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650 participants commit to full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the open labour market.

The “Employment for All -  A Global Perspective” Conference ended on Friday, 16th June in Belfast with participants from all corners of the globe committing to do more for full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the job market.

The “Employment for All - A Global Perspective” First World Conference on Support Employment took place from the 14th to the 16th June in Belfast and was the first global conference dealing solely with employment for persons with disabilities.
 
The conference focused on the fact that employment is absolutely crucial not only as a means to survive but to stave off exclusion and isolation for society. Presenters and speakers underlined its importance in the construction of identity for persons, either with a disability or not. They also noted the role of a job in construction a social circle and noted that “a job is the basis of enjoying and contributing to society.”
 
The conference which hosted more than 60 workshops and had 20 keynote speakers and panelists, allowed for all interested stakeholders to express their views: persons with disabilities, policymakers, social service providers and employers.
 
The conference also included two ceremonies: the launch of the World Association of Supported Employment was marked by a reception in the Northern Ireland Parliament Buildings on Wednesday and the final ceremony of the Employment for All Awards took place during the Conference Gala Dinner in the Titanic Centre, a landmark of Belfast. The World Association of Supported Employment counts with Margaret Haddock as its new President, while EUSE elected Luc Henau to the position of President.

The conference also counted with the signature of a cooperation agreement between the European Network of Public Employment Services, EASPD and EUSE. This cooperation agreement reflects an important commitment from Public Employment services to work towards inclusion of persons with disabilities in the labour market.

The Conference ended with speakers and participants committing to work towards a fully inclusive labour market and full implementation of the article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Participants noted that this goal will not only promote social inclusion but also boost economic growth.

Mr James Crowe, President of EASPD stated that “This conference affirmed that inclusive employment is a positive, smart business decision. We will work towards bringing all the stakeholders together to implement the full inclusion of persons in the open labour market.
 
Ms. Margaret Haddock, President of EUSE believes that “this conference showed that participants from all around the world are committed to article 27 of the UN Convention; We believe that this a very positive and important step on the road to full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the open labour market.
The conference ended with the announcement of the next World Conference on Supported Employment, which will take place in Canada in 2021. EASPD will have its next European conference in Montenegro from the 25 to 27 October and EUSE will host a conference in Amsterdam in 2019.

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Note to editors
 

The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities is a non-profit European umbrella organization, established in 1996, and currently representing over 15,000 social and health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates for effective and high-quality disability-related services in the field of education, employment and individualised support, in line with the UN CRPD principles, which could bring benefits not only to persons with disabilities, but to society as a whole.

The European Union of Supported Employment (EUSE) was established in 1993 to facilitate the development of Supported Employment throughout Europe. Supported Employment assists people with significant disabilities (physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory and hidden) to access real employment opportunities, of their own choice, in an integrated setting with appropriate ongoing support to become economically and socially active in their own communities.

EUSE works to achieve this through the promotion of the Supported Employment model, the exchange of information and knowledge on good practice in Supported Employment and the development of model services. EUSE provides a platform for networking with other organisations and associations at European and worldwide level.
 

For more information, please contact:

André Félix

EASPD Communications Officer
T. +32 2 233 77 20
andre.felix@easpd.eu