World leaders to debate disability empowerment in Edinburgh at the RI World Congress

Royalty, politicians and disability rights campaigners from around the world will be in Edinburgh later this month for a major event

A major international conference on the empowerment of disabled people will hear from Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal in Edinburgh later this month.

The Rehabilitation International World Congress will see 1,000 people from more than 60 countries come together at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre to debate issues around disability inclusion.

Coming just after the 2016 Rio Paralympics, the conference, on October 25-27, will examine how disability empowerment and inclusion can help transform our world, with daily themes designed to tackle key topics such as employment, education and training; independent living and ageing; and international relations and sport.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the UK minister for disability, work and health Penny Mordaunt and ministers from Germany, India and Hong Kong will also attend and give keynote addresses.

RIWC is being hosted in the UK by Shaw Trust, which works to deliver opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people across the UK by helping them into employment.

It is aimed at researchers, policy makers, employers, government, people with disabilities, and practitioners and will see representatives from the United Nations, China Disabled Person’s Federation and World Bank also attend.

Specialists from a variety of backgrounds and industries will look to influence policy at a global level by delivering speeches, workshops and plenaries to delegations from more than 50 countries. A number of gold medallist Paralympians will also input into sessions as panel experts and moderators.

Dr Stephen Duckworth, chairman of the 2016 RI World Congress programme board, said: “The World Congress brings together a global network of member countries who work to promote the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities or health problems. It is a significant and powerful event which can effect real change across the globe.

“This year’s theme of inclusion aims to help remove barriers which prevent disabled people from living the life they want. Over the course of three days we hope to motivate and energise people across the world by bringing new ideas and sharing best practices to help create a society which is better for everyone.”

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