“Innovation for participation” at the EACD 2019 Conference

The European Academy of Childhood Disability (EACD) 2019 conference took place in Paris between the 23th and the 25th of May. The motto of the conference was “Innovation for participation” with a clear aim of the organizing committee to emphasize the association of these two “hot” topics.

This conference went beyond the expectations, met perfectly the EACD politics and the initial spirit wished by the organization committee:

  • 1343 participants from 67 countries with a clear multidisciplinary representation: physicians, therapists, researchers, engineers, companies, …
  • 50 families or involved persons present as participants but also as speakers and moderators
  • 13 amazing keynote lectures including 3 lectures from persons with disabilities. Lee Ridley aka “Lost Voice Guy”, winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2018 was one of them.
  • 9 parallel sessions made from the top 20 % of the 850 submissions along with 442 posters
  • 24 sponsors and partners
  • The first European Family Forum to connect and structure a family task force across Europe
  • The first European pre-Hackathon to co-establish the needs of children and young adults with disabilities
  • 15 public national press/media releases (press and radio) including six specific articles related to the current trends in research for children with disabilities published in “The conversation”. (theconversation.com), the journal connecting science and journalism.
  • More than 800 tweets using the #eacd2019
  • Two successful pre-conferences: GPEC Symposium: A Toolkit of Foundational Concepts in Developmental Disability and the Aicardi symposium: A tribute to Jean Aicardi: What is the future of paediatric neurology?

For the ones who missed the conference or some specific sessions, the keynotes, the oral presentations (.pdf) and posters (.pdf) of the authors who agreed to share them will be available soon at http://edu.eacd.org/. The abstracts are now available at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/14698749/2019/61/S2.

The SFERHE (Société Francophone d’études et de Recherche sur les Handicaps de l’Enfance), the SFNP (Société Française de Neuropédiatrie), the CDI (Cercle de documentation et d’information pour la reeducation des infirmes moteurs cérébraux), La Fondation Paralysie Cérébrale and the SOFOP (Société française d’orthopédie pédiatrique) which were the local organizing partners along with the EACD board, hope that this conference will have contributed to the constantly evolving field of research and education for children with disabilities and their family.

From “Together we are stronger” to “Innovate for participation”, towards” from Childhood to adulthood with disabilities” and “Composing a new symphony”, the EACD’s actions spread its perspectives throughout Europe and beyond!

Sylvain Brochard, Christopher Newman