Under the title of “Workability - Lead the Way,” the conference brought together more than 300 professionals to share and compare their experiences and news to support the move towards equity in employment for people with disabilities everywhere.
For EASPD the conference provided an opportunity to raise awareness for its vision, to deliver the support services of tomorrow, including employment services which support the employment of people with disabilities on the open labour market.
Dr Fabrizio Fea, EASPD Vice President and Chair of the Standing Committee on Employment, and Ms Ingrid Pammer, Vice Chair of the Standing Committee on Employment, attended the Conference on behalf of EASPD. Dr Fea and Ms Pammer had the opportunity to introduce EASPD to the conference’s participants during their presentation on how EASPD works on the topic of employment for persons with disabilities and how service providers must face this fundamental matter.
Consisting of several sessions the conference was opened with an inaugural lecture held by H.M. Queen Sylvia of Sweden. Many of the conference’s discussion panels facilitied an exchange between key stakeholders including a number of CEOs from well-known international private firms. Many of these private industries and companies employed a representative number of persons with disabilities and showcased the benefit of this scenario for all.
Dr Fea recalled that “EASPD launched its Declaration on Employment during the Conference in Thessaloniki in 2009 and its new version in 2014. This Declaration aims to strong underline our vision in terms of the implementation of the Right to Work and Employment, as set by Article 27 of the UN CRPD. The goal should be the realisation of truly inclusive accessible settings, as according to the UN CRPD, where persons with disabilities can enjoy their rights as everybody else. The most updated keyword is Decent work as stated by ILO”. “A person with a disability at work gives the right measure of a grown society that moves against discrimination having understood the value of each individual”.
To conclude the conference provided a clear message on the importance of understanding that people with disabilities should not be seen as a burden to society, but rather a positive individual and owner of his/her satisfied life. As service providers we must ensure that we work to reaffirm this status daily by working together with the people who we support.
This article was published with the support of Dr Fabrizio Fea, EASPD Vice President and Chair of the Standing Committee on Employment