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Conference Language: The conference will be held in English language.

Real time captioning during all plenary sessions and selected workshops will be provided. Other accessibility needs can be also accommodated, including Maltese Sign Language Interpretation, upon request.

Conference Venue: db San Antonio Hotel & Spa, Triq it-Turisti, St Paul’s Bay SPB 1024, Malta.

Thursday 13th October 2022



Location: TBC

  • Maya Doneva, EASPD
  • Oliver Scicluna, Agenzija Sapport, Malta
  • Minister Hon Julia Farrugia Portelli, Ministry of Inclusion, Voluntary Organisations and Consumer Rights 


Quality of Life & Support Services: From Words to Action

Location: TBC

EASPD is actively working on the topic of quality of social services. This conference aims to showcase the different actions and knowledge gathered to inform and inspire support services on modern quality measurement models. Models that are focusing on improving the quality of life of the people they support alongside helping service providers move forward towards better quality, empowering and person-centred forms of support, aligned with the UN CRPD principles.

  • Konstantina Leventi, EASPD, Belgium
  • Julie Beadle-Brown, Tizard Centre, University of Kent, United Kingdom TBC

Panel 1: Quality: A fundamental part of support services

Measuring the quality of services for persons with disabilities has been a challenging mission for most service providers. How are services providers currently measuring the quality of the support provided, what are the challenges and opportunities this process can bring?

Location: TBC

  • Moderator: Maya Doneva, EASPD
  • Petra Rantamaki, KVPS, Finland
  • Kristin Baldacchino, Agenzija Sapport
  • Elisabeth Lammers, UNAPEI, France
  • Nadia Hadad, ENIL TBC

Coffee Break and Networking Corners

Location: TBC


Parallel Workshops


Workshop 1: Quality of social services in Malta

This workshop is led by Aġenzija Sapport as the national agency for persons with disability in Malta and co-host of the conference. It will focus on disability services in Malta and will bring together key stakeholders and agency representatives to give a detailed overview of how disability services in Malta are monitored or assessed and how it is ensured that services provided are of high quality. What models we use; what tools we have in place; what checks and balances bind service providers; how service users can forward complaints; suggestions in service provision in Malta, etc. will be topics that are addressed. 

Location: TBC

  • Dr Angele Ellul Fenech, Social Care Standards Authority
  • Samantha Pace Gasan, Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disability

Workshop 2: The correlation between employee’s wellbeing and service quality

The single most important element and challenge in social service provision is staff. Staff matters and qualified and adequate staff can further support the transition to person-centred and community-based forms of care and support (rather than institutional), in line with the UN CRPD. How can we further support the workforce of social services to realise the important role they play? Is there any correlation between employee’s wellbeing and service quality?

Location: TBC

  • Moderator: TBC
  • Representative from the public service Employees Support Unit 

Workshop 3: Funding Quality: Identifying promising models

Existing funding models for social services are restricting services to respond to the evolving needs and wishes of the people they support. Social Services are relying on funding models often adaptable to the market logic where price overrides quality as a criterion for receiving funding (e.g. public procurement); renegotiated annually making it impossible to secure stable funding (e.g. service agreements-reserved market), among others. Join us in this workshop to learn more and discuss on promising funding models that can be adaptable, flexible, and fully consider the needs and wishes of people with disabilities that social services need to respond to.

Location: TBC

  • Moderator: Petra Rantamaki, KVPS Finland
  • Matthias Maucher, Social Services Europe TBC
  • Kurt Asselman, Flemish Ministry of Welfare, Belgium TBC

Workshop 4: Accessibility: A step forward in the quality of online services

Location: TBC

The disruption of everyday life resulting from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the need to accelerate the digital transition and adapt care services to maintain provision and care for users. This also further exposed the digital divide and accessibility issues faced by people with support needs. During this workshop we will explore accessibility as an important factor in the quality of services when delivered online or in a hybrid setting. 

  • Moderator: Miguel Buitrago, EASPD 

  • Antonio Ingelmo, Fundación ONCE, Spain TBC 

  • Enrique García Cortés, Fundación ONCE , Spain TBC

  • Dr Matthew Zarb, Agenzija Sapport 


Workshop 5: Focus group on the work of the taskforce on the EU Framework for Social Services of Excellence for Persons with Disabilities 

EASPD set up a taskforce comprising service providers, persons with disabilities, public authorities, European Commission’s representatives and other stakeholders to develop input for the EU Framework for social services of excellence for persons with disabilities. During this focus group we will present the work of this taskforce and ask participants for feedback.

  • Moderator: Maya Doneva, EASPD

  • Konstantina Leventi, EASPD


Lunch Break

Location: TBC


Panel 2: Promising models of quality measurement processes from Scotland and Malta 

Improving the quality of services requires partnerships and coordination between the different levels (macro-meso-micro). What are the experiences from Scotland and Malta? How are public authorities, support services, their staff, and the people they support working together towards service development and improvement?

Location: TBC

  • Moderator: Thomas Bignal, EASPD 

The experience of Scotland: 

  • Local Public Authority from Scotland 

  • Theresa Shearer, CEO, ENABLE Group 

  • ENABLE Group 

The experience of Malta: 

  • Social Care Standards Authority from Malta 

  • Agenzija Sapport 


End of Day 1


Transportation starts 

EASPD will be offering transport to the conference dinner at Xara Lodge in Rabat on 13th October, leaving from db San Antonio at 18:30 and 18:45. Transport is provided from Xara Lodge back to db San Antonio Hotel & Spa at 23:30 and 23:45.


Conference Dinner

Location: Xara Lodge, Sqaq Tac-Cawla, Triq It-Tigrija, Rabat RBT 5320, Malta

Friday 14th October 2022


Workshop 6: UNICEF’s safeguarding policies and procedures to redefine organisations

Location: TBC

  • Trainer: UNICEF TBC



Workshop 7: Mentoring as a tool in achieving a change in attitudes in the workplace

Moving from the medical model of disability to the social one, from facility-based to community-based services, from depersonalized services to person-centred support requires more than a change in the way we work. It also requires a change in our attitudes and beliefs towards individuals with support needs, a change which cannot be done only by training someone. How can managers support social care workers in achieving this change in mindset by mentoring them? 

Location: TBC

  • Moderator: Michelle Borg, Agenzija Sapport

  • James Crowe, EASPD 

  • Litsa Charalambous, LC Educational, Cyprus


Workshop 8: Person-centred planning: what is it and how to get there?

Person-centred planning is a new way of thinking, a way to enable individuals to lead their lives. In person-centred planning individuals are in the centre of everything we do, their voice is heard, their wishes and preferences are heard, their rights are respected, and their needs are supported. How can we provide the people with support with opportunities, in making choices and lead the life they want to live? 

Location: TBC

  • Moderator: TBC

  • Maarit-Alto, ASPA Foundation, Finland TBC

  • Ferran Blanco, Support Girona, Spain TBC

  • Ludmila Malcoci, KeyStone Moldova  


Workshop 9: Innovative approaches in quality frameworks for social services

There have been many different approaches to defining and measuring quality in health and social care services. During this workshop we will explore few of the most commonly used approaches to inspire service providers with no to limited expertise in quality processes on how this can support them in improving the quality of their services and consequently the quality of life of the people they support. 

  • Moderator: Renaud Scheuer, EASPD

  • Johannes Schädler, University of Siegen/EURECO

  • Julie Beadle-Brown, Tizard Centre, University of Kent TBC

  • Dr Alistair De Gaetano, Office of Disability Issues, Malta 


Workshop 10: Training on digital accessibility and basic assistive technology usage

This training will be provided by Agenzija Sapport and aims to increase awareness and knowledge of digital accessibility options for people with disabilities. Service providers will receive training on how they can support digital accessibility within their organisations and an introduction to assistive technology.

  • Moderator: Omor Ahmed, EASPD
  • Dr. May Agius, Agenzija Sapport, Malta TBC
  • Sharon Borg, Agenzija Sapport, Malta TBC


Coffee Break

Location: TBC


Workshop 11: European Care Certificate: setting the foundations right

The European Care Certificate (ECC) is a Europe-wide qualification that has been developed to cover the basic knowledge that is required for an individual to work in a health and social care setting. This Certificate was developed to support workers’ mobility across Europe and to promote a common foundation in care services covering both knowledge and values. Are you interested in the ECC and would like to learn more? Join this workshop to find out how the ECC can benefit service providers and reflect upon how it can be scaled up in your country.

Location: TBC

  • Moderator: Akos Pordan, Hand in Hand Foundation, Hungary
  • James Churchill, Social Care Training, United Kingdom
  • Litsa Charalambous, LC Educational

Workshop 12: Modernising human resources & organisational management

Social care and support is going through a paradigm shift, moving away from institutional and segregating forms of services towards community-based and person-centred ones. This transition is difficult, and it requires a radical transformation of how organisations are functioning, how they use their resources and how they hire, train and support their staff.

Location: TBC

  • Nora Stefanova, Muzza Ltd, Bulgaria

Workshop 13: Inclusive socialisation models for persons with disabilities

Location: TBC

Social inclusion of persons with disabilities is a vital element of any services. Access to sports, leisure activities, holidays… Why is inclusive socialisation important? How do we raise awareness on the equal participation of PwD in these activities? How can service providers better support these experiences for persons with disabilities?

  • Moderator: Anna Calleja, Special Olympics, Malta
  • Vanessa Schembri, Shared Lives, Agenzija Sapport TBC
  • Representative from ENAT board, Belgium 
  • Representative from Trekiffy

Workshop 14: Self-advocacy in service development and improvement

Location: TBC

Change requires collaborative work. One of the basic concepts of the human rights approach is co-production, where all involved stakeholders are empowered, actively rethinking and reassessing how they currently operate. Persons with disabilities are involved in all stages in the design, development and delivery of the goal and this shifts the balance of power and responsibility which traditionally is solely with support services and authorities.

  • Moderator: Rhoda Garland, CRPD, Malta
  • Nadia Hadad, ENIL TBC
  • Representative from Disabled People's Organisation Malta TBC

Workshop 15: Family-centred methodologies in ECI and their impact on quality

Location: TBC

In family-centred early childhood intervention (ECI), practitioners work with the family around their strengths so that parents and caregivers are empowered to help their child to develop new skills. Family involvement and the fact that activities happen in the home and in other natural daily environment of the child, are proven essential for the child’s development. In this workshop we will introduce the concept of family-centred ECI and investigate concrete methodologies, and how they impact the quality of service provision.

  • Moderator: Agapi Papadaki, Amimoni, Greece
  • Darija Udovičić Mahmuljin, Malin Dom, Croatia TBC
  • Borislava Cherkezova, Karin Dom, Bulgaria TBC

Lunch Break

Location: TBC


Panel 3: Moving forward in EU and local level

Location: TBC

During this panel EASPD will present the work of the taskforce on Social Services of Excellence and discuss among the speakers on how this will help service providers to improve their quality, on how it can be applicable in different contexts.

  • Moderator: Karin Astegger, Lebenshilfe, Austria
  • Dr Alistair De Gaetano Office of Disability Issues
  • Konstantina Leventi, EASPD
  • Facundo Chavez, UN TBC

Concluding Remarks

Location: TBC

  • Maya Doneva, EASPD
  • Oliver Scicluna, Agenzija Sapport
15h45End of Day 2