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Conference Language: English with English real-time captions and interpretation in Dutch and French 

COVID-19 entry requirements:

All participants, for each session of the conference (including the gala dinner and 25th Anniversary Party) will have to provide either:

  • A vaccination certificate which proves that you have been fully vaccinated for more than 2 weeks;
  • A recovery certificate of less than 6 months;
  • A negative PCR test taken maximum 72 hours prior to the event.


Tuesday 12th October 2021





EASPD Communications Network Workshop: Communicating effectively post COVID-19 

Presentation by Inextremis

Round Table disscussions

End of Workshop




Conference Pre-registration at the Thon Hotel EU 








Pre-conference hybrid event and networking drinks:

#RightToConnectNow - Accessibility working session with ENTELIS+ team

Location: Room: France, Thon Hotel EU

How to teach about accessibility? Presentation of ENTELIS+ training materials


Accessibility networking session

End of networking session


Wednesday 13th October 2021



  • Jim Crowe, EASPD President
  • Luk Zelderloo, EASPD Secretary General
  • Katarina Ivanković-Knežević, Director Social Affairs, Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL), European Commission


Panel 1 The Digital Transformation of Support Services 

Location: Room: Belgium I, II and III, Thon Hotel EU

With the world moving towards an increasingly digitised version of life, it is important to adapt online support services to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.  This panel will address the key considerations for the digital transformation of support services. Dr Gerard Quinn, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will elaborate on how the digital services can and should uphold human rights for persons with disabilities. Dr Ramon Daniels, Professor in Assistive Technology in Care, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, will shed light on innovation readiness, capabilities of social services to innovate and why it is difficult to move online.  Silke Georgi from Social Heroes will present the key findings on EASPD's latest report on delivering online services. Sarah Boland, Saint John of God Community Services, will give her insights on how support services have transformed with digitalisation. Facundo Chavez Penillas will give his take on tech and services in the framework of Community 2030.

Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf, Head of the Sector Projects and Innovation of AIAS Bologna, will moderate the session.   

The panel discussions will be followed by a questions and answers session. 

  • Moderator: Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf, AIAS Bologna
  • Gerard Quinn, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
  • Facundo Chavez Penillas, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Ramon Daniels, Maastricht University and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. Click here for speaker's presentation.
  • Sarah Boland, Saint John of God Community Services. Click here for speaker's presentation.
  • Silke Georgi, Social Heroes. Click here for speaker's presentation.


Coffee Break



Panel 2 Accessibility, the key to digital inclusion

Location: Room: Belgium I, II and III, Thon Hotel EU

It is crucial that online services are accessible to persons with disabilities. This panel will provide insight on how support services can lead the way for the development of accessible technology.  Klaus Miesenberger, professor at the Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU) will speak on how services can remove the barriers to accessing support online.  Susanna Laurin, Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Funka, will speak on the involvement of end users and how to make a user-centred approach a natural part of the day-to-day business in the development of accessible technology. Inmaculada Placencia-Porrero, DG EMPL, European Commission, will present the European Accessibility Act. Alejandro Moledo from the European Disability Forum will moderate this session.  

The panel discussions will be followed by a questions and answers session.

  • Moderator: Alejandro Moledo,European Disability Forum
  • Klaus Miesenberger, Johannes Kepler University Linz
  • Susanna Laurin,Funka 
  • Inmaculada Placencia-Porrero, Directorate-General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL), European Commission
  • Neil Milliken, Atos
13h00Lunch Break  


Parallel Workshops


Workshop 1 - Technology in inclusive education

Location: Room-Belgium II, Thon Hotel EU

Technological developments can also help in making education more inclusive. In this workshop, Ivana Juraga from Digital Education Unit, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission will expand on The Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027 and the promotion of learning for all. Margarita Gulveska, Executive Director of Open the Windows, will discuss the importance of assistive technology in making education inclusive and Katerina Mavrou, European University Cyprus,  will speak on issues of learning design for digital learning and AT enhanced inclusive education.

  • Moderator: David Banes, Access and Inclusion Services
  • Ivana Juraga, Digital Education Unit, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. Click here for speaker's presentation.
  • Katerina Mavrou, European University Cyprus, AAATE. Click here for speaker's presentation 

Workshop 2 - Looking back and ahead: Co-creation in Smart4Health

Location: Room-Belgium I, Thon Hotel EU

This workshop focuses on the development of a European health data platform in the Horizon2020 project Smart4Health.  By providing hands-on experiences with the platform, the workshop will centre around what should be considered to support the workforce of social and support service providers and enhance the accessibility for diverse users. This workshop will be hosted by Robin Rae and Susanne Oechsner from the University of Vienna.  The session will be moderated by Renaud Scheuer of EASPD 

  • Moderator: Renaud Scheuer,EASPD
  • Robin Rae, University of Vienna
  • Susanne Oechsner, University of Vienna

Workshop 3 - Digital skills for service providers and persons with disabilities

Location: Room-The Netherlands III, Thon Hotel EU

While the importance of adapting technology to the lives of persons with disabilities has been reiterated, it is equally important for service providers and persons with disabilities to be equipped with the digital skills they need.  Nikos Papastamatiou of Senseworks and Panagiotis Korfoxyliotis will present the DDSKILLS project and its digital skills toolkit. Jon Switters, Funka, will deliver a portion of the ENTELIS+accessibility workshop. Ophir Peleg, Shekulo Tov Group will present the MyWay app and how, via the training of both service providers and service users to use these digital tools, it can promote the proactive rehabilitation process for people with disabilities. This workshop will be moderated by Sophia Karagouni from MARGARITA. 

  • Moderator: Sophia Karagounis,EEA Margarita
  • Nikos Papastamatiou, Senseworks 
  • Panagiotis Korfoxyliotis,Ergastiri 
  • Jon Switters, Funka  
  • Ophir Peleg, Shekulo Tov Group

Workshop 4 - Technology supporting independent living

Location: Room-The Netherlands I, Thon Hotel EU

Technology has the potential to play a key role in the achievement of independent living for persons with disabilities. Ferran Blanc, Support-Girona will address how Blockchain in Smart Cities can serve as an inclusive tool for persons with disabilities. Ethan Brooks, Waymap, will present the Waymap app and how mobility independence gives freedom. Massimiliano Malavasi, AIAS, will introduce the concept of a Smart Home and how it can positively impact people who want to live more independently. This session will be moderated by Ad van Berlo, CEO of Smart Homes who provide an introduction to the topic of how technology can serve as a base of independent living of persons with disabilities.

  • Moderator: Ad van Berlo,Smart Homes. Click here for speaker's presentation. 
  • Ferran Blanco, Support-Girona. Click here for speaker's presentation.  
  • Rianne Dekker, DigiContact. Click here for speaker's presentation. 
  • Lisa van Duijn, DigiContact. Click here for speaker's presentation.  
  • Ethan Brooks, Waymap 
  • Massimiliano Malavasi, AIAS Bologna onlus. Click here for speaker's presentation. 

Workshop 5 - Inclusion and accessibility through assistive technology

Location: Room-The Netherlands II, Thon Hotel EU

In this workshop Dr Gerald Craddock, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, will address how to apply a Universal Design approach to create more inclusive technologies for all. Klaus Höckner, Hilfsgemeinschaft will explore how artificial intelligence can and will influence the life of Persons with Disabilities from a technological and ethical perspective.  Klaus Miesenberger, Johannes Kepler University Linz, will present the ‘easy reading’ tool and how it can support users with cognitive disabilities on the web. May Agius, Aġenzija Sapport, will speak on the future of Augmentative and Alternative Communication. 

  • Moderator: Timothy Ghilain, EASPD
  • Gerald Craddock, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design. Click here for speaker's presentation. 
  • Klaus Höckner, Hilfsgemeinschaft. Click here for speaker's presentation. 
  • Klaus Miesenberger, Johannes Kepler University Linz. 
  • May Agius, Aġenzija Sapport. Click here for speaker's presentation. 




The Zero Project Workshop: Showcasing the new zero project search portal

Location: Room: Belgium III (HYBRID), Thon Hotel EU

This workshop will unveil the new search portal of the Zero Project which will highlight the brand-new functionalities and capabilities of the search portal; bring in USAID ; reveal disability inclusion best practices that are featured on the Zero Project search portal.                                                                                                                                         

  • Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General, EASPD
  • Michael Fembek, Director, Zero Project. Click here for speaker's presentation. 
  • Anna Königseder, Manager, Business Sector   
  • Joshua Josa, Disability Inclusive Education Specialist, USAID  
  • Wilfried Kainz, Head of Research                                                                                                            
15h30Coffee Break  

Conference Dinner, Thon Hotel EU 

  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights will open the gala dinner.

Read the full gala dinner programme here


Thursday 14th October 2021



  • Maya Doneva,EASPD 
  • May Agius, Aġenzija Sapport
  • Steve Barnard, Independant PCT expert


Panel 3 Assistive Technologies - the future is now

Location: Room: Belgium I, II, III, Thon Hotel EU

Assistive technology is software or equipment that can be used by individuals, including persons with disabilities, to be able to more easily use/access another product, system, service or digital environment. Elaborating on this, David Banes, Access and Inclusion Services will highlight the impact of emerging technological developments on the lives of persons with disabilities.  Kamil Goungor, ENIL, will further talk about the pitfalls and advantages of assistive technology for persons with disabilities. Noa Nitzan, Beit Isse Shapiro, will provide insights on how assistive technology can promote play and leisure activities for people with disabilities.  Furthermore, Lorenzo Desideri, AIAS Bologna, will discuss the importance of measuring both outcomes and impact of AT service delivery in light of the most recent global trends in the field.  The session will be moderated by Katerina Mavrou from the European University Cyprus, AAATE. 

The panel discussions will be followed by a questions and answers session 

  • Moderator: Katerina Mavrou, European University Cyprus, AAATE. Click here for speaker's presentation 
  • David Banes, Access and Inclusion Services. 
  • Kamil Goungor, European Network for Independent Living 
  • Noa Nitzan, Beit Isse Shapiro. Click here for speaker's presentation 
  • Lorenzo  Desideri, AIAS Bologna Onlus. Click here for speaker's presentation
11h00Coffee Break







B-Wise Launch Event: Digital skills for the Work Integration Social Enterprises of tomorrow

Launching ceremony of the B-WISE project 

  • Hubert Gambs, Deputy Director-General & SME coordinator in the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission
  • Patrizia Bussi, ENSIE
  • Luk Zelderloo, EASPD

Opening Remarks from the European Commission

  • Karel Vanderpoorten, Social Economy Unit, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG Grow), European Commission

Panel 1

  • Moderator: Patrizia Bussi, ENSIE
  • Martina Paterniti, ENSIE Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia. Click here for speaker's presentation.  

  • Ilda Curti, Idee in Rete. Click here for speaker's presentation. 

Panel 2

  • Moderator: Timothy Ghilain, EASPD 
  • Lieven Bossuyt, Lichtwerk 
  • Ancuta Vamesu, Rise Romania
  • Angela Achitei,  ADV Romania
  • Panagiotis Anastassopoulos, EFVET

Questions and Answers 

Closing Remarks


Parallel Workshops:


Workshop 6 - Disruption in Social Care: shaping the transformative effect of Online Platforms

Location: Room: The Netherlands III, Thon Hotel EU

Online platforms have their fair share of impact on the lives of persons with disabilities and to understand this impact, Lieve Dekempenee, director of Hubbie vzw, will shed light on the possible pitfalls and advantages of these platforms. Mark Bergfeld from Uni Europa will give further insights on social care and the way digitalisation is impacting it.

  • Moderator: Thomas Bignal, EASPD

Presentation of an Online Platform Model

  • François Gerard, Helpperesen

Panel Debate:

  • Lieve Dekempeneer, Board Member EASPD
  • Loredana Dicsi, European Disability Forum
  • Mark Bergfeld, Uni Europa  

Workshop 7 - The impact of technology on integrated healthcare and social support 

Location: Room: Germany, Thon Hotel EU

In this workshop will look at the impact of technology on integrated healthcare and social support. Inge Valstar, ZonMw, will elaborate on this by discussing the development of e-health in in the Netherlands. Maria Marques, UNINOVA, will present the Smart4Health project and how it can be used to improve daily routine and quality of life of care workers in home settings. Myriam Sillevis Smitt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, will present the SEURO project, which will advance research into the use of digital health technologies for chronic disease self-management. Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf from AIAS Bologna Onlus will moderate the workshop.  

  • Moderator: Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf, AIAS Bologna Onlus. Click here for speaker's presentation. 
  • Inge Valstar, ZonMw. Click here fo speaker's presentation.
  • Myriam Sillevis Smitt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Maria Marques, UNINOVA

Workshop 9: Innovation Booster Technology & Special Needs - The Swiss way to design service and technology with and for people with disabilities

Location: Room: The Netherlands I, Thon Hotel EU

In this workshop, service design methodology used in the Swiss project Innovation Booster Technology & Special Needs will be presented and discussed. Through an innovative approach based on ethnomethodology and roleplay, participants of this workshop will learn how to design service and technology with and for people with disabilities. This interactive session will be conducted by Emmanuel Fragnière, Noémie Moulin & Benjamin Nanchen from the FRH foundation.  

  • Moderator:Rachel Vaughan, EASPD
  • Emmanuel Fragnière, FRH Foundation
  • Noémie Moulin,FRH Foundation
  • Benjamin Nanchen, FRH Foundation
13h00Lunch Break 

Panel 4 Enabling the support services of the future: what role for policy makers? 

Location: Room: Belgium I, II, III, Thon Hotel EU

This panel will bring together stakeholders from a European and national level to explore the policy frameworks that need to be developed to enable the delivery of the support services of tomorrow.

  • Moderator: Luk Zelderloo, EASPD
  • Karel Vanderpoorten, Social Economy Unit, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG Grow), European Commission
  • Sharon Borg, Aġenzija Sapport
  • Michael Fembek,Essl Foundation

  • Nadia Hadad, European Disability Forum 
  • Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf, AIAS Bologna Onlus. Click here for speaker's presentation
15h30Closing remarks 
15h45End of Conference 
20h00EASPD 25th Anniversary Party, Concert Noble