News from Members



On this page you can find information about EPR members on their recent activities, projects, publications and relevant news they wish to share.


Members are most welcome to submit information to help its development! Please send articles to Cinzia De Letis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



23 December 2014

ONCE Foundation

The Bequal Certificate: CSR and Disability


In order for a company to be considered socially responsible towards people with disabilities, it must at least show commitment in three essential areas: Strategy and Leadership, Human Resources and Universal accessibility. According to those commitments, Bequal has designed a standard structured in 7 categories, 19 indicators and 66 sources of verification from an auditing point of view. The 7 categories correspond to business management aspects having to do with Governance, Equal opportunities and non-discrimination, and implementation of positive action beyond legal compliance.


It is awarded by the Bequal Foundation (a not-for-profit organisation founded by CERMI and the ONCE Foundation), which develops the standard, provides training and authorizes external auditors. There are 3 certificate levels: Bequal, Bequal Plus and Bequal Premium, a system that allows a continuous improvement for the company. A certificate can be also issued for those companies just meeting the Law regarding the reserve quota or adoption of alternative measures.


In order to increase the public visibility of the certificate, the Bequal Foundation launched a campaign by Leo Burnett under the title “What’s Behind Brands?” Watch the campaign (in Spanish) here.



23 December 2014

Panagia Eleousa

Awareness Event in Agrinio


Panagia Eleousa held a very successful raising awareness event on 3 December 2014, in Agrinio, in the framework of the International Day of People with Disabilities.The event had as a topic "Archaeological Treasures of Aetolia and Acarnania from prehistoric and classical period". This event was a great success and included contributions from the President of "Panagia Eleousa", many distinguished speakers, traditional dances by service users of Panagia Eleousa and was also attended by representatives of the State and Universities, presidents of associations and many citizens who support "Panagia Eleousa".


23 December 2014


Employees successfully start developing the world's first interactive assistive technology assessment tool


In late November, Astangu employees Mari Rull, Minna Sild, Tiina Kalevik and Toomas Urbanik participated in – and eventually became the overall winners of – an innovative creative marathon Garage48, where ideas are developed into functioning prototypes within 48 hours.

The prototype, named ATAT (Assistive Technology Assessment Tool), was chosen as the overall winner receiving 2000 euros in order to continue developing the prototype. ATAT is the world's first interactive tool that therapists and doctors have long been waiting for, as it makes it possible to map the disability of a patient with only a few mouse clicks, find the necessary assistive device (e.g. wheelchair) and measure the impact of it on the patient's life. It is based on two internationally used classifications, so it can be used not only in Estonia, but worldwide.

The pitching and the Q&A sessions can be seen here.


23 December 2014

Josefsheim Bigge

INDIVERSO: European project develops VET concept for people with mental disabilities


Led by Josefsheim Bigge, a project partnership of 11 partners from 5 European countries set out to develop a VET concept for young adults with physical and mental disabilities. The project named INDIVERSO connects people with disabilities, self-help organisations, vocational rehabilitation centers and companies to analyse the demand and to develop a training concept, enabling the target group to successfully complete a vocational training. INDIVERSO started with a kick-off meeting in Bigge at the end of November and will run for 3 years. It is financially supported by the European Union under the Erasmus+ programme. Among the project partners from Estonia, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland and Germany are several EPR members. Scientific support is provided by the University of Kassel. The aim of the project is to develop a tool box for people with disabilities, trainers, teachers and other professionals, but also for employers.

23 December 2014


Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for vocational education and training: Advancing Competencies in the European Senior Services Sector


Together with another 4 partner organisations, at the end of August 2014, MEREK received the good news that our submitted application on Advancing Competences in the European Senior Services Sector has been successful.

The coordinator organization is the ACZ Czech partner. The project aims to develop and test innovative training practices in the field of senior care services and to foster transnational recognition and validation of knowledge, skills and competencies acquired in the field. In selected job profiles our partnership will identify such learning outcomes that are common across the partnership borders and group them in units.

They will apply the units in preparation of innovative training system for senior service providers’ employees and for development of learning outcome based ECVET system, which will support better job transparency and workforce mobility in the senior care services sector across national borders within the European Union.


23 December 2014


A new vocational rehabilitation/ROB Leiden: TOPklas


The TOPklas is meant for students from higher special education or students with a valid ‘cluster indication’ that have a diploma but are not (yet) ready for a regular senior secondary vocational education institute. The TOPklas is tailor-made path that is composed of individual subjects and group subjects. Students start with ‘orientation’, followed by ‘training’ and ‘project lectures’. This aims to prepare students for more self-supported regular education.




Heliomare has gone e-health in addition to regular treatment of patients. This is one of the projects that are in the (draft) appointed ICT plan of Heliomare 'Heliomare Connected!'. It is the first organization to invest in a specific form of online coaching in the field of rehabilitation. The development of the various treatment modules is done in a co-creation with Minddistrict. The first modules are put into operation in spring 2014.


Agis Grant for Optimumcare


Heliomare is the first rehabilitation centre to start with good and safe rehabilitation beds that are fast available for patients that need complex care (and possible artificial respiration). It is a medium care ward with possibilities of intensive specialized rehabilitation treatment. Early rehabilitation treatment gives better outcomes, is cheaper and gives relief to IC/medium care wards in hospitals. Agis is a health insurance company. With their grant Heliomare can start with six beds in 2014.



30 October 2014


European week of employment of people with disability International conference: "securing career paths and supported employment"


Fagerh is pleased to inform EPR members that one of their members "L'adapt" has organised a conference entitled "securing career paths and supported employment" on the 20 November 2014 at OCDE, 2 Rue André Pascal, 75016 PARIS.

This conference is aimed at securing career paths and promoting supported employment by sharing good practices and ideas from France or Europe. Representatives of French and European employers, employees and civil society organizations will meet to exchange on our common goal: the improvement of the employment of persons with disabilities.

After a brief state of play, the conference will focus on 3 topics :

- Ensuring transition from school to a professional career.

- Securing access to employment and promote career development.

- Promoting a safe work environment and addressing reasonable accommodations with regard to disability and ageing in the work place.

You are invited to register here and the programme is available here.



3 October 2014

ONCE Foundation

II International Congress on University and Disability


The ONCE Foundation for the cooperation and social inclusion of persons with disabilities has the pleasure of inviting you to participate in the II International Congress on University and Disability, which will take place on 27 and 28 November 2014, in the city of Madrid.

This second Congress intends to be a meeting point for universities and persons with disabilities, and will have the participation of teaching and research personnel from international Universities, university administration and human resources departments, university students, technicians and executives from the disability movement, as well as, experts and those interested in this field.

For this reason, we would like to invite all those interested to participate in this edition of the Congress, by registering through the corresponding section of the Congress website.



3 October 2014

Irish Wheelchair Association


Launch of IWA Best Practice Guidelines


The IWA Best Practice Access Guidelines were launched on 4 July 214 at an event held in the Aviva Stadium. Designed to inform, raise awareness and influence future legislation, the guidelines are a valuable tool for those working to improve access standards.

It is expected that the amended Building Control Amendment Regulations, along with the requirement for Disability Access Certificates, will bring significant improvement to the levels of compliance with the Building Control regime in Ireland, in particular the accessibility standards for people with physical and sensory disabilities.

By following these guidelines, developers, planners and local authorities can build according to the highest possible standards, thereby ensuring that the needs and requirements of people with disabilities are fully met. The IWA Best Practice Access Guidelines are also an excellent resource for individuals who wish to make adaptations to their own homes or premises.

IWA has a dedicated National Steering Group on Access. Members of the group work with others to improve knowledge and awareness of the importance of accessibility, and are available to support architects, planners and developers. For a copy of the IWA Best Practice Access Guidelines, or for information and advice, please visit This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



3 October 2014



“A thousand reasons” campaign


Together with the new platform, the ONCE Foundation launched the campaign “A thousand reasons” with a double objective: on the one hand, to inform and encourage people with disabilities, including entrepreneurs, to use the website services such as guidance, training and support to increase their options to get a quality job, and on the other, to try to raise awareness of employers and business owners.

Watch the campaign here



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