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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 

Keynote speech by Christophe Ginisty

Round Table disscussions

End of Workshop









Pre-conference hybrid event and networking drinks:

#RightToConnectNow - Accessibility working session with ENTELIS+ team


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 
  • Steve Barnard, Independant PCT expert


Panel 1 The Digital Transformation of Support Services

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
  • Ramon Daniels, Maastricht University
  • Sarah Boland, Saint John of God Community Services
  • Silke Georgi, Social Heroes


Coffee Break



Panel 2 Accessibility, the key to digital inclusion

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
  • Hector Minto, Microsoft (TBC)
  • Susanna Laurin,Funka 
  • Inmaculada Placencia-Porrero, Directorate-General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL), European Commission
13h00Lunch Break  


Parallel Workshops


Workshop 1 - Technology in inclusive education

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
  • Katerina Mavrou, European University Cyprus, AAATE 
  • Margarita Gulevska, Open the windows 

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

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

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

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 
  • Ferran Blanco, Support-Girona 
  • Rianne Dekker, DigiContact 
  • Ethan Brooks, Waymap 
  • Massimiliano Malavasi, AIAS Bologna onlus 

Workshop 5 - Inclusion and accessibility through assistive technology

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. Finally, Elena Gorcheva and Aneta Morfova, Karin Dom, will present some of the assistive technologies they use in their early intervention service in Bulgaria.

  • Moderator: Timothy Ghilain, EASPD
  • Gerald Craddock, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design
  • Klaus Höckner, Hilfsgemeinschaft
  • Klaus Miesenberger, Johannes Kepler University Linz
  • May Agius, Aġenzija Sapport
  • Elena Gorcheva and Aneta Morfova, Karin Dom













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

This workshop will unveil the new search portal of the xero 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.                                                                                                                                                                   

Welcome Remarks

  • Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General, EASPD
  • Michael Fembek, Director, Zero Project

Live-demo and presentation of the Zero Project Search Portal                    

  • Anna Königseder, Manager, Business Sector
  • Michael Fembek, Director, Zero Project                                                                                                           

Zero Project Awards – Best Practices from the USAI concerning,“Universal Design for Learning to Help All Children Read:Promoting Literacy for Learners with Disabilities"     

  • Joshua Josa, Disability Inclusive Education Specialist, USAID 

“The power of sharing best practices”. Flash round discussion between:

  • Michael Fembek, Director, Zero Project
  • Joshua Josa, Disability Inclusive Education Specialist, USAID
  • Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General, EASPD                                                                                         


Round of Q and A                                                                                                                                                                        

15h30Coffee Break 
18h30Conference Dinner, Thon Hotel EU  

Thursday 14th October 2021



  • Maya Doneva,EASPD 
  • May Agius, Aġenzija Sapport


Panel 3 Assistive Technologies - the future is now

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 
  • David Banes, Access and Inclusion Services
  • Kamil Goungor, European Network for Independent Living 
  • Noa Nitzan, Beit Isse Shapiro 
  • Lorenzo  Desideri, AIAS Bologna Onlus
11h00Coffee Break







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

Launching ceremony of the B-WISE project 

  • Jorna Kerstin , Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG Grow), European Comission
  • Bussi Patrizia, 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 Comission

Panel 1

  • Moderator: Patrizia Bussi, ENSIE
  • Martina Paterniti, ENSIE Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia 

  • Ilda Curti, Idee in Rete

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

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 2 Online Platform Models

  • Emma Back, Equal Care Coop
  • François Gerard, Helpperesen

Panel Debate:

  • Inmaculada Placencia-Porrero, Directorate-General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL), European Commission
  • 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 

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 Europe. Maria Marques, UNINOVA, will give a demo of the Smart4Health online platform which supports caregivers at work and at home. 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
  • Inge Valstar, ZonMw
  • Myriam Sillevis Smitt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Maria Marques, UNINOVA

Workshop 8 - Let's have fun - Technology in Art and Leisure

Just like every other sphere of our lives, even art and leisure has been impacted by technology, therefore, it is important to make it inclusive.  Annat Friedman from Rett association will speak about the use of accessible digital art tools with young adults, from a digital art therapy perspective. Ms Friedma will be joined by Orla O'Sullivan from Viboxo SoundSenses, who will discuss how technology can help in making the deaf and blind enjoy and play music.

  • Moderator: Eoin Nash,COPE Foundation 
  • Orla O'Sullivan, CEO Viboxo SoundSenses CLG
  • Anatt Friedman, Rett Association Guidance Team
  • David Hofer (TBC)

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

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 TBC
  • 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? 

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 Comission
  • Sharon Borg, Aġenzija Sapport
  • Michael Fembek,Essl Foundation

  • Nadia Hadad, European Disability Forum 
  • Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf, AIAS Bologna Onlus
15h30Closing remarks 
15h45End of Conference 
20h00EASPD 25th Anniversary Party, Concert Noble