HC Deb 20 December 1989 vol 164 cc299-300W
Mr. Alfred Morris

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement about the participation of the United Kingdom in the Helios programme.

Mr. Scott

The Government are committed to ensuring that the United Kingdom plays a full and active role in the European Community's second action programme in favour of disabled people, called HELIOS. The main purpose of the programme is to promote good practice through links between local projects in the field of disability services, covering vocational training and rehabilitation, and economic, social and educational integration. We encourage United Kingdom projects to meet regularly with each other and with their counterparts in other member states. The programme also includes the development of a project to link national data bases on disability, initially for equipment only. We have designated the Disabled Living Foundation as the first United Kingdom centre to participate in the system, called HANDYAIDS, which is ecpected to come into operation in the course of next year. We are also cooperating with the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation in the organisation of a conference early next year to disseminate information about the programme to a wide range of interested parties.