The Role of Families in Education:
Kick-off for independence

26 to 28 May 2016, Lisbon, Portugal


Inclusion Europe and Fenacerci welcomed more than 150 participants to the Europe in Action Conference 2016.

This annual event has become an unmissable opportunity for many persons with intellectual disabilities, families, carers and representative organisations to share knowledge, experiences and ideas.

The event gathered participants from 23 European countries, but also Australia, Canada and the United States.

For presentations, speakers and more on Europe in Action 2016 in Lisbon click here.

This year’s conference focused on the role of families in the promotion and implementation of inclusive education.

Personal stories and expert views

For 3 days, self-advocates, support persons, family members and professionals addressed different aspects of inclusive education.

The conference programme offered a great mix of personal stories from self-advocates and sessions delivered by experts and policy-makers. Through various sessions, participants discussed the right to inclusive education and the current situation in different European countries.

Speakers and participants also had the opportunity to learn from each other when sharing good practices that make schools more inclusive or presenting various projects related to inclusion in education.


Interactions and debates

The high level of interaction throughout the conference was truly appreciated by the participants.

Europe in Action 2016 has once again served as a platform of debate enabling self-advocates, family members and experts to formulate common positions aiming for full and effective inclusion of all children with disabilities in schools.


Their conclusions highlighted the urgency to end segregation of children with disabilities in Europe while acknowledging that transition to a model of inclusive education will require a lot of effort.

Quality education is required to ensure the active participation of all children with intellectual disabilities, including children with complex needs.

Disseminating success stories, promoting self-advocacy at an early age, promoting peer-support and reminding others that inclusive education benefits all children without mentioning the importance of the role of parents in the process were all recognised as imperatives to making inclusive education a reality in Europe.

Inclusion Europe and Fenacerci are delighted that the success of the event showed the movement towards inclusion is getting ever stronger.

For presentations, speakers and more on Europe in Action 2016 in Lisbon click here.

Pictures from the conference are also available on Inclusion Europe’s Facebook page


Founded in 1985, FENACERCI (National Federation of Social Solidarity Cooperatives) is a national federation, which represents 53 cooperatives that provide services for people with intellectual and multiple disabilities. These facilities provide direct or indirect support to approximately 10.000 children, youths and adults with learning or multiple disabilities. 

FENACERCI is a Public Service Organisation, and its main objectives are: 

  • to promote the recognition of the rights of citizens with learning disabilities, together with their interests and those of their families; 
  • to ensure that the care which is provided for them is always based on criteria of quality, dignity and appropriateness; 
  • to discuss with political forces in central government and in other organisations, with regard to both legislation and financial support, in order to improve the quality of services provided by CERCIs (Social Cooperatives); 
  • to inform people and to motivate in them a change of attitude, which will make it easier for people who are different to be included. 

Find out more about FENACERCI at

More on Inclusion Europe is here.

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