National Awareness Raising Event (Belgium) – Socio-Professional Rehabilitation

National Institute of Health and Disability Insurance, Avenue de Tervuren 211, 1150 Brussels 7 March 2019

EPR, Rehabilitation International and the Belgian Institute for Health and Disability Insurance hosted a mini-conference on socio-professional rehabilitation, with presentation of good practices and research from inside and outside of the workplace where around 100 people took part.

The conference was opened by an intervention on Addiction Medicine in the Workplace by Dr Marsolais, president at Consultants et Expertises en Médecine du Travail et Addictions Inc., Canada. She brought her own experience and that of her multidisciplinary team in the therapeutic support on the work for people who have addiction problems.

Participants then had the opportunity to take part in multiple sessions organized by thematic areas: Return To Work And Cancer, Assessment, Belgian And Spanish Initiatives As Inspiration For Other Countries, Vocational Rehabilitation: Where Can It Take Place? Following the presentations of projects and research from all over Europe, participants were stimulated to ask questions, express their opinions and discuss with each other.

Some EPR members actively participated, presenting their programmes and projects within the parallel sessions: Extended rehabilitation and process of returning to work with patients with tumor (case study) (University Rehabilitation Institute, Slovenia), Linking of the “Integration von Menschen mit Behinderungen in die Arbeitswelt” (IMBA) to the “International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health” (ICF) (GTB, Belgium), Implementation of the ICF in creating a Professional Profile (Theotokos Foundation, Greece), Improving employability of young people with mental health problems.  ONCE & Intras Foundations, Spain), Vocational rehabilitation and return to work after an accident or disease (Centro de Reabilitação Profissional de Gaia, Portugal).

At the same time, a space was set up for poster presentations in which further organizations could introduce themselves and their work. EPR member Rehabilitaion Center Heliomare with Michel Edelaar showcased their Functional Capacity Evaluation Research: Report from the International Functional Capacity Evaluation Research Meeting.

A final key note speech was given by prof. Reneman of Centrum Groningen on Functional Capacity Evaluation for the assessment of Residual Work Capacity. His intervention highlighted the relationship between the definitions and positions of Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) and International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).

The conference closed with a last interesting note by Luc Henau on the word rehabilitation – is this discriminatory? Professionals need to focus on what people with a disability can become, not only on what they are.

This conference was one of a series of national awareness-raising events organized across Europe over the past four years by EPR and various partners and members, with funding from the European Commission. The programme and the presentations can be found below, and a report will be available soon.

This event receives financial support from the European Union, from the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). For further information please consult: