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Danish EU Presidency Conference: “Accessibility and Participation – Full Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Society”

25/02/2012 

Photo of skuespilhus Copenhagen by Thomas KjærPhoto Skuespilhus, Copenhagen by Thomas Kjær

Copenhagen, Denmark. 5 and 6 March 2012.

This official conference of the Danish EU Presidency examines how people with disabilities can exercise their rights to have access to society and be able to participate and make the same choices as non-disabled persons.

Accessibility can eliminate most participation restrictions and give people with disabilities the opportunity to lead active, productive lives well integrated in society and family life.

People with disabilities are people with rights. With the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities a big step has been taken in the movement from viewing persons with disabilities as "objects" of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as "subjects" with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.

Accessibility is a very important part of the inclusion of people with disabilities in society. An accessible and barrier-free environment is the first step towards fulfilling the right of people with disabilities to participate in all areas of community life.

An accessible society is a key for a society based on equal rights, and provides its citizens with autonomy and the means to pursue an active social and economic life.

An accessible society means that most people will be able to seek employment, receive education and training, and pursue an active social and economic life.

Accessibility should be seen as an investment, leading to increased production and higher productivity.

Accessibility is a concern for everyone, not only for people with disabilities. As the demographic changes lead towards an ageing population in Europe, accessibility should be taken into account across a wider range of policies than just disability policy. We need to make sure that products and the built environment are accessible to all, regardless of their ages, ability, or status in life. Universal design is already used with success but there are many areas in which it has not yet been adopted to any great extent.

This conference will focus on accessibility and participation for people with disabilities.


Programme

Monday the 5th of March 2012

9.00  Arrival and registration

Opening session

10.00  Opening session:

Chair, Karin Ingemann, Head of Division of Disability, Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration.

Moderator, Nynne Bjerre Christensen, journalist at Denmarks National Radio, DR.

  • Opening speech by Karen Hækkerup, Danish Minister for Social Affairs and Integration and Disability Coordinating Minister.
  • H.R.H Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
  • Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea, European Commission, Director for Equality.
  • Yannis Vardakastanis, President, European Disability Forum.
  • Adam Kosa, MEP.

Session on Accessibility and Disability: Setting the scene

Chair, Aural Ciobanu-Dordea, European Commission, Director for Equality.

11.00  The most accessible office building in the world
The Disabled Persons Organisations Denmark presents their coming office building, which will be the most accessible office building in Denmark and possibly in the world.

Stig Langvad, President of DPOD, member of the Executive Committee of the European Disability Forum and expert member of the International committee following the UN Convention on the rights of Persons with disabilities.

11.30 Improving accessibility in Europe.

Ima Placencia, European Commission, Deputy Head of Unit Rights of Persons with Disability.

11.45 Citizenship, inclusion and equal participation in the society in a
UNCPRD-perspective.

Jonas Christoffersen, Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, which has been empowered to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the UN Convention on Rights for Persons with Disabilities in Denmark.
 

12.00  Lunch – and a visit in the Exhibition


Workshops 13.30-15.00
(There will be two parallel sessions)

A. Accessibility in ICT, Built Environment, Transport and Accessibility Business Cases

Chair: Johan Ten Geuzendam, European Commission, Head of Unit, Rights of persons with disabilities.

13.30 The business cases of eAccessibility: how accessible ICT is good    Business?

Axel Leblois, Executive Director, Global initiative for Inclusive Technologies.


13.50 UK study on making railway stations accessible.

Dr Alice Maynard C Dir, Director, Future Inclusion.


14.10  Equal participation in employment through inclusive technologies.

Susan Scott-Parker, founder and Chief Executive of Employers’ Forum on Disability (EFD), the world’s leading employers’ organisation focused on disability as it affects business.


14.30 Discussion and questions.

B. Equal Participation in Society in Area Employment, Education, Political Life and Social Media

Chair, Karin Ingemann, Head of Division of Disability, Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration.

13.30 The role of assistive technologies in supporting persons with disabilities
equal participation in society.

Thomas Børner, Chairman of the Danish Public Welfare Technology Foundation.

13.50 Social media – new ways to participate in society

Per Holm, Managing Director at the Social Development Centre, which is an independent non-profit and non-governmental organisation that solves issues in relation to socially vulnerable people – nationally and internationally


14.10           Participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life
CM/ Rec (2011) 14.

Thorsten Afflerbach, Head of Integration of People with Disabilities Division, Directorate General of Social Cohesion, Council of Europe.

14.30 Discussion and questions.

15.00 Coffee break


Session on Strategies

Chair, Karin Ingemann, Head of Division of Disability, Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration.

15.30  The advantages of developing strategies on disability in order to secure implementation of the UN Convention and full inclusion of people with disabilities in society: The European Disability Strategy 2010-2020.

Johan ten Geuzendam, European Commission, Head of Unit, Rights of persons with Disabilities.

15.45 Discussion and questions.

15.50   Presentation of the Danish work on a new long term national strategy on disability.

Anders Lynge Madsen, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration.

16.05 Discussion and questions.

16.10 Presentation of an European National Strategy.

Speaker to be confirmed.

16.25 Discussion and questions.


Closing 16h30


Tour of the Scandic Sydhavnen (a 30 minutes optional tour)
17.00           Tour and presentation of the Scandic Hotel Sydhavnen.
The Scandic Hotels have a strong focus on accessibility and work continuously on providing a well tuned environment where there are no barriers - only opportunities for everyone to thrive. In the autumn of 2003 the Scandic Hotels appointed a Disability Coordinator. Today, all employees at Scandic Hotels are trained in accessibility. They have among other things, tried to work in a wheelchair.

In consultation with disability organizations, hotel guests and employees, the Scandic Hotels have prepared a checklist with 93 points (Scandic's accessibility standard).

Gala Dinner

19.30 Gala Dinner and entertainment by Danish Jazz singer, Cæcilie Norby.

Tuesday 6th of March 2012

Workshops 9.15-10.45
(There will be two parallel sessions)


A. Accessibility in ICT, Build Environment, Transport and Accessibility Business Cases
Chair: Ima Placencia, European Commission, Deputy Head of Unit of Rights of persons with disabilities.

9.15 What can governments do to ensure that Architects build accessibly?

Fionnuala Rogerson, Director Fionnuala Rogerson Architects.

9.35 The business case of investing on accessibility.

Nick Lansley, Head of R&D at Tesco.

9.50 Projecting the Economic Impacts of Improved Accessibility in Ontario

Kevin Stolarick, Research Director at The Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

10.10 Discussion and questions


B. Equal Participation in Society in Area Employment, Education, Political Life and Social Media

Chair: Dorte Bech Vizard, Head of Division, Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration.

9.15 The right to political participation – young people with disabilities and citizenship.

Mads Brix Bauland and Isabella Leandri-Hansen, Member of Board and President, Danish Association of Youth with Disabilities.

9.35  Making inclusive education a reality?

Andreas Rasch-Christensen, Manager at the Knowledge Center at VIA University College Center for School and Institutional Studies.

9.50 Participation in political life.
Stephen Thrower, Head of UN Convention and International Team, Office of Disability Issues, UK.

10.10 Discussion and questions.

10.45 Coffee break.

Closing session

Chair: Nynne Bjerre Christensen, journalist at Denmarks National Radio, DR.

11.00 Panel discussion on programmes and instruments to support accessibility, the challenges of “progressive implementation” and the current economic situation.

The panel will consist of: Stig Langvad, member of the EDF Executive Committee in charge and President for the Disabled Peoples Organisation Denmark,  Johan ten Geuzendam EC, Unit Rights of persons with Disability, Annette Tabbara, Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales and Eirini Zafeiratou, Vodafone Head of EU Affairs Group Public Policy and Ralf-Rene Weingaertner, Director of Human Rights and Anti-discrimination, Council of Europe .

12.00 Conclusions.

Moderator, Nynne Bjerre Christensen, journalist at Denmarks National Radio, DR.

12.20 Final Remarks.

Johan ten Geuzendam, EC, Unit Rights of persons with Disability.

Jesper Zwisler, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration.


12.45 Lunch.


Exhibition
Companies and organisations etc. have been invited to exhibit their products, ideas, experiences and initiatives on accessibility and participation.

 

Participation is by invitation only.

Download the programme in PDF format from the right-hand panel
 

 

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