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European Foundation Forum for inclusion – Leveraging the European Accessibility Act to promote change

This conference will be a moment for foundations, policymakers, associations and other organisations to discuss the mainstreaming aspect of accessibility within the different facets of society and to pinpoint some successful examples that showcase potential replicability. It furthermore will be an occasion for foundations and other stakeholders to learn from their peers and exchange knowledge about different funding models applied in different countries and contexts.

This conference is organised by the European Foundation Centre in collaboration with the foundation members of the EFC Disability Thematic Network: ESSL Foundation, Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca, Fundación ONCE, Genio, King Baudouin Foundation, Lumos, and Sabanci Foundation.

22 June 2016, 09h00 – 16h30
EESC – European Economic and Social Committee
Brussels, Belgium
(Van Maerlant Building, Room VM3)
Rue Van Maerlant 2
Brussels, Belgium

Download agenda.
Registration form.

H-CARE project is organising its final European Conference on 27/05/2016 from 9 h 00 – 15 h 00 at NH Brussels Du Grand Sablon, located in Brussels, Rue Bodenbroek 2/4.

“New competencies of salespersons of assistive technologies and food supplements in favour of European customers”

Registration is available via http://emanet.org/events/hcare-conference/

AGENDA

  • 08:00 – 09:00 Registration of the participants
  • 09:00 – 09:15 Welcome – Mrs. Figen Sekin, Istanbul National Educational Directorate, Turkey; Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Costigiola, European Medical Association, Belgium
  • 09:15 – 09:45 Presentation of the H-CARE project concept and outcomes – Mrs. Figen Sekin, Project Coordinator (IMEM, Turkey) / Mr. Andrean Lazarov, VET expert (VET center ZGURA-M, Bulgaria)
  • 09:45 – 10:05 Presentation of the job profile “Salespersons of assistive technologies and food supplements” – Mrs. Penka Nikolova / Mr. Vladimir Borisov, National Agency for vocational education and training, Bulgaria
  • 10:05 – 10:25 Presentation of the pilot phase in Austria together with piloters’ testimonials – Mag. Gabriela Maderthaner / Mag. Gregor Höller, (BFI VET Institute, Austria)
  • 10:25 – 10:45 Presentation of the pilot phase in Romania together with piloters testimonials – Prof. PhD Margareta Gabriela Chobanu, (Technical University “G. Asachi, Romania)
  • 10:45 – 11:15 Coffee break & Networking
  • 11:15 – 11:35 Presentation of the pilot phase in Bulgaria together with piloters testimonials – Mrs. Petya Grudeva (VET Center ZGURA-M), Mrs. Pepa Vasileva – Ministry of Health, Bulgaria, Mrs. Maria Spasova, National Association of the health care professsionals, Bulgaria
  • 11:35 – 11:50 Presentation of the pilot phase in Turkey together with piloters’ testimonials – Mrs. Figen Sekin, (Istanbul National Educational Directorate, Turkey)
  • 11:50 – 12:10 Importance of vocational education in combination with e-learning – the future of blended learning – Dr. Plank, VET expert, Austria
  • 12:10 – 12:30 The importance of the job profile for Bulgarian assistive technologies market – Mrs. Teodora Sindzhirlieva, National Agency of people with disabilities, Bulgaria
  • 12:30 – 12:45 Risks and benefits from food supplements, M.D. Prof. Madjit Kadim, Plovdiv Medical University Hospital, Bulgaria
  • 12:45 – 13:00 Trends in contemporary vocational education and training, Prof. David French, Mrs. Sue Burt – VET consultants, United Kingdom
  • 13:00 – 13:30 Discussion
  • 13:30 – 15:00 Demonstration of H-CARE products, networking and buffet

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Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham
October 2016
itag.gamecity.org

The aim of ITAG is to bring together academics, developers, beneficiaries and practitioners to explore interactive technologies and innovate within the areas of Education, Health and Disability. ITAG will consist of 5 strands:

- Academic conference: We have a particular focus on the use of gaming hardware and software to implement accessible solutions, interaction design using new input/output devices and the increasing impact of ubiquitous computing on our everyday well-being. We especially want to bring together practitioners with researchers, for their mutual benefit; you don’t have to be a technical expert to benefit from this conference! The conference provides an excellent opportunity to showcase practice and to mainstream research ideas and outcomes. It introduces a wider audience to key findings and products from research and illustrates how practice feeds back into and informs research. The conference creates a forum for two-way communication between the academic and practitioner communities.

- Community partner afternoon: engaging sessions from local practitioners demonstrating the impact of academic research on areas such as stroke rehabilitation, special education, mental health, clinicians, physical rehabilitation and accessibility.

- Practical workshops: workshops will be organised to explore various games, creating an interactive experience with the originators/developers.

- Exhibition: An exhibition space will be available for demonstrations and posters, and will be embedded in the conference and workshops area.

- Hackathon: several teams consisting of developers, designers and special education trainers will compete with each other to use various technologies (Android based games, Flash Games, Games Mods, XNA) to develop an educational application in just two days. The winner will take home a £250 prize award.
Scope
As guidance to participants on scope of papers and activities we state that: ‘Education’ includes both compulsory and post-compulsory education; ‘Disability’ includes physical, sensory and cognitive impairment; and the impact of interactive technologies and games on health and well-being is also a focus of this conference.  An emphasis is placed on practical applications and guides to where currently available training resources and tools can be found and used.  A selection of papers will be published electronically in full and presentations will be limited to 20 minutes for the key findings allowing time for questions from the floor.
Proceedings and Publication opportunities
Authors of successful ITAG15 papers can choose to submit to one of the following publications:

1. Journal of Assistive Technologies
The Journal of Assistive Technologies is published by Emerald. The journal is abstracted and indexed in: CINAHL, CPA’s AgeInfo, CPA’s New Literature on Old Age, EBSCO Abstracts in Social Gerontology, EBSCO Academic Search alumni/Complete/Elite/ Premier, Illustrata, Social Care Online, and Scopus.
If ITAG delegates choose to submit a paper to the Journal of Assistive Technologies (JAT), they should do so using ScholarOne Manuscripts at the Journal article submission site: Journal article submission site

Those submitting should pay particular attention to the Author Guidelines linked from this page, in order to ensure that papers meet the requirements regarding maximum length, referencing style and other issues. All papers submitted to JAT are double-blind peer-reviewed. Any further questions can be answered by the Editor: Chris Abbott – chris.abbott@kcl.ac.uk.

2. IEEE-XploreTM
A digital library which delivers full text access to the world’s highest quality technical literature in engineering and technology. The papers will be reviewed for technical merit and content and the accepted papers will appear in the proceedings, to be published by CPS. Publication templates are available for LaTeX and MS Word.

Authors will be informed of how to submit to the above publications in the acceptance notifications sent in July.
Previous special issues and publications have included:
• Journal of Assistive Technologies – Volume 3, issue 2, June 2009 (ITAG 2008 selected papers)
• Computers and Education – Volume 56, issue 1 (ITAG 2009 selected papers)
• International Journal of Games Based Learning – Volume 1, issue 4, 2011 (ITAG 2010 selected papers)
• Journal of Assistive Technologies – Volume 6 issue 3 (ITAG 2011 selected papers)
• International Journal of Game-Based Learning (ITAG12 selected papers)
• Journal of Assistive Technologies (ITAG13 selected papers)
• IEEE-XploreTM (ITAG14 selected papers)
• IEEE-XploreTM (ITAG15 selected papers)

Themes and topics

The conference encourages multidisciplinary papers and examples of themes and topics include (but don’t let this restrict you):

The conference encourages multidisciplinary papers. Examples of themes and topics include (but don’t let this restrict you):

Games and Education
• Serious Games for health scenarios
• Learning and instructional theory for games-based learning
• Serious games and community /cultural awareness
• Virtual environments for health
• Evaluation and future of games-based learning
• The psychology of serious games
• Hardware development for serious games
• Use of mobile games for learning

Assistive Technologies
• Human – Robot Interaction
• Quality of Life Technologies
• Mobile and Wearable Systems
• Applications to improve health and wellbeing of children and elderly
• Brain Computer Interfaces

Games and Psychology
• Psychology of games
• Motivations for playing (e.g., player typology)
• Video games’ psychosocial implications (e.g., gaming addiction, behavioural change, use of VR)
• Psychology of game design (e.g., immersion, realism, reward system)
• Player identity (e.g., clans and groups affiliation, avatar embodiment)

Submissions
Those wishing to present papers, or hold a workshop should prepare abstracts to a maximum of 500 words and for those hoping to exhibit or produce a poster, a 300-word abstract is required.
The deadline for submissions is Friday 6 May 2016 and abstracts should be submitted via the ITAG Easychair submission page.
Final copies of accepted papers will be required in advance of the Conference.

Key dates:
Abstract submission deadline                                         Friday 6 May 2016
Full paper submission deadline                                      Monday 1 June 2015
Acceptance notification                                                     Friday 3 July 2015
Camera-ready and author registration deadline     Monday 27 July 2015

We aim to keep the conference delegate rate to a minimum and also offer concessionary rates. Online booking will be available from May onwards.

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‘How can we make sure that support services respond to the individual needs of persons with disabilities and help them live included in the community? What kind of training & learning is necessary to make this happen?’

The New Paths to InclUsion Network brings together organisations of persons with disabilities, service-providers, universities and research centres from fourteen European countries and Canada whose common aim is to achieve change and support organisations to deliver community based and person-centred services for people with disabilities.

The Network builds on the legacy of the European project New Paths to Inclusion Network (2009-2011) which helped to advance Person Centred Planning and Practice in support services across Europe.

Visit and join: http://personcentredplanning.eu/index.php

Inclusion Europe
The European Association of Societies of
People with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families

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Brussels, 26 January 2016

After its review by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last summer, the European Union has been urged to adopt the European Accessibility Act (EAA) within 12 months. This long-awaited piece of legislation is a cornerstone in the EU’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) since it has the potential to improve the lives of more than 80 million Europeans with disabilities by ensuring their equal access to goods and services in the EU.

So, it was with great enthusiasm that on 3 December 2015, the European Day of Persons with Disabilities, we welcomed the publication by the European Commission of the draft EAA. We find it very positive that the European Commission has decided to adopt a Directive, which is legally binding on all EU Member States. Thus, it is particularly important that the EAA provides proper protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, in line with the requirements of the CRPD, an international human rights instrument ratified by the EU and almost all Member States.

After careful reading and analysis of the scope and content of the proposed EAA, Inclusion Europe is today publishing a Policy Paper which gives a critical analysis of the text, suggesting ways to make it even better. The Policy Paper underlines some of the changes that Inclusion Europe and its members would like to see in the final text in order to ensure that the accessibility needs of persons with intellectual disabilities are protected.

While Inclusion Europe is pleased that many areas, relevant for persons with intellectual disabilities are covered by the draft legislation, we deplore that the scope doesn’t cover all areas that are required under the UN CRPD accessibility requirements. Furthermore, the assessment of the disproportionate burden of applying the accessibility requirements is left to the appreciation of the manufacturers, importers and distributors. Since they will most probably base their decision on the current market situation, from which persons with intellectual disabilities are largely excluded, we are concerned that the rights of thousands of most marginalised Europeans will continue to be violated.

Persons with intellectual disabilities need accessible information in order to be fully included in society. Therefore, the use of the Easy-to-Read format and pictograms, recognised by the European Standards to make information easy to read and understand needs to be mainstreamed throughout the Act in order to remove the remaining barriers persons with intellectual disabilities face while accessing to public goods and services. Moreover, the text does not include specific requirements to provide persons with disabilities with the possibility to seek assistance. Yet, this is an important measure which may ensure the accessibility needs of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Inclusion Europe also regrets the use of the already existing CE marking as marking system to signal compliance with accessibility standards. We believe that this might confuse all customers, including persons with intellectual disabilities.

Regarding the enforcement procedure, we insist on monitoring by the competent national authorities of the existing and future products and services and their conformity with the accessibility requirements of the EAA. This will only be possible through a strong enforcement mechanism, which will enable withdrawal or recall products from the market that are incompliant with the accessibility legislation.

For all these reasons, Inclusion Europe calls the European Commission to make the suggested improvements to the current draft of the EAA while strengthening the language and referring explicitly to measures that are indispensable to fulfil the accessibility needs of persons with intellectual disabilities. We hope the EU chooses to show once more that it is committed to protect the rights of the most vulnerable citizens and to fully comply with the specific requirements of the CRPD.

To read Inclusion Europe’s Policy Paper, click here.

For more information, please contact Inclusion Europe’s Secretariat at secretariat@inclusion-europe.org

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The partners of the project AJuPID (Access to Justice for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities) organise from 10 to 11 March 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria, a conference to reflect on the implementation of articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

During the event, the final results of the project AJuPID will be presented. AJuPID project aims to identify how legal capacity and access to justice for persons with intellectual disabilities are guaranteed in five European countries: Bulgaria, Finland, France, Hungary and Ireland.

The project partners gave particular attention to the situation of adults with intellectual disabilities who may be experiencing substituted decision-making regarding their life choices via, for example, partial or full guardianship measures. The final objective of the project is to promote the evolution of practices towards supported decision-making and better access to justice, in line with the UN CRPD.

Participation is open to persons with disabilities, their relatives and supporters, professionals working in the disability sector, practitioners in the judiciary, decision-makers as well as other stakeholders and interested parties. Round tables and debates will allow participants to learn more about supporting people with disabilities in exercising their legal capacity and in their access to justice. Participants are invited to exchange and reflect on a better implementation of articles 12 and 13 (UNCRPD) in the European Union and its Member States.

The number of participants is limited to 150. The Participation is free of cost.
Renowned international speakers will address the audience during the conference such us Professor Quinn from the University of Galway.

Click here to register
Download the programme by clicking here
More information at www.ajupid.eu

Results project AJuPID

Comparative study on legal systems in five European countries
Guide of promising practices on legal capacity and access to justice