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In the period 1-4 September 2009 in Grand Hotel Dimyat, Varna the Third Forum of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities in Bulgaria was conducted.

The forum was organized by the National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO), Agency for social development VISION, with the support and the partnership of the Flemish authorities and the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), along with the participation of the Bulgarian Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

The third edition of the first event of its kind, on national level, being a part of the EU project SNOWBALL and EASPD’s program.

The forum was attended by more than 130 participants representing municipalities, organizations, service providers for persons with disabilities in Bulgaria, employers, organizations and institutions related to the issues of persons with disabilities.

A contribution to the success of the event was the special participation of the Embassador of the Kingdome of Belgium in Bulgaria - Mr. Marc Michielsen, a delegation of Belgium experts, representatives of the Flemish Authorities and NGOs from Flanders, as well as a great number of representatives of Bulgarian NGOs, municipalities, socially responsible corporations and other structures.

Amongst the guests were: Mr. Luk Zelderloo - Secretary General of EASPD, Ms Bistra Valchanova with the European Commission, Ms Nina Sherbetova- Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Mr. Jos Theunis- Flemish Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Dancho Simeonov- Regional Governor of Varna, Mayors of Bulgarian municipalities.

We received congratulatory letters from Mr. Totyu Mladenov - Minister of Labor and Social Policy and Mr. Mincho Koralski- Executive director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

The event was also attended by representatives of the Agency for Social Assistance, the Agency for the Persons with Disabilities, the State Agency for Child Protection, the National Council of Disabled People and the National Association of the Municipalities in Bulgaria.

The program and the proper conditions created an opportunity for an active involvement in the plenary sessions conducted, which covered the following topics:

  1. Current issues, financial crisis and its impact on the disability sector
  2. State support for development of services for persons with disabilities in Bulgaria and Flanders
  3. European funding possibilities
  4. Flemish experience. The role of the Government in financing the sector. Competences, possibilities and limitations of the Flemish Authorities. Constitution of cooperation between the Flemish Authorities and NGOs. Local Authorities in Belgium at the same level as NGOs; quality of t services issues
  5. Management and financing of services in Bulgaria and Flanders
  6. Needs of the persons with disabilities and quality services provision

Several extremely interesting discussions were questioned during the workshops, on the following topics:

  1. Government policy. Different models of care and support
  2. Models of good practice in Flanders. Results. Analysis of the concrete types of services in Flanders
  3. Day care
  4. Residential care
  5. Ambulant care and support at home (non residential)
  6. Users participation on service level
  7. Quality of care and control on governmental level
  8. Processes of organization
  9. Life Long Learning and vocational training strategies (VOT) for front line workers and Human Resources management

A new moment was the presentation of the new national organization of the service providers for persons with disabilities- the National Alliance for Social responsibility. A huge part of the participants expressed their desire to become members of the new national organization with confidence in the success of the organization’s future activities.

At the special gala dinner the national VISION awards were bestowed and the 10th anniversary of the Art House VISION ART was celebrated.

Within the loaded and dynamic program the participants in the third forum of service providers for persons with disabilities in Bulgaria 2009, had the opportunity to enjoy a boat trip, to see the facilities of the new Children Centre VISION JUNIOR, to attend the Art Club VISION HALL where a general exhibition was opened and a medley premiere was held of Emy Hadzheva’s book “Invitation for a dance”, both events being dedicated to the 10th Anniversary of the Art House VISION ART.
All participants had the opportunity to conduct individual meetings with experts and partners from Bulgaria and abroad.


A List of the participants in the forum


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