Gonzalo López Ebri, deputy public prosecutor of the TSJ of the Valencian Community; Almudena Castro-Girona, notary and director of the Aequitas Foundation; and Santiago Izquierdo, spokesperson of Líber.