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European expert meeting: Inclusive Education for an Inclusive Europe

Images of children reading and in wheelchairs

Inclusive Education for an Inclusive Europe

COFACE Disability European expert meeting Tuesday 28th March 2023, 9.00-17.30 Monza, Italy

Read the full meeting report here

The COFACE Disability Platform for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and their Families (COFACE-Disability) was founded by COFACE in 1998 to improve the representativeness of people with disabilities and their families. With more than 20 members, COFACE-Disability fights for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and for sufficient, appropriate care provision and services, close-to-home and in-home help services for people with support needs and their families to be made available in all Member States, and for resources, assistance and provision to be harmonised within the EU. COFACE-Disability defends the need to develop public care infrastructures supporting persons with disabilities and their families following a life cycle, whole family approach, boosting independent living and meaningful inclusion from birth to old age. This includes service provision that responds to the needs of persons with disabilities and their families but also to the removal of barriers in mainstream services. The topic of this event, inclusive education, lies at the intersection of these two necessary paradigm shifts. Recent EU frameworks such as the EU Child Guarantee, the Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the European Care Strategy, have renewed the impetus around strengthening our education system for more inclusion and resilience. Building on the results of the 2018 COFACE conference on sustainable and future-proof education systems, the COFACE-Disability back-to-school webinar of 2020, the different practices highlighted in the 2021 S.H.I.F.T. report and the expertise of COFACE Disability members, COFACE-Disability and AIAS Monza held a 1-day European expert meeting on inclusive education in Monza (Italy). Taking the Italian system as a starting point for discussion with European peers, we brought together organisations of families of persons with disabilities and service providers, education professionals, persons with disabilities and their families and policy-makers from several countries to examine key actions to implement inclusive education in line with the UNCRPD and the General Comment n4. We aim to apply the COFACE whole-family lens to the topic of inclusive education as a way to build inclusive societies for persons with disabilities and their families:

  • Education for building independent living and meaningful inclusion in society;
  • Inclusive education from a life course perspective, namely inclusive education beyond compulsory education;
  • Looking at the continuum of services between formal and non-formal education with an added focus on culture and sports.

We hope this meeting will foster innovation and knowledge transfer between civil society organisations, create new synergies between COFACE and COFACE Disability members and key Italian and European stakeholders, and contribute to the S.H.I.F.T. towards more inclusive education systems in Europe. Working languages: English and Italian. Participation on invitation only.

See full programme in English.

See full programme in Italian.

Presentations ‘From theory to practice: the challenges and successes of implementing the Italian inclusive school legislation’

Letter by Alessandra Locatelli, Minister for Disabilities, Italy

The challenges and successes of the implementation of Italian legislation on inclusive schools inclusive by Giuseppe Arconzo, Associate Professor in Constitutional law and Rector’s Delegate for Disabilities and Specific Learning Disorders in the University of Study of Milan, Italy

Inclusive education for an inclusive Europe by Elisabeth Lammers, Vice president in charge of European affairs, UNAPEI, France

Presentations ‘Inclusive education at all ages: building blocks for inclusive society’

Inclusive ECEC Services- Special responses for children with disabilities by Renata Nacinovich, MD, Professor of Child Neuropsychiatry University of Milano Bicocca Head of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry Unit, S. Gerardo Hospital – ASST Monza Brianza, Italy

Boosting the profession of support teachers in schools by Prof. Antonio Prizio, Head Teacher Istituto Comprensivo Statale “Via Raiberti” Monza, Italy

Presentations ‘Inclusion in non-formal education and lifelong learning’

Sport for inclusion programmes: enriching and empowering persons with disabilities through sports by Cristian Fiora, Certified Club Manager, PGA Elite Golf Professional and AIAS Golftherapy trainer and Training Director AIAS, Italy

The power of artistic collaboration between performers with and without disabilities by Gonçalo Solla, Director, Fundaçao Liga, Portugal. Watch the video of Fundacao Liga’s dance programme ” Plural” here.

Inspiring society with learning hubs for the future of inclusive learning, living and working in Flanders by Femke Houbrechts, Social Innovation and Education Coach, Konekt, Belgium

Presentations ‘What is Europe doing to boost inclusive education?’

Agency work on inclusive education by Antonella Mangiaracina, Policy Officer, European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education

How do we contribute to building inclusion in education? by Eugenia Casariego Artola, Development and Advocacy Coordinator, European Schoolnet

Inclusive education in ESF Flanders by Caroline Meyers, Expert transnational cooperation and knowledge management, Department Werk en Sociale Economie, Belgium

Read the full meeting report here




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