EASPD announces winners of 2022 innovation awards!

Getting recognised for their innovative practices in the disability sector, 5 organisations recieved the 2022 EASPD Innovation Awards in Malta.

The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) congratulates Kehitysvammaisten Palvelusäätiö (KVPS) , Humana Nova, Fundajia Imago, Shekulo Tov and Gentis Foundation on winning EASPD’s 2022 Innovation Awards. Each of these organisations were recognised for a specific practice that contributed to the theme of this year’s awards. In line with the topic of our Malta conference, the awards focused on high quality service provision for people with disabilities.

Now in its second year, EASPD’s Innovation Awards aim to highlight the most promising practices in the field of  support service provision for people with disabilities as well as showcase the work of our members. From education to employment, and from independent living to healthcare, this year EASPD received submissions of a variety of innovative practices from across its membership.
This edition of the awards focused on the topic of our Annual Conference in Malta, “Quality of Life & Support Services: From Words to Action”. Each practice that was selected aimed to improve quality of services, and thereby, the quality of life of persons with disabilities.

The winners of the Innovation Awards were announced on 13th October during EASPD’s conference in Malta. In no particular order, the winners are as follows:

Family Relief Service (FRS): Multi-stakeholder evaluation approach ensuring high-quality service.

In Finland, Kehitysvammaisten Palvelusäätiö (KVPS) has launched the Family Relief Service (FRS) which delivers  short-term care service in the family's home to provide support to the family and siblings of people with disabilities. The service gives parents and carers a moment of rest and empowers them to strengthen their own independence and voice.  As of now 190 families are a part of this programme.

On the job training course for sorting, reuse, recycling textile and felt packaging.

In 2020 the social cooperative Humana Nova from Croatia established a felt packing process that enabled the organisation to increase opportunities for marginalised groups and persons with disabilities. This specific practice requires employees to undergo training, which is adapted to their individual needs and prepares them for a more competitive job market. Via these trainings participants also receive continuous support, mentorship and cooperation with their families to solve any problems the employee’s face.

Innovation E-Care: Assistant and Online Care Services for people with special needs.

In Poland, Fundacja Imago have created an online support and care service for people with disabilities which can be used when ‘in-person’ support in the client’s living environment is not possible. The service is provided to persons with disabilities who have expressed their desire to use remote services. The support provided includes pilot testing sessions, ongoing technical support and monitoring of e-services.

'SAME' Model

Developed by Shekulo Tov, the ‘SAME’ model provides a programme of social and recreational services to persons with disabilities in Israel. The programme offers various physical and online social and recreational activities through digital platforms that promotes social inclusion and independent living for people with  disabilities. Through the platform the participants can chose the skills they want to improve, the level of support they need and the activities they want to participate in.

Cuidem Amposta Application

The Cuidem Amposta mobile application, developed by Gentis Foundation from Spain, can be used by persons with disabilities who are in employment to report to their mentors when they have finished a task at their work. The app can also be used to report an emergency as it has geo-location that provides the exact location of the employee.
Selected by an independent jury, these five practices have been selected for their innovative approach, contribution to the realisation of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  and a strong commitment towards providing high-quality services to people with disabilities.

Maya Doneva, Secretary General at EASPD said: “With our Innovation Awards, we aim to highlight interesting new practices developed by our members, whether they are large organisations with significant means to drive service provision forward, or smaller organisations working hard to adapt services to their specific region and area of work.”

You can read more about the practices via our 2022 innovation award booklet here. EASPD hopes that these best practices can be a source of inspiration for other service providers as we work together towards the full implementation of the UNCRPD.

Supporting Documents

For more information, please contact:

Renaud Scheuer
Head of Knowledge and Innovation

+32 2 233 77 23

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 20,000 social and health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates 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 information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Commission.