Knowledge Database

6th International Conference on Disabilities
Unity and Diversity in Action


Additional presentations in Hebrew


The Beit Issie Shapiro International Conference on Disabilities, “Unity & Diversity in Action”, took place from July7-8, 2015 at the Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv. 


Summary of Technology Sessions
Among the variety of sessions that took place over the two days, there were Technology Sessions.
To read about it on the Beit Issie Shapiro’s Technology Center’s blog, click on the picture.


Plenary Lectures

Rick Guidotti, USA
Positive Exposure
Rick Guidotti, an international fashion photographer, has started in recent years to photograph people with disabilities. In his lecture he shares his special journey and e stresses the importance he sees in bringing out the beauty in each human being, accentuating the person rather than their disability.

The link to Mr. Guidotti’s TedTalk – a shortened version of the lecture he gave at the international conference.

Patrick Corrigan
Illinois Institute of Technology, USA
Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness: What Says the Dodo Bird?
In his lecture, which was delivered at the opening session of the sixth international conference on disabilities held at Beit Issie Shapiro, Prof. Corrigan speaks about ways of reducing stigmatization of people with mental disabilities.
Beatriz Miranda-Galarza
VU University of Amsterdam, Ecuador
That Stupid Thing Called Love: Siblinghood, Disability and Love
Dr. Miranda-Galarza invites the audience to understand the logic governing day to day life, as well as the experiences of siblings of people with disabilities, in order to improve upon existing and future programs and policy.
Pat Levitt
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, USA
Neurodevelopmental Disorder Heterogeneity, Brain Development and Plasticity Over the Lifespan
In his lecture, Prof. Pat Levitt describes the great heterogeneity of the brain, which makes people different from each other and is a significant challenge to treating people with disabilities


From Eugenics to Self Determination  
Bettina Lindmeier
Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
Experiencing History: Treatment of People with Intellectual Disabilities during the NS-ERA
Prof. Lindmeier describes a joint project for students and people with disabilities, which focused on attitudes towards people with disabilities in Nazi Germany.
Liebe Geft
Simon Wiesenthal Center, USA
Promoting Human Dignity and Empowering Vulnerable Groups in a Museum Setting
Ms. Geft, the director of the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance, describes in her lecture the goals of the museum, which make its visitors feel the past, witness history, and see and understand that prejudice and discrimination still exist in all societies.
Special stress is given in the lecture to the museum’s activity geared towards raising awareness of the lives of people with disabilities.
Alistair de Gaetano
University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland
The Autism Genome Project and Genocide: The Unbearable Uncertainty of Being (Autistic)
The lecture focuses on the legal aspects of the research into the autistic genome – in the context of the significance of terminating pregnancies in which the fetus is expected to have a disability.
Choice and Self – Representation
Lindy Zaretsky
Reaching Education Resolutions Inc., Canada
Transforming Organizational Practice through Person: Directed Planning and Care Ethics
In her lecture, Dr. Zaretsky describes a case study of an organization which has designed and incorporated a client-oriented approach. She recommends expanding the application of this approach, in order to promote the joint vision of equality and inclusion of all.
Sigal Peretz Yahalomi
Akim Israel, Israel
Guaranteeing Human Dignity and Freedom: a Person Centered Approach
Sigal Peretz Yahalomi describes the process the AKIM organization went through as it moved from a parents organization to an individual-focused organization that is based on a societal approach that relates to the person’s will, aspirations, needs, liberties and inclusion in the community as part of the protection of human dignity and liberty.
Krisztina Horvat
Equal Opportunities for Disabled People Non- Profit Ltd., Hungary
The Importance of Self Advocacy of People with Autism in the Context of Progressive Reforms: A Good Practice from Hungary
The lecture focuses on the importance of self-advocacy for people with autism, as it presents itself in the advanced reforms made in Hungary, such as the “Eight Points” project, and the establishment of the first NGO in Hungary, which is directed and governed by people with autism.
Quality of Life and Supports: Planning, Measuring and Implementing
Sabrina Donina
1Fo.B.A.P. Onlus, Italy
Aligning Assessment Data to Enhance Quality Of Life Outcomes in Person with Intellectual and Developmental Disability
In her lecture, Ms. Sabrina Donina describes a study which examines a method intended to define ways to improve the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities who live away from home, with the collaboration of the residents, their families and their therapists.
Luigi Croce
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
The Quality of Life Outcome Measure in a Group of Italian Children with ID
Luigi Croce describes a study focusing on the profile of children with intellectual disabilities conducted in Milan. A more profound understanding of the quality of life profile of people with disabilities who use services, may yield a better definition of users thus improving the services provided.
Marco Lombardi
HoGent University, Belgium
Università Cattolcia del Sacro Cuore, Italy
Promoting Social Inclusion: the Perception of Priorities in Activities Provision by Support Staff
The lecture describes a study centering on the level of importance given by therapists treating people with intellectual disabilities, to activity geared towards social inclusion.
Michael Crowley
European Quality in Social Services, Belgium
EQUASS: An Instrument for Implementing CRPD by Social Service Providers
The lecture illustrates the impact of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities achieved by service providers for the benefit of people with disabilities.
Families who Adopt – do Dreams come True?
Irit Bar Netzer
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USA
Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Adoptive and Foster Families: Improving Child and Family Outcomes and Adjustment
The lecture focuses on the great importance of clinical and therapeutic intervention in improving behaviors, parent-child relationships and more, in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome cases.
Understanding Challenging Behavior and Bullying
Karen Rogers
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USA
Abuse Risk Reduction Skills for Children with Developmental Disabilities: Making Friends and Staying Safe
Ms. Rogers presents a working plan designed to impart skills which will reduce the risk of harm to children with developmental disabilities.
Inclusive Recreational Spheres
Mark Trieglaff
Accessibility Consultation and Training Services, USA
Forest Glen Park Design Case Study - Universal Design in a Park and Recreational Setting
The lecturer describes a park whose plan is based on universal design principles that enable leisure and recreation activities for children with disabilities and parents with disabilities.
Ben Richards
Inclusive Thru Design, Australia
Playing at Inclusion: How Can we Build Better Communities
The lecture is premised on the understanding that children lead the inter-generational change regarding the inclusion of people with disabilities in society. Building inclusive play spaces provide children with opportunities to create a change.
Dual Diagnosis
Mike Stawski
Schneider Children's Medical Center, Israel
Who are These People? A Profile of Patients and their Families Treated by the Schneider Outpatient Unit for Developmental Psychiatry
The lecture focuses on behavior problems, mothers’ mental health and the functioning of families of young patients of Schneider Hospital’s Dual Diagnosis Clinic.
Shirley Portuguese
Beer Yaakov Mental Health Center, Israel
Psychiatric Manifestations of Medical Problems in Adults with Intellectual Disability
Dr. Portuguese discusses medical phenomena that can mimic psychiatric disorders in people with cognitive disabilities, which therefore can prevent the provision of the necessary medical treatment.
Jeremy Turk
South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, UK
Sleep Disorders in Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities and their Managements
The lecture focuses on sleep problems among people with disabilities with an emphasis on clinical aspects.
Autonomy-Dependency: Living in the Community
Connie Laurin-Bowie
Inclusion International, Canada
Inclusive Communities Are Stronger Communities: How Offering Choice, Support and Inclusion to People with Intellectual Disabilities Builds Stronger Communities for All
Ms. Connie Laurin-Bowie explains how article 19 of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities helps to strengthen communities.
Dana Roth
Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel
Autonomy and Dependency Relationship with Self-Perception and Quality of Life among People with Complex Learning Disabilities, Adjustment and Function Disorders: An Inclusive Research
Dr. Roth describes a research study based on an inclusive methodology that sought to explore concepts of independence and dependence among adults with complex learning difficulties and examine whether they are connected to 3 areas: relationships, initiative and views on self value and quality of life.
Stigma and IDD
Prof Patrick Corrigan - Illinois Institute of Technology, USA
Prof Jeremy Turk - South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, UK
Prof Lisa Woolfson - University of Strathclyde, UK
Dr Katrina Scior - University College London, UK
Shirli Werner - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Emergency Situations- Building Resilience
Susan Wolf-Fordham
University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA
Emergency Planning for and with Individuals with Disabilities: Stakeholder Education and Collaborative Inclusive Emergency Planning Models
The lecture describes a plan for how to deal with emergency situations for people with disabilities, their families, officials in charge of emergency response and administration representatives.
Technology in Education
Joanna Smogorzewska
Academy of Special Education, Poland
Developing Social Skills through Play the Effectiveness of Play Time/ Social Time Program
Mrs. Smogorovska presents the evaluation results of a program to develop social skills that allocates time to social play/time. The program was implemented in kindergartens in Poland.
LUDI: Technology and Play for Children with Disabilities
Pedro Encarnação
Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal
Pedro Encarnação: “LUDI”- Technology and Play for Children with Disabilities
Play is important to children’s development and helps children with disabilities fully realize their potential. LUDI is a pan-European network with representatives of 27 countries which conducts joint activities aiming to study games for children with disabilities. The lecturer descries the network’s structure, importance and activities.
Noa Nitzan, Dana Cappel
Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel
Using Technology for Play: The Manifestation of Play and Playfulness during Computer and Tablet Games in Children with Disabilities
The lecture analyzes different models of play for children with disabilities, while relating to play with objects and with technological means. It describes how technological games are expressed in the participation of children with disabilities in different games and how play related skills improve, while addressing professional and ethical dilemmas and issues and the question whether various computer game and applications encourage playfulness and other play characteristics.
Pedro Encarnação
Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal
Development of an Integrated Manipulation and Communication Assistive Technology to Support Academic Activities
Mr. Encarnação describe a study of a technology intended to support the participation of children with neuro-motor disabilities in learning activities in the classroom.
CP – An Ecological Perspective
Dido Green
Oxford Brookes University, UK
Expectations for Therapy and Relationship to Confidence and Competence and Intervention Outcomes for Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy
Dr. Green discusses the results of a study that looked at the influence of a treatment program on the self confidence and sense of ability of children with cerebral palsy.
Dmitry Leontiev
Higher School of Economics, Russia
The Role of Personality Resources in Physically Disabled Students Facing the Adjustment Challenge
Dr. Leontiev describes a research study comparing students with and without disabilities in regard of their emotional and adaptation resources.
Towards Community-based Living
Arie Rimmerman
University of Haifa, Israel
Community Residential Options for Persons with ID in the Light of UNCRPD
The lecture focuses on the transition of people with mental disabilities from institutional living to community living in light of the UN’s convention.
Kathleen Lynch
Ministry of State for Disability, Equality & Mental Health, Ireland
The Right of People with Disabilities to Live in the Community: Transition from Institutions to Community Living for People with Disabilities in Ireland
Mr. Kathleen Lync, Ireland’s Minister of State for Primary Care, Mental Health and Disability, describes in her lecture the transition from institutional living to life in the community for people with disabilities that occurred in Ireland in consideration of the wishes of the people themselves.
Steven Eidelman
University of Delaware, USA
What`s Wrong with Hostels, Villages, Intentional Communities and, Yes, Institutions: An Advocacy and Funder`s Viewpoint
The lecture explains why planned communities and hostels are not the right solution for people with disabilities, and presents solutions that involve living in the community.
No Conference about Us without Us: Accessible Language
Ephraim Mohlokane
Self-Advocate with Intellectual Disability, South Africa
Being a Successful Self Advocate
The lecturer describes how his life changed when he joined the movement for self advocacy: he embarked on a journey towards independence, self advocacy and integration in his community’s life in South Africa Efraim is an inspiration to other people with cognitive disabilities.

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