Fachveranstaltung in Belgien

28th February, 2024

Focus on inclusion: community event in Eupen

On 28th February 2024, a community engagement event took place in Eupen as part of the Include3 project. The aim of the event was to bring together various stakeholders from the field of inclusion and to share their experiences and ideas.

Experts, employers and people with disabilities in dialogue:
around 13 participants, including inclusion experts, employers from social enterprises, employees from special schools and a person with a disability, discussed the challenges and opportunities of inclusion in the primary labour market.


Presentation of the Include3 project and the guidelines

At the beginning of the event, Liliane Mreyen from the VHS-Bildungsinstitut presented the Include3 project. The aim of the project is to provide counselling and training for people with cognitive impairments and to offer appropriate training material for this purpose.
Ursula Meyer presented the results of the focus groups that were conducted with people with disabilities and experts. The most important criteria for inclusion in the primary labour market were stress reduction, avoidance of conflict and opportunities to develop special skills.


Animated discussion and request for more information

The presentation of the guidelines, which are intended to serve as an orientation aid for the inclusion process, met with great interest. In the discussion that followed, the situation in Belgium was highlighted, where counselling and training for people with disabilities take place separately.
The participants asked for more educational work and better preparation of companies for the needs of people with disabilities. There was also a call for political measures, such as social clauses that oblige companies to become inclusive.


Workshop results with creative methods:

In the second part of the event, a workshop was held in which participants shared their ideas and experiences on inclusion in the DG in 2050, ways to improve the current situation and challenges of inclusion. The most important points that were developed in the various groups were

Dreamers: Vision: Strengthened togetherness, acceptance of differences, open communication, community-building projects, positive energy, consideration of intersectionality.

Realists: Concrete measures: Promotion of social skills, destigmatisation, operational support, social clauses, information in easy language, acceptance of support needs, change in values.

Critics: Challenges: Lack of acceptance, excessive demands, funding, higher costs in the private sector.


Summary and outlook

The community engagement event in Eupen was a complete success. The event offered participants the opportunity to network with other stakeholders in the field of inclusion and to share their ideas and experiences.
The results of the workshop will be incorporated into the further development of the Include3 project. The project team will continue to work towards improving the inclusion of people with cognitive impairments in the primary labour market.