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Project Development Workshop

EASPD’s Project Development Workshop this year took place on 26 September in Istanbul.

With about 60 people attending, the event has become quite popular amongst EASPD’s membership, but also for other organisations trying to find their way in the labyrinth of EU funding programmes. From 2014, a new generation of EU funding programmes will start. It makes experience and competence on international, professional project management and implementation all the more important.

During our event, we gave a broad outline of the EU funding opportunities in the disability and social sector. Details of the programmes are not yet available, but should be published by the European Commission in November. We also had a very interesting intervention from Mr Abdullah Şahin from the EU Turkish National Agency for the Lifelong Learning Programme and Youth in Action Programme. He shared with us more details on the future Erasmus + Programme.

Furthermore, we discussed 5 project ideas in small groups, i.e. on the following topics: The development of a European Quality Certification, Access to employment and training for young people with multiple sclerosis in Europe, A European Self-Directed Support Network, Wellbeing of care staff and Taking action through the European Semester.
The project ideas will be further developed; by some of the groups immediately, by others when a relevant funding stream will be identified the coming months.

You can find more details on each of the workshops below, as well as the presentation on EU funding.

If you are interested in joining one of the project working groups, please write to

A. Funding Opportunities

---> EU Grants


B. Workshop outcomes

1. “Qualability”- Learning from neighbours for greater user satisfaction

The specific objectives of a future project are:
Facilitate improving the Quality of Services (QoS) across Europe through:

  • Raising awareness about  existing quality frameworks, focusing on user satisfaction such as Voluntary European Quality Framework (VEQF) and the Quality of Life (QoL) approach of Shalock
  • Exchange of knowledge and know-how across EU on national QoS and QoL systems
  • Analysis of existing quality assurance practices and systems across Europe based on a comparison with the VEQF and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
  • Provision of guidelines for improving the QoS, based on the results of the analysis of existing practices and systems.

Workshop leaders: Patricia Scherer, FEGAPEI, France: and Katrin Sawatzky, Diakonische Akademie für Fort- under Weiterbildung, Germany: and EASPD Project & Liaison Officer:
2. Believe and Achieve: Paving the way into work for young people with MS!

The specific objectives of a future project are:


  • Raising awareness amongst employers and network with employers through channels such as Chamber of Commerce.
  • Inspiring confidence and hope in young people diagnosed with MS to re-build/maintain their personal visions towards a life of health and accomplishment
  • Providing guidance and support to organisations/companies to enable them to become “best practice” employers of young people with MS and to engage with employers across Europe via the development of an Employer’s Charter that focuses on the specific considerations and adaptations necessary to successfully employ young people with a neurodegenerative condition such as MS.
  • Showcasing the individual and societal benefits of harnessing the talent and enthusiasm of young people whilst raising awareness of the impact of long-term conditions such as MS.

The EMSP Under Pressure project shows the importance of employment for people with Multiple Sclerosis. The Story of Martina Vagini, from Italy

The general objective is to improve employment and VET for young people with Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological conditions in Europe.

Workshop leader:  Emma Rogan, The European Multiple Sclerosis Platform: and EASPD Project & Liaison Officer:
3. The European Self-Directed Support Network
The project wants to help persons with disabilities across Europe to achieve full citizenship by reforming systems for funding assistance and meeting the human rights of people with disabilities

The specific objectives of a future project are:


  • Identify systems, identify good practices, identify obstacles to good practices
  • Create a network of champions for Self-Directed Support (SDS) across Europe with different stakeholders, build alliances with other groups who are using SDS, help improve European policy-making

Next steps

  • Questionnaire has been sent to various EASPD members already; the workshop participants will also receive it
  • Policy seminar on 4/12 in Brussels to share results: open to all EASPD members and partners
  • Look for a budget line for project funding, where we would start with a critical (SWOT) analysis of the concept: what makes it work.. as there is a different understanding and there are different systems in the various countries in Europe.

Workshop leader:Aarne Rajalahti, KVPS, Finland: Aarne.Rajalahti@KVPS.FI and EASPD Project & Liaison Officer:
4. Wellbeing of Care Staff
The main aim of the project is to deliver the vision and practical learning, how to employ and how to maintain the wellbeing of front line staff with the right skills to meet the needs of the people they care for. Staff working in care professions need support to enhance the qualities needed to address the growing requirements of society from organisations that promote a compassionate and caring culture. The project will work around the 6 C's: compassion, care, courage, commitment, communication and competence.

The specific objectives of a future project are:


  • Help staff working with people with special needs to reflect on the importance of their own wellbeing
  • Come to measurable and sustainable positive effects in quality of work & life of staff
  • Share this learning through academic publications & conference

Workshop leader: Fred & Sandi Grant, Wellbeing in the Caring Professions, UK, in partnership with The Training, Occupation and Care Centre Draga, Slovenia :, and EASPD Project & Liaison Officer:


5. Taking action through the European Semester

The "European Semester" (ES) is a cycle of economic and fiscal policy coordination within the EU, which started with the 2011 cycle. It focuses on the first six-months of each year. During this time, Member States have to align their budgetary and economic policies with the objectives and rules agreed at EU level and in particular with the Stability and Growth Pact and the Europe 2020 Strategy.
The goal of the ES project is to support the development of European policy through the process of policy cooperation between European Union, Member States and civil society.

The specific objectives of a future project are:

1st step (year one): raise awareness on the European Semester

  • 2 days draining for EASPD members on the European Semester explaining what it is, why is it relevant, how can it be linked to other EASPD policy objectives (e.g. implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities -UNCRPD)
  • Organisation of awareness-raising meetings at national level with other stakeholders and national authorities and creation of national points:
  • Attendance to EU meeting on the Semester organised by Social NGOs

2nd Step (year two): focus on a specific subject


  • Work in network with other civil society actors at national level in order to influence the semester with inputs on Annual Growth Survey, National Reform Programmes, Country Specific Recommendations
  • Possible focus on specific issues
  • Event in Brussels to share inputs/best practices.

Workshop leader:  Irene Bertana, Policy Officer, EASPD: and EASPD Project & Liaison Officer:


C. Other project ideas from members and partners

1. LoveLife

In France, as in many other European countries, taboos concerning the sexual and affective life of persons with disabilities prevail. This important part in the life of every human being is often denied to persons with disabilities, particularly persons with intellectual disabilities.

The specific objectives of a future project are:


  • To improve the well-being of persons with disabilities by increasing the understanding and respect for their emotional and sexual needs.
  • Educate and train professionals in care and service provision to consider and respect the emotional and sexual needs of persons with disabilities, as well as giving them tools at hand to better this topic with parents / family carers


FEGAPEI, France:,  and EASPD Project & Liaison Officer:


There is still a gap in Europe between research bodies and disability stakeholders in the field.
The specific objective of a future project is to develop a European network on applied disability research by increasing the participation of EU disability stakeholders in the field such as NGOs, services providers and research bodies.
The axes we want to develop are:


  • Facilitating the collaboration between stakeholders in the field and research bodies for the development of new applied research projects in EU.
  • Collecting and spreading information on
  • Relevant stakeholders (from NGO, researches bodies, responsible for databases, government …) already involved on applied research in UE
  • Reports about the need and priorities of disability applied researches in UE and for field stakeholders.
  • Technical resources on methodology used for applied research in UE (especially in disability field but also in other thematic if these tools could be used on disability field)
  • Seminars and conferences on disability applied research in EU or interventions on disability applied research in not specific seminar
  • Applied disability researches already realized in EU and all related material for dissemination (especially the ones for field stakeholders)

FEGAPEI, France:  Clarisse Mombet: and EASPD Project & Liaison Officer:

3. Velotype taking away boundaries for disabled people

It is important that deaf/hard of hearing and elderly people can participate in society and enjoy leisure time. The speech-to-text service enables them to actively participate, when reading the text realtime. Traditional solutions (such as standard Qwerty keyboard) are not able to keep up with the high speed of speech. In contrary to other systems, the Velotype keyboard is suitable for many different languages.
The specific objective of a future project is to train young/motivated people in using the Velotype keyboard. This keyboard will enable them to type at the speed of speech. This can then be used for speech-to-text services for deaf/hard of hearing people and elderly people on location or remotely. This can also be used in live subtitling for television.

Velotype, Netherlands:, and EASPD Project & Liaison Officer: