Everyone has the right to participate, everyone counts, but belonging is more than a right. For quality of life people need to gain ‘the art of living’. This is something people learn and develop throughout their lives, by personal experiences and social participation. The point is that people with and without disabilities find their place and relate to each other, without having to ‘bend over backwards’. Belonging demands continuous activity, sometimes political.
The conference has a cross- disability perspective. Not the exception, but the social perspective of the limitation is important. People with and without disabilities and their network will participate in the conference. Participants have a variety of academic and non - academic backgrounds from different disciplines. Such an approach fulfils a need, as past experience at the first congress has shown.
The conference has a twofold objective. First, we aim to build bridges between the academic world and everyday practice. The diversity of disciplines and a variety of international participants allows exchange of knowledge and insights. Secondly, we want to bring the personal and the social worlds together by meeting each other.
DSiN considers it important to the 2nd International Conference that it is optimally accessible (in a material sense, but also in terms of content and knowledge). The buddy project fulfils a need for people to have connections that they wouldn’t normally make. People with and without disabilities meet and learn from each other.
The buddy program will be in addition to a facilitating function (such as translation, interpreting, simplify or guide) and also consist of a training and workshop session at the conference itself.
The buddy’s participating in this project will be trained by and will earn a certificate issued by the Academy for Teaching, Learning and Research, a branch of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD).
The buddy project is sponsored by Instituut Gak (www.instituutgak.nl).
Instituut Gak is a fund that provides grants and stimulates social investments in the areas social security, education and employment.