The countdown has begun and it is only 100 days before the Rehabilitation International (RI) World Congress opening ceremony in Edinburgh. This conference will be a unique opportunity to advocate the empowerment and inclusion of disabled people across the world.
RI member organisations from over 100 countries will meet and debate issues with leaders from across the academic world, multi-national organisations and senior politicians from a range of nations.
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, has kindly agreed to be the Royal Patron of the World Congress. The event is backed by the First Minister of Scotland too.
Founded in 1922, RI is a global network promoting the rights and inclusion of disabled people and individuals with health problems. It created the International Symbol of Access in 1969 and led the original campaign for the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
1,000 delegates will attend the World Congress over the three-day event between the 25th and 27th of October this year. Shaw Trust Scotland, a national disability, employment, learning and skills charity, is hosting the event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, a world-class venue in the heart of Scotland's capital.
The World Congress will discuss the following key areas:
Day 1: Employment, education and skills - looking at how policy and practice can support people with disabilities to access and succeed in work, education and training.
Day 2: Independent living - exploring policy and practical approaches to promote independent living for people with disabilities and impairments.
Day 3: International development and partnerships - discussing how new ideas from around the world can create a more inclusive and accessible society.
Shaw Trust Scotland can also confirm that Ottobock, a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of prosthetic limbs, orthotic supports and wheelchairs that facilitate independence, is a sponsor. Organisations such as Bupa, the International Labour Organisation, Toyota, Unite Nations, World Health Organisation and World Bank are supporting the event in October.
To find out more, please visit the RI World Congress website (opens in new tab or window).
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
"Scotland is an inclusive nation and the Scottish Government strives to ensure that no-one is left behind or excluded from society. I am delighted that the Rehabilitation International World Congress is coming to Edinburgh this year. This conference brings together experts from all over the world to discuss best practice and recommendations for ways we can work together to remove the barriers which prevent disabled people from living the life they want to. I hope this will be an opportunity for Scotland to also show its commitment to equality of opportunity for disabled people through our own disability action plan which will help Scotland meet the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities."
Roy O'Shaughnessy, Chief Executive of Shaw Trust, added:
"There are only 100 days to go before the 23rd Rehabilitation International World Congress opens in Edinburgh. The World Congress brings together a global network of member countries who work to promote the rights and inclusion of disabled people. Shaw Trust Scotland is looking forward to hosting the event and promoting the United Kingdom's commitment to equality and diversity."