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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.

Wednesday 12th October 2022


Pre conference: Light House Network: Training on digital accessibility & assistive technology


Location: Rabat and Fes

  • Evert Jan Hoogerwerf,  Chair EASPD’s member forum on person-centred technology (PCT)


Training session 1: Introduction to digital accessibility and empowerment of PwD through human rights

This training will focus help the participants gain a basic understanding of accessibility as a concept along with giving them knowledge on how digital barriers affect diverse groups in daily life. Furthermore, the training will explore the various accessibility challenges and issues and help understand the benefits of addressing accessibility issues for an organisation as well as individuals and for society as a whole.

  • Ilaria Valoti, AIAS Bologna

Training session 2: Supporting participation using assistive technology: An introduction

The session goal is to give an overview of what Assistive Technology (AT) is and the categories of AT which exist. In-built supports in mainstream technology that can enhance accessibility will be highlighted. The session will also explore how AT can be used to enhance participation of persons with disability. Participants will also earn how to identify who can benefit from the use of AT.

  • Dr May Agius, Access to Communication & Technology Unit (ACTU), Aġenzija Sapport,  Malta
  • Sharon Borg Schembri, Access to Communication & Technology Unit (ACTU), Aġenzija Sapport, Malta


Networking Break


    Training session 3: Case study Smart4health mobile app demonstration

    The training session will be hosted by the Smart4health project and will help provide an overview of the case of Smart4Health mobile application which will also explaing how to apply the learned knowledge about digital accessibility in practice. This training too, will assess accessibility challenges and issues while identifying how the case of Smart4Health could be improved regarding accessibility of the platform.

    • TBC

    Thursday 13th October 2022



    Location: Room Casablanca

    • 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

    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.

    Location: Room Casablanca

    • Jan Šiška, University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration, the USA and Charles University, Faculty of Education, Czechia

    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: Room Casablanca

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

    Coffee Break and Conference Stands

    Location: Foyer


    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: Room Marrakesh

    • Moderator: Professor Andrew Azzopardi, University of Malta 
    • Letizia Marmara, Social Care Standards Authority (SCSA), Malta
    • Samantha Pace Gasan, Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disability
    • Melanie Magri, Agenzija Sapport - PPT

    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: Room Rabat

    • Moderator: James Churchill, Social Care Training, UK 
    • Shereen  Hussein, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - PPT
    • Marita Galea, People & Standards Division, Malta - PPT

    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: Room Fes

    • Moderator: Petra Rantamaki, KVPS Finland
    • Mathias Maucher, Social Services Europe - PPT
    • Kurt Asselman, Flemish Ministry of Welfare, Belgium - PPT

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

    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. 

    Location: Room Tangier

    • Moderator: Miguel Buitrago, EASPD - PPT

    • Enrique García Cortés, Fundación ONCE , Spain 

    • Antonio Ingelmo, Fundación ONCE, Spain 

    • Dr Matthew Zarb, Agenzija Sapport - PPT


    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.

    Location: Room Nador

    • Moderator: Maya Doneva, EASPD

    • Konstantina Leventi, EASPD - PPT


    Lunch Break

    Location: Kosy Bar


    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: Room Casablanca

    • Moderator: Thomas Bignal, EASPD 

    The experience of Scotland: 

    • Leigh-Anne Macdonald, ENABLE Group 

    • Denise Fernie, ENABLE Group 

    • Theresa Shearer, CEO, ENABLE Group 

    • Andy Kerr, Former Scottish Minister of Health and Social Care

    The experience of Malta: 

    • Jean Fred Agius, Agenzija Sapport 

    • Riva Scicluna, Agenzija Sapport

    • Glenda CurmiAgenzija Sapport 

    • Cynthia Deguara, Social Care Standards Authority (SCSA)

    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

    An exploration of UNICEF’s approach to safeguarding and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, demonstrating how solid policies and procedures in this area can protect and empower service users (children with disabilities and other support needs), create a safe work environment for support staff, and enable rights-based service provision.

    Location: Room Tangier

    • Lucy Marie Richardson, Child Protection Specialist, Disability Inclusion, UNICEF - PPT



    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: Room Nador

    • Moderator: James Crowe, EASPD 


    • Michelle Borg, Agenzija Sapport - PPT

    • Dr. 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: Room Fes

    • Moderator: Maria Cynthia Debono, Agenzija Sapport

    • Maarit-Alto, M.A. Education & Survey - PPT

    • Ferran Blanco, Support Girona, Spain - PPT

    • Ludmila Malcoci, KeyStone Moldova - PPT


    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. 

    Location: Room Rabat

    • Moderator: Renaud Scheuer, EASPD - PPT

    • Johannes Schädler, University of Siegen/EURECO - PPT

    • Jan Šiška, University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration, the USA and Charles University, Faculty of Education, Czechia - PPT
    • Dr Alistair De Gaetano, Office of Disability Issues,Malta - PPT

    Workshop 10: EU funds for quality? Building capacity and identifying needs

    The European Union offers many opportunities for funding innovative social inclusion projects; primarily through funds operated regionally like European Social Fund+ or the European Regional Development Fund. Very often, service providers tend to not use these funds for their services; due to bureaucracy, not fitting the needs & other reasons. EASPD is coordinating the Helpdesk project which aims to build capacity of service providers to access these funds, as well as to guide Authorities in implementing them. This Workshop will focus on presenting the Helpdesk project to you and identifying solutions that can help you access EU Funds.

    Location: Room Marrakesh

    • ModeratorFabiana Scarano, EASPD - PPT
    • Lilith Alink, EASPD
    • Mathias Maucher, Social Services Europe 
    • Javier Guëmes, Fundacion ONCE 


    Coffee Break

    Location: Foyer


    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: Room Marrakesh

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

    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: Room Rabat

    • Moderator: Timothy Ghilain, EASPD


    • Gertrude Spiteri, Agenzija Sapport - PPT
    • Professor Mac Maclachlan, Irish Health Services, Ireland - PPT

    Workshop 13: Inclusive socialisation models for persons with disabilities

    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?

    Location: Room Fes

    • Moderator: Anna Calleja, Special Olympics, Malta 
    • Vanessa Schembri, Sharing Lives, Agenzija Sapport model - PPT
    • Enrica Chiara Cappadonna, Hi-Ability Project - PPT
    • Anna Grazia Laura, ENAT 

    Workshop 14: Self-advocacy in service development and improvement

    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.

    Location: Room Nador

    • Moderator: Rhoda Garland, Director of CRPD, Malta - PPT
    • Marthese Mugliette, Maltese Federation of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities
    • Nadia Hadad, ENIL 
    • Justin Spiteri, Self-advocate, Malta 

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

    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.

    Location: Room Tangier

    • Moderator: Agapi Papadaki, Amimoni, Greece
    • Darija Udovičić Mahmuljin, Malin Dom, Croatia - PPT
    • Borislava Cherkezova, Karin Dom, Bulgaria 
    • Mark Fitzgerald, Family member, Malta 

    Lunch Break

    Location: Kosy Bar


    Panel 3: Moving forward in EU and local level

    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.

    Location: Room Casablanca

    • Moderator: Karin Astegger, Lebenshilfe, Austria
    • Jyrki Pinomaa, Inclusion Europe, Belgium
    • Dr Alistair De Gaetano, Directorate for Disability Issues
    • Konstantina Leventi, EASPD

    Concluding Remarks

    Location: Room Casablanca

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