International Disability Management Conferences Are On The Right Track!


Disability Management has lately gained fame with the masses and has also become a growing and important field. A number of conferences are held internationally to focus on the issues relating to disability and highlight the emerging trends and latest thinking on the topic. The first conference of the International Forum on Disability Management was held at Vancouver, Canada in May 2002. For this biennial and inaugural international conference the selected theme was 'Work Retention Strategies in a Global Society'.

There is a growing demand for global and international perspectives along with global leadership for Disability Management. To expand global awareness, the latest research and valuable experiences have been put to test. In the labor market for disabled as well, a lot of new programs and initiatives have been introduced. This in turn has enabled disabled people to even cross country and jurisdictional boundaries and they have gone to explore the new horizons.

As a result, of late, there are new grounds for the synchronization and coming together or convergence in different and diverse Disability Management initiatives in various countries. The conference held in Canada focused on the socio-economic impact and influences of disability internationally and applauded the transformation of the concept of an International Disability Management Forum to reality by holding such an inaugural conference.

The objectives of this conference forum were to get together on a common platform, its key practitioners and leaders and representatives from governments, businesses, labor unions and labor interest groups as well as from the academia; and to provide focus on the latest innovations in research on Disability Management, capability studies, practice and design, and a common meeting point that furthered development of more or less co-related and consensus led programs on Disability Management and policies world wide.

Disability Management and Work Retention are also inter-related and rapidly emerging fields. The leadership, innovations and best practices exemplified at this forum evoked interest and benefited business community, labor, the government, the rehabilitation sector, and the private and public sector organizations as well as people representing the disabled community.

The conference was chaired by the Honorable Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labor, Canada and co-chaired by Mr. Brian Payne, President, Communications, Energy and Paper workers' Union of Canada on behalf of disabled labors and by Mr. Steve Hill, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Weyerhaeuser, USA on behalf of the employers.