European conference on good practices in services for disabled persons
On November 23 and 24, 2015, in Bratislava, Slovakia, a European conference, organized by the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) and in partnership with TENENET - a regular member of EASPD, and their partners - Norwegian organizations working in the disability sector, was conducted. The main topic of the conference was the professional and social integration of young people with disabilities, whereby a broad spectrum of questions was raised as well, among which were poverty and employment, supported employment for young people, youth policies, etc., related to the project topic, and namely to “Good practices in the services for people with disabilities in Norway, Slovakia and the EU”.
A great number of representatives of state and local authorities in Slovakia were present at the conference as well as non-governmental organizations from Slovakia, Norway and other European countries. EASPD participated with a team of specialists from different countries led by Franz Wolfmayr, President of EASPD. Among the EASPD representatives were participants from Bulgaria and National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO) as well - Ms. Zhaneta Georgieva, Chairperson of Agency for Social Development “Vision”, i.e. the first Bulgarian organization-member of EASPD. During the two-day conference, good practices from Slovakia, Norway and other European countries were presented. Mr. Franz Wolfmayr, EASPD Presidentq welcomed the participants and presented the wide network through which EASPD influenced the processes of social integration of young people in Europe and presented the newest initiatives of his organization at European level.
Ms. Georgieva presented the Bulgarian experience in that field as well as various models of support for persons with disabilities through social services. Her presentation was based on the experience of Agency “Vision” in terms of social inclusion and employment through art and mediation as well as on the great experience of NASO in terms of active European and national partnership based on the efforts of various institutions and organizations. As examples of good practices Mrs. Georgieva pointed out the achieved results through projects and partnerships on topics related to the quality of social services and the introduction of a normative framework for supported employment. The presentation of Ms. Georgieva led to a very positive reaction and interest in NASO’s work, whereby the extremely effective approach for involving all interested parties, i.e. social service providers, local authorities, employers, non-governmental organizations, for achieving common goals leading to an increase in the quality of life of disadvantaged people, was highly evaluated.