Lorentz workshop: "Included in Training and Work: Transforming Policies and Practices for Disabled People"

Participants will be invited to work with colleagues to prepare ideas and proposals for this workshop well in advance of the event. Moderated online discussion groups and collaborative document workspaces will be created for the four workgroups and for the workshop in general.

Google Drive 

Google Drive will be used for sharing folders and documents between all participants. Participants can work together, at the same time, on a Google docs document.

In order to get access to Google Drive, you need to have a Google Account (this is not the same as a Gmail email address). There are several ways to get a Google Account:

  1. Use an existing Gmail email address
  2. Create a new Gmail email address and use that one for Google Drive.
    Use this link to create a Google account with a Gmail email address.
  3. Create a Google Account without a Gmail email address. In this case you use another email address, such as your work email address, for your Google Account.
    Use this link to create a Google Account without a Gmail email address.
    Please be sure to check your email and verify your newly created Google Account.

After you have decided which email address you want to use (existing gmail, newly created gmail, or other email - linked to Google), please email that information to Karin van den Bosch (karinvandenbosch.dsin@gmail.com). Then the Google Drive folder can be shared with you.

Workgroups and draft documents

Beforte the start of the Lorentz workshop, participants are divided into 4 workgroups. Each workgroup prepares a draft (policy) document. The draft documents can be found on Google docs:

Skill-matching and supporting choice draft

Universal Design in vocational education and work placement draft

Preventing bullying in vocational education and work draft

Inclusion in employment and preventing discrimination draft

Google Groups (discussion lists)

All participants are added to a main discussion list. Each person is also added to the discussion list for the smaller workgroup that they are a member of. These can be used like old-fashioned email lists—emails sent to the group’s email address will go to all subscribers. The main list is for general questions and discussions about the overall topic or the workshop itself, the workgroup lists are for the workgroups to discuss any issues involved with drafting their policy documents, and presenting them on the first day of the conference.

The email addresses of the Google Groups are sent to the participants in advance.  It is also possible to contribute comments via the Web if you prefer that to email. 

The Google discussion groups on the web can be found here:

General Lorentz Centre workshop discussion

Skill-matching and supporting choice workgroup discussion

Universal Design workgroup discussion

Preventing bullying workgroup discussion

Inclusion and preventing discrimination discussion

Leiden University account

Particpants will get access to Wifi at Leiden University. For this purpose, each participant gets a personal account. You can use Account Self Service to change your password.

Login Leiden uAccess

What to expect during the Lorentz workshop

This will not be a typical academic conference. There are few formal presentations, just enough to keep us inspired and focused on the task at hand. What there will be is time to discuss and debate current research, issues, and policies, and to turn our four workgroup drafts into one powerful, well-written, evidence-based policy and practice manifesto/report that will be delivered after the workshop ends to a wide variety of stakeholders. In other words, a real workshop rather than the traditional talking shop! Along with formal discussions, there will be lots of time for informal networking while you are in Leiden. 

Alice Schippers
Alma Akkerman
Amit Koikkarah Aji
Andries Hiskes
Diederik Weve
Edwin de Vos
Evelien Westerbeek
Geert Van Hove
Hanna Peels
Henriëtte Sandvoort
Ikenna Ebuenyi
Irma van Slooten
Jacqueline Kool
Judith Jansen
Karin van den Bosch
Linda Nieuwenhuijsen
Lujan Blankenstein
Margriet van Kampenhout
Mitzi Waltz
Nicola Martin
Selma van Huijzen
Sofie Sergeant
Steven Kapp
Tsitsi Chataika
Valesca Lindenberg

Group photo 1

Group photo 2

Not all participants are on the group photo.

Participants - downloads

All photos of the Lorentz workshopweek (Google Photos)

Selection of photos of the Lorentz workshopweek on Facebook

Photos of the pre-conference workshop (UWV scholingsprogramma) about the Lorentz workshop on Facebook

Have you (as a participant) also made photos or videos? We would appreciate it, if you could share them with us and your fellow participants.

Email the link to a (public) album to Sofie Sergeant (sofie.sergeant@disabilitystudies.nl) or Karin van den Bosch (karinvandenbosch.dsin@gmail.com) and we will add them here.



Nieuwsbericht in het Nederlands

On November 29, 2017 the pre-conference workshop 'Included in Training and Work: Transforming Policies and Practices for Disabled People' was held, before the international Disability Studies conference 2017 'The Art of Belonging'. This pre-conference workshop is part of the DSiN-UWV educational program (Dutch: scholingsprogramma DSiN-UWV).

During this pre-conference workshop the research-based report of the Lorentz Center workshop was presented to, and discussed with the attendants, mainly employees from the UWV, the Dutch government department for benefits and work.

After the presentation of the report by Mitzi Waltz, group discussions were held about four themes:

  1. Matching individual skills and talents to appropriate VE and work opportunities by working collaboratively with disabled people;
  2. Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to vocational education and work placement;
  3. Dealing with the issue of bullying in the context of vocational education;
  4. Work, “participation," inclusion and preventing discrimination: developing policy and practice alternatives that work with the realities of both disabled people’s lives and the modern employment market.

The report 'Included in Training and Work: Transforming Policies and Practices for Disabled People' is a call to action that asks professionals to recognise and change policies and practices that currently form barriers for disabled people in vocational education and employment. It zooms in on key issues, such as skill-matching, supported choice-making, applying Universal Design in education and work, addressing bullying in adult education and workplaces, fostering inclusion, and preventing disability discrimination.

The report is based on international collaborative research, which was then further debated and finalised during the Lorentz Center workshop in August 2017. The report ​has been developed with extensive participation by disabled people who have become experts in their own right. 

There will be a conference presentation highlighting areas of research priority that emerged from our workshop as well. The report will then be distributed to a long list of policymakers, practitioners and Disabled Peoples Organisations.

Photos of this pre-conference workshop on Facebook


During the Lorentz workshop many plenary presentations were held.  Besides these plenary presentations, the participants worked in thematic workgroups. The draft results of these thematic workgroups were also put in the framework of a presentation. The presentations can be find below. At the bottom of this webpage (if you scroll down) you will find all presentations together as downloads.

1) Plenary presentations

Day 1 - August, 28

Alice Schippers (DSiN) Introduction to theme and mission of the workshop
Sofie Sergeant (DSiN) and Henriëtte Sandvoort (LFB) Working together, learning together. Participatory research and learning on the job
Amit Koikkarah Aji (ARISEImpact) New Approaches towards Vocational Training for Blind Students
Workgroup 1 Skill-matching and supporting choice for PWV in VE and work
Workgroup 2 Universal Design in Vocational Education and Work Placement
Workgroup 3 Preventing and addressing bullying in VE and work
Workgroup 4

Kick-off presentation 'Inclusion in employment':

concepts and definitions, self-employment, stigma and discrimination, the UN CRPD and other international agreements, UWV, international education policies 


Day 2 - August, 29

Diederik Weve (Shell) Inclusion in employment - Employer responses (continuation of workgroup 4 pres. at day 1)
Yuki Tol (Municipality of Amsterdam) People with disabilities at work at the municipality of Amsterdam


Day 3 - August, 30

Steven Kapp (University of Exeter) Including disabled people about inclusive employment
Miriam Hemelsoet and Sarah Willems (Konekt/LetsCo) LetsCo (NL versie/ English version)
Nicola Martin (London South Bank University) Emancipatory and participatory research


Day 4 - August, 31

Sofie Sergeant (DSiN) and Henriëtte Sandvoort (LFB) Drawing Lab, Ebb, Circle of Courage model
Geert Van Hove (DSiN/ uGent) Inclusive Education (changed to a general discussion)
Maurice Vermunt (LDC) Presentation about LDC


Day 5 - September, 1

Judith Jansen (Handicap+Studie) Inclusive vocational education
Diederik Weve (Shell) The benefits of inclusive practices at Shell
Ronald Ligtenberg (Possibilize)

Skype talk about the projects of Possibilize, amongst others Sencity, a music event for deaf and hearing people.

YouTube-video about Sencity

Mitzi Waltz (DSiN) Included in training and work: next steps


2) Thematic workgroups

During the Lorentz Workshop thematic workgroups were created, that started some initial research and discussion about the themes below. (Preliminary) output was collected in the framework of a presentation. Some themes were combined in one presentation.



Research-based report
We drafted a research-based report before and during the workshop. This report was presented during the pre-conference workshop  'Included in Training and Work' (see also the tab 'Pre-conference workshop').

A brief report has been made for the Lorentz Centre, which includes a summary of the upcoming projects that resulted from the conference.

The report is also published on PURE, the open source research archive of VU university.

Beside this, plans were born on the Lorentz Center Workshop to create a book together. After the DSiN Conference we will start writing. We will keep you informed via the DSiN-website! We are already looking forward to this wonderful initiative.


Henriëtte Sandvoort and Sofie Sergeant presented their participatory research project 'Samen werken, samen leren' during the Lorentz workshop. Henriëtte wrote a blog (in Dutch) on the website 'Kennisplein Gehandicaptensector' about her experiences at the Lorentz workshop. Her life story, that she told the Lorentz participants during her presentation, can also be read in her blog.


On this website you can find information on a number of themes at our 'les- en studiemateriaal' pages ('thematic educational pages'). The available information is partly in Dutch, partly in English.

Some themes that might be worth exploring:

Opleiding, arbeid en inclusie (Education, employment and inclusion)

Universal Design for Learning



Included in Training and Work: Transforming Policies and Practices for Disabled People 
from 28 Aug 2017 through 1 Sep 2017


Current situation

People with disabilities are much more likely to be unemployed or underemployed than people who do not have disabilities. Adult vocational education (VE) and specialist support have not proved effective in changing this situation. There are some groups of disabled people who are currently extremely unlikely to ever find a job: for example, in most countries fewer than 10 percent of adults with autism are in full-time work.

Our goal

It is clear that neither segregated vocational (special) education nor providing support for disabled adults in mainstream vocational programmes is working. To solve the problem, we need to look at all aspects of the issue, from how and where vocational education is delivered and what it contains, to other barriers, such as bullying in education and workplaces, direct and indirect discrimination by employers, and intersectional forms of disadvantage and discrimination. Our goal is to consider the research evidence for what works and what doesn’t, evaluate the research base for current and proposed responses, and develop a clear roadmap for future research alongside a set of research-based policy and practice recommendations.

Our plan

Our workshop will be interdisciplinary, bringing together leaders of Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs), training providers, education researchers—particularly those involved with the innovative Universal Design for Learning paradigm—and social scientists and researchers. Working together, we are capable of revealing and analysing barriers to education and work, and measuring the impact of focused interventions. We will be asking big questions, and so our participants will include both highly experienced people who can bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to the table, and young researchers who can bring the latest ideas and tactics. We will ensure that participants are invited who can represent employers’ views and experiences, and who have knowledge of current corporate Human Resources policies and practices that impact employment of disabled people. And because our goals include transforming both public policy and vocational education/employment practice, we will also invite contributions from senior policymakers.

Intended outcome

At the end of the workshop, we will have created an outline of policy, practice and research recommendations that sets out concrete, research-based proposals designed to ensure that vocational education and hiring practices are effective, and lead to sustainable work for disabled people: supporting employers and governments to fulfil their responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is especially significant for the Netherlands, which this year became the newest signatory of the UN CRPD. We will share these with the public through a closing event in Leiden, and they will form the basis of a full collaborative report for policymakers and others in the Netherlands, Europe (via the European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education, the European Agency for Development on Special Needs Education, the Academic Network of European Disability experts, and the European Commission managers of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020), and internationally (via Disabled People’s International and other DPOs, the International Vocational Education Association, UNESCO and UNEVOC). This report will detail further research needed to fulfil its recommendations and evaluate their efficacy. This report will be developed by the end of October 2017. The report will also be presented to researchers attending the 2017 International Congress of Disability Studies in Nederland, to be held in December 2017 in Amsterdam, which will feature panel discussions based on its content and aimed at stimulating innovative research.


Scientific organizers:

Geert Van Hove (Ghent, Belgium)
Sofie Sergeant (Amersfoort, the Netherlands)
Mitzi Waltz (Amersfoort, the Netherlands)

Workshop coordinator:

Tara Seeger. Tel.  +31 71 527 5588

"Included in Training and Work" - Key topics


Theme explained in words:

Participants will be matched by area of interest and expertise in advance of the conference. Participants will be supported to brainstorm ideas and content for panel presentations that cut across lines of national origin or area of work to concentrate on 4 key topics that provide entries to the workshop themes:

  1. ​Matching individual skills and talents to appropriate VE and work opportunities by working collaboratively with disabled people;
  2. Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to vocational education and work placement;
  3. Dealing with the issue of bullying in the context of vocational education (bullying within VE, ways to protect disabled people and promote resilience, and preventative strategies when moving people from VE into work);
  4. Work, “participation", inclusion and preventing discrimination: developing policy and practice alternatives that work with the realities of both disabled people’s lives and the modern employment market.

During the workshop itself, participants will build on these contributions to create concrete, evidence-based recommendations for policy and practice, and develop clear directions for further research.


Theme explained in the DSiN cartoon

The programme can be downloaded below.




Lorentz Center - Snellius Building

The Lorentz Center@Snellius is situated at Niels Bohrweg 1 in Leiden. It occupies the 2nd floor of the Snellius building, just across the street from the Oort building.

Afbeelding verwijderd.

The Lorentz Center is an international centre for scientific workshops, which provides workspaces geared towards facilitating collaboration and crossdisciplinary work. Workshop proposals are peer-reviewed, and the Lorentz Center staff provide support during events to ensure that participants have time and space to concentrate on their goals.

The Lorentz Center works in partnership with the Faculty of Science of Leiden University and the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Sciences (NIAS).

More information about the Lorentz Center, including its schedule of workshops, information about applying to hold a Lorentz Center workshop, and facilities available, can be found at the website of the Lorentz Center.

Participants with questions about issues such as venue accessibility, venue facilities, travel and accommodation should contact Tara Seeger of the Lorentz Centre by email at: seeger@lorentzcenter.nl.

Participants with questions about workgroups, advance preparation, and workshop content, procedures, goals and future plans should contact Dr Mitzi Waltz of Disability Studies in Nederland by email at: m.waltz@disabilitystudies.nl.